Posts tagged ‘harrypotter’

July 15th, 2011

Broken News!

by Madeleine Rex

As seems to always be the case lately, I’m a little late to the party. However, I’m so excited by the many wonderful developments this week that I can’t keep myself from sharing them with you!

And I know a few of you are anxiously awaiting the announcement of the winner of my ARC of Kiersten White’s SupernaturallyCongratulations, Kailia Sage! I’m sure you’ll adore it. Treasure it. Treat it well.

Now… on to the other wonderful news!

1. After much anticipation and a slightly unhealthy amount of obsession over the mail (seriously – my mailman’s lucky I wasn’t stalking him), I received my ARC of Catching Jordan (December, 2011) by my friend, Miranda Kenneally. It’s such a fabulous book, which I knew all along, but my love for it has been renewed since I started a reread. Her characters are priceless, folks. Timeless, too. They’re the whole enchilada. If you have not added Catching Jordan to your to-read shelf on Goodreads, go. Now. (Also: I’m in the acknowledgements! Miranda’s a fantastic friend, and I’m so grateful for her.)

2. HARRY POTTER. Need I say more? No? Too bad; I’m going to. I’m so excited! I firmly believe this movie will be epic – it has to be, really, to be deserving of the Harry Potter title. Sadly, I am not going to the midnight showing (I’d be standing outside the theater door right now), but my family and I have tickets for Saturday afternoon. My dear great uncle is here to visit and wants to come along, and he’s 84, so midnight isn’t exactly his ideal movie-watching time. He’s worth the sacrifice.

3. I was late, per usual, to join the hubbub surrounding Tahereh Mafi’s upcoming debut, Shatter Me (November, 2011). It wasn’t until I saw the cover today (and was astonished by it) that I took a look at the synopsis. I am desperate to read it, now! The cover was just revealed, and I was surprised by how much I liked it. I typically disapprove of the overused “girl with pretty dress and conservative colors” theme, but there’s something I can’t quite nail down that stands out about this cover. Maybe it’s the awesome strike-throughs or the killer tagline. Whatever that thing may be, the synopsis only emphasizes this book’s potential, and I can’t wait to read it!

4. Julie Kagawa gave a ground-breaking announcement this week! Seriously folks – she wasn’t aiming to surprise, she was aiming to send her fans into comas (not that I’m trying to insinuate that she’s evil. I’m sure she’s lovely). Not only did she announce a spin-off trilogy to her popular Iron Fey series (staring the Iron Fey protagonist’s little brother years later), but an entirely separate series as well. The new series is a post-apocalyptic vampire series entitled “Blood of Eden,” a title that I think is perfectly classy and intriguing. I’m not sure which one I’m more interested in.

5. Kiersten White, who has to be one of my favorite people, announced the title of the third book in the Paranormalcy series. I think the title, Endlessly, is elegant and perfect for the end of Evie’s journey. There’s even something about it that is more… mature than the titles of the other two books. Evie’s come a long way.

6. I won’t force you to read this because I doubt you really care, but I’m almost done with draft two of The Lemonites! I’m so thrilled to be wrapping up this draft, and I feel like the story has evolved so much. Though there’s tons more to deal with, I feel a lot more confident. I incorporated a few new aspects that I hope will enrich the entire experience that is my beloved WIP. Now let’s just cross our fingers and pray that my critique partners agree…!

I realize I just talked your ear off, and I apologize to those of you I lost. I feel the urge to spend as much time with you as I can. I’ve missed this blog. I’ve missed Twitter. Honestly, my life has become so hectic lately that I’ve doubted whether I could keep Wordbird alive, but as long as I’m still kicking, it will be, too. Thanks so much for the support you’ve given me, whether it be through comments, advice, or simple page views. It blows my mind to think that people out there want to know what I have to say. Particularly when I can’t seem to shut up.

Speaking of which, I’ll leave you be. Enjoy the big, wide world of books!

January 8th, 2011

My Bookshelves Have A Big Appetite

by Madeleine Rex

Left: All Harry Potter, Middle: ARCs that have not been released, Right: Children's (top), YA (middle), and Nancy Drew (bottom).

Mind you, these are pictures of them a few weeks ago. I now have books stacking horizontally on top of those pictured.

My bookshelves have a big, big appetite.

Non-fiction (top) and Fiction (bottom two).

In fact, I ran out of shelf space a long while ago. I had books in stacks all over my floor. My dad installed five new ones (the five to the left of of the Harry Potter shelves). My cousin and I spent at least five hours sorting books by genre (Children’s, YA, ARC, Nancy Drew, Fiction, and Non-fiction) and then by the last name of the author. We filled my five new shelves entirely.

And, as I said, this was a few weeks ago, so I’m already overflowing a bit. While I’m in a glorious predicament, it’s a predicament all the same. It seems my books will now have to be stacked elsewhere in the house.

I have another shelf above my desk that isn’t entirely full, but it’s dedicated to antique books. I don’t want to jam Twilight into the mix.

One huge advantage to a large home “library” is that my family and friends need not go to an actual library. Madeleine’s room will do, and there’s better service.

Do your bookshelves have a large appetite as well? I’d love to see pictures!

P.S. Sorry for the crappy pictures, by the way.

December 3rd, 2010

WW Asks (2)

by Madeleine Rex

I don’t have much to update, writing-wise, so I figured I’d chop up Wannabe Writers a bit. I’ll only be answering the questions every week.

Is too complicated bad?

First of all, I think Is complicated bad? would be a better question. If something’s too complicated, clearly there’s too much complication, and therefore wouldn’t be ideal.

Anyway… (Sorry!) Is complicated bad?

No. Sort of.

Honestly, I think complication is fantastic. No one reads a book to watch things go smoothly and to end up with a happily ever after – at least not entirely. Smooth is boring. Uneventful. Conflict and complication bring the spice and pizazz that is necessary to make anything interesting.

If Heathcliffe and Catherine had been able to be happily married and have twelve mentally-disturbed little Heatherines, Wuthering Heights wouldn’t be the action-packed, deranged, and amusing book that it is. Conflict is at the root of the book, as it always is. Life is full of complications, and those complications have both good and bad consequences. They help us grow, develop, and unearth the people we really are. Without the necessary complications, nothing would happen. Nothing interesting or worthwhile, anyway.

Why the “sort of” above? Complication is hard to pull off. If you can’t integrate it well into the story and it stands out as something you’ve simply thrown in, then its impact is lessened. Alternately, if you do manage to fit conflict and complication into the events of the story and personalities of the characters, then you’ve struck a gold mine – you have the skills it takes to tell a good story that readers will feel is worth their time. It’s the complication and the struggle to overcome it that keep readers’ eyes pinned to the pages. Suspense, a super duper important bit of story, evolves from complication and conflict.

Take any book, and look beyond the obvious conflict. Complications are embedded throughout intriguing stories, not planted solely in the climax. In the Harry Potter books, for example, Voldemort and his allies weren’t the only source of conflict or cause of complication. Both arose from Harry’s interactions with classmates (Draco, Seamus, etc.) and his teachers (Snape’s loathing, Dumbledore’s occasional disappointment, etc.), his relationship with his godfather, his struggles with tests, Quidditch, girls (Ron or Ginny? Ginny or Ron? Oh, bugger.). These bits made his life real because we don’t fight toward one goal our entire lives. Every day there are dozens of things we hope to accomplish, and consequently, dozens of things that complicate our lives and stand between us and our goals.

Conflict and complication are as necessary as voice and diction- just as easy to screw up and just as rewarding when done correctly.

Everything is complicated; if it were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore. – Wallace Stevens