Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me

Hi!
Broody here. I’ve stolen Carrie’s blog, (as well as all of your hearts) to share some exciting news.

My cover has been revealed! Check it out over on Bustle.com! The amazing author Zoraida Córdova interviewed Carrie (although she let me sneak in a few lines, which is nice)

A little about my cover. You might notice I look slightly different from my Twitter photo. That’s all right. I change appearances as the plot demands, and this book demanded a little more leather-jacket swagger. However, the art for both is done by the talented Linnea Gear! Linnea also has an amazing webcomic, DISSENT, which you all should read.

Did you look at my cover yet???

Okay.
Fine. Maybe you don’t want to click on the link to the cover.

If that’s the case, keep scrolling.

Tada!

bbecea7d-7d77-48b6-b921-1dc5e8290fce

Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a “self-help” guide (with activities–you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love.
As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody writes the best book ever on main character status.

Pretty handsome, huh?

Well. You know how to make it look even better? Get a copy to put on your shelf!

Preorders available at the below locations! (and save your receipts! Email proof-of-purchase to broodybook@gmail.com to win a special preorder prize. Open internationally!)

Amazon: link here

Barnes and Noble: link here

Book Depository: link here

Indiebound: link here

 

And for updates, subscribe to my newsletter! link!

 

xoxoxo

File_000

Talking Tropes with Jess Cluess

Hi! Carrie here! I’m pleased to unveil a new, ongoing feature on the blog, TALKING TROPES. These will be fun interviews with some really great authors, where we discuss their books, their favorite stories, and also tropes they love, and tropes they hate. One of the things I’ve noticed as BroodingYAHero is that people sometimes fall into the thinking that all tropes are awful, and that’s not true. Some certainly are, and some are overused to the point of absurdity, but some tropes are useful tools!

In this inaugural blog, I’ll be interviewing the fabulous Jessica Cluess, author of A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING, one of my favorite reads in 2016! It has some FABULOUS trope subversion that you need to read to believe.

Oh, and I’ll also be doing a giveaway of its sequel, A POISON DARK AND DROWNING, so definitely read until the end!

Without further ado, let’s begin!

23203252

  1. So, first of all, your book is incredible! Can you tell me a little of your inspiration for it?

J: Thank you! I got the idea from Nicholas Nickleby, actually. There’s a scene where Nicholas physically stops an assault on a defenseless boy. Since it’s set in Victorian England, I wondered how a girl of the time might have managed something like that. Then I had this image of her blasting fire out of her hands, and bam. That was it.

  1. One of the things I loved about A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING is how complex all the characters are. Without spoilers, it’s fair to say no one is quite as they seem. Do you have any favorites among the cast?

J: I think my two favorites are Henrietta and the magician Hargrove. Henrietta’s the lead and the narrator, so it’s very fortunate that she’s one of my favorites. I’d have a hard time writing the series if I didn’t like her! As for Hargrove, he’s got a lot of secrets, but he also has a lot of fun. I enjoy characters who enjoy themselves. He doesn’t angst endlessly over his past, and I admire that.

  1. What other books/tv/movies have you enjoyed this year?

J:  Man, where to start? Traci Chee’s THE READER, Tara Sim’s TIMEKEEPER, Roshani Chokshi’s THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN, Alwyn Hamilton’s REBEL OF THE SANDS, Emily Skrutskie’s THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US, all incredible 2016 YA debuts. Then there’s CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber, too!

untitled-design-1

I’ve been spoiled with the incredible amount of great books I’ve read. That’s an excellent way to be spoiled, of course. As for movies and TV, I find I have less and less time these days. One thing I’m currently deep into is Mr. Robot. It’s really doing wonders to increase my paranoia, so…actually, that’s not a good thing. Eh. What can you do?

  1. Let’s talk tropes. I know you’re a fan of BroodingYAhero. Are there any other character tropes you love?

J: Ah, Brooding YA Hero is one of my favorite things on the internet. I can’t wait for the book. Hmm. As far as tropes go, I’m a sucker for the ‘person has to confront their past’ storyline, in pretty much any form. I think the only way to really move into the future is to contend with past failures or problems. Also, it’s heavily dramatic. I’ve come to realize that a lot of my stories deal with characters having to deal with secrets from the past, be it family or society. The cycle doesn’t end until you break it, so to speak.

  1. Any you hate?

J: That asshole YA hero who always says and does asshole things? And then people call him charming? That’s not charm. That’s being a jackass. There’s a difference.

49a9298aad20b88fbe60b480579649729f0e7a20_hq

(okay, Harry probably isn’t that trope buuut it’s just too perfect a gif)
  1. What about plot tropes?

J: I love the ragtag bunch of heroes coming together and realizing they need each other, even if they want to kill each other. I really, really dislike plots that are built upon constant misunderstanding and miscommunication. That’s forcing characters to behave like idiots so that we can have a story.

  1. What’s one piece of writing advice you have for aspiring authors?

J: Originally, the hero of Star Wars was going to be named Jason Starkiller. It was a very, very different script, and not a very good one. My point is that your first draft is not going to be close to what you see in your head on the first try. Don’t get frustrated. Learn to love the rewrite process, because it’s what separates the Jason Starkillers from the Luke Skywalkers.

Thank you again, Jessica, for this awesome interview!

And now, for the giveaway!

  Click HERE for a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal: GOLDEN by K.M. Robinson!

Do you love fairytale retellings?

How about badass heroines saving the day AND finding love?

I DO!

That’s why I’m so excited to take part in the cover reveal of GOLDEN by  K.M. Robinson 

When the girl with the golden hair betrays everyone, not even she has hope of surviving.

The stories say that Goldilocks was a naïve girl who wandered into a house one day. Those stories were wrong. She was never naïve. It was all a perfectly executed plan to get her into the Baers’ group to destroy them.

Trained by her cousin, Lowell, and handler, Shadoe, Auluria’s mission is to destroy the Baers by getting close to the youngest brother, Dov, his brother and sister-in-law and the leaders of the Baers’ group. When she realizes Dov isn’t as evil as her cousin led her to believe, she must figure out how to play both sides or her deception will cause everyone in her world to burn.

If her allegiances are discovered, either side could destroy her…if the Society doesn’t get her first.

Check out the cover after the jump!

Continue reading

Little Things To Keep You Going

Taking a break from all the fun and squeeing over my book that sold, I wanted to talk about something a little less fun.

How to keep yourself moving forward creatively when the state of the world (or your personal life) make you want to curl up in a ball and never leave your bed?

sulkingdog-1

I wish I had an easy answer. I certainly do not.

First of all, whatever’s got you feeling this low, your feelings are valid. Secondly, please don’t be afraid to seek help, or at least reach out to a friend or family.

But maybe it’s not depression. Maybe it’s just the mean reds, as made famous in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S

mean-reds

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?

Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?

Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

Sound about right? Somehow, for me as a writer, I run into these mean reds often. I read an amazing book, and it throws me into a deep sulk that I’ll never be as good of a writer as that one is. Or I’ll get feedback that I don’t know how to handle, and I’ll feel like a fake writer.

Or, you know, there will be an election, and the whole world will catch on fire. That too.

Regardless of what’s got you feeling like crap, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite small things to cheer up:

  • Look at old photos of good times.(also BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS. ahem.)
  • Have a cup of tea. I’m not sure what it is about tea that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, but it works every time.
  • tumblr_mb7taljdfo1qfx0b8o1_500
  • Go for a walk. I was amazed to realize my saddest days are also my lowest step count days.
  • Write something fun. Like fanfic.
  • Treat yourself to a fancy pastry. If it’s got a French name, I bet it’s super fancy and very yummy.
  • dc3f1f66c776390e54768e4dc0fde1a38b4932ff626169cef19391a0ebe94f2b
  • Watch a movie. I just watched LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP and found it absolutely adorable.
  • Call a friend/family member/someone you’d like to be friends with.

Binge a series. May I suggest YURI ON ICE? Cutest show EVER.c596942844b963666866f1c4c3d216a7

So, tell me, what helps you get out of a creative bout of the mean reds?

I SOLD A BOOK! (#BroodyBook)

This is the blog post every writer dreams of writing. I SOLD A BOOK! Follow this blog, and Broody’s Twitter, for more news.This book is a loving parody of the YA genre, narrated by the BroodingYAhero himself. There will be quizzes, games, and a wonderfully Broody storyline.

And add it on Goodreads here! LINK

A quick story:
I was presenting at YALSA, which was an incredible conference, in which I met many incredible authors and librarians!  I spoke on social media on that Friday, and had the time of my life. Saturday, I got an email from my agent.

We had an offer on BROODING YA HERO’S GUIDE TO ACHIEVING MAIN CHARACTER STATUS from Skpony Press.

I celebrated, cheered…
And then the election happened.
It was very strange to feel both overwhelming joy and hope, and utter, heart-crushing grief. (Hence the long delay on writing this blog post.)  But,  I do think it’s important to celebrate small good things, even in the dark days.

So, now it’s time to celebrate. In the comments, I’d love to hear about a small good thing you’re celebrating!

33799449

Here’s the part where I get a little bit motivational. If you told me when I was young, or even a year ago, that my first book would be a YA parody, I would have… been very confused. I learned two things.

First of all, it’s very hard to claim that you’re funny. Seriously. If you don’t believe me, turn to the person nearest you, and say “I’m very funny.”

They will almost always reply, “well, say something funny then. Make me laugh.”

Haaaa. Good. Not like there’s any pressure now, right? But hey, once you get used to being considered at least slightly funny, it’s not all bad. (If my friends don’t laugh at my jokes, I can now say 37,000 people on the internet find me funny)

Secondly, I was quite sure, for the longest time, that I was born to take up the mantle of Tolkien and write sweeping fantasy epics.

I had no idea I’d write a YA parody for my first novel instead.

So, my tiny little motivational speech is to… be open to new ideas. Don’t assume you know what your first published book will be. Don’t be afraid of trying new ideas.

And above all, always be Broody.

Or at least, a main character 😉

Vote for a New Face for BroodingYAHero

So, as many of you know, Brooding YA Hero (found here) is getting a book deal! Woooooo!!!!
And… he’s also getting a makeover!
I’m thrilled to reveal that I’ve been working with the very talented Linnea (check out her site here!) on designing four possibilities that capture Broody in all his gemstone-eyed, swoony jawlined, feeling-avoiding, majesty.
And you, dear reader, get to vote on the winner.

vote-for-the-new-broodingyahero-1

The winning image will have extra detail added to it, and will be the new face found on his Twitter account.

But it’s not just about giving Broody a makeover. He’s the generous sort of book boyfriend, and wants to give you a chance to win an exciting prize! Vote on your favorite Broody, and you’ll be entered to win a fabulous prize package!

You see, Broody might not admit it, but he’s a big fan of books. And so, to celebrate his new look, we’ve set up a fun giveaway, where you get to vote on your favorite face, and get extra points for other things.

Two Broody Bundles will be given away! Click on the titles for more info on these awesome books!

Ready to vote/enter to win? CLICK THE RED LINK BELOW

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The First, for fans located in the USA, contains new copies of:

OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey  Coulthurst

NO PLACE TO FALL by Jaye Robin Brown

A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING by Jess Cluess

SWORDSPOINT by Ellen Kushner

IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo

And the second, for international fans, is an ebook bundle of….

SONG OF SUMMER by Laura Lee Anderson

CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber (this is a preorder)

TIMEKEEPER by Tara Sim

Plus an exclusive, hand-written, mailed-to-you love letter by Broody himself.

vote-for-the-new-face-of-brooding-ya-herofor-a-chance-to-win

Review: ReMade, a Serial Novel

So, do you remember the good ol’ days of fanfic? Of the thrill of rushing to your school’s computer lab to see if a certain now-mega-famous author uploaded a new episode of her fanfic? Or do you still catch yourself checking those incomplete fics that may never be finished?

Well, have I got an app for you! It’s called Serial Box, and it delivers serialized fiction right to your phone, or your computer. In other words, you get an “episode” of a book, once a week. These episodes are more than just a chapter. Like a TV show, they tell a complete tale, building to a season finale. Plus, you get a free audio file with each episode! Here’s the link

Subscribing is super easy, and cheaper than buying each episode. It totally makes my Wednesday when I know I have something new to read–its that same buzz as when a fanfic updates with a new chapter, except these stories are 1. professionally edited! and 2. guaranteed to never leave you hanging for an ending that never comes.

As this is a YA blog, I decided to review their YA serial, called ReMade.

remade_serial_landscape_large_lores

Every minute, 108 people die. This fall, in one of those minutes, twenty-three of those deaths will be teenagers. Now they are humanity’s last hope for survival. Awakened in a post-apocalyptic world and hunted by mechanical horrors, these teens search for answers amidst the ruins of civilization. Fate, love, and loyalty face off in this adrenaline-pumping YA adventure.

One of the first things I noticed is that ReMade has some seriously amazing writers. I mean, Gwenda Bond AND Kiersten White? Cue fangirl screams from me

The series itself is super fun. It combines dramatic, contemporary elements with a sci-fi/dystopian storyline. It’s also worth noting this is a WAY more diverse cast, both racially and sexuality-wise than any other dystopian out there. It’s like the 100, except way less problematic! Each episode revolves around one (or two!) characters, so it’s worth trying more than one if a character doesn’t strike your fancy.

Have you read a serial novel before? Do you think you’ll give Serial Box a try?

Vacations, Best Laid Plans, and Other Thoughts

This post may actually be shorter than the title of it. I’ve returned, and recovered, and am reliving in my dreams, from a lovely, lovely vacation to the UK. I’ve been planning the trip for months, analyzing, studying, and learning everything I could.

Turns out there’s still mysteries, confusion, and unexpectedly wonderful occurrences, even when you think you planned the perfect trip.

IMG_4074

For example, I went into the trip way, way more stressed than expected. My cat, Skunk, had a mild cold that didn’t seem to be going away, so on my last day before leaving, I took him to the vet, assuming I’d get the usual “You’re being an over-worried cat mom, he’s fine”… I didn’t. He had a condition with a 50% chance he might not pull through. I had to decide then and there if I wanted to cancel my trip of a life time to spend the (possible) last days with my best buddy of five years. Thankfully, he turned out okay, and is currently trying to chew on my laptop. So, all’s well there. But, I didn’t know until about the third day of the trip that he’d pull through. I’m so grateful to have a loyal and trusted friend who watched him.

On the plus side of the unexpected were… billions of things. The amount of amazing live music I heard. Meeting total strangers that ended up becoming fun friends. Getting lost but finding incredible pastries (and falling in love with handbaked Empire Biscuits forever and ever) In general, it seemed as long as I kept a positive attitude, happy surprises could be found everywhere. Like this view, below. We came by it on a total chance, because we’d detoured so I could see where Robert Carlyle filmed Hamish MacBeth. (Because who WOULDNT WANT TO WALK IN HIS SEXY FOOTPRINTS?)

IMG_4804

I also got to meet up with internet friends in person for the first time, which was so, so awesome. (Waves to them–they know who they are) and got to see so many sites I’d only ever read about. It was truly the trip of a lifetime. (And yes, there will be blog posts detailing the adventures)

Weirdly enough, I would have never gone on this trip if it wasn’t for the writing community.

We tend to think of the writing community as a network for…well, writing. But it opened so many doors that led me to the trip. I had met friends, through happenstance and happy accidents, who not only answered billions of my questions before traveling, gave me advice and guidance once I got to the UK!

IMG_4726

However, no one warned me pancakes are cold and jam filled. WHY?

Even the whole process of writing a book, from draft to finished product, made it seem so much more possible for me to travel across the ocean alone.

There are certainly low points in the life of a creative person. Rejection, disillusionment, loss of that elusive “muse,” can all make it seem like the process isn’t worthwhile. But the next time you’re feeling down, or that you’ve “wasted” time on a manuscript, try to look beyond the page, to what goodness and connections that manuscript has helped you make in the real world.

And above all, believe that good things will happen. Perhaps not the good thing you wanted, or set out to achieve, but a good thing all the same.

IMG_4955.JPG

 

 

Guest Post:Me, A Debut and Twitter: A view from the other side of publication

I have the privilege to feature the awesome Perdita Cargill on my blog today. She and her daughter wrote an awesome, funny YA novel, WAITING FOR CALLBACK, that reminds me of the humor in ANGUS, THONGS, & FULL FRONTAL SNOGGING. I  highly recommend you give this book a try. If you’re in the UK, you can purchase it here: Click here  Perdita’s post today is about social media, publication, and all the emotional swings that entails. She’s a fantastic writer, and what she has to say really resonated with me. I hope it does for you as well.

And without further ado, I’ll turn the microphone over to Perdita!

It’s been a couple of months since we published our debut teen novel Waiting for Callback and now I’m going to do the whole Wise Elder thing and tell you all about me and Twitter, publication and beyond.

51+12EjHNVL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_

I’ll gloss over the early days. Suffice it to say that I’d barely heard of Twitter before we signed a contract. Honor (my co-writer) maintained – as firmly as only a seventeen year old talking to her mother can maintain – that she didn’t ‘get’ Twitter and that a division of ‘labour’ would save me from making a fool of myself on Instagram and Facebook. I thought this was a good argument but I had yet to realize the potential for making a fool of myself on Twitter.  It took me a good six months to begin to master when to lurk and when to tweet. Ok, maybe not ‘master’, the shame of the unreciprocated intervention… But I did love talking about people’s books and I did start to make friends (oddly including a significant number of book-y people who had a deep and inappropriate appreciation of Poldark). Also there were puppy accounts (I never turned to the cat accounts, not even on dark days, because I had standards). There was @broodingYAhero.  I was getting the hang of it. But this blog (confessional piece) is about what happened round the time when our book was coming out.

Reader it was not my finest hour.

  • By publication day – a day that had become so magnified in my head that it should properly be given capitals (‘PD’)- I’d bored everyone on Twitter, including myself, with a tsunami of tweets and pieces about well, us – very occasionally about our book but yep, mostly us. Don’t misunderstand, we were very grateful for every invitation to talk, I just got a bit over enthusiastic about scheduling everything before PD. I’m not sure what I expected to happen on PD but because everything was going to be, in some unknowable way, ‘different’ I was determined to post everything in advance.

I’m pretty sure that most people had muted me before the first copy was on the shelves.

  • Not to worry, post-PD I set about livening up my feed with enthusiastic retweets of every single thing that anyone said about our book, someone posting that they were ten per cent in was enough to send me into a spin of RTs and comments – there was heavy emoji use. Well, every single nice thing – I didn’t mention the two star Good Reads rating because that hurt. Sadly this had the effect of making me look like an arrogant narcissist. Worse an arrogant narcissist that lived on Twitter and never left the house even to go and see if I could find our book in a bookshop (which if I had I would immediately have tweeted about because it was important to keep everyone absolutely bang up to date).

I consoled myself with the reflection that most people probably still had me on mute.

  • Fate intervened in the form of the second book deadline. So close was this to PD (rookie error) that I no longer had any time to tweet. Excellent? Not so much. First I vanished then I panicked. Was disappearing so soon after PD not the greatest author Twitter sin? Everyone would think I was A Shameless User and a Bad Person.

Well they would if they’d unmuted me.

  • The second book was duly delivered and my co-writer was released back to the relative normality of exam preparation at which point I remembered (in the way of someone remembering where they’d stashed the last bar of chocolate) that I used very much to enjoy reading And now there were new and wonderful books not written by me and they were having their own PDs.

I could talk about them.

Indeed I could tweet about them.

In retrospect I probably went a little mad. I like to think I won’t go quite as mad with book two (It’s probably a good thing that I don’t know the exact PD yet). If I do please do tell me. Stage an intervention if necessary. You can find me on twitter @perditact.

Thank you so much, Perdita, (and I am so so sorry this post came in a wee bit late. Life conspired against me finding time to blog)

 

Book Review: Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard

Confession: I don’t read much middle-grade. I was one of those kids who jumped straight from classics like Little Women and the Narnia books, into the realm of YA. However, as an adult, I have read a little more middle-grade, and some of them are real gems.

Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard by Jonathan Auxier is the type of middle-grade novel that makes me wish for a time machine to give the book to my younger self. The characters are so dynamic, and the writing is so lush and vivid, that I read the whole book in one sitting.  I, admittedly, didn’t read the first book in this series before, but had no problem catching up. Sophie is brave and bold, and the quest to find the books “Where, What, and When” made me smile long after I closed the book. If you have any young readers in your life, buy this today!

SOPHIE QUIRE AND THE LAST STORYGUARD by Jonathan Auxier

for purchase at  AmazonIndiebound

Official blurb: It’s been two years since Peter Nimble and Sir Tode rescued the kingdom of HazelPort. In that time, they have traveled far in wide in search of adventure. Now Peter and Sir Tode have been summoned by Professor Cake for a new mission: find a 12-year-old bookmender named Sophie Quire. 

Sophie knows little beyond the four walls of her father’s bookshop, where she repairs old books and dreams of escaping the confines of her dull life. But when a strange boy and his talking cat/horse companion show up with a rare and mysterious book, she finds herself pulled into an adventure beyond anything she has ever read.
.