Thursday, June 30, 2011

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday! [8]

Welcome blog hoppers!
I hope you enjoy your visit here at Writer Quirk!
^_^

Book Blogger Hop 



FFQ: ACK! Your favorite book/movie character (example Hermione Granger played by the Emma chick) just walked into the room! Who is it and what would be your first reaction? You get extra points if you include visual stimulation.

WQA:  Ack!  I don't know!  Let me think...oh yes.  It would be  
Captain Jack Sparrow 
and my first reaction would be to squint at him to make sure he is real.  Especially if I am seeing multiple Jacks.




BBHQ:  What keeps you reading beyond the first few pages of a book, and what makes you want to stop reading a book and put it back on the shelf?

WQA:  What keeps me reading is a unique/distinct voice, a bit of mystery, good storytelling and atmosphere, and an outside-the-box quality when it comes to premise, settings, and situations.  
Great writing, wit, humor, and snark also help.
^_^
As for what makes me want to stop reading: flat/irritating/stupid characters, lack of forward motion, overkill of agenda, and supreme unbelievability.  The writing would have to be ridiculously bad for me to give up on it due to that (I did get through Twilght after all). 
*dodges tomatoes*


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Thanks for visiting!

ULTRAVIOLET by RJ Anderson

I finished reading this a couple of days ago (thanks to NetGalley) and I  
cannot wait to get my very own copy!
Watch the teaser trailer below!

Z - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo.

How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: Z

Zeitgeist
Since I don't have any authors for this, the final letter and day of the Authors from A to Z challenge, I chose some 'Z' words.  I saw this word in a blog post recently that had to do with the strange phenomna of a certain topic or theme showing up in a lot of manuscripts being submitted to agents. I didn't understand this word, so I looked it up.  You should too.  I'll wait.  You back? Okay.  I thought it was kind of funny.  Not just the word, but how in YA, a zeitgeist is usually really evident.  The vampire craze, the angel/demon phase, werewolves and fairies and zombies, oh my!  I think mermaids are next.  There are certainly some out there already, and did you see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides?  It made me want to write a mermaid-centric story, that's for sure (hot preacher boy included.  ^_^)  Personally, I hope that *when* my WIP gets published (because we quirks must be optimistic), that I will start another magical zeitgeist in YA.  Not that magic ever really goes out of style, does it?

Zoo
I don't think I've ever read a story where the main setting was a zoo.  Wild cat refuge?  Yes.  Actual zoo?  No.  Any suggestions?  And please don't tell me to watch the upcoming Zookeeper.  I'm sure I will get it from Redbox.

Zenith
There are a lot of words out there that have a sort of atmosphere about them (yes, I stole that bit o' terminology from Stephenie Meyer).  When it comes to titles in YA, the one-word-punch is oft used and to be honest, I usually like it.  My WIP title (and the three novels following it) are all one-word titles.  I like this word and think it has that same kind of atmosphere about it.  Unfortunately, it also reminds me forcibly of a television.  So, this one is really fifty-fifty for me.  Some of my favorites (though none start with "'Z'):  Wither, Sweetblood, Dreamland, Nightshade, Airhead, Insatiable, Persuasion, etc.  What are some your favorite one-word titles (even if you didn't like the actual story)?

We've reached the end, my quirky friends!  It has been a lot of fun sharing some of my favorites with you.  Big thanks to Heather at Proud Book Nerd for hosting this challenge!

And, whether you are new or have been around a while, you may have noticed that little "Fellow Quirks" box over there to the right has tipped over the three digit mark!  You know what that means?  *grin*  Look for a giveaway soon!  ^_^

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Working Writer Wednesday [7]

Working Writer Wednesday is a weekly meme based on the Wannabe Writer meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published. This meme is what prompted me to start Writer Quirk, so I am thankful to Sarah for creating it and allowing ANYONE (even a quirkster like me) to join up. So go visit her site and the others who participate. Do it.

Where I am in the writing process:  Revising what is written and planning on finishing my re-write by October.

My current problem(s):  I had another epiphany, but haven't figured out how to get it in there and make what is already there work around it.  It was not as big an epiphany as the last one, but still, it needs to be done right.  I'm still all over the place with my time.

Sarah's ???: How do you make time?

My answer:  Poorly, at the moment.  Honestly, I haven't felt like writing much, so I've not been trying very hard to sit down and do it.  My head is a little full with wedding plans and need of sleep.  Usually, though, I basically tell whomever it may concern that I am going to be out for the night, go to my favorite local cafe, pick a table and stay there until they close.  I actually have fewer interruptions out in public than at home.  That's how I was able to complete NaNoWriMo last year, by being away from my actual life as much as possible.  And when I really want/need to finish writing something as soon as possible, I take my laptop everywhere, including to work where I would write on my breaks (usually in the bathroom...I know...terrible and TMI) and on my lunch break.  When you really want to, you can find the time.  It usually requires cutting out reading, TV, friends, significant others, family, and such, but that is sometimes the price we pay (not to mention those around us) to do what we love.

My ???:  Do you have any secret/weird spots where you catch a little extra writing time?

That's it for this time!

Thanks for visiting!

Y - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo!

How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: Y

Philip Yancy
When I really started reading again, part of what got me back into it was a lot of Christian life non-fiction books.  Yancey's What's So Amazing About Grace? and several other of his works were poignant and thought-provoking.  He's been a writer for a long time and covers a myriad of topics in his many books.  His writing style is clean and precise while feeling very comfortable without being oversimplified.  If you put a Yancey book in front of me, I will read it.

Jane Yolen
In high school, I had a great fascination with fiction pertaining to the Holocaust.  Two of my favorite books from this period of my reading life are The Devil's Arithmetic and Briar Rose.  It wasn't until I was researching authors for this challenge that I realized Yolen wrote them both.  These two stories stuck with me after reading each of them only once (though The Devil's Arithmetic starring Kirsten Dunst helped some) and they had a way of transporting me to that dark time and teaching me about humanity, evil, and hope.

Suzanne Young (Future Favorite)
I've seen Young's The Naughty List series, but not being huge into contemp YA, I hadn't really felt I needed to add it to my must-read-soon list.  But Young's new novel, A Need So Beautiful, just looks stunning.  Can't wait to get this and see what Young has to offer!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

X - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo!

How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: X

The xx - Shelter
Okay, how does today's letter (X) and my choice for today's topic (The xx) relate to authors/books?  Easy.  The song "Shelter" by The xx was the one moment from the I Am Number Four movie that I really stopped and went, "Whoa."  (And in case you didn't know, I Am Number Four is a YA book - and one I haven't read...yet.)  I don't really remember what was going on in the scene where this song played, but I remember the moment the song filtered through the speakers and the sound waves hit my ears.  Insta-love.  It was so momentous for me that I didn't even realize Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" was also on the I Am Number Four soundtrack and I love that song.  But "Shelter" made an instant and lasting impression. So my other two mentions for today's letter are two more of my favorite songs from The xx.

The xx - Crystalised
One thing that I love about this band is the dual singers.  It really works here (as it does on most of their songs) and towards the end of the song they sing different lyrics at the same time.  It reminds me of those Gemini roller coasters that flip and spin around one another.  They manage to do this with their voices, and despite the inherent disjointedness, it is so smooth.

The xx - Intro
On most albums that have intros, I skip the intros to get to the real songs.  This is never never never the case for "Intro" by The xx.  Not only is this amazing piece of music with only a little melodic vocalization one of my favorite tracks of music ever, it also sets the atmosphere for the whole album.  I literally could listen to it over and over and over again and never want to change it...except to listen to the rest of The xx awesomeness...eventually.  ^_^

Monday, June 27, 2011

W - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo!

How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: W

Kiersten White
I was so eager to get my hands on Paranormalcy and now I am eagerly awaiting the sequel, Supernaturally.  White is not only the creator of one of the most fun, kick-butt girl characters in YA, she is also pretty fun and awesome herself.  Her blog posts always crack me up and I am very intrigued about what she is working on apart from Evie's story.  White is one of those authors who it would be like going to a birthday party when you get to meet her, and you never know if she will be the one making the balloon animals.  Also, balloon animals, as well as bedazzled pink tasers, rock!

Scott Westerfeld
Westerfeld is one of the staple authors in YA.  You can't escape his work.  Like steampunk?  He has a series for that.  Dystopia?  He has a series for that.  Kids with special powers?  He has a series for that.  Then he has several other books that fit anywhere and everywhere.  While I wasn't that into his Uglies series (though the writing was fine), I loved his Midnighters series, and am looking forward to cracking open Leviathan and maybe Peeps at some point.  I wonder what crazy thing he will come up with next!

Sara Bennett Wealer (Future Favorite)
I saw a review for Wealer's Rival on one of my favorite blogs (Reading Teen - see sidebar) and hopped on over to Amazon.com to read an excerpt.  Holy cow!  Multiple POVs?  Check.  Clear, distinct voices? Check.  Tons of tensions?  Check.  The only thing missing is some supernatural element, but from the bit I read of this contemporary, it doesn't need it.  That's means a lot, coming from me.  So I'm excited to read the whole thing and see more from Wealer in the future.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

V - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo!

How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: V

Victoire Weasley
Again, no authors for this letter, so more characters.  This time, they are all from the world of Harry Potter.  This character is the daughter of Bill and Fleur Weasley and was born on the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, hence her name, which means "victory" in French.  She is not actually seen in the books and not much is said about her other than that she seems to be the girlfriend of Teddy Lupin.  I often wonder if she was much like her mother, or more like Bill.  If Teddy is anything like Harry, I would think she would have to be a little more laid back than Fleur to really keep him from getting too annoyed with her.  It would be interesting to see if she and Teddy stayed together once they were grown up.  In fact, a family tree of all the Weasley/Potter families and other important characters would be cool.

Viktor Krum
Poor Viktor.  From what we see of him during the time period of the HP books, he was unlucky in the Quidditch World Cup, the Triwizard Tournament, and in love.  I actually really liked Krum and how he turned out to be very different from his mentor Karkaroff.  I wonder what became of him after the Second Wizarding War and if he continued playing quidditch, and if so, did he ever play against Ginny?  That would have been an interesting match.

Vernon Dursley
I would like to think that after everything that happened, Vernon Dursley got over his anti-magical and anti-Harry mentality, but sadly, I don't think he ever did.  I can't imagine what he would say if he knew Harry and Dudley became civil in later years.  Though I'm glad his son wised up, there is one thing you can say about Vernon - he's consistent.

Friday, June 24, 2011

U - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo.

How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: U

Sam Ulee
I didn't have any authors for 'U' so I decided to do characters with a 'U' last name.  The first is from The Twilight Saga.  Sam is a the alpha of the La Push wolf pack and seen at first as an enemy by Bella and Jacob before the truth about the supernatural nature of the pack comes to light.  Strong, brave, and a decisive leader, Sam makes for a great example of what a Quileute warrior should be.  He causes a little uproar in Breaking Dawn, but overall you can count on Sam to do the right thing.  I bet if he were to write his memoir or autobiography, it would read like a captain's log, or go the opposite direction and be an angsty look at his shape-shifting life.

Dolores Umbridge
I really loved to loathe this character, who is the villain of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  I wanted to punch her in the face from the moment she appeared, which means Rowling did her job well.  I really hoped Umbridge, a.k.a. toad-face, would come to a delightfully dreadful end, but alas, it doesn't appear from the books that she did.  Most I can figure, from some of the extra stuff I found on the interwebs about the future of the Harry Potter crew, is that once HP got in the ministry and was fixing it up (as in, getting rid of all the unjustness) Umbridge found herself unemployed.  If she were to write the story of her life, it would probably be a diatribe against the new management of the ministry and how glorious it was when Fudge and Thicknesse were in charge.

Grover Underwood
This character from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series is one of those sidekick kinds who manages to do some pretty heroic things, even if by accident.  Grover is a fun character who definitely adds some levity to all the danger encountered by Percy and Co.  I really liked, from the first few books of the series, how Grover did a lot more than you expect sidekicks to do and really came into his own strengths.  If he were to write about his adventures, they would definitely include Percy and Annabeth, and probably his search for Pan.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday! [7]

Welcome blog hoppers!
I hope you enjoy your visit here at Writer Quirk!
^_^

Book Blogger Hop 



FFQ: What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?

WQA:  As for fairy tales (which typically lack actual fairies) I love Beauty and the Beast - the Disney version.  I also love the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses.  As for fae stories - I've not had much luck there.  Even though I didn't have a chance to finish it, I liked Julie Kagawa's The Iron King best of all the ones I've read.

BBHQ:  When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?

WQA:  Probably in the first grade. I had no trouble reading ahead in our story books at school and reading every book we had at home and bringing stacks back from the library. I was so into reading that growing up, my parents would get worried I'd disappeared because I would be so quiet due to sitting in a corner reading for hours on end.


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Thanks for visiting!

T - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo!

How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: T

J.R.R. Tolkien
Surely you saw this coming.  As much as I love Harry Potter, Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was my first fangirl obsession.  Tolkien is a master of description, but his prose style isn't for everyone.  The Hobbit is easier on the brain than LOTR, but all the great bits are still there.  The stories of Middle Earth are nonetheless fantastic.  But not only did Tolkien write the seven books (yes, technically, it is seven books) that make up what most know of his work, he also created an entire, ridiculously thorough history of Middle Earth, complete with multiple languages, some of which dedicated fans actually know how to speak.  I even took a class on Tolkien and his work (which I aced!), so yeah, I'm a big fan.  I don't really think of Tolkien as merely an author, but a genius creator of a world I love.

Rumiko Takahashi
Inuyasha.  Seriously, one of my all-time favorite mangas/animes.  A unique and fun cast of characters, including frenemies and villains, and a time-jumping story with lots and lots of supernatural happenings (including the half-demon Inuyasha who is too adorably jerky for words) makes this a long and fun ride.  If you haven't picked this up by this writer/illustrator who has written several series, all I have to say is, "Sit!"

Leo Tolstoy (Future Favorite)
Okay, I know this is weird, having this Russian author of classics as my "future" favorite, but I can explain.  See, a while back, I read some Dostoyevsky and found I really have a thing for Russian literature.  I've read some small things by Tolstoy, bits and pieces really, and I want to read more.  What I know of his life is pretty interesting, and he has a lot of classics out there.  I just need to get to a point where I can sit and digest what I'm reading, because if it is anything like Dostoyevsky, I'm going to have to think through all of it, which is a good thing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Working Writer Wednesday [6]

Working Writer Wednesday is a weekly meme based on the Wannabe Writer meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published. This meme is what prompted me to start Writer Quirk, so I am thankful to Sarah for creating it and allowing ANYONE (even a quirkster like me) to join up. So go visit her site and the others who participate. Do it.

Where I am in the writing process:  Feels like nowhere.  Planning on finishing my re-write by October.

My current problem(s):  Still not been able to write much.  Between work, wedding, blogging, and trying to actually read, I've not gotten anything new written in a while.  I was able to implement some of my epiphany in my first and second chapter, and sent some of that off to an open critique in which I labeled myself as a coconut, basically asking for a very blunt and thorough critique.  We'll see how that goes when I get it back.

Sarah's ???: Length?  How long do you like your YA novels to be?

My answer:  When I finished my NaNo project, it came out at about 67k words.  I thought that was a pretty decent number.  I feel for what goes on in my story between 60-75k is about right for me.  I think stories with a fantasy, supernatural, sci-fi, or paranormal element tend to be longer because there is stuff that has to be explained or shown to the reader where contemporary or normal historical novels don't really have to do that.  I do feel a little besieged when a YA novel is 100k or more.  The story has to be pretty darn good to warrant all those pages and keep me from moving on.

My ???:  What is the longest YA book you have read?  Did it need all those words or could it have been cut down?

That's it for this time!

Thanks for visiting!

S - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo!

How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: S

R.L. Stine
There were definite fads in reading when I was growing up.  The Baby-Sitters Club, The Boxcar Children, and anything with this guy's name on it  Whether it was straight up Goosebumps or Fear Street, I loved every minute of these books.  Stine not only wrote stories that elementary age kids could relate to and turn those into the most outlandish, nightmarish situations, he made them twisty and fun to read with lots of imagery.  And the protags didn't always win outright or the villain wasn't always gone for good, which I thought was a rather realistic message considering the books contained things like living dummies, possessing ghosts, and creatures who feared coming to Earth.

Lemony Snicket
I know Snicket is technically a pseudonym for another writer (though I honestly don't know his name) but I feel like Lemony Snicket is a real person, or at least, the other name author makes Snicket seem very alive in his narrations of A Series of Unfortunate Events.  Not only is that series great for kids, but the books are also challenging with the vocabulary and wordplay, which makes them fun for older audiences as well.  I haven't made it through all the books yet, but they are always fun to read, despite them being rather unfortunate.

Michael Scott (Future Favorite)
When I first saw this name I thought it would be really cool if Michael Scott (from The Office) wrote a YA series.  How over-the-top would that be?  Anyway, I knew the two were not one-in-the-same, but I'm still definitely looking forward to reading The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.  The first in the series, The Alchemyst, is one of the books on our never-read list in [soi] so hopefully it will get picked sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

R - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo!

How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: R

J.K. Rowling
Not since the Bible (and I mean that) have I read a story so involved and so detailed and so spun together that all the things add up in the end to come to a dramatic and heart-wrenching/heart-warming conclusion.  I LOVE this author's work and will read anything by her.  I don't know that she can top HP, but she can certainly try.  It makes my brain hurt to even try writing as she did with all the little intricacies and details that she had to put in beforehand, knowing the reason or meaning would see print until book seven.  In a word: amazing.

Kathy Reichs
That show you watch on TV, you know the one, Bones?  Yeah, this lady invented it.  In fact, she has a vast book series about Dr. Brennan (very different from the show, I might add...and better, IMHO) that spans lots of cases.  Very interesting and edge of your seat cases.  I've read/listened to nearly all of them, and if I come across one I haven't, instant pick up and do so.  Also, she has started a YA series, beginning with Virals, and I really, really, really want to read it.

Veronica Roth (Future Favorite)
I'm not that in to dystopia, but Roth's debut Divergent is so tantalizing, I might jump on board for good.  I can't wait to read this.  It would be on the top of my TBR pile if I had it in my hands, but alas, I don't.  I put a hold on the audio book through my library's electronic database, and I read the email on day four of my three day period to get to the site and download it.  When I realized this, I did the opposite of squee.  Squawk?  I don't know what sound it was, but it was of defeat and anger at myself for not checking my email more.  So I am back on the hold list and will hopefully (fingers crossed with cheesecake on top) be able to get it soon.

Q - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo!

How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: Q

Quills
Since for today's (technically Monday's) letter I couldn't come up with any authors, books, or songs, I thought I would do 'Q' words that somehow related to books.  Quills should be rather obvious.  Not only did people use quills in the past to write, but quills are also a minor (although much mentioned) object in the Harry Potter series.  And ever since I heard them mentioned, I've really wanted a Sugar Quill.  I imagine a sugar quill would be like a stick of rock candy's intellectual, more magical older brother.

Quiver
And no, I don't mean the synonym of  "shudder" and that thing Bella Swan did umpteen times during Eclipse.  I mean the kind people put arrows in.  More specifically, the kind people in fantasy and some select dystopian novels put arrows in.  Katniss had a quiver.  So did Legolas.  And I bet all the readers out there can name a hundred (or two or four) other characters in the literary world who make good use of a quiver.  They are more important than you think.

Quirks
You had to see this coming!  Of course, Writer Quirk is about books and the writing of books, so of course it makes the list as the most awesome 'Q' word relating to books ever!  Okay, maybe not in the rest of the world, but on this blog it does.  And also, it is one of the things we readers love about characters - their quirks.  Edward's crooked grin, Harry's relentless courage, Ron's knack for voice imitation, Hermione's inability to not answer a question correctly, Alanna's violet eyes, Daine's thoughtfulness toward all animals, Owen Meany's birth, the reason for Ford Perfect's name, all of these things add to who each character is in one way or another.  Without these quirks, whether they are big or small, we wouldn't know them as we do or have grown to love them as we have.  Go quirks!

P - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo!


How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: P

Tamora Pierce
(I'm behind in my alphabet, I know, but better late than never!) If you've read some of my other A to Z posts where I mention Pierce's novels, you already know I love this author.  She has created a large cast of unique and fun characters, all with their different stregnths .  Her series, which are numerous, span different time periods and follow different characters all in the same world.  It is high fantasy, with magic and creatures and immortal beings, and lots of adventure!  If you like fantasy at all, read something by this amazing author.  I've read two of her quartets already, and am starting another one this week!  I can't wait!

James Patterson
I must confess, I have never read one of Patterson's novels that are those crime/drama/thrillers for adults.  I have, however, read his Maximum Ride series. I loved taking that wild ride and got my hands on as many of the series as possible. Hopefully I will get to finish it soon and learn what became of Max and the gang.

Edgar Allan Poe
This author has the title of author who creeps me out most. But in a good way. I devour Poe like the biggest goth or most loyal Baltimoreian. Creepy, engrossing, twisted, and awesome are only a few words to describe the inventor of the literary mystery. Like Shakespeare, Poe is an unforgettable master in the art of writing.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Giveaway Highlight: Follower Appreciation Mega Awesome Giveaway!

Evie over at Bookish
is having a ridiculously amazing giveaway! 
Multiple winners, multiple prizes, all awesome!
Enter here.

And, yes, all those pictures are prizes.  I know.  AWESOME.

O - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo!

How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: O

Tsugumi Ohba
This may or may not be the real name of the author of one of my favorite mangas, Death Note, but I don't care.  If you've never read or seen Death Note (it was on Adult Swim for a time) you are missing out on one of the coolest, craziest story lines out there.  The characters are all intriguing and there is no shortage of drama (and death) as Ohba weaves a Shakespearean like tragedy that builds and builds until the tense, spectacular ending.  I literally just realized it is kind of the Japanese version of the Scottish play (not so much in a literal sense, but in a thematic sense).  Also, there is some supernatural stuff that is tricky and weird and the death demons are awesome looking (and love apples).  There is also the added bonus of one of my favorite ever manga characters, a detective-esque genius with a penchant for sweets who simply goes by the name L. And as for me and Death Note, L=Love!

Jana G. Oliver (Future Favorite)
I took a little peek into Oliver's The Demon Trapper's Daughter and was seriously hooked.  I love fantasy (does this count as urban fantasy?  idk.) and I love when creatures and magic and things of that ilk pop up to create havoc in the real world.  The heroine, Riley, had a distinctive voice and an unusual job, and I can't wait to see what she has to do.  This is a series, too, so fun upon fun!

Anne Osterlund (Future Favorite)
It may seem weird to say this, but I'm big on princess stories.  And not just the rags-to-riches kind (or the "I didn't know I was a princess but it sure is harder than it looks" kind), but the "I'm an expert at being a princess and I have to survive it while still trying to be an actual human being" kind.  This probably started with Shannon Hale's The Goose Girl, and I'm hoping to continue it with Osterlund's Aurelia.  I liked the protagonist from the get go, and I love me some court intrigue and (duh) romantic princes (and tough but sweet stable boys/bodyguards/whatever).  And this is yet another series.  Yay!

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday! [6]

Welcome blog hoppers!
I hope you enjoy your visit here at Writer Quirk!
^_^

Book Blogger Hop 



FFQ: Genre wars!  What's your favorite genre and what book in that genre made it your favorite?

WQA:  That is actually kind of tough!  My initial response would by YA Paranormal, but that isn't the whole story.  I like paranormal in general, but I like some things (magic) more than other things (creatures). And I like for there to be some kind of mystery involved, too. I guess Harry Potter would be one that really typifies my interests (though I believe it is considered fantasy, which would be my second favorite.  Go figure).

BBHQ:  How many books are currently in your To-Be-Read (TBR) Pile?

WQA:  I have a very small physical TBR pile (like 3) but I have a long list of to-reads that get added to the TBR when they come into my possession. I get most of my books from the library so that is why my physical list is so short, unless you consider the entire YA section at my library to be (sort of) within my possession! Then my list would be HUGE! ^_^


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Thursday, June 16, 2011

N - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo!

How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: N

Jenny Nimmo
I stumbled upon Nimmo's middle grade Children of the Red King series (also known as the Charlie Bone books) at my local library.  It sounded kind of Harry Potter-ish (Nimmo is also British), so I gave it a go.  Can we say insta-love?  The books are lighter than HP turned out to be, and there is magic of a sort, and a gigantic cast of unique and highly entertaining characters to fall in love with and love to loathe.  I read the entire series, eight books in all, and when I saw that a new release came out this month, this time focusing on the origin and adventures of the Red King himself, I literally squeed.  The thing I will most miss in the new series is Uncle Peyton.  Peyton!  Oh, he's awesome.  Back to the books...Nimmo's writing is easy and fun, and I always felt like I got a really good sense of the characters and their world through her descriptions.  Take a chance on this series, but don't expect it to have the depth of HP, but do expect to have a good time in the world of Charlie Bone.

Alyson Noel (Future Favorite)
Who reads YA that has not heard of Noel?  Again, this is one of those authors everyone seems to have read and loved, and I'm planning on finding out for myself.  Her Immortals series looks intriguing, and everyone in the YA blogosphere seems to be jumping at any and every chance to get their hands on the final installment, Everlasting.  I might even give her contemporary novels a read.  She also has another series (Riley Bloom) that looks interesting as well.  Seems she has something for everyone, so maybe I will find something I like!

Chloe Neill (Future Favorite)
I don't know much about this author, but her YA series, The Dark Elite, looks right up my alley, a good paranormal series that is a little lighter than some of the others.  Every time I see the cover of Firespell, I just want to jump into the book.  Neill also has an adult series about a grad student that looks interesting to me as well (vampires!) so I may also give it a try.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Working Writer Wednesday [5]

Working Writer Wednesday is a weekly meme based on the Wannabe Writer meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published. This meme is what prompted me to start Writer Quirk, so I am thankful to Sarah for creating it and allowing ANYONE (even a quirkster like me) to join up. So go visit her site and the others who participate. Do it.

Where I am in the writing process:  Feels like nowhere.  Planning on finishing my re-write by October.

My current problem(s):  Still not been able to write much.  Between work, wedding, blogging, and trying to actually read, I've not gotten anything new written in a while.

Sarah's ???:  Is the love at first sight thing in Twilight really so bad?  I mean if my story ends up having that kind of romance will everyone compare it automatically to Twilight with that harshness Twilight now gets constantly.  (by the way I love Twilight)

My answer:  That's a tough one.  I think it is okay to have characters fall for each other at first sight.  The problem comes when they don't have any discernible reason to stay with each other.  Physical attraction is often, even in real life, the first way that people realize they are interested in another person, but keeping two people together when they have nothing in common and disagree about everything or all they ever do is stare at each other and bask in their combined beauty, yeah, that gets old really quick.  I would say tread with care and make sure the romance has more than just that first encounter to back it up.  Too often, readers are forced to accept that characters who experienced lust-at-first-sight are "in love" when true, committed, redeeming, unconditional, sacrificial love is so much more than a rush of emotion and physical attraction.

My ???:  Speaking of love in YA, do you prefer love-at-first-sight, friends-become-more, or hate-first-love-later type relationships in YA?  Are there other kinds you wish were more prominent?

That's it for this time!

Thanks for visiting!

M - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo!

How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: M

Rebecca Maizel
I was fortunate enough to win a copy of Maizel's debut YA novel Infinite Days from Goodreads before it hit shelves.  And man, is she an amazing writer or what?!  Her prose was sweeping and lovely, and the story was pretty awesome as well.  She made flashbacks as interesting as forward motion and there was just such beauty and emotion on every page.  I can't wait for the sequel, Stolen Nights, to come out.  If you like paranormal romance with a big dash of uniqueness and intrigue, or if you simply love vampires, Maizel is the author for you.

Stephenie Meyer
Oh, the controversy surrounding this very name!  I am one of those readers who has a love/hate relationship with Meyer's first foray into YA literature (The Twilight Saga, in case you've never heard of it).  I love bits and I cringe at bits.  Overall, I was swept up into the story and couldn't wait to find out what happened, even if I was wanting to tear my own hair out at some of the choices/actions of the characters.  I mostly listened (and still listen) to the audio books, and more and more I find lots to roll my eyes at, but overall, I still am willing and able to go along for the ride.  Meyer is an amazing storyteller with quite an imagination, which she proved with The Host.  Not only did she improve as a writer with this book (which will wind up a series, so I've heard...with a movie currently in the works as well) but I really have no idea how she came up with some of the things her alien character describes.  It was vivid and unique and amazed me.  I think, no matter how she got into the business, Meyer will be around a long time with many flocking to read whatever new paranormal novel she publishes.  But she is taking her sweet time on that, isn't she?  How long has it been since Breaking Dawn?  Three years?  Well, no matter when her next thing makes its way into the hands of readers everywhere, I'm putting my money on her next new project having to do with mermaids.  ^_^

Myra McEntire (Future Favorite)
Not only is this awesome new YA author from my home state of Tennessee, she is also tons of fun in a tiny package and has a big, big heart.  And she is a Charlie Bewley fan and caught the exact same move of his that stole one of the last Volturi scenes in Eclipse (the movie) from Dakota Fanning and Co.  Gotta love a girl with good taste!  Okay, on to her work...her new novel Hourglass (which came out yesterday!) sounds amazing.  Time travel.  Romance.  And a cast of characters that I can't wait to get to know.  I'm so excited to get this I might actually buy the hard cover.  I so don't do that.  But for Myra, I totally will.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Museday [5]

Like a lot of Top 40 music these days, this artist is a hit or miss with me.  But the first time I heard this song, I knew it fit something in my story.  So who and what is it?

Today's Muse is...E.T. by Katy Perry.

Like I said above, I'm not generally a huge fan of artists like Katy Perry (though I love songs I can dance to - I just wish the lyrics were different or removed completely) but this is one of those where (if you ignore the Kanye West version) the lyrics aren't too bad and are about what most songs are about: love.  Or lust. Whatever.  In this case, it doesn't matter.

The awe and wonder Perry describes in the song is kind of how my MC feels once she really starts to understand this one guy in the story.  She doesn't know if he is one of the "good" guys or not, which is something that both frightens and intrigues her. And yes, the guy is hot and mysterious, so my MC is not sure if she is falling for him or just fawning over him.  Either way, this song, like my MC's mystery boy, is addictive and entrancing.

The video below just shows a picture of Katy Perry with the lyrics on the screen as the song is playing (and thankfully this one is sans Kanye).  Enjoy!   ^_^





L - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo!


How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: L

Lois Lowery
The Giver.  Number the Stars.  Need I say more?  If you've not read anything by Lowery, you are missing out indeed.  These two books of her's alone helped shape me as an early reader in elementary and middle school.  The uniqueness of The Giver wowed me and stretched my imagination.  Number the Stars taught me about a tough and tragic period in our history and I sought more literature about the Holocaust because of it.  Her books were always well written, engrossing, and even when the subject matter was tough or heavy, still left you with a sense that hope was never absent and people could accomplish amazing things.

Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis
I've never read The Chronicles of Narnia.  I some how missed those growing up.  I have listened to dramatized versions of the first handful of books, and those were pretty awesome, especially the much ignored The Magician's Nephew.  Lewis was a master at layering stories with depth and meaning.  But Lewis really got to me with The Screwtape Letters.  It was one of the most challenging books to read because it is from the perspective of a demon.  The word/thought play going on in those pages is immense and sometimes extremely confusing, but at the same time it is epic.  I found myself doing several Keanu Reeves impressions when I realized exactly what the demons were saying and doing.  This work of fiction also taught me how clever demons and their master are at sidetracking the lives of humans with the most mundane methods, and now I catch myself in some of those situations and thank Lewis for opening my eyes to the very real threats to our souls and sanity that lie beyond the pages of his book.

Lord of the Flies
This book has stuck with me since I read it years ago.  Twisted and tragic and terrifying.  It is survivor with young boys and no winner and no Jeff Probst or producers who could cool down heated fights or call for medical assistance when needed.  Poor Simon.  And the boar.  It all still gives me the creeps.  But you should read it.  William Golding really nailed the savage parts of human nature in vivid scenes that keep leading down the spiral.  I will never watch a movie of this.  But you should definitely read it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fatty Case [19]

I know it is late, but I haven't forgotten today is Faturday the 13th!  Fatty is resting on my lovely Thirty-One laptop case, bearing my blog's moniker.  Don't they look good together?




HAPPY FATURDAY THE 13TH!

K - Authors from A to Z Challenge

Authors from A to Z is a posting challenge hosted by 
Heather at Proud Book Nerd. The challenge is simple: each day for the month of June (except Sundays) share your favorite authors whose last name corresponds to the letter for that day.  For more info, click the photo!


How I'm participating in the challenge:
I am trying to highlight at least three authors (YA or otherwise) per letter, some current favorites, others future favorites. If I cannot come up with three, I will substitute favorite books that start with the letter of that day. If that doesn't work, then just for fun I am going to list songs that start with the letter of that day. And if that doesn't work, well, it will be a surprise!

Today's Letter: K

Jonathan Kellerman
I know it is late, but I finally got to posting this.  This guy is the great writer of the Alex Delaware mysteries (not YA by any stretch) about a psychiatrist that works with the police to solve some of the most twisted cases I've ever seen.  Each book pulls you into the mystery and you never know which of the cast of characters is going to be the rotten apple.  Kellerman is great at making me pick someone as the bad guy, question myself, change my mind, question myself again, and in the end I'm never exactly right.  And sometimes you know who the bad guy is, you just don't know what exactly they are up to, and I'm always shocked and enthralled when everything comes to light at the end.

Tite Kubo
If you ever watch Adult Swim on Saturday nights, you probably know why this manga writer and artist in on my list.  One word:  Bleach.  I love the ever-evolving world, the myriad of unique characters, situations, and humor, and the overall battle of good and evil with lots of supernatural elements.  It usually takes me a while to like a series like this, but I fell for Bleach almost immediately.  The art is fantastic and the story just keeps going and bringing in more and more interesting characters.  It is so much fun, and I hope it lasts for a long, long time.

Julie Kagawa (Future Favorite)
I've read a good portion of The Iron King (didn't get to finish the rest before my NetGalley copy expired) and it is seriously the only fairy/faerie/fey story I actually got into and could see myself reading more of.  It was fun and interesting and I could really picture all the fantastical things and the characters pretty easily.  I'm looking forward to actually getting a whole copy of this (and the rest of the series) and cementing my Team Ash status.  Also, Julie looks like a super fun person, and you gotta love that in an author!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Know Your Book Blogger [1]

This fun new meme designed to help us book bloggers get to know one another is hosted by 
Melissa at Book Nerd Reviews.
To participate, just post your answer to the day's random question on your blog and add it to the linky on Melissa's weekly post!
 

Question:
Name three things that are worth waiting in long lines for.


Answer:
1.  Awesome roller coasters.  I love me a good thrill ride and am willing to stand for quite a while to experience one.  I believe I stood in line for some of Cedar Point's finest thrills fort three hours or more.

2.  Concerts.  There is usually a line somewhere, whether it is just to get in, to find your seats, or sometimes, you just have to stand for the whole show.  But when the band comes on and you start singing along, the waiting and standing no longer matter.  I stood 4+ hours at one show.

3.  BEA.  Though I've never been, I can see how getting to meet your favorite authors and get free books would be worth all those lines.

Simply Divine [4]




I love photos -- the strange, the poignant, the humorous, and the beautiful -- so I figured every Sunday I would do a photo post of seven images I rounded up from the interwebs.  This is my take on the awesome meme Daily Dose, hosted by Holly of Good Golly Miss Holly.





























Unless otherwise noted, all images found at