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K. Z. Perry
01 August 2008 @ 03:15 pm
I stumbled upon a book by Lisa McMann that I'd like to mention. It's called "Wake" and the tag line is, "Your dreams are not your own." It's about a 17 year-old-girl who gets sucked into people's dreams. What sucked me into this book is the premise. It is one of the most original ideas I have read lately in YA. I don't know who the author is, I haven't checked to see if she has a LJ, I have never read anything from her prior. It's fresh, and interesting (plus I have a soft spot for anything to do with sleep and dreams). Now, the plot does jump around in time a bit (which is initially distracting structurally for some people) and eventually it ends up being a genre I don't normally read (but I am not going to say what to keep from spoiling it). And it is definitely a dark book. But I will recommend it anyway. Don't let those three hurdles stop you. It's intense. It's got a great pace. And I loved the writing style. Check it out.
K. Z. Perry
14 July 2008 @ 10:23 am
I've been on the road so I didn't get a chance to post this earlier, but I thought I'd mention that "Mason" by Thomas Pendleton is already out. It's YA horror and the author has a real talent when it comes to narrative voices that hook you in instantly. Plus he's truly great at creepy scares. So based on his past books I'm sure it will be an amazing dark tale and worth checking out!

I'll quote the Amazon description in case anyone is interested in a general plot (since I haven't had a chance to read it yet):

"Some kids say Mason Avrett is slow. What they don't know is that he also has a terrifying power that he's just beginning to understand. But that's not his worst problem: Mason lives with a sadist. His older brother, Gene, doles out punishments so brutal that all Mason can do is cover his head for the beating and try to forget the horrific things he's seen.

Rene Denton, one of Mason's only friends, knows that Gene is evil, but she doesn't know how evil until the terrible night she becomes a victim of Gene's cruelty. Suddenly Mason's power—raging beyond his control—becomes the only thing that might just be as frightening as Gene.

Horror, revenge, and the twisted images born of a lifetime of pain are woven into a masterful tale of suspense and redemption."

K. Z. Perry
19 June 2008 @ 08:28 am
There is an article in this month's Atlantic about what the internet is supposedly doing to our brains. (Making us "stoopid" because it is changing the way we think.) Supposedly we no longer read the same way, unable to stretch through long passages of prose. We have shorter concentration, we scan bits and headlines and move on.

I'm not saying I agree or disagree but personally when it comes to magazine articles or newspapers I totally do this. All the time. Especially when I am eating and reading at the same time.

In fact, I would tell you more about the topic but I read the first page of the article. Then I turned the page and only picked up a paragraph on the next page (wherever my eye happened to fall) and the same thing went on throughout the piece, me skimming a few lines here and there and generally jumping around until I got the quick feeling of it (whatever I missed, I missed) and then I moved on.

Does this worry me. Shrug. I always do like a good buffet whether it be food or little snippets of news information. Do I do this because I spend hours and hour on-line? Not really.

Am I more impatient with what I read then a few years ago? Perhaps a tiny bit. Because I have less time and there are more places to read. But I do this watching TV, changing the channel every few seconds. And I believe I always read articles this way. Even as a kid. Does this mean I have changed the way I think? I don't think so. But I could be wrong. After all, I missed half the article...
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
K. Z. Perry
09 June 2008 @ 09:17 am
A big shout out to the recently released fantasy "The Magic Thief" by Sarah Prineas. It's about a boy who begins a new life of wizardry and adventure and it looks exciting and delightful. (It's time for another fantasy series to take the place of "Harry Potter" right?)

We have our copy here (the gang gets to read it before me.) It came out last week so if you haven't checked it out already, go take a look now! I'm confident it will be enjoyable since I've read short stories by the author and she is a wonderful writer.
K. Z. Perry
29 May 2008 @ 08:20 am
You know how people say the first chapter is so important? I have decided that I love (emphasis on love) seeing the first chapter of a novel posted online. I love getting the feel for the narrative voice. To see if it hooks me. I wish I'd get to see 2 chapters. I get pissed when I have to hunt and hunt to get that excerpt. It should be easily accessible for every book where the book is being sold.

Of course I allow buzz to sometimes lead me to a book.

But blurbs don't make any difference to me. Ever.

Customer reviews I take with a grain of salt, because I feel often they are inflated and then there is always that one sour pus on the bottom that doesn't sway me either.

Now, if you are wondering how do kids pick books I have learned that they tend to follow recommendations (your own, a friend) first. I am teaching mine to read the little plot summary in the book flap or on the back cover, when they exist. (Which brings me to another point, I dislike when there is only blurbs and no summary giving me no clue about the book other than someone else liked it. I find that useless.) After that, if they like an author they will return to see what else the author has written.

But the number one reason my kids go to a book on their own? The cover. I have been told that they picked the book out because, "I really liked the shiny cool cover."
Current Mood: calmcalm
K. Z. Perry
08 May 2008 @ 10:32 am
Dear Mr. Jeff Kinney, author of "Diary of A Wimpy Kid."

Two days ago we purchased your book from the school book fair.

I didn't think much of it when my older son took the book to school and read it during reading time (although he was supposed to read books from the class.) I didn't think much of when after school he kept coming over to show me really funny passages which he would read and re-read aloud while laughing. After all, this was normal behavior. I even peeked at the text and admitted to myself, "this book has a great narrative voice."

I got a little suspicious when at bedtime I noticed my younger one had stolen the book from my older one and had started to read it. But I was distracted saying "lights out, time for bed." I thought that was that.

An hour later I went to check on my sleeping angels and found the little one with the light on still reading. Keeping up his brother. A common practice. No big deal. Nothing to get alarmed about. He told me to leave the room and he would stop when he finished the page. He didn't. So I turned out the light and marked the page for him. Then for good measure I confiscated all flashlights and taplights and assumed that was the end of it.

Three hours later the younger one came into the living room with a big grin on his face. He said, "I can't sleep." I asked him why. He shrugged. His face gave him away. I asked him if he was reading. He said proudly, "I finished the book, all 217 pages."

I nodded and sent him back to bed. Then I put the book on the pile to join other great reads that, over the past few years, KEPT MY KIDS UP WAY WAY PAST BEDTIME. You know, like "The Spiderwick Chronicles." Or anything with "Naruto."

Fast forward to the next morning when I now must deal with the consequences.

So Mr. Kinney I thank you for giving me two very very overtired and cranky kids.

Although we have already done our weekly Barnes & Noble visit, and a spree at the school book fair there is only one solution to get rid of the grumps. Now excuse me but I'm off to Barnes & Nobel AGAIN to buy the follow-up "Diary of a Wimpy Kid:Rodrick Rules."

P.S. I know you have a third "Diary" coming out in 2009. If you have any sympathy for mothers across the world you would sit down and write a fourth book. Now. No pressure or anything. We're waiting.

K. Z. Perry
New books are out by wonderful, bestselling writers.

"One Foot In The Grave" is the sequel to Jeaniene Frost's "Halfway To The Grave." (If you read the first one all I need to say is "Bones." Okay? Yeah, you are already halfway to the bookstore now with one foot on line to buy it.)

And "Ink Exchange" is out from Melissa Marr which isn't technically a sequel to "Wicked Lovely" but still takes place in the fairy world she has created. And (yay!) it deals with darker themes then her first book. (My taste tends to favor dark books so I am very very excited to see what takes place.)

If you go to B&N both books have great placements in center shelves, so they will be very easy to find in the new reads sections.

Now the problem of which to read first.
K. Z. Perry
30 April 2008 @ 08:56 am
I suspect everyone has a particular word they use too often when they write. I have discovered I am very fond of the word "but". I just went through a text and deleted about a 100 of them. I won't even dare count how many I left in. (Sure, it was a younger narrator. But still...)

I know there are lists of words people always suggest you delete. Passive stuff like should, could, might, can.

So what are the words that always pop up in your stories that need to be knocked out? Inquiring minds want to know.
K. Z. Perry
24 March 2008 @ 11:50 am
I have been wondering. When do people write?

Do any of you have specific times of day that work best? Of course everyone needs to juggle around their life schedules but if you had all day and night clear, when would you choose?

Unfortunately for me, I have been finding my way to the computer somewhere in the range of 11:00 pm to about 2:30 am. It's not just that is the most available time for me based on my schedule. It's when I actually get something done. My brain thinks clearly (well, at least I think I'm thinking clearly.)

There is a downside to night writing. After, I can't fall asleep for a few hours. Then, I have to get up between 6 and 7 am. By morning I am done and zonked.

However, I was given a couple of hours during the day this weekend and found myself stuck on a particular scene for an hour and by the end of it, no real progress had been made. My brain wouldn't work as well.

Of course I can be deceiving myself. At 2:00 everything can seem decent. It's when you read it the next day that the truth will tell.

So when do you write?
Current Mood: busybusy
K. Z. Perry
07 March 2008 @ 08:39 am
I've changed things on my site a tiny bit.

From now on anything to do with book plugs or if I ever talk about writing or reading, will always be made public.
This type of exciting news deserves to be shared with everyone.

The rest, is available to "friends."

I suspect this is what most people do anyway.