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Intertwined by Gena Showalter

Well, I did finish Intertwined as I had hoped. It was 440 pages. Took me about 2 days. I ended up dropping Pure in preference of Intertwined, though I think that the main reason is that I can’t seem to multi-task books the way that I can children. Intertwined had little to do with zombie hunting, bummer. It had more to do with a misfit finding a place in life, sadly that, in the end, was as leader of the vampire world. Yep. Vampire world. I am not sure what to say about it either. So, I won’t try. The other side is that he found a true love (aka vampire princess) and made friends ( 1 normal girl, 1 normal boy, and a shapeshifter – also, by normal, I simply mean human). The kids at school seemed to like him more, but mostly because he pummeled a bully into a coma, which is not a very noble doing unless you are in high school and probably also in a book.

If this is your kind of story line, you’ll love it. Its not my kind, but it kept me reading and reading. The characters are well developed, believable and endearing. Their interactions are sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant. I cannot say that I don’t recommend it. It is clearly well written. Clearly. I will warn you, however, that the whole ruling of the underworld is left on a hook. Among a few other major things. Showalter leaves plenty unresolved so that part 2 is imminent.

I’d love to hear what other readers of Intertwined thought, especially those who read this genre frequently or even exclusively.

Online Articles and Heat

News! I recently replied to a call for writers at a site that I frequent, WOW! Women on Writing. Guess what? They took it. I’m stoked, and also apparently from the 1980s. Anyway, very happy and will keep you posted on this awesome opportunity.

Now, off topic, but increasingly important…it is HOT. Our air conditioning is out and I am close to catatonic. Its terrible and it reminds me of college. We studied studies (what?) on the effects of heat on personality. They were all so true. Heat makes me loopy, cranky, and sleepy. It’s official.

I’ve been flat on my back in front of a fan reading for days. The computer is too hot to be around. I actually think that I feel heat coming from the light bulbs. Yesterday it got up to 88 inside my house. Unacceptable. When I do sit down to write, I only want my poor characters to thump on each other. Disturbing. They just aren’t that kind of imaginary people. So, I will not write more than I must until I get some cooler days. For now, I sweat and veg, and murmur.

Except, not about my article for Wow! How fun is that?!

Intertwined and Pure

I am simultaneously reading Intertwined by Gena Showalter and Pure by Terra Elan McVoy. Lately, I haven’t started one of those “can’t put it down” books, so I decided to mix it up. A friend of mine often reads several books at a time, while I tend to obsess over just the one and rip through a book a day when I’m on a binge. Lately, I’m torn between reading and writing – the ultimate writer’s dilemma. So, I decided to read a bit. Our local library can’t keep up with demand, and I can’t afford to buy them all, so I went to the library and just picked. I picked 6 this time, all YA, and about 50 childrens.

Tandem reading is tricky across genres. You get really going in one frame of mind, then switch to another and your, (my) brain kind of says “Whaaaaa?” This is especially true when moving from Pure to Intertwined, let me tell you why.Pure is the story of a young Christian girl wearing a promise ring and cherishing it. For those who are not in the know, a promise ring isn’t like a pre-engagement ring. This ring symbolizes a promise to her family, friends, herself and God, that she will remain pure until she marries. It is all the rage with the Christian set. That may sound flippant, it wasn’t meant to be. It’s extremely interesting phenomenon, and I love it for what it is. A symbol of a promise made, a test of integrity, an always present sign for accountability. Love it. My heart flutters at the thought. Have you guessed the rest? She finds a hawty hawt boy, who kisses like a dreamboat and she is questioning her promise. Will her faith and integrity overcome her carnal nature?

OK, next, Intertwined is the story of a teenage boy with 4 other souls in his head that drive him nuts, though he isn’t nuts, and if he steps in a cemetery, the bodies rise and attack him. Of course, this means that he must behead them to survive, and when they bite him (and they always do) it poisons him and he suffers. Oh, and he’s about to fall in love.

Well, I love both books so far. The characters are fun and endearing (even the zombie killer).  In Pure we see a loving family and circle of friends. In Intertwined the voices in Aden’s head sort of fill that role. Either way, they are well developed and believable. Many of us have been in the position that the girl in Pure is in, so it’s easy to be nervous and wring your hands as she struggles. If I’m uncomfortable while reading, it’s a good sign that I am really into it. Intertwined has me rooting for the weirdo (I say that with love).

Well, I hope to finish these today and move back to writing because I have a GREAT YA mystery demanding to be inked. So, this strange July 5th holiday will be a Julie Anne readathon.

I’ll keep you posted on the Zombies.

Why do Writers Write?

Writers write because they must. I suppose it is the same reason that singers sing, bakers bake, runners run, readers read, etc.  There is simply an inner drive to do this thing that we must do. This man in my life must procrastinate. You could call it a bad habit, but it is more of a personality trait. He also must finagle with all things in the general realm of computers. It’s what he does. It’s his thing. Myself, I write. I didn’t always write. I was looking for my thing, so I tried other things, not knowing that I was looking for anything. I tried being painfully controlling, highly organized, homeschooling, and girlfriend and wife extraordinaire.  But, once I started writing, those things simmered down. It took me 34 years, but I found my thing. I am a writer.

This is the same reason that so many writers quit writing or go nuts on agents who reject them. Rejection is hard on the self esteem, I hear. (Being an only child eliminates most self esteem issues). Writers spend months perfecting a query, longer writing the book. They hit send with great trepidation only to hear again and again, “No thankyou.”  It’s tough. Sometimes it is easier to throw in the towel than to press on. But, let’s face it, if you stop writing, you will pick up another pass time that won’t quite get it for you. If writing is your thing, then you must write. So write.

Think of all those singers who lay themselves out in front of America to be pummeled by that cranky judge. I understand those people now. At least we have privacy in writing. The world doesn’t watch a judge take you down. The rejection is just a step in the process. Keep writing. It brings you joy no matter what anyone says. It is entertaining and peaceful and fun. A great hobby to broaden you mind, and outlet for your joy or pain. It takes great courage to do what we do. Once you begin to try to get published, you are putting yourself out there. You essentially hand over a part of yourself in manuscript form. You allow the agent or editor a peek inside your head, while they critique and criticize and  weed out the chaff. That’s a very personal thing, yet we do it, again and again, and that deserves respect. Chin up, and keep writing.

My confession

I feel confident in making this very personal confession because there are only three people in the world who actually read my blog, and they already know this instinctively. I, however, did not. Again, this writing thing is bringing all sorts of personality defects and more to the surface.
Confession: I embarrass easily.
Discovery: I have tried my hand at writing all sorts of different books. In an attempt to really find my writing voice, I have written any sort of compelling thing that crossed my mind. Then, I realized that I had not tried to write a romance. I tweet, and there are editors on Twitter who open themselves up to market questions. they are mostly about romance. I read tons of agent bios, most accept romance. Romance is the leading market in books. It is steady, and in demand. Maybe that is how I should get my dream off of the ground. Write a romance.
So, I wrote a few chapters of several books which were intended to become romances, only to turn fuchsia when hands began to wander and thoughts began to plummet into carnal places. Those books were quickly rewritten minus the uh-hem, intimate details and they became YA.
Something about divulging my characters’ most intimate moments seems so rude. I cannot do it, in fact, I felt a little pervy for thinking it myself. So, as you can see, I am not able, as in physically and mentally incapable of becoming a romance writer. So, there it is. I admit it. I am a prude and a child in matters of an intimate nature. Even imaginary people need to have their privacy.

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