Author Archives: Lo
Hi honeys! First, some swoon…
Most of you probably saw the article in The Hollywood Reporter about our upcoming book, BEAUTIFUL BASTARD, and its follow-up companion novel, BEAUTIFUL STRANGER. Tuesday, our cover was revealed by Entertainment Weekly Shelf Life, and then picked up by Perez Hilton (holy smooookes).
We’ve been trying to figure out how to balance this whole crazy venture with our Swoontini life because, as you probably know, BB is decidedly not Young Adult and we’ve wanted to keep those worlds separate. So we have made a separate site for our adult novels.
IT’S ALL VERY COMPLICATED OKAY?Read More »
We have been crazy MIA, right? Not that we think you’re in constant-refresh mode (it’s not a One Direction fanpage after all, AMIRITE, PQ?) but we don’t mean to neglect this site. Cookie?
But as we all know, life is crazy. And with kids and work and writing we find ourselves sitting down to post and then think WAIT, DID I SERIOUSLY JUST PROMISE MY CHILD I’D MAKE 322 CUPCAKES BY TOMORROW?? *drinks*
BUT HEY, we got our #engagementphotos:
And since we have you here, it’s time for the Goodreads Choice Awards! Have you voted? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Love an author? Love a book? Then vote! It’s an amazing way to be heard and support the stories and storytellers we all adore. So please, VOTE! (Love something that’s not listed on the official ballot? You can write it in! BOOM. DONE.)
We promise some epic posts soon. Also, we have a whole bunch of interviews we need to get moving, have an adorable Swoony Rec from Lo’s Smister, and all kinds of
smutty swoony pics, so we’ll be doing more of those soon.
WE NEVER STOPPED LOVING YOU.Read More »
Have you read Cinder? If you have then you know how great it is. And if you haven’t … WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? Cinder is the first in a trilogy, and is a modern retelling of the classic, Cinderella. And if that weren’t enough to interest you, Cinder … is cyborg. IKR? Don’t have a copy? Stick around and you could have the chance to win one of your very own. Win/Win.
Lo & C: Hi Marissa! Thanks so much for joining us here at Swoontini!!
MM: My pleasure!
Lo & C: Ma’am! You are immediately a winner in our world because you used to write fanfiction! This is how Lo & PQ met! So, we’re always so happy to meet others who have dabbled, and are actually surprised just how many authors play in those worlds. What’s fascinating to us is just how different writing fic is from writing a novel. What are some things you think helped you become a better writer, and what are some habits you had to get rid of when you began writing original novels?
MM: Fanfiction FTW! I learned so much from writing fanfic—how to strike a balance between details and action, how to jump right into the heart of the story rather than muck around with a bunch of boring backstory, how to take criticism, and perhaps most important, how to write often and FINISH stuff (because fanfic readers get very annoyed, very fast, if you don’t update regularly or leave a story unfinished for an extended period of time).
Lo & C: THEY DO INDEED, MARISSA.
MM: One thing that’s changed over the years, though, is my willingness to revise. When I started writing fanfic, I would finish a chapter or story and slap it up on the internet with barely a read-through. Now I recognize the importance of stepping back and evaluating the story on everything from overall suspense to miniscule word choices, and I’ve completely deleted and rewritten many a-chapter in my efforts to make them publication-worthy.
Lo & C: We lovvvvvve that you said this. The amount of revising that goes into our work now versus our fic. . . it’s unbelievable. Speaking of revising, your publication journey is interesting because it was two years between starting CINDER and querying an agent. And then, you were picked up by the first agent you queried and sold within a week of submission. (This is rare, brave Swoonies. Don’t compare yourself to this.) Even given this path, what was the best writing advice you received before you were published?
MM: I know, I’m one of THOSE authors, but I do feel that spending all that time making the book as good as I could before querying was the reason I had such a fast sale. And that directly ties into what I think is the best advice I’d heard pre-pub: Take your time and write the best book you can. It can be SO HARD to be patient when you feel like everyone around you is getting a book deal and agents are closing to queries for the summer and bookstores are closing and if you don’t get published right now then you’ll never get published at all, argh! But you’ll only be doing a disservice to yourself by querying prematurely, and you only get that one chance to make a great first impression. Rewrite, revise, have some trusted readers look at your book, and revise some more. When you’ve done the best you can, that’s the time to start hunting for an agent.
Lo & C: This is such good advice. We remember how hard it was to be patient. We wrote “THE END” and then wanted to send it out that day. BUT – wait, revise, wait, revise. It’s the best advice. Tell us a little bit about teenage Marissa. What books would she devour today? What boy characters would have had her fanning herself, and what girl characters would have her jumping up and down cheering?
MM: I feel like Teenage Marissa was simply a less-confident version of Modern-Day Marissa. My tastes haven’t changed that much. I was super into fantasy (particularly the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind), and I still love fantasy, though ironically I read much more YA now (such as Kristin Cashore’s books or Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone – LOVE). I also watched a ton of anime, and while I’m so out of the anime loop these days, I’m still in love with the same sorts of stories (teenagers being awesome and saving the world and falling in love). Teen Me would have been smitten with mysterious-yet-sweet heroes (then: Tuxedo Mask; now: Four from Divergent or Cas from Anna Dressed in Blood). And Teen Me was always a fan of any girl who could kick butt and stay true to herself.
Lo & C: We each bring our own unique voice and experiences to what we write. What teen experiences influence your writing in YA?
MM: I feel like the “experiences” that have most influenced my writing were all those ones that happened inside my own head. When I was a teen, I fantasized about being a superhero, a rock star, a hero, a sorceress, an assassin, a spy… (okay, I still dream about all these things). But those dreams have become the seeds for every one of my stories, and continue to inspire the types of characters and adventures I want to write about.
Lo & C: Tell us some of your favorite websites to visit when you need writing inspiration and/or a good laugh.
MM: Pinterest! So many people post hilarious photos or geeky jokes, and I love all the images of mystical castles and devious-looking characters. (Not to mention all the inspiration for food, décor, and fashion… it’s an all-around inspiring web site. Oh, and my Pinterest page, including a Lunar Chronicles board!
You are currently reading: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
A movie you’ve seen a thousand times: Clueless (don’t judge me)
No judging here, girlfriend. That movie can play in a constant loop in our homes and we’d be happy campers. Favorite season: Autumn
A guilty pleasure: Prosecco – I’ll pop open a bottle at any time, no celebratory excuse necessary.
You’re just like our bestie Masenvixen! And, the critical question: popcorn jelly bellys are awesome or disgusting? EW. I loathe all jelly beans with a great burning passion.
A HUGE thank you to Marissa for stopping by. Isn’t she adorable??? Ngl, we’re smitten. You can order a copy of Cinder here (go on, we’ll wait…), orrrrrrr leave Marissa some love and we could be sending you one of your very own.Read More »
Hello Swoonies!! We are so happy that you’re joining us for our interview with the AMAZING LAUREN OLIVER! *crowd roars* Squee! When I told PQ that Lauren had agreed to be interviewed, I’ll admit there were some shouty caps in the text message. That may be true a lot between us, but these were SHOUTY shouty caps. You feel me? Also, HELLO PRETTY COVER! *pets*
Hi Lauren! (Awesome name, even better initials, BTW *high fives*) Thanks for coming to Swoontini!! Lo says: I read DELERIUM last year on a plane trip, listening to music and now every time I hear those songs, I immediately go back to that feeling of STRESS-SWOON-STRESS. Do you write to music?
LO: Actually, I don’t! I find music is so evocative for me, it really affects the tone of my writing in ways that feel inauthentic. But I definitely listen to music to get me in the MOOD to right sometimes.
Tell us about Teenage Lauren. What current books would she be devouring? What characters would have her swooning and cheering?
LO: I think I would have loved the Hunger Games as a teenager—just as I loved it now! In my early teens, I read a lot of Jane Austen, and dreamed of being projected back in time. So some of the great historical series out there right now would have made me very happy. I also think, later on, I would have really devoured all of the dystopian series. I was quite angsty!
Hey Swoonies!! Welcome back! We are so excited to see you, and you all look ADORABLE. Wednesday suits you quite nicely. AND HEY, we have Gretchen McNeil here today *WILD SCREAMS* and ALSO? We’re giving away an ARC of TEN! WOOT WOOT! So all you need to do is hop on those comments below, leave your name and some love for Gretchen, and you’re entered to win! EASY.
Hi Gretchen! So excited to have you at Swoontini! We both got ARC’s of TEN at WonderCon because we are lucky hoors. And I (Lo) have to admit that there were a few sections where I literally had to close the book and put it down for awhile it scared me so bad. What are some of your favorite scary books & movies?
GM: So I’m a notorious wimp with scary movies. Traditional horror scares the CRAP out of me! I prefer things more on the suspense scale. Hitchcock was a master –Birds, Strangers on a Train, North By Northwest – absolute edge-of-your seat film making. I also love old Victorian ghost stories. There’s nothing creepier than drafty old manor houses and ghosts on the Moor. Sheridan Le Fanu, Algernon Blackwood, Wilkie Collins, Emily Bronte. Deliciously gothic!
(Christina totally agrees. Rear Window is one of her all-time faves)
WELCOME BACK! *hugs you all* *holds you tighter so you can’t get away* SO SQUIRMY. Today we’re super stoked to have the amazing Beth Revis here! Have you read Across the Universe and A Million Suns? If yes then take a cookie and have a seat, we’ll be around with shimmies and refreshments in a few. If not, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??
Read More »
Did you have a happy Easter? DID YOU EAT ALL OF THE CHOCOLATE? We… Actually we did not. But that is only so that we can fit into our skin-tight Centaur costume for Comic Con! We know at least one person is laughing right now while remembering the Centaur in 2011. He was amazing but THIS YEAR SHALL BE OUR TIME TO SHINE! See our costume sketch?
SO HEY! Guess who is here?? … waits… Oh, right, you read the title! Smarties.YES, we have the amazeballs author of EVERNEATH – Brodi Ashton – and let me tell you, you want to go out and get her book RIGHT.NOW. It has it all: Greek mythology tied into a fantastic plot, with angst and swoons and TWO HOT BOYS. Plus the best cover in just about forever. Just sayin.Read More »
WELCOME BACK SWOONIES!
We missed you oodles last week. We had to reschedule our interview with Michelle Hodkin, but promise she’ll be here soon!
And this week, we have Mike Mullin visiting Swoontini Headquarters. He is made of so much win (and looks fantastic in the Swoontini fuzzy jammies and slippers). He also wrote one of our favorite posts ever (really, you must read it). Also? Have you read ASHFALL yet? IT IS AWESOME. And super scary.
Lo & C: Hi MIKE! *high fives*
MM: Down low! Too slow!
Lo says: AWWW SNAP! My five year old gets me with that one all the time, you think I’d be prepared. So hey, when I was little, my parents used to hide the newspaper from me because I would get so terrified about the possibility of a natural disaster. True story. (1) WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR BRAIN? (sort of just kidding) and (2) Why a supervolcano versus, say, an earthquake or tsunami?
MM: PROBABLY SOMETHING TO DO WITH THAT PESKY Y CHROMOSOME! Someone should start a scientific personals ad site: “Heterogamete seeking sexy homogamete for…” But I digress. I’ve always been fascinated by disasters, but I didn’t specifically set out to write a disaster novel until I read Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything and learned about the Yellowstone supervolcano. So there was never any question of writing an earthquake or tsunami novel. Plus, both those topics have been done often in fiction, but as best I can tell, ASHFALL was the first novel set in the immediate aftermath of a supervolcano.
Welcome back! Oh, how we love you guys. NO REALLY. Even those of you who mock Lo’s love for certain candy treats. And you know what? Speaking of sweet things (SMOOTH TRANSITION FTW) we have KIERSTEN WHITE here today! Yes, yes we do. You all know her from such things as Twitter, and her fabulous books, and SDCC, and of course her general cuteness. So settle in and join the weekly Wednesday slumber party…
Lo& C: Well, hello there, pretty! Oh how we miss your face!
Kiersten White: I miss YOUR faces! Especially Lo’s, even though I have to crane my neck at a 90 degree angle to look at it.
PARANORMALCY was an instant fave because, as a Buffy fan, I love the kick-a**, smart-mouth chick protagonist. But also: there was Reth. If David Bowie called you tomorrow and said that he would travel back in time to 1980 and film himself in the role of Reth, would you be on board with this plan?Read More »
Lo says: Okay, Swoonies. You guys know how much PQ and I heart Nathan Bransford. As in, A TON. Like many writers, we relied on his calm wisdom while writing and querying our first book. Then, in Summer 2011 I organized the What’s Hot in YA Fiction panel at San Diego Comic Con and Nathan Bransford (I’m sorry, I can’t just call him Nathan, it feels wrong somehow) agreed to moderate. *dancing dogs* Life is awesome, right?
But then.Read More »