Asunder- Video Post part one

Hi guys! You may have watched the 15 min video the other day…well…I decided that was WAY too long so I broke it up into parts! Here is part one where I talk about Sam, Anna, Cris, and the Sylphs.

Asunder by Jodi Meadows

Title: Asunder
Author: Jodi Meadows
Publication Date:January 29th, 2013
Publisher:Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Purchased

From Goodreads

Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

Asunder. What to say about Asunder? I guess I should start by letting you know that it is the sequel to Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. Did it live up to the first one? Not only did Asunder meet the high standard set by Incarnate but it surpassed it! If this is Jodi Meadows new trend then I’m not sure the world is prepared for the next book.
Asunder picks up after the first book and for the first chunk of this one we get to see Ana and Sam off on a wild adventure to figure out what Ana’s father was doing with sylph. Right from the beginning I knew something was up with these dark creatures. One of the early scenes in the book features them reacting to Ana’s music. It was a dark and creepy scene and I loved it.
Speaking of dark and creepy, one of the things that I really enjoyed about Asunder was its sinister feeling. This book was much darker than the first, and while I loved the first because it was happy, I love this book even more because of its ominous nature. Jodi Meadows really outshined herself on that level.
Coupled with beautiful writing and a dark composition this novel really takes us to a more serious nature than the first. One of the things that I loved about the storyline was the inclusion of the possibility of more New Souls. This is something that seems to break apart their society. For five thousand years these one million souls have known nothing other than themselves and each other. They thought Ana was an anomaly, a freak of nature never to happen again, a no soul. Now after Templedark, the showdown at the end of Incarnate, the reality that some souls will never return and others will take their place is upon them. Jodi Meadows displays the way that society reacts to deviations from the norm perfectly and it all comes to a show towards the end of the novel leading up to one of the most amazing scenes I have ever read.
I wish I could gush to you all about a certain amazing scene, but I can’t. You all need to see for yourself what it is. I’ll give a hint though. Everything will come together when Ana enters the temple. She goes in a few times so you will just have to read it for yourself to see what I’m talking about! This book definitely deserves all five stars!

Meet the Stars

It’s my first Meet the Stars interview! I’m so excited! I’ve already interviewed Ruta Sepetys before, but with Out of the Easy out today I thought it would be a perfect time to have another one! Thanks so much Ruta!

1) Have you always been interested in writing historical fiction?

RS – To be honest, when I was in school I didn’t much care for historical fiction. But once I discovered how many secrets are hidden in historical novels I was hooked. And now, thanks to authors like Libba Bray and Elizabeth Wein (who are writing historical in fresh and unique ways) more readers are turning to historical.

2) In Out of the Easy you write about a fantastic character named Willie, is there anyone in your life that you’ve encountered who reminds you of her?

RS – Actually, Willie is based on a woman named Norma Wallace, a famous French Quarter madam. New Orleans author Christine Wiltz ( wrote a fantastic book called “The Last Madam: A Life in the New Orleans Underworld” that describes Norma’s life in detail. I discovered the book and it really inspired the character of Willie. Christine helped me with my research for “Out of the Easy” and the information she shared helped bring the character of Willie to life on the page.

3) If you could bring one author back from the dead to be your mentor who would it be?

RS – Truman Capote. We’d have fabulously long lunches in some dark restaurant. I’d fan him with the menu and beg him to introduce me to Harper Lee. He would protest that I wasn’t ready and complain that my writing was still too tatty.

4) If you could travel back in time to any time period or place where would it be?

RS – My parents have been married over 50 years. I’d love to travel back to Detroit in 1961 and see them get married. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

5) Do you have any crazy writing techniques? (ex. Staying up to ungodly hours, certain music, odd habits?)

RS – My crazy writing techniques involve torturing my poor critique group. I send them chapters that are half-baked and incredibly
dark. I have a habit of killing everyone in my first drafts.

6) I’ve heard you mention countless times, in countless interviews, about SCBWI. If you don’t mind, for those that are not aware can you tell us a little bit about how you got involved in the organization?

RS - I owe an incredible debt to Angela Diterlizzi, wife of award-winning author/illustrator Tony Diterlizzi. When I first started writing I
reached out to Angela. She had a background in music and management and I was so in awe of her. She was kind enough to
speak with me and one of the first things she said was, “You need to join SCBWI. Now.” She outlined all that SCBWI had to
offer. A few months later I attended my first conference. Agent Rebecca Sherman from Writers House critiqued my work at the conference and inspired me to believe that I had a shot at being a writer. What an impact that two women have had on my life!

7) Recently I had to analyze the cover of Between Shades of Gray for one of my classes and I found some really amazing symbolism. Did you have any input in the cover while it was being designed or see it when it was finished?

RS - I don’t have any input when the covers are being designed. I see them when they’re done and I’ve always been thrilled.
Penguin has a stellar art department. They put so much thought into each cover, drawing upon elements from the characters
and story. I’m a very lucky author!

Thank you so much Ruta! And be sure to check out Out of the Easy! On sale today!

Things I’ve Learned About Writing

I’m back with another Things I’ve Learned About Writing post! That title is getting too long for my liking. If anyone has any suggestions on a shorter title let me know!

Previously I’ve talked about Ruta Sepetys, Sharon Cameron, and Heather Burch. I am going to switch gears from specific authors to occurrences that have influenced me. Today’s post is all about the Five Stars!

Over the past few years I have read some AMAZING books. Between Shades of Gray (Ruta Sepetys), The Dark and Hollow Places (Carrie Ryan), and Where She Went (Gayle Forman, and The Immortal Rules (Julie Kagawa) are some of the most prominent ones. That is not to say that there aren’t plenty of other amazing books out there, but these ones stick with me for a few reasons.

1) Between Shades of Gray: It’s authentic. I could go on for days about this book. I’ve gotten to hear Ruta speak about it several times and making the connection between what she says about the book (its background and all the things she did to research it as well as her personal connection) and the way the book is laid out is something that I really envy. I can’t wait for the world to see Out of the Easy either because that one shares the same authenticity that Between Shades of Gray does. I learned that writing authentically is better than embellishing because readers will connect to the story more and feel the punch in the gut a lot harder than when its unrealistic.
2) The Immortal Rules This book has REALLY shaped the way that I write. Too often when I read a book, no matter how good it is, I am left a little unsatisfied. The book can soar me to new heights…BUT…it doesn’t complete me. They aren’t complete journeys. In a complete journey there are many ups and downs. There are several small conflicts that all lead up to a major one. In A LOT of the books that I have read recently I have noticed that the journey they go on is not complete. I understand that most of these books are part of a series and they want to expand it over different books, but that’s not an excuse to water down these books. Julie Kagawa is the Queen of having a complete story in EVERY book. The lead in The Immortal Rules goes through so many different stages in her life, so many different experiences, and that’s something that I really strive for in my writing now. I outline each of my stories with this one in mind. I give my character many journeys, many hills on the way up the mountain, in order to give potential readers the most fulfilling novel they can.
3) Where She Went was a fantastic novel. The character, Adam, spends a lot of the novel depressed because Mia and he are no longer together. Gayle Forman really made me feel depressed. It was a spectacularly written book that made me feel everything that Adam was feeling.
This leads me to this last book I am talking about…
4) The Dark and Hollow Places This book is hands down one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read. Carrie Ryan is such a fantastic world builder and is one of the most talented writers when it comes to making me feel. As I mentioned in my review for this book way back when I felt all the feels when reading this. My heart was ripped from my chest, violently I might add, then it was carved into a million little pieces, and then sewed back together crudely, and then melted (is that even possible?) and not in the “Oh that’s so romantic” my heart melted. It was more like the “OH MY GOSH! WHY!!!” and then violent sobbing kind of way.

From the five stars I’ve learned to write authentically, write the complete journey, and to write so that the hearts of my readers will be torn out. Which also means a lot of my books are not happy, so in the chance that you do ever get to read anything I write it probably won’t be the happiest thing you’ve ever read. Hopefully it will tear your heart out though ;)