Unnormal Normalcy

Just News and Ramblings From Your Average Author

Sadness.

Unfortunately, I have decided to close down this blog. I just don’t have time anymore.

If you want to see reviews I write, you can find me on Goodreads.

I will also be making new individual sites for my writing. I will post those here as I do it.

Here is my Tumblr for my YA writing.

Thanks everyone.

November 9, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Post-Storm Update

That was not as bad around here as most other places in New York. The central part of the storm passed us by, thankfully. Did cause some issues this morning, though. At least we still have all of our trees intact and the creek out back didn’t try to drown us.

NaNoWriMo starts on Thursday! Yay! I’m still struggling to come up with a title for mine… I am once again using November to finish something I started over the summer, like last year with MtbB. I think I’ll do this every year. Yay for being a rebel! They should make NaNo Rebel tee-shirts… By the way, feel free to be my buddy!

And it’s that time of year… voting! And by that, I mean for the Goodreads Choice Awards (though election voting is also a very good idea).

October 30, 2012 Posted by | Life, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | Leave a comment

Hi Sandy, Nice to Meet You, Now GO AWAY

After I get a day off from classes tomorrow. I really do not want to commute 40 miles in this weather. I just want to stay home in a nest of blankets with some hot chocolate (if we lose power I will make a fire in the fireplace and boil water the real old school way), and the books I want to finish reading. Goal is to stay home as much as possible. Staying safe and dry so far. Hoping if we lose power it comes back before NaNo starts. Yay NaNo!

October 29, 2012 Posted by | Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wattpad Writer Interview – KrissandraC

Okay, there was a lot more family stuff going on these last couple of weeks than I thought. Those had to come before anything else, so I’m backed up – AGAIN.

Anyway, another GREAT writer has agreed to do an interview with me. Here is the awesome KrissandraC! Enjoy!

 

1.How did you get started in writing?

“Literally from the time that I learned to write my letters, I learned to read. And when I learned to read, I learned to write stories. My first ‘chapter book’ was at age 7, when I produced a story that was a whopping 15 pages of notebook paper. I can still remember being so excited that I’d made it to 15 pages, with just a few chapters. I can’t remember exactly, but I believe it was called “I’m too young to die,” and was about a girl who died in an accident before her 15th birthday. This makes me laugh, because I’ve NEVER been interesting in stories about pretty rainbows and ponies. By age 9, as I obsessed over the awesomeness of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I started writing my first vampire stories, and so the pattern continued.”

 

2.What is your favorite genre to write?

“Paranormal romance, by far! I don’t think I could fully enjoy reading a book that doesn’t have at least a little romance in it.”

 

3.What made you choose to post your writing online? Was it the community? Just the desire to have it available somewhere? Or something else?

“I’ve been talking about publishing a book for years now, but I’ve always battled this fear that I’m not ‘good enough’ of a writer, and it’s been holding me back. Writing is my life’s dream, so when I discovered Wattpad several months ago, I thought, ‘What the heck? I’ll see how my writing is accepted by a larger audience without the stress of being accepted or denied by a publishing house agent.’ This was my chance to see what sort of response my writing initiated in other people (because I NEVER had family or friends volunteer to read my work; I’m the only book worm), and I also hoped to receive some helpful criticism where needed.”

 

4.What are your favorite genres to read when you’re not busy writing? Favorite books or authors?

“My current favorite series are written by Kelley Armstrong, and they include the Darkest Powers trilogy and the Darkness Rising trilogy. These books are seriously amazing. If you can’t guess by the names of the series, they’re in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, which is by far my most favorite genre to read, alongside paranormal romance. Maggie Shayne is another great author, writing adult paranormal romances that aren’t just sex scenes every other chapter, like some adult romance writers do.”

 

5.I personally LOVED your story “Bonded.” Did you have any specific inspiration for the story, or did it just start forming in your mind? Vampires are so popular right now, how did you come up with your own concept of them, such as the whole idea of being bonded?

“First, a huge thank you for your support! When I started forming the idea of Bonded in my mind, it wasn’t inspired by the current boom of vampire popularity. For me, vampires have been the center of my creative passion since I was a preteen in the later ’90s. After reading a countless amount of paranormal romances by authors like Maggie Shayne and Christine Feehan, I started to become bored by the run-of-the-mill concept of soul mates. I was inspired to try something different – to put a twist on the whole soul mates concept by asking myself the question, ‘What would happen if you found yourself bonded to someone of the same sex even though you were straight?’ Unfortunately, after I was a few chapters into my book, I stopped writing it for almost a year, thinking that it wasn’t mainstream enough to ever be published. Then, much later when I joined Wattpad, I started seeing an enormous amount of same-sex romances – and here I was thinking that I was alone! Seeing a potential audience, I emerged myself back into the world of Bonded with renewed fervor and finished it in just a couple short months. The number of readers was small at first, but it has been steadily growing each day, and it makes me incredibly happy!”

 

6.You’ve announced that you plan on trying to get “Bonded” published by publishing house. What made you decide to go that route? How is it going so far?

“My dream has always been to be a published author, so it was never off my mind. As soon as I had a completed novel under my belt, I wanted to try to get it published. However, I was still stumped by what to do with such a nontraditional romance story. I couldn’t very well approach an agent from such publishing houses as HarperCollins, knowing they weren’t targeting my specific audience of readers. So, while I’ve been enjoying the small success of Bonded on Wattpad, I’ve been contemplating what to do with it, and I’ve found a few publishing houses worth sending a query email to. I’m still trying to perfect my one-page synopsis, as that seems to be the most challenging part of it all. I can’t seem to figure out how to squish an entire novel into three to five paragraphs. Once that is finished (hopefully soon), I’ll be sending out my first email!”

 

7.Where else can you be found online? (Facebook, YouTube, etc.)

“Wattpad is currently the only location. My Facebook is private for safety reasons regarding my children, so I won’t be adding Bonded fans any time soon, unfortunately. I suppose I could create a new account, but I can barely find the time to keep up with the one I do have!”

 

8.Do you have any advice for people just starting to get into writing?

“Finish your novel first, and THEN go back to proofread! Once I embraced this concept, I completed a novel within a few months – as compared to my first novel, which took me a staggering four years to complete! I was always getting caught up in perfection, reading and rereading a couple sentences until I was satisfied (and I was NEVER satisfied). I would often get so caught up in the grammar and flow of my writing that I would lose sight of the bigger story. This, as a result, would cause my writing to not flow very well at all, and my story would become riddled with continuity errors that would take additional time in having to read back through my story to find the facts that I needed to keep things straight.”

 

9.Do you have any writing routines? Do you need to have specific music playing? Does it need to be a certain time of day? Do you usually have something to drink or munch on?

“Writing routines are why I have such a difficult time writing now that I’m a parent! It’s hard to break free of old routines, and mine were writing very late at night, in the perfect, interruption-free silence, with a bag of salty goodness on the desk. Now, I RARELY have even 30 minutes to myself, and I can’t indulge in late nights because I know I’ll be exhausted the next day when the kids are raring to go by 9 a.m. So, I’ve had to adjust my routine a little, and I’ve become much better at writing with background chaos – but it’s still slow going, simply for the fact that I’m jumping up constantly to attend to the kiddies!”

 

10.Lastly, anything else you want to say to readers? About anything? Really, anything goes!

“I suppose I’ll just say that I won’t be writing solely same-sex romances – I’m still very much into traditional romances, too! I’m bisexual, so I love exploring both types of relationships. This might come as a disappointment to the fans whom I’ve already accumulated, since a lot of them might favor manxman romances. But I hope to never lose any of them! :-)”

 

October 26, 2012 Posted by | Author Interview, Wattpad | Leave a comment

Fish & Chips Review

Title: Fish & Chips

Author: Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban

Published: December 2010, Dreamspinner

Source: bought from Dreamspinner

Goodreads Description:

Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are back on the job, settled into a personal and professional relationship built on fierce protectiveness and blistering passion. Now they’re assigned to impersonate two members of an international smuggling ring-an out-and-proud married couple-on a Christmas cruise in the Caribbean. As their boss says, surely they’d rather kiss each other than be shot at, and he has no idea how right he is. Portraying the wealthy criminals requires a particular change in attitude from Ty and Zane while dealing with the frustrating waiting game of their assignment. As it begins to affect how they treat each other in private, Ty and Zane realize there’s more to being partners than watching each other’s backs, and when the case takes an unexpected turn and threatens Ty’s life, Ty and Zane will have to navigate seas of white lies and stormy secrets, including some of their own.

My Thoughts:

Lovelovelove this series. I truly adore these characters and I cannot wait to get ahold of the next book. I love how their roles basically became less acting and more expressing their own feelings. I’m a little sad that Zane isn’t ready to admit he’s in love yet, even though he clearly is. That being said, despite Ty’s “I have a problem, I’m in love with you” speech, my favorite scene remains the one where he deals with Zane being drunk. Zane deserved that – worse even – for almost getting Ty killed, but it’s great to see Ty actually doing something to help instead of just letting him deal on his own. And when Zane finally realized Ty almost died, I wanted to hug him ’cause he was so sad. I’m getting this whole series in paperback so I can reread it easier. So, Amazon better hurry up and ship them to me! I need these guys forever!

Rating: 5/5

October 14, 2012 Posted by | Reading | Leave a comment

Wattpad Writer Interview – Immlaaarr

Here’s a new feature I’m hoping to keep up with! I’ve been adoring the writing community on Wattpad ever since I joined last winter. It is so amazing, and I highly suggest everyone join it, either to write or just read some amazing stories. I’ve decided to ask a few of the writers whose work I love if they would like to do an interview with me, and so far the answers have been yeses. This is going to be a bi-weekly feature.

My first interview was with the awesome Immlaaarr, whose story “Wings of a Dragonfly” honestly almost made me cry tears of happiness. Here are her wonderful answers to my many questions.

1.How did you get started in writing?

I began writing properly when I was eleven, I think. It was a while ago – I’m seventeen now! I wrote a book that didn’t even have a title, it was just saved under the first few words on the page, which was ‘it was nearly midnight’. It was absolutely terrible, but forty pages in and I was pleased with myself. Then I got stuck on the storyline and gave up – it was very rushed. I read it back the other day and cringed so badly; I can’t believe I ever thought that was good. But I’m sure I’ll think the same about my writing now in a couple of years.

2.What is your favorite genre to write? Your favorite story to write so far? Your favorite character to write about?

Romance. I can’t help myself, I’m a silly romantic. My favourite book to write so far, however, has to be Twisted Tails which is a fantasy novel. It’s not a book on Wattpad; it’s a manuscript that I’m trying to get published. I do enjoy writing it though, which is obvious as I’ve rewritten it six times. Trust me; I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t love it. As for my favourite character, that’s far too difficult – I have so many of them.

3.What made you choose to post your writing online? Was it the community? Just the desire to have it available somewhere? Or something else?

My friend Giovannie – Amyscence on Wattpad – posted a lot of his work on Wattpad. I can’t remember how I got onto Wattpad in the first place, but I’m very glad I did. Before Gio became the massively famous guy he is on Wattpad, I read his work and fanned him immediately. I drew a picture of me waiting for an upload and posted it to his wall; this is how we became friends. When he began to gain more fans and I uploaded my work, he gave me my initial boost when he told everyone to go and look at my work. He still does every now and then, and he’s still my fan on Wattpad.

4.What are your favorite genres to read when you’re not busy writing? Favorite books or authors?

Romance, again. I love reading romance. Belinda Jones is my favourite author – she’s not on Wattpad, she’s published. She writes romantic comedies, but in this brilliantly sarcastic way at times, depending on the character. The California Club is my favourite book, I absolutely adore it – it even beats Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and anyone who knows me knows how much I love Austen. I definitely recommend Belinda Jones to anyone who likes a funny book.

5.I personally LOVED your story “Wings of a Dragonfly.” Did you have any specific inspiration for the story, or did it just start forming in your mind?

Thank you very much! It’s always nice to hear that someone liked reading my book, especially that one because it was very close to my heart. I adored writing it, and I cried like a baby when it ended – it was very sad not writing about those characters anymore. The inspiration originally came from a class trip to a very old house; I’ve always been interested in servant life in posh old manors. I began writing a story about a couple called Sasha and Edward, but it fizzled out. A year later, after I’d begun writing about gay couples, I read what I’d written and began to create Finn and Oliver. I was far too lazy to research the laws on slavery in the twenties, so I just created my own country – which, let’s face it, is more fun.

6.I’m planning on reading more of your stories. Which do you suggest I start reading next?

That depends! I would recommend Playing With Fire, because I’m seriously proud of it. I hate to sound cocky, but it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever created, and I write a lot of stories. Only about half of them go up to Wattpad. In the past, I’ve never given my characters enough flaws; this book contains characters that are more real than any of my previous characters, because they have flaws that everyone can relate to. It also contains a lot of realism. It will, of course, have a happy ending – because it would be a terrible book by me if it didn’t.

7.Where else can you be found online? (Facebook, YouTube, etc.)

I can be found practically everywhere.

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/ukuvision

Twitter: @immlaaarr

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Immlaaarr-On-Wattpad/111202718984100

8.Do you have any advice for people just starting to get into writing?

A magician never shares her secrets. I’m joking of course – I’ll give you as much advice and support as I possibly can. My major tip is to never, I repeat – never, stop writing. Once you start, never stop writing. If you stop, it becomes a huge habit and that’s pretty much how my writer’s block forms. If I write every day, no matter how much I write, I find it much easier to vocalise my thoughts. I also recommend uploading to somewhere like Wattpad; you’ll find that your style is much easier to develop when you have feedback. Also, if you cannot use proper spelling and grammar, then learn – there is nothing worse than a writer who cannot write properly. You cannot call yourself a writer if you can’t paragraph. That’s not writing, that’s just splurging words across a page.

9.Do you have any writing routines? Do you need to have specific music playing? Does it need to be a certain time of day? Do you usually have something to drink or munch on?

Unfortunately, no writing routines. I don’t know a writer who had a routine – and if they do, they never stick to it. I have to write when I want to write, but thankfully this is most days. I usually write about 1000-2000 words a day, this can be for one book or split across a couple. It keeps me in practice and it gives me enough time for everything else that goes on in my life. I don’t eat while I’m writing, because I need both hands. Plus, food is too distracting – I wouldn’t concentrate if I had food. I can’t listen to music whilst typing, or I type the lyrics to the song – sometimes if I need to be in a certain mood for something, I’ll stick on some classical piano music that doesn’t have lyrics to it. Generally that’s not too distracting. As for the time of day, I’m still at sixth form so I generally have afternoon/evening to write, unless I’m bored in class, pretending to take notes avidly as I really scribble down a couple of pages of a book.

10.Lastly, anything else you want to say to readers? About anything? Really, anything goes!

Well, thank you first of all to you for this, I’ve enjoyed talking about this. Or writing, even. To my readers, who read, vote and comment on everything I do, you guys are awesome and you have no idea how much I love you all. I look out for your comments just because I know they’re going to be there – and I’m sure I know most of your profile pictures off by heart now. Thank you so much for getting me this far in just over a year, and I can’t wait to see where the future takes us together. That was so cheesy, but I don’t care. And as usual, I’d like to say that if I ever achieve my dream and become a published author, my first book will be dedicated to you; the people who truly believed in me. I love everyone in my life, but when it comes to my writing I know that you deserve the appreciation more than anyone else. Thank you, you are wonderful.

October 13, 2012 Posted by | Author Interview, Wattpad | Leave a comment

The Warded Man Rant

Negative review/rant-y thingy. **SPOILERS**

Title: The Warded Man

Author: Peter V. Brett

Published: March 2010, Del Rey

Source: PaperbackSwap

Goodreads Description:

As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise—demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards—symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night.

My Thoughts:

This started pretty good, then went downhill fast. I just stopped reading after Leesha decided to have sex with Arlen. Yep, you just got raped and you’re okay with that. And you just don’t care about your own values anymore. Really? You were the only strong female character in the entire book. All the others were not good to their men, controlling, and had no independent bones in their body. I’m so angry with this that I just can’t finish the last 50 pages. Women do not get over rape that fast, and do not start having sex with men they hardly know so soon after it. I’m just so frustrated with the terrible portrayal of women in this book that I will never read anything else by this author. This had so much potential, if only he actually thought well enough of women to make them more than sex-craving, totally dependent pieces of flesh. They were all exactly the same and very flat characters. The author’s sexism ruined the book.

Rating: 1/5

October 12, 2012 Posted by | Reading | Leave a comment

Well Then

Sorry for the unplanned hiatus – AGAIN. I had a death in the family, so I’ve had a very busy, stressful, and emotional couple of weeks. I haven’t really been up to posting anything.

Now I’m off to update things and schedule some posts.

October 11, 2012 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Update to Review Policy

I have been getting a lot of emails lately from people who want me to review their works. This is great, I really want to help promote other writers’ books. But I’m busy with school and work and my own writing. I have one simple request:

Sell your book to me. Tell me why I should read your book. Have I read a book similar to yours? With similar themes and characters? Draw on that.

Say something like this: “I saw you enjoyed Book by Author. If you liked that book, you’ll like mine too.” And then tell me all about it.

I just don’t have time to respond to everyone who just sends me a generic email, because I don’t have time to read every book set in front of me. If you want me to read and review your work, tell me why I should.

Please please please, this will make my life so much easier. Thank you.

September 26, 2012 Posted by | Blog Tour, Promoting, Reading, Writing | Leave a comment

Two Mini-Reviews – The Strain + Campus Visit

So yeah, this thing called school. I’m still reading. All the time. Amazingly. But for some reason I just can’t write thoughtful reviews right now. It’s like, my mind won’t let me actually THINK about what I just read, deeper than just a surface feeling. Like my mind is too tired after thinking all the time for school that anything else is just… meh. So I think I’ll be sticking with short reviews about my general feelings for a while. Unless I read something that makes me just have to write more than that. So here we go, one book I didn’t like so much and one book that I really loved:

Title: The Strain

Author: Guillermo del Torro and Chuck Hogan

Published: June 2010, Harper

Source: PaperbackSwap

Goodreads Description:

In one week, Manhattan will be gone.

In one month, the country. In two months . . . the world.

At New York’s JFK Airport an arriving Boeing 777 taxiing along a runway suddenly stops dead. All the shades have been drawn, all communication channels have mysteriously gone quiet. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of a CDC rapid-response team investigating biological threats, boards the darkened plane . . . and what he finds makes his blood run cold.

A terrifying contagion has come to the unsuspecting city, an unstoppable plague that will spread like an all-consuming wildfire–lethal, merciless, hungry . . . “vampiric.”

And in a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem an aged Holocaust survivor knows that the war he has been dreading his entire life is finally here . . .

My Thoughts:

I honestly don’t know how I feel about this book. Calling it a vampire story doesn’t sit well with me. The creatures are more of a cross between vampire and zombie. It just felt completely weird to me. I don’t really understand how someone possessed by a virus can end up intelligent like the Master, but the others just seem like droids. I don’t even know how to describe how weird I felt about this book. Probably not my cup of tea.

Rating: 3/5

______________________________

Title: Campus Visit

Author: Stella Huerto

Published: August 2012, Dreamspinner

Source: Dreamspinner

Goodreads Description:

Damian Garza and Alex Murphy became best friends in their closed-minded small town, remained inseparable through Alex’s coming out, and have stayed close while studying at different colleges. They’re close enough that Damian dares a shocking e-mail confession: he’s bisexual and wants to experiment with men. With Alex.

It’s supposed to be a simple friends-with-benefits arrangement, one weekend only. That one weekend turns into two, then three, then a whole season of unexpected passion. But life after graduation can’t be ignored: soon Damian will be obliged to return to his family’s orange orchard, and Alex will fly off to his dream job in Europe. Unless they can admit their feelings to each other—and the world—their time as best friends may be over.

My Thoughts:

I honestly could not stop reading this once I got to the second half. I thought the first half was fun, seeing one friend helping another know what he really wants. It was something I had ever read about before. I don’t know how realistic it was, but definitely fun. Once they started obviously falling for each other, I just couldn’t wait to see them actually admit to it. I almost cried when Alex left, seeing how much pain they were both in, but seeing Damian finally come to terms with himself and what he was feeling was great. Definitely a very sweet story. I would read it again.

Rating: 5/5

 

September 20, 2012 Posted by | Reading | Leave a comment

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