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Monday, December 28, 2015

A Book I Recommend: The Unhappening of Genesis Lee

A little more than a year ago I drove 4+ hours and attended the book launch of The Unhappening of Genesis Lee by Shallee McArthur. I've mentioned it in my blog before, but the book really deserves its own post. And what better way to do it than to celebrate its first birthday-ish?

But I'll cut to the chase; the real reason you're here isn't so I can relive that beautiful night, it's to know about a book I recommend:

Monday, December 21, 2015

So I Watched the Star Wars Trilogy for the First Time . . .

Those of you who know me or follow my blog have probably picked up on the fact that I might be a little obsessive when it comes to my favorite stories. I've read my Harry Potter books so many times that they have penciled-in thoughts, sticky notes, and are literally falling apart. I've been writing essays about The Hunger Games. I've dissected Interstellar and Les Mis--for fun. I read Lord of the Rings when I was fourteen. And I've seen most of the Chronicles of Narnia movies opening weekend.

But then there's Star Wars . . .

My closest experience with it has been the (old) ride at Disneyland, which I'm sure I've seen more times than anything else Star Wars. One time my brother and I found the Star Wars holiday special online and laughed our faces off at it--in fact, we still do. With that said, I've never thought Star Wars was dumb, and I've always thought the lightsabers were sweet and clever.

But Star Wars was always apart from me.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Interview with Author Greg Smith

Today I have Greg Smith here to answer some questions about his writing methods as part of his blog tour for his book You Can Run, which comes out this month! You Can Run is the second book in the Kramer and Shadow Crime Novel Series and the sequel to The Pits.

In You Can Run, two US Marines (one a dog) volunteer to work with the FBI to bring down an international crime boss.

If you're into thrillers, crime fiction, and dogs, you might want to check this series out yourself. You can find everything you need to know on Greg's website.

It's always fun to get to know other writers, so let's get to it!


Who is your all-time favorite character? 

Friday, December 11, 2015

About What Happens with Finnick . . . (Spoilers)


Anonymous said: I really liked that post you made about Prim. Her death really contributed to the plot, if it weren't for Prim dying, Coin wouldn't be dead too. Katniss actually realized that Snow and Coin were pretty much the same after she realized that Coin was behind the bombs. Finnick's death though, was pointless. I mean he wasn't that unnecessary of a character that you just kill him and everyone moves on.

Name withheld: Then why . . . why did Finnick die? Can you explain that to me?

Along with lots of other comments online about my posts. So many people have brought up Finnick's death.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Mockingjay: Why Katniss Needed to Kill C instead of S (Thematically)


Yet another problem people had with the Mockingjay book is that we've had all this build up toward killing Snow and having Katniss do it, and we never get that payoff. Katniss kills Coin instead. It's obvious why she needed to kill Coin on a plot level, but it was important it happened on a thematic level also.

Like I said in my earlier post, The Hunger Games has never been a good guy vs. bad guy story--just look at the first installment. Katniss isn't pitted against other villains. She's pitted against other youth who are also victims of their society. Katniss's real enemy is the wicked appetites of human nature, the natural man. The Hunger Games has always been a story about the good of human nature and even more so, the wickedness of it.

Also like I mentioned earlier, just as Katniss becomes the face of the rebellion, Snow becomes the face of the evil:

Friday, December 4, 2015

How to Write a Good Novel

Just a friendly reminder: Don't forget about my Comic Con giveaway, where you can enter to win one of eight prizes from franchises like The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Sherlock, Dr. Who and more.

Rebecca asked: I'm writing a fantasy thriller but feel it won't be successful. How do I write a good novel?

First off, at some point or another, pretty much all writers feel like they will be unsuccessful. It's normal. Keep in mind that writers define "success" as different things. One might define success as making as much money as J.K. Rowling. Another writer might consider the fact they had a writing session, period, a success.

The truth is, there are so many parts to writing a novel that I really can't speak to them all (plot, style, character, setting, theme, emotion, brainstorming . . . ). I don't have a magic bullet. But the good news is I can give you some places to start: