TCWT: “What are your thoughts on book-to-movie adaptions? Would you one day want your book made into a movie, or probably not?”
ZH: You may have missed My Top 10 YA Movie Adaptations, but I basically said that I treat the movie and books as separate entities. If one completely diverges from the other, I'm not happy, but usually, as long as the essence is captured, I'm okay if they gloss over some stuff. If my book were to become a movie, I'd want to be part of the process (like JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, and Veronica Roth have been for their series), but would be okay with changes being made.
This year has been absolutely crazy for me. Hours of testing and test preparation, homework, papers, PR work, spending time with family and friends, and my own novels, I haven't really had time to relax and unwind.
School is out now, I'm done with all standardized testing (PSATs, APs, ACT, SATs, and SAT2s) and all other work besides my own creative pursuits (and college applications starting in August, but let's not talk about that now).
I think the plot and characterization of "bloodsuckers" injected new life into the oversaturated paranormal vampire romance genre (but don't tell Mun Oh I referred to him as the v-word).
I would rate those two elements ✯✯✯✯✯, but there were times when the mechanics of the story bothered me. There was a lot of head-hopping which made it hard to follow what was happening (especially when I couldn't tell if Mun Oh was using his telepathic powers or not).
Other than that, I immensely enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to others.
Some of you may remember my OUAT Sunday Soup where I talked about the importance (and my obsession) with complicated, layered villains. If not, read it after you finish this post.
Anyway, "I must say, I felt quite" elated to hear about this movie. I mean, come on, it's Angelina Jolie playing the "Mistress of All Evil" and mother of Disney Villains. Like the star, I never identified with Aurora. She sleeps for more than half the film and has fewer words (sung and spoken) than Maleficent according to this awesome post about why the character Maleficent is amazing. (search "words" and read the paragraph in this article).
I loved this movie. It was a visual spectacle, Angelina's performance blew me away, and the plot was moving (albeit different from the animated Disney film). In all actuality, Maleficent was more along the lines of the original Sleeping Beauty tales (minus the princess becoming impregnated in her sleep—Disney does have a reputation to keep) where the "Evil Fairy" has agency (which back then was considered bad). You can read a whole history lesson on that.
One of my favorite YouTube reviewers, Grace of Beyond the Trailer, said that this was another example of Linda Woolverton's feminist agenda... I don't necessarily agree. Strong women do not necessarily equate to feminism in the sense of an angry woman protesting all the sins of men (although there certainly is that aspect in the movie).
As a PG film, even the darkest elements of this film remained brief. I do agree with Grace in her wish that we got to see the iconic villain we loved from the animated film. Again, the audience is treated to some episodes of her reveling in the terror she causes, but not as much as I would have liked. Which goes back to the film's relation to its Disney source material.
The marketing team portrayed this film as the classic told from Maleficent's perspective. And while it is her story, it is not merely a flip-side account of the animated tale where Maleficent curses Aurora, Aurora goes to live in a cottage, meets a prince, falls asleep, prince fights & kills dragon. The two really only overlap as far as the curse, Aurora's life in the cottage, and meeting Prince Phillip in the woods. People who were expecting a Disney-fied Wicked (where the reputation of the Wicked Witch is false, but the events still seemingly happen) will be somewhat disappointed. I can't blame them for that. But, if you take it as an adaptation, not a "retelling" as they kept saying in all the promos and interviews, then one will thoroughly enjoy this new Disney masterpiece.
Zara, thanks so much for letting me drop by to talk about my publishing experiences.
When I first began my journey on the path to being a published author, I considered self-publishing, but decided I'd give the traditional route a chance first. I queried agents with my first project. Of course, I sent it too early, and received nothing but rejections. Undeterred, I moved on to a new project. And, once that baby shone, I sent it off to a new round of agents. This time, I received a few nibbles, but no takers.
So, I went back to my first project, and revised, and wrote, until it barely resembled the original story I'd begun with. I thought about sending it to agents, but decided to try a different track, and sent to a few small publishers who took unagented submissions. I got two bites. Then I got an offer. And that started my publishing story.
With three stories at MuseItUp, and a new series releasing from BookFish books, I turned back to my thoughts of self-publishing. A control-freak at heart, this really seemed something I should try. I'd be in complete control of everything.
When the anthology I'd submitted a short story to seemed to be gaining no traction, I pulled my submission and got to work. I wrote, and edited, and sent it to CPs and Betas. And I edited some more, taking it from short story length to novella length. I knew this would be the one I'd test the self-publishing waters with.
All books need a cover, so I contacted Charlotte Volnek. I'd worked with her two times before and loved the way she captured my books. She sent me a sample. We tweaked it a few times, and then, BOOM! There is was. Something to look at and squee about and renew my sense of excitement about the story.
No story is ever complete without being edited. I contacted Judy Roth, my very first editor, (judy-roth.com) and she read and commented, and I polished and tweaked (and learned my newest writing vice!) With her help, life was breathed into my story, and the characters began to shine like I knew they would.
Next up was formatting. Not being one to do things the easy way, I read, and re-read Susan Kaye Quinn's chapter on formatting the hard way (from Indie Author Survival Guide- I totally recommend this book to anyone considering self-publishing) I read about HTML coding, and studied some of the books I'd downloaded to see just how they did that, and slowly my book took shape the way I wanted it to.
And now, it's been released out into the world for others to read.
Every step on my journey has taught me something new, and this is no exception. Reach for your dreams, work to achieve them, and you will find them in your grasp.
About the Book
Tristan enjoys being in the shadows as Prince Rand's bodyguard. Similar in looks, the two often exchanged places in their youth, but he never expected the king to order him to impersonate the heir to the throne in order to win the hand of a princess.
Princess Zoe needs to find a husband. After a year of searching with no success, her father insists on hosting a masquerade ball for the eligible princes of the nine kingdoms. Not one prince piques her interest, until she meets the mysterious stranger who won't tell her his name.
When Tristan meets Zoe he finds the girl of his dreams. The only problem? She's a princess and he's impersonating a prince―a crime punishable by imprisonment and floggings. Unable to tell Zoe his real name, he gives her a special navigation device. One that leads to the owner's true love. Will this magic device lead Zoe to Tristan, or will her true love forever remain a mystery prince?
Buy on Amazon
About the Author
Mary lives with her husband, son and two cats. When she isn't twisting fairytales, she enjoys reading, playing games, watching hockey, and camping. She is an author and editor at BookFishBooks.
Her Princess of Valendria series (Quest of the Hart, Charmed Memories, Different Kind of Knight) are available for purchase. Her Faery Marked (book 1 in the Faery Series) will be available this summer.
Who doesn't like reading series? You get to stay with your beloved characters for multiple books instead of just one. And series also usually mean film adaptations, allowing you to stay immersed in the fictional world for longer than usual.
Writing a series is arguably harder than writing a standalone novel because the author has to maintain continuity over a larger number of pages and come up with a compelling plot that can withstand the length of the series while also thinking of the individual plots for each book. A lot of things can go wrong if one isn't careful in the planning stage.
Miss Literati, a writing website, offers great advice on this topic.
Go Teen Writers: How to Write a Sequel
Susan Dennard: Planning a Series
I've bookmarked all these pages and plan to visit them regularly as I write The Belgrave Legacy trilogy. And although I am planning to do a fairytale-retelling series (Fearful Fairytales), which is full of stand-alone books (not really addressed in these articles), and the Kingpin Killers series.
Which one of my series are you most excited for? Comment below and you could win an eBook copy of The Belgrave Daughter.
I love musical theater. And if you don't already know that, you clearly haven't been on this blog long enough. In recent years, I really think they should have just renamed it the Neil Patrick Harris show. He's hosted the Tony's 4 TIMES (watch my favorite opening numbers). 3 were consecutive 2011-2013, and only 2014's Host, Hugh Jackman, has had that streak!
This year, Hugh Jackman is returning for his for his 4th year. His 3-year streak was 2003-2005. See his past opening numbers (except his '03 one because the internet doesn't seem to have it) below. He also had a cameo on NPH's 2011 Tony gig (watch below) and has since hosted the Oscars in 2009 (and performed "The Musical is Back" with Beyonce and others and the movie cast of Les Miz), but let's be real—live singing and awesome puns and monologues beat the Oscars any day—at least in my book.
I'm lucky enough to see theater at least once a year. I'm even luckier to know a Tony voter who sometimes gives me a free ticket to his show. Musical theater is one of my favorite pastimes and definitely my #1 guilty pleasure. I'm so excited for Hugh to return to the Tony stage, what about you? Comment below if you're excited and what is your favorite musical of all time.
I'm halfway done with my Junior Year finals, so I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I love Finals because it means it's the end of the school year, I get one test per day, and lots of time to watch my favorite movies (and yes, Tangled is one of them).
I have finished my English and History finals, both of which were a piece of cake and am now working on fixing some parts in Tears of an Angel and writing more of The Witch's War. It's all very exciting if you ask me.
Maintenance Note: Also, please ignore the double-listed blog categories in the sidebar. I have emailed the website developers and they are looking into it. For now, if you need to find a post use the old fashioned way of hitting the "older" and "newer" links at the bottom of each blog page. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you for understanding.
For those who have been regularly checking up on My Novels, you may be wondering what I'm actually working on next because of many scattered word count meters for the ever-growing number of story ideas.
For those who have read my debut novel, The Belgrave Daughter, and are waiting for the sequel, Tears of an Angel (especially after that cliffhanger, sorry about that—well, not really), don't worry. I haven't abandoned The Belgrave Legacy for one of my other series (Fearful Fairytales or Kingpin Killers). I am waiting for my editor to finish with the second book in The Belgrave Legacy, but am staying busy with school Finals and drafting the final novel in the trilogy, The Witch's War.
The reason for the stray word meters, if anyone is wondering, is because I needed to write new stories for my Creative Writing class this year, and working on already planned stories seemed a good way to kill 2 birds with one stone. In the future, I do intend to stay within a series and write linearly, but there still may be some jumping around if I ever get stuck.
Hope you all understand. Please be patient with me. I promise it'll be worth your while. In the mean time, why don't you continue exploring my website and maybe buy a copy of my debut novel?
I really enjoyed this book. The plot and characters (with a few exceptions) were wonderfully crafted and complicated enough to make this an interesting read.
The main character, Eden, was a great combination of feisty and gentle that she represented someone I would like to emulate. As a non-religious person, I expected her views to be overbearing, but that was not the case at all.
I'm a self-published author— because being a college student wasn't hard enough! I write YA multi-genre fiction for young adults or the young at heart. I love This Is Us, NCIS, BBC's Sherlock,
All opinions featured on this blog are mine unless otherwise marked as a sponsored or guest post. All book links are affiliate links.