Tag Archives: gifts for writers

#WW 2016 YA Reading Predictions

23 Dec

As the year comes to an end, readers are looking forward to new releases in 2016…and authors are nervous about all the predictions coming out. (Come on, I know I’m not the only one.) I’ve already read a few myself—and they ALWAYS freak me out. So what better way to combat them than by joining in on the fun?

These are just my silly predictions for 2016. Basically, I’m just having fun! (And I hope you have fun too.) A slight disclaimer: if you’re an author, please don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet my “predictions.” I mean, I have two dystopian novels coming out in 2016, despite my predictions being against it, so trust me, I don’t think any sort of predictions should stop anyone from publishing what they’re publishing. In fact, I think predictions can be rather silly. Readers pick what’s hot and what’s not. Not publishers, not authors, not booksellers. Readers do.

This is just for fun.

Without further ado…

Alternate History: Personally—and I know I’m not of the popular opinion—I think 2016 will become the year of alternate history books. This sort of ties into other dimensions, which is the next sub-genre I want to discuss, but I’m seeing a huge growth in alternate history books stretching over numerous genres, which is why I think it’s so powerful. You can have an alternate history in sci-fi—think Man in the High Castle, which has just become an Amazon original (and is awesome by the way) about the Nazis winning WWII—and then think of steampunk or historical romance, where we have books like The Inventor’s Secret, in which the American Revolution never happened. Granted, these could just be “other dimensions,” but I had to separate them from the next topic, because these alternate history tales aren’t always explained by alternate dimensions; they simply can just be. If I had to get specific, I think this will get hugely popular around the fall season…or even move into 2017, especially if steampunk is involved. Either way, alternate history can thread itself into all genres seamlessly…including what I think will be the biggest trend: Other dimensions.

Dimensions: This is the MAIN one I see growing. Other dimension stories—like Trial by Fire or A Thousand Pieces of You—are continuing their trilogies, and from what I’ve noticed in the industry, when books get to their final pieces, that’s when the genre is at its hottest, so you might be looking at 2017, too. Ex. Winter in The Lunar Chronicles and Ensnared in Splintered—the last in their series—just released in the same year fairy tale retellings were HUGE. So, if your book includes other dimensions, readers might be fighting for it in 2016 and 2017. That being said, I HAVE to tackle fairy tale retellings…

Fairy tale retellings: Can we talk about this without someone getting upset with me? Many are claiming this is going to be the hottest genre in 2016, but I’ll tell you what…I’m a bit tired of them. I love them; please don’t get me wrong. In fact, I just finished Winterspell by Claire Legrand, and it was one of my favorite reads all year. (It’s a retelling of The Nutcracker.) I just think that I’m ready for something else, so this is probably biased, but I actually think readers are going to sway away from fairy tale retellings by the time we get halfway through 2016. I think 2015 was the year for fairy tales. I mean, I just went to the bookstore the other day, and EVERYTHING was a fairy tale retelling. There was a glass slipper or an apple on nearly every cover. It was exhausting. I like variety as much as the next person. So, while I love fairy tales—and I definitely think they are still going to do great—I don’t think they are going to be the star of the show like they were last year.

Here are five books I'm looking forward to that already have covers!

Here are five 2016 books I’m looking forward to that already have covers! (The cover for The Winner’s Kiss will now keep the original design for the hardback! So excited!) 

In a quick sum up, I think aliens/galaxy novels are growing, especially at the beginning of the year with the release of The 5th Wave movie (and the last book in the trilogy releasing, The Last Star). I also don’t think dystopian is going away at all, despite big publishers claiming they are, hence why Lionsgate is hoping to continue The Hunger Games franchise with prequels. (Here’s an article.) There’s still value in the genre—probably because of the state of the world—but I do see dystopian swinging more into books that combine dystopian elements with epic fantasy, meaning it’s an entirely new world separated from our world. Think of The Jewel by Amy Ewing (Her last book in this trilogy should release in 2016 as well). Basically, not “the US once existed, but now it doesn’t” dystopian, but rather “this is a brand-new world with dystopian governments doing terrible things.” This also means I’m seeing more epic fantasy in general. New world, new rules, new faces, new creatures, and of course, maps. So many more maps! Think of The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski. If you have a map in the front of your book, you’re doing 2016 right.

And finally…covers: I can’t talk about books without talking about book covers. From what I can tell, fancy fonts and symbolism is the “in” thing, especially feathers. Has anyone else noticed that? Feathers are freakin’ everywhere. Girls in dresses are somehow staying popular, and despite the overload of them, I think they’re here to stay. People love them too much. (I mean, they are gorgeous, aren’t they?) I have a hate-love relationship with them myself. But—yes—I think 2016 will be the year of symbols on the cover rather than people. That and hand-painted designs. Anything with special graphics, unique fonts, and/or strange artwork will be grabbed off shelves for their looks.

So, what do you think?

Any genre you see growing? Any genre you see simmering down?

Again, these are just my silly little predictions. Nothing too serious.

Just have fun,

~SAT

It’s official! There will be a Bad Bloods cover reveal for BOTH books on January 6. I will send out a newsletter December 29, asking for help, and three of you will win an exclusive sneak peek of November Rain

If you want to be a part of it, sign up for my newsletter here. (No purchase necessary, your information will never be given away, and you can unsubscribe at any time. I only send out one email per month, if that.)

newsletter

774959_954867311227117_7029831497832645098_oQuick shout-out to my lovely publisher, Clean Teen Publishing. These hard-working ladies crafted the most thoughtful gifts for the CTP authors this holiday season. They made this ‘S’ out of excerpts from The Timely Death Trilogy! How neat is that?

Minutes Before Sunset: book 1 (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylight: book 3

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Guest Post: GlassesonWeb.com

16 Aug
Fun fact: I used to wear fake glasses when I did my homework. Helped me concentrate.

Fun fact: I used to wear fake glasses when I did my homework. Helped me concentrate.

::Shannon walking up to microphone stand:: Hey, everyone! Shannon here (just for a minute.) If you’ve followed me for a while, you probably have heard me talk about how much I strain my eyes by constantly staring at my computer. That’s when I force myself to take a break. However, a lot of writers (and people, in general) wear glasses to help themselves see, so when GlassesonWeb.com offered a guest post explaining what they have available for writers, I was on board! Today’s post is all about your eyes: ::Shannon leaving microphone stand::

5 tips on how to pick the right eyewear (especially if you’re a writer!)

Most people who spend a lot of time in front of the computer, writing, or even reading, will have a need for eyeglasses in the course of their lives. But it’s important to make an informed decision before purchasing. Just like you don’t write about a historical event without doing some research first, we advise you not to buy your eyewear before reading these five considerations:

Writer Jonathan Franzen in his signature glasses. Photo by Greg Martin via npr.org

Writer Jonathan Franzen in his signature glasses. Photo by Greg Martin via npr.org

  1. Doctor’s advice. Get an eye exam before everything else, in order to get an accurate prescription. You should get one every few years, and adjust your glasses accordingly. Do not buy your glasses from the drugstore, but have them custom made for you at reputable optician.
  2. Your facial features. In order to find the best glasses out there, you should first consider your own face. The three basic rules here are: repeat your best feature (e.g. blue frames for blue eyes); contrast in shapes (e.g. rectangular frames for round faces); and scale (e.g. small glasses on a small face).
  3. Your personality. If you want to appear business-oriented, go for classic frames (e.g. oval, rectangular) and colors (e.g. black, brown). To show off your creative side, go for trendy frames (e.g. cat eye, printed, colorful). Remember that first impressions are key, and that glasses are one of the first things people notice when they meet someone. Be sure to find a pair that suits your style by clicking here.
  4. Try them on. Don’t buy frames without trying them on, even if it’s just virtually. Many online shops now offer the possibility of a “virtual fitting room” where you can see how certain styles look on your face. If going in a brick and mortar store, bring a friend with you for advice. When looking in the mirror without prescriptions, you might not be very objective because of all the blur.
  5. Stay on budget. Just because there are other features available, doesn’t mean you need them. An anti-reflective coating might be enough for everyday use, while lenses that change color according to the light may be unnecessary. You are the one who knows best, but don’t just get extra options because the seller offer them.

This guest post was written by Daria P. who also contributes for GlassesOnWeb.com and CelebritySunglassesWatcher.com; she also runs her own fashion blog called Kittenhood.

Shannon again. Isn’t staying healthy important? Picking the right glasses is one of those moments that can make a huge difference in your life–and your writing career–because the right glasses will help you the most.  Jonathon Stone, a character from Minutes Before Sunset, would approve of this post. So, for fun, I decided to create cartoon versions of his human side and his shade side–Jonathon Stone and Pierce. His picture will end the post :D Have a great day!

JP-001

Relax & Read: How to Write a Sentence

19 Mar

As told in my Back to School post, my NonFiction Writing I class assigned Stanley Fish’s How-To book, How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One. We just wrapped up this short (only 160 pages) book, and, although my class had some complaints about simplicity, I really enjoyed it.

From the beginning, Fish describes the sentence as a medium (like paint to the artist) and how writers need to love the sentence before they can master the sentence. When he states, “I belong to the tribe of sentences watchers” I fell in love. I thought his honesty was relatable, and his task was courageous. As many writers like to believe they understand everything there is to writing, especially after practicing for years, no one does, and I think Fish acknowledges this very respectively. He doesn’t act as if he knows everything; instead, he opens up to forms upon forms upon styles that can be reviewed and studied, torn apart and understood.

This was the copy I bought, but it's often red and hardcover now.

This was the copy I bought, but it’s often red and hardcover now.

I really liked this, BECAUSE of his simplicity. I think, at least for me, I often get caught up in the complexity of language (meaning I’ve surpassed the basics, but I sometimes lose myself on complicating things too much.) Like an abstract artist, I may lose concentration on the overall piece, and Fish really grips reality when he discusses the relationships from word to word, sentence to sentence.

“This is what language does: organize the world into manageable, and in some sense artificial, units that can then be inhabited and manipulated.”

I really encourage others (and myself) to often return to the basics, because that is our foundation, and we need a strong foundation if we’re going to keep building up. You cannot neglect the support when it begins to topple. In other words, you cannot forget your basic structures, even if you’re working within complex ones.

On top of that, if you’re looking for some quick writing tips, Fish discusses first and last sentences towards the back of the book, and I think his insights are very useful.

So..if you’re in the bookstore, and you’re looking for a quick read to help improve writing, take a step backwards and relearn where you came from in the first place.

It will surely strike up that passion of our original love for our medium: the sentence,

~SAT

March 21: Publishing News: Synopsis & Cover Date Reveal

Writing Tips: What’s On Your Desk?

21 Jan

As I moved the past few days, I got to reorganize and rediscover all of my old trinkets (or junk.)

Surprisingly, I had a lot of fun. I thought a lot about what my characters would find while moving, and I think that’s a great writing prompt to mess around with (I sure tried it out.) My favorite part, however, was recreating my writing space–clearing my desk before covering it all over again.

Interestingly enough, not much changed about my setup. The same objects were there, but they switched around (And that does help–believe it or not.) While doing this, I thought I’d share my work space, so you can see what keeps me ticking or even compare it to your own.

SAMSUNG

I ALWAYS have my coffee (in fact, I spilt it all over my desk five minutes after taking this picture) and my basket of pens on the right. Behind that, you’ll see the boat frame. The picture is of my late mother. The statue on the left is a Demdaco Mother-Daughter statue I received at her funeral. I like to keep them close, because they push me forward. At the top of my desk, I have a photo of my brother and father, because they also inspire me to do my best. They remind me why I’m passionate. 

Everything else included from left to right: Dictionary, Encyclopedia, camera, flowers, book statue, more pens (because you can never have too many), iPod, stapler, notebooks, November Snow, Chapstick, gum, candles, nail polish, tacks, printer ink, and my outside computer drive (Something all writers should have.)

What do you have on your desk? How does it keep you writing and dreaming? Does anything distract you? When do you spend your time there? Where’s your writing space?

Think about how you could improve your writing space (or how you’ve already improved it.) I’d love to hear what your writing space is like as we can all learn from one another.

~SAT

Merry Christmas

25 Dec

This exciting holiday added another member to my family!

My older brother, Greg, proposed to his girlfriend, and now I have a future sister-in-law to welcome.

My older brother, Greg, is dressed like Santa, and, his fiance, Chelsey, sits on his lap. Welcome to the family@

My older brother, Greg, is dressed like Santa, and, his fiance, Chelsey, sits on his lap.
Welcome to the family

I’m very happy, and I hope that everyone’s holiday has gone as wonderfully as it can.

Also, my father bought DragonSpeak for me. It’s a voice recognition software that types as I talk (since I do both WAY too much.) I’m looking forward to using it, both as a student and an author, so I’ll let you all know how I like it once I get a chance to get used to it.

Have any of you used it before?

I’m starting my Christmas off with waffles and mimosas with the family, ending it with more food, drinks, and lots of love.

Christmas Breakfast Mickey waffles, eggs, bacon, and mimosas

Christmas Breakfast
Mickey waffles, eggs, bacon, and mimosas

Again, Merry Christmas and have a great holiday!

~SAT

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