Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Scary Realization

Today, I finally realized I have to stop denying the truth. So, to help me come to terms with it, I've decided to write my woes here. Today I realized that I'm a romance writer. Through and through. And I can't continue to lie to myself.

Its been something I've fought for a little over two years now, when I really got serious about my first *cough* romance. Then, last year, I got second place in a contest in the romance genre for the first chapter of said novel. The funny thing was, I had been at a writer's conference where I had told everyone who asked that I wrote suspense. Then my name was called for the romance category--I don't know who was more surprised, me or my new writing buddies. But even after winning, I was embarrassed to admit I was a "Romance Writer".

Part of its the stigma. A lot of people, when they hear "romance" they think about the books with the scantily clad woman and the unrealistically muscular men on the covers. Ya know what I'm talking about. Then I try to explain that its Christian romance and they think something like: "Brad flipped through the pages of his well worn Bible. Should I marry Meghan, he wondered."

And that's not exactly right either.

Another part of it is the whole "write what you know" thing. Can I just say I don't know, personally, anything about romance? Which just makes it a little more awkward telling people I write it.

I really just wish I could say that I write science fiction, or police thrillers, or dystopian--even if it will be out of fashion before I can ever manage to get one written and published. Something--yes, that is a little nerdy--but at the same time awesome! And, if you know anything about me, its very me. In fact, unless you know me really well, you'd probably never guess this Trekkie/wanna-be FBI agent had even an ounce of romantic blood in my body.

But today, like I stated above, I realized I'm a romance writer and there is no getting around it. How did this happen? Well, it happened when I was walking on campus, in the warm spring rain, under blossoming trees. This adorable kissing scene popped into my mind-- seriously, this idea was better then the "leaning" moment in While you were Sleeping. Better then Wesley's declaration that "death cannot stop love. Only delay it for a while." in Princess Bride. (Heck, I'd say it was even better then the moment when Elizabeth realized she loved Mr. Darcy. But I know a lot of people may hunt me down if I said such a thing.)

So, there I was with this amazing kissing scene in my head, giddy to write it down, when I realized I didn't have a story I could put it in. I was seriously put out by the thought. But I'm a writer, I could come up with something. Of course, right there as I walked to my communications 101 class, I started to create a whole plot line centered around this little two minute scene I had in my head. Just because I was desperate to use it.

And that was when I realized what I had previously tried to ignore. I am definitely a romance writer.

-Amy

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Mediocre Book Review of an Excellent Book

Ever since I decided I wanted to be an author, I've been stalking--I mean, communicating--with some of my favorite authors. One of my favorites and probably the first one I e-mailed when I was fourteen years old was Robison Wells. I was thrilled when he responded only a few days later. Not too long after that, I convinced my family to take a weekend trip to Utah so I could meet him and several other authors in person. Since then, I've followed him around cyberspace and have seen him several more times in person. He's even helped me with a school project. So, in response to his coolness I decided to write a review for him. (Also,  I'm trying to win an ARC of his new book!)



Robison Wells is the author of four great books, his newest one, a YA dystopian titled Variant. Variant is about an orphan boy named Benson who has just transferred to a very interesting new school. Maxfield Academy is out in the middle of Nowhere, New Mexico, surrounded by a fence, a large forest, and an imposing stone wall. Benson learns on arrival that there are no adults at the school and that there is absolutely no leaving--unless you break a rule and end up in eternal detention. The students are divided into three gangs: The society who blindly follow the rules of the school and are in charge of administration and security; Havoc who like the school for its lack of leader and cause problems for The Society; and The Variants who are trying to find a way out.

This book has everything you could ever want-- exciting games of paintball, romance, rebellion and twists and turns that will keep you saying "Just one more chapter, then I'll (insert activity you're avoiding here)". Don't tell my professor, but I may have been to involved in the story to even stop reading to listen to lectures. But it was only poli sci 101. Who needs that stuff anyway?

A little bit of a warning, however. This book ends with a crazy "What the heck?! I'm going to kill you, Rob!" sort of cliffhanger. But you don't have to wait too long for the sequel, Feedback, which will be hitting a bookstore near you soon.  In fact,  you can even enter a contest to win an Advanced Reader's Copy on Rob's website. If you win it, though, you should give it to me since I've been dangling over the side of a cliff for a  lot longer--assuming you haven't read it yet.

Anyway, read the book, enter the contest, and tweet Rob (@robisonwells) and tell him how much I deserve an ARC.

Thanks for dropping in!
-Amy