Monday, February 11, 2008

The Share the Love Giveaway Starts Here!!

Tip of the Day: Leave a comment every day this week to enter the daily giveaway. Tell us where you linked to author2author.blogspot.com for a second, bonus entry!

I have a Valentine’s Week confession to make about love.

I don’t present myself as a lover of material possessions. I don’t have a secret name for my car. I’ve never missed a utility bill because I couldn’t resist splurging on new shoes. Life, I tell my nine-year-old repeatedly, does not revolve around accumulating things. But I lie! Because there’s one big, big exception to this rule: I love my iPod.

You recall the classic dilemma “if your house was on fire and you could go back in to save one thing, what would it be?” Well, it wouldn’t be one of my personalized, signed books. It sure wouldn’t be any sappy photo album of my children’s babyhood. Really, the only question in my mind would be how I got out of the house without my iPod in the first place.

I love my iPod! I listen to my iPod while writing, while at work, and while in the car. I have playlists for my characters, my settings, and my plots. I know what music my characters love; schizophrenic as it sounds, their tastes in music have expanded my own. My first novel was set in California. Now I’m the station-wagon-driving, upstate New York suburban Mom blasting Daddy Yankee on my way to the supermarket.

Which brings me to my pick for our Share the Love Giveaway: Caridad Ferrer’s It’s Not About the Accent.

In both this novel and Ferrer’s earlier Adios to my Old Life, she includes many references to modern, popular music. The main character in Adios is a musician, but in Accent, we find out the romantic lead’s music tastes because … oh, come on, how could you not want to know? Could you date a man after discovering he loves Toby Keith? Isn’t telling the man you love about the music you listened to in junior high school a touching act of revelation and trust? And there’s something so wonderful about my husband, when I pull up to the elementary school singing along to Wisin y Yandel or Dashboard Confessional, admitting proudly, “Yes, that’s my wife.”

Ferrer’s leading men have strong ethnic identities, which, along with great taste in music, is very attractive. It’s the attachment to something bigger than one’s self (like the musician to his art) combined with the love of the history of who came before you, a theme in It’s Not About the Accent. It’s also lure of the unfamiliar setting, if the main character doesn’t share that culture. Think Kardik in Libby Bray’s trilogy, or Jamie in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Romantic fantasy has this lure; in Stephanie Meyer’s books, Bella sure falls for Edward’s vampire history.

I’ve been writing Middle Grade lately, but my next NaNoWriMo novel will be older YA and I’m already planning to “borrow” these attributes for my main character’s competing romantic interests. In Accent, the leading man is very close to his family. I don’t find that to be an instant turn-on. Lots of great people come from nutty families. But a guy watching out for a younger sibling, I think, has a lot of punch. So while I’m at the character building stage: Anything else you think I should build into my leading men?

I definitely learned a lot about “the guy you want your main character to be with” in It’s Not About the Accent. I wouldn’t call this a RomCom. There are heavy emotional trials in store for the main character, Caroline. Ferrer skillfully writes two love interests for Caroline—the one we’re rooting for and the one we’re not—and lets us see why Caroline makes the choices she does. Her bad boy isn’t a cardboard villain. Eric and Paul are real people, with pasts and futures beyond the pages of the book. As in many YA romances, this novel isn’t all about the romance and doesn’t follow a formula. Like most 17-year-olds, Caroline wants a different life than the one she’s led to date, and, like most 17-year-olds, she finds that’s a pretty easy goal to accomplish … if only she had defined it better because “different” turns out to be way too vague a goal to aim for without shooting yourself in the foot …

Have I intrigued you? So enter already! Leave a comment, either here or on our LiveJournal feed, and you’ll be entered in my drawing to win It’s Not About the Accent. Link to author2author.blogspot.com in your blog/website/little piece of the internet and tell me where in your comment, and you get two entries. Emily will announce the winner tomorrow in her post—a fantabulous interview with Shana Norris, author of her giveaway novel, Something to Blog About!

By the way, right now my husband is blasting America’s “A Horse With No Name.” *Sigh* I swear, he hid this tendency from me until after the wedding. But I love him anyway. Now isn’t that romantic?

-- Kate, Miss Apprentice Writer

29 comments:

Ghost Girl said...

Sorry, Kate, but I like America!

And I love your post. Yes, my Ipod is simply another digit on my left hand (right has to be free for the writing, of course). And I do have a name for my car (the first time I've ever done that, but it's the first car I ever really got to choose for more than the lowest price tag). Well, I've got her decked out and rigged up for my Ipod. Just hop in and slop that little pink piece of cyberlust on the hook-up!

Back to music--I have a play list for whatever book I'm working on. And I certainly have a playlist that relates to my hubby. In fact, he started putting together playlists just for me...the cheese factor is extremely high, here, gals--sorry about that!


Kartik--mmmm, yeah baby!

Angela said...

I saw your Verla post and had to come have a look-see. Great looking blog--I think you guys will have a lot to offer with your 'different stages' approach. Looking forward to seeing you grow. :-)

DeenaML said...

I know I can't be entered into the contest, but I had to say my laptop would be the one thing I'd grab. I must sadly admit: I do not own an iPod! Gah! Lately I've been writing to the TV, channel 665, RetroActive music channel. Does that count? They play my Depeche Mode!

Emily Marshall said...

Oh yeah, I definitely want to read it. Sadly, I don't think I can win. Dang it.

But I would have way too many things to save if a fire happened in my house. I'd be in serious trouble. I am attached to tons of possessions. I have to get a new laptop and I'm already preparing to mourn the loss of my current one.

tamarak said...

Count me in.

If I ever get an I-Pod, I'm guessing some Air Supply would be involved. :)

The Book Muncher said...

this book sounds so awesome even tho i havent read the first book :) i hope i win...i also posted about it
http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com/2008/02/february-giveaways.html
you might have to scroll down a little and copy and paste the link

Marjolein said...

great giveaway! i am going to mention your site on www.marjoleinb.punt.nl

PrincessB said...

just discovered this site, it is nice!
please enter me for the giveaway..

PrincessB

The Compulsive Reader said...

Ah, yes. The iPod. I too am addicted to mine. Wonderful inventions, they are. However, I can't seem to adjust to listening to books on my iPod. I much prefer to read them in print form.

Very cool contest. I've wanted to read Adios to My Old Life for a while, and I didn't even know that she had written another. Very excting.

The Compulsive Reader
For book reviews, author interviews, contests and more, visit: http://thecompulsivereader.blogspot.com/

Barbara Caridad Ferrer said...

Dude, how cool is this?

First off, Kate, thanks for posting such lovely things about my book. Accent's story is very special to me—but then again, as I've said so many times before, all of my stories are special to me.

And thanks to Kristina for letting me know about the giveaway and the fact that Accent's one of them. (Yeah, I'm just that tickled. *g*)

BTW, I did create playlists for Accent, as I do for all my stories and I find it such a valuable tool for getting into each character's headspace.

Kate Fall said...

Barb, thanks so much for coming by! I'm glad Tina told you about the contest. I couldn't decide whether I should "warn" you or it would be too stalkerish.

My iPod is pink, too, ghost girl. My brothers call it my antitheft device. No Air Supply, tamarak. I'll publicly admit to lots of Adam Ant though.

Thanks for all the links everyone! I'll be checking back for entries and links until midnight EST.

Tasha said...

I love my iPod too! The book sounds absolutley great and I would love a chance to win it. I have also advertised your contest on my blog so here is the link:

http://andanotherbookread.blogspot.com/2008/02/great-valentines-day-contest.html

Happy Reading

Tisa said...

Sounds great! Count me in too please! ~ :)

Chelsea said...

Ooh, sounds good. Count me in! I love contests. :)

Kristina Springer said...

Obviously I can't enter the contest but I have to post! :-) Kate, I drive my husband nuts when it comes to my iPod. First he bought me an iPod shuffle. And I just wouldn't use it. After a few months I started storing files on it like a normal USB (and I still do--OMG). I've never used it as an iPod to this day. He was quite disgusted with this but then went and bought me a super cute pink iPod nano with little diamond cover etc. as well. Thinking this would finally entice me into the iPod world. (His iPod is going like 24/7 so he he thinks I'm missing out). Well, I've had it for like a year and I've only used it a couple of times. And only to listen to a few downloaded books. It just KILLS him. He can't believe I just don't get with the iPod thing already. I did just get a new cell phone a couple of weeks ago (one where you can take pictures and text. I just have no clue how to text yet) so I finally ditched the one I've had for the last 8 years. It was ANCIENT. God, I sound like I'm a million years old. :-)

Jessica Burkhart said...

Great post! I'm still iPod-less. :)

Little Willow said...

Kudos to Caridad. I've enjoyed both of her YA novels to date.

Emily Marshall said...

OMG, Kate that is too funny that your "pink" ipod is it's anti-theft feature. Ha. I'm in the market for a pink cellphone and I could have sworn when I told the cellphone dude that he rolled his eyes at me. But who doesn't want a pink cellphone?

Melissa said...

i love character playlists, and i've got mine on my ipod (my boyfriend got a new red nano for me, and i love it).

twix said...

I-pods i had one once till mine got stolen and if my house caught on fire i would probaby just lay there and let it burn around me i have so many memories and things of my dads parents and my dad whom have all 3 passed away my dad when i was 10 months but no i love to read i have 3 sarah dessen books ive finished and one by jodi picoult which are all wonderful and im about to go by lisa's books which i have told friends about but i too would like to be in the contest drawing thank you!

DeenaML said...

Thanks everyone for posting -- the winner will not regret stopping by. :)

And twix totally reminded me that I can't WAIT for the new Sarah Dessen novel to come out. Her books are what originally convinced me I had to write YA.

What does this have to do with iPods?

Her book JUST LISTEN features an iPod-listening character, and SD originally wanted to make the reference to iPod just a generic portable mp3 player bc she likes to make her books "timeless" and technology goes out of date so fast! But I believe it was her editor convinced her to use the iPod reference. Interesting!

Aimee C said...

Great contest! Count me in!

Sara said...

I've been wanting to read this book! Please, enter me!

Sara Bennett-Wealer

Robin said...

I think this blog is fantastic. I'm a lurker by nature, but this contest drew me out -- I'm not ashamed to admit I would love a free copy of Accent!

Happy advance Valentine's Day, all!

AmandaKMorgan said...

I so want to be entered! I wrote about you girls at http://mandymorgan.livejournal.com

:)

hannah said...

Mandy told me about this...I'd love to be entered! This is so sweet of you guys!

Elissa said...

I definitely understand making playlists for characters, I sometimes think about what my characters would do in a situation. I also have started to fall for one lol...maybe that's something I should seek help about.

And I found this blog through Lisa Shroeder's myspace.

tragiceye-icons said...

the comment above doesn't have contact information. Elissa - eajacobs@optonline.net or myspace.com/farfromadream

Reader Rabbit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.