Tag Archives: Twilight

Why I Am Most Nervous About the Second Book of a Trilogy

4 Mar

icyyy3Before I start today, I wanted to thank Press Pause, Fast Forward for reading and reviewing Seconds Before Sunrise, which you can read by clicking here. We’re getting closer – only 23 days left – which, by the way, The Timely Death Trilogy broke a new record last month, hence the photo on the right. The photo was taken in the front yard of the house I was living in the time of writing the trilogy, and the quote at the bottom right is also a reader’s favorite. 

Also, I will be combining February’s websites into March’s Website Wonders near the end of the month, so it’s coming. I promise.

I think the second novel has a bad rep – it’s mainly known for being the book to transition the awesome beginning into the epic climax of the ending. The second book, more or less, is the “take a break” book compared to the other two. And you know what? I find it to be true. Most of the time. Mainly because it’s REALLY hard to compete with a new world (the first novel) and the ultimate climax (the last novel.) Even if you add a crazy amount of drama, the first and third books are more likely to be remembered. It’s the reader’s nature, and I’m no exception.

I remember more of Delirium and Requiem than… Pandemonium, right? I even read Twilight at one point, but I can mainly recall the first and the last book – not the middle ones. Fifty Shades of Grey is probably the same way. Wait. Let me think. Yes, it is.

As a reader, this isn’t really a big deal. It happens. But as a writer, it’s a lot more nerve-racking. We want our second book to be as entertaining as the other two. We want the second book to be remembered, not overshadowed by the beginning and end. We want you to mention it in that book club you’re in after you all decided to read the trilogy. We really strive for the entire series to be great – not just one or two of the books to be.

But it’s hard because it seems inevitable.

Believe it or not, there is actually something called “Middle Book Syndrome” and “Second Novel Syndrome. While they are a little different, I would like to use the “middle child syndrome” as a metaphor because people are familiar with it. The older sibling gets a HUGE amount of attention, including careful parenting and a gigantic, never-ending photo album (that includes the child as a baby wearing a hat, a baby in a hat, a baby wearing a hat in a hat, and so on). The youngest sibling stereotypically gets spoiled – often getting relaxed rules and a lot more toys than the others. But the middle child? Eh. I’m not sure what the middle child exactly gets until I looked it up – which is this by the way:

1. “Middle kids bemoan their fate as being ignored and often grow resentful of all the parental attention given to the oldest and the baby of the family, and feel short-shifted.” - Today.com

2. “Middles are considered the most envious, least bold and least talkative of all the birth orders.” – Psychology Today 

Trilogies have the same problem as the middle child.

This would mean Seconds Before Sunrise is that middle child.

As the author, I love all three books equally, but I had to face this issue at one point. I had to ask myself how to make the second book memorable and how I was going to challenge the belief that the second book is a transitional book.

So I made decisions.

Yes, the second book revolves around humans in a paranormal world, but there is still plenty of action and struggling romance. In fact, the book takes place from August to December, and if you read Minutes Before Sunset, then you know what that means – Eric’s 18th birthday is in this book. And not everyone is going to survive. There will be sacrifices, challenges, and more questionable circumstances revealed. You will get to know more of the characters on a deeper level, especially some that I’ve noticed readers mentioned in reviews. You will also notice one more thing – the life lessons get more controversial the longer the series holds out. While book one deals with teenage issues, book two will challenge more adult-like issues, and book three will top those. This was done on purpose to represent how “coming of age” works. That same reasoning went into the overall focus of each book, so that means you can expect this:

book 1 = the Dark (preteen issues, not very controversial)

book 2 = being human (teenage issues, mild controversy)

book 3 = the Light, so you will learn a lot more about them. (adult issues, very controversial, and yes, I’m nervous about this controversy.)

It is in my hopes that these two ranges will allow each novel to stand out as an important part of the trilogy.  Someone has to be the middle child, but we don’t have to follow the stereotypes by neglecting them. We can build them up in order to demand an importance. If you’re a writer, we might even have to give it some extra attention to let it know it is not forgotten. If you’re a reader, don’t automatically give into the stereotype of the second book being a transition.

The second book deserves the same amount of attention as the first and last book. Love it like the others.

If you would like to help me, I am accepting reviewers of the second book – Seconds Before Sunrise. I would be very grateful to hear from you via email at shannonathompson@aol.com. I can even supply you with the first novel if you haven’t read that one yet. Or you are more than welcome to buy it by clicking the photo below. I share all reviews on my all of my websites. I am also open for interviews.

Thank you.

~SAT

Minutes Before Sunset is on sale until book 2 releases March 27!

Minutes Before Sunset is on sale until book 2 releases March 27!

Readers Hating Other Readers

9 Feb

We live in an era of hate. Instead of praising our favorite singers, we are tearing down one that doesn’t even matter to us. Instead of leaving a 5-star review on one of our favorite books, we are leaving a 1-star review on the recently highlighted one. Instead of looking up neat dance videos, we are watching a series of YouTube flicks of people falling down during their wedding day. For every person who loves something, there are ten people who are trying to tear it down just for fun.

At some point, it became “cool” to “hate” on whatever is out there – generally the latest, most popular-selling item. I could write about all kinds of hate in our culture, but I would rather focus on the “hating” that is happening between readers. I want to clarify that I realize most people do not participate in this hating. It’s often the haters that are simply the loudest, but I still think it’s important to face the issue of readers hating on readers in order to let readers know they are not alone and they can – in fact – be proud of what they love to read, no matter what it is.

So, what is hating between readers?

1. Making fun of someone for their reading choices. Sadly, this shouldn’t need an explanation, because it is wrong, but it is one of the main types of hate that I have personally seen happen, especially in schools. However, it also happens outside of school – mainly on the Internet – and I will explain why this is destructive below.

2. Fans putting down fans of the same novel/author: no one is a “better” fan of the same novel. Everyone is a fan. We should be happy that we enjoyed the same story. Who cares who read the book before the movie deal or after they watched the film? No one needs every edition of every novel in order to say they are a fan, and no one should be put down because they don’t have every fact about the series memorized. 

3. Deliberately spending obnoxious amounts of time tearing down a novel: ex/ creating entire websites that encourage the burning of said novel, especially when one has not even touched said novel.

These are the three main types that I see, and I think it is destructive for many reasons, but this article is one of my favorites: Hating Twilight Does Not Make You Cool. In this bit, Brian D. Buckley writes about how readers look down on one another, even going as far as to call someone “stupid” for not reading something else. Google is a pretty…sad place if you start searching for keywords regarding certain novels. In fact, there are entire websites dedicated to saying horrible things about certain novels AND the readers of those novels.

I know the “hating” generally focuses on the books, but why focus on what someone doesn’t like at all? Why not spend your time praising what you love instead? The reason I think readers should spend more time praising what they love and less time hating what they dislike is simple: the “hating” seems to get more attention today, and the “hating” starts making some of those readers embarrassed to say they are, in fact, a fan of those novels. This can be destructive, because those readers might not branch out to other novels that they would also enjoy. They may stop talking about what they are reading. They might not write reviews or share their thoughts with their friends. They may even stop reading altogether.

We know we are creating a negative reading culture when articles like this are popular: Be seen with a book? It’s just not cool, says 1 in 5 children. There is even something known as “Hate-Reading” which is when people purposely go out of their way to read about everything they dislike instead of enjoy. We should be an encouraging culture that appreciates all readers for whatever they feel connected with. Personally, I am happy if people are reading – no matter what it is. I think everyone has their preferences, and I worry that “reader hating” is preventing people from reading more and/or causing readers to hide instead of discussing their favorite novels.

We could hide in a pile of laundry like Bogart. (Jk)

We could hide in a pile of laundry like Bogart. (Jk)

So, what can we do?

We can encourage readers to love whatever they love. We tell those haters to go spend their time being positive instead of negative. If someone starts talking about something they hate in an inappropriate way (like calling fans stupid) we avert the conversation to something that person likes and/or tell them to try not to judge others’ tastes. We can encourage each other to remain positive, and we can create safe environments on the internet for fans to be positive by asking those internet “trolls” to leave or to be more appropriate. We can read what we love, and we can share it, even if it’s the “uncool” thing to do. (Because nothing should be defined as “cool”) We should be proud of what we love.

On my Facebook Author Page, I actually asked, “Has anyone ever made ‘fun’ of what you were reading? Why do you think people do this, and do you think it is destructive to the reading community? What do you think?” And here were some of those answers:

Charles Yallowitz: Not since high school and it was usually only part of the mocking. Some people simply carry low opinions of certain book types and those who read them. It’s close-minded and cuts a person off from a variety of reading.

Ojan BorotI haven’t personally found that. I am a 36 year old hwy construction worker and have no issue telling everyone that I am currently reading the Twilight series and am enjoying it. (even though I hate the 3 lead characters). I am halfway through Breaking Dawn and I read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.

Lori Remenicky: Reading is reading is reading – doesn’t matter what it is. I’ve always read romance – I hope no one has made fun of me for that.

Join me on FB, and your responses might be used next!

Join me on FB, and your responses might be used next!

Check out all of the answers, and leave yours below! 

I would love to keep this conversation going in order to encourage readers to be proud of whatever they enjoy reading.

~SAT

Relax & Read: The Host

21 Dec

Happy Doomsday.

I hope we’re all still alive, unlike the Mayan calendar predicted (which isn’t true if you’ve researched, but that’s not the point…Right?)

However, since the end of the world is supposedly today’s main event, I thought I would share a novel with that concept. tumblr_m3v4chx2xc1qm6yt5o1_250

“The Host” by Stephanie Meyer takes place on earth after we’re invaded by human hosts who, honestly, make the world a better place to live.

When Melanie is taken over, however, she rebels by staying within her body, and working with her “Wanderer” in order to survive. Strangely enough, her Wanderer begins fighting with her, and they work together in her body to save the human existence.

Read more about the novel here.

And the movie (which comes out in March) here.

~SAT

Movie Mention: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2

1 Dec

So last week I went out to this YA movie–I am not huge on bashing authors, so I will not give an opinion on the Twilight debate–but I have to admit how much I enjoyed this movie. 220px-The_Twilight_Saga_Breaking_Dawn_Part_2_poster

I have read all of the books, so I know the original ending and the alternate ending. Breaking Dawn’s ending is REALLY good. I promise. It did a great justice to the end of this series, whether you are a fan or not. I personally didn’t enjoy the ending in the novels, so I thought this was an exciting way to switch things up.

So if you’re contemplating seeing it, I recommend it, even with the mysterious new ending.

Watch the trailer here.

Happy December! And I’m glad everyone enjoyed my recent post about “I Write Like.” If I find anymore websites like that, I will surely share them with you.

~SAT

 

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