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So let's talk about SOME THINGS I ENJOY. One answer to this is really obvious: I like supernatural teens, in a vaguely grubby British setting, overwhelmed by terrible problems. Often the problems are: their personalities.

Why the grubby British setting? I'm not really sure. There's a lot of history there, obviously, and I like the lack of high gloss and super-attractive people that American media has. This is not to say I don't like American books (too many examples to count) and American shows (my devotion to The Vampire Diaries is well documented).

Possibly it's just because Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series and Diana Wynne Jones got me at a young age, and made me think That Is The Way Things Should Be. One of my favourite scenes from a fantasy book, ever, is when in Diana Wynne Jones's The Ogre Downstairs the main characters accidentally sow dragons' teeth in a parking lot (the myth: sowing dragons' teeth reaps you a harvest of warriors). Angry bikers spring up in the parking lot, and the main characters - a new stepfamily who aren't getting on any too well - have to make their escape by chucking groceries at them.

That is the kind of thing I call 'putting the magic out with the milk bottles' - mixing up magic with extremely basic real life in a way that makes the magic seem absolutely convincing. And I see it with this setting a lot. Which is why I like to use grubby British settings a lot myself. ;)

One example of this kind is a show I am mad about called Misfits, a series set in a fictional borough of London about young offenders sentenced to community service, who all get super powers. (One of them: That kind of thing only happens in America.) Their total lack of control of said powers mean they have to run around hiding dead bodies and getting into embarrassing situations all the livelong day. There's a lot of hilarious dialogue and people who can't deal with their feelings even slightly.

Another example, and the one which spurred this post, is a series called Becoming Human. It's a spinoff of another show called Being Human, but let us lay that aside, because the reason I like the series is in the title. It's why I write teen fiction - because the process of 'becoming' is so fraught and fascinating, because when you're still working out who you are you can do some terrible things and then come back from them. Or not.

Quick summary: a teenage vampire goes to school to try and live a normal life. What's that I hear you cry? Sounds, um, familiar? Sure, but I love vampires. And this is the way to get me to love vampires more: make them embarrass themselves. Adam the baby vampire is forty-six, which is just horrifying instead of being a glamorous century plus, and he constantly makes eighties pop-culture references that mystify his classmates. Additionally, he seems very young adult, as his parents who fed him their blood and moved around the country with him, keeping him in a cycle of eternal childhood and causing him to have literally lost the ability to shut up oh God Adam please shut up, have just died.

At his new school, chances of a normal life are immediately nixed by his meeting Christa, who recently had a mysterious bad break-up and changed her look abruptly from pigtails to black duster jackets, who is enormously grouchy, and who refuses to admit she's a werewolf. (How I like werewolves: anger issues and confusing transformations!) And Matt, a ghost who never felt he had much of a life, who wants revenge against his former bullies and revenge against his murderer, and who convinces them to help find out who said murderer actually was. Supernatural Brick style shenanigans ensue.

Another thing that I enjoy: strange partners who fight crime. I have high hopes that Christa, the smart one, could become a werewolf Veronica Mars with differently-living sidekicks. I also have high hopes that Christa and Adam will overcome the barriers of their species and personalities, and be together forever, but that is a side issue...

The way I like all supernatural issues: Use the supernatural thing as an analogy to real-life problems to some extent, and then use the myth for its own scary, interesting sake as well. Real life, but take it further.

And speaking of taking things further. Becoming Human is actually a web-series. And it has all these little online extras to go with it, like character profiles and an excerpt from Christa's diary.

All of which I totally read, and which got me thinking about the different ways online promotion works. Ideally it should enhance the experience of being a fan of something, and get you more excited about something. It should provide you with a little something extra.

Misfits has twitter accounts for several of the main characters, which I love because I love twitter, and the way it inspires mini-conversations. (Just last night on my twitter I was doing 'two characters stuck somewhere together' tweets. On a prompt of 'The one I REALLY want is Alan and Sin Start a Detective Agency' I had fun with: 'CLIENT: Help! ALAN: Trust me. SIN: Don't.')

I also love online short stories. Because I think fans deserve presents, and because they're what I was talking about earlier: something extra, and exciting. I have a ton of short stories up set in the universe of my books. Kelley Armstrong has a blog where she tells short stories from other characters' POVs and does giveaways.

Holly Black has taken this a step farther and done a series of vignettes from the point of view of the heroine of White Cat which are both awesome in themselves, and have extras from the world of the Curse Workers series, like TV ads and posters.

Basically Becoming Human got me thinking about online extras, what works, and what I like. And I was wondering, dear readers, what do you like? There's a lot of awesome stuff. Carrie Ryan's going to have a novella out for super cheap. Cassandra Clare has a tumblr for a new character in her series. Baen, to talk about a publishing house instead of writers or TV shows, gives away tons of free e-books.

Fans can make truly spectacular things. I am watching the entries come in for Promotion Notion ARC contest with great joy (round-up of entries so far to come soon) and I will never get over the amazingness of the Demon's Lexicon told through lego. I am not a quarter talented enough to do such things! But I did wonder about people's thoughts on creator-generated extra content.

So: what works for you, and what do you like to see? Anything special? Just hand over the TV shows and books and nobody will get hurt? I would like to know! And talk about it further.

I will also be talking about how I like my vampires, and about mixing up real life settings and magic, again. But you all knew that. ;)


( 49 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 21st, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC)
Curses! Yet another awesome sounding show that we can't get over here, argh,gnarg.
Mar. 21st, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC)
Misfits has box sets, and Becoming Human has links in its (moderated) comments to youtube uploads, I imagine sanctioned to spread the word? So: youtube. Only an hour long all told. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
Mar. 21st, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC)
Don't know where "over here" is, but I think you can get Misfits on itunes.
Mar. 21st, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC)
"Over here" = Southern California.

iTunes and YouTube means watching on the computer, blargh, but beggers can't be choosers! Thanks, both of you.
Mar. 21st, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
Actually I think Misfits is on Youtube too. E4 has a couple of different youtube channel where they post a lot stuff like Misfits and Skins, so that they can control the distribution of their online content and intersperse it with really annoying adverts. There's a chance it might be one of those regionally restricted things but in case I'm wrong about that, here is episode 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMABaMyZOrc&list=SL

Mar. 21st, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
Says not available in this country--but thanks anyway!
Mar. 22nd, 2011 04:56 am (UTC)
Sent you a PM :)
Mar. 21st, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
"Are you mentally deficient?"

"If I was mentally deficient I would have missed." *Nathan points to smashed in car proudly*

Sorry, that had to be said *clears throat*

I saw the twitter prompts when this morning and was LOLed embarassingly on over the Detective Agency one on the train into London (effectively weirding out other passengers I'm sure).

As far as talking about online extras go, I generally like them when they're well done. For instance I love when E4 posts the videos Simon makes online, or the minisodes of the US office. True Blood also did a reasonably good job doing fake "I'm a Vampire" PSAs if memory serves? I think they're a great way for fans to get our "fix" of something when we inevitably tear through the actual content (the show, the books etc.). At the same time I'm also a big fan of the addage "quit while you're ahead" and am always kind of wary when any brand just spams with extra content. Extra things should happen when the person producing the content has something extra to say or add or something, not just do it for the sake of doing it.

That's what I liked about the twitter prompts, they were funny and spontaneous. But sometimes I've seen twitter feeds, for webcomic characters for instance, that just seem to devolve into the self indulgent, or don't really add to the primary content we're already getting, or can even distract from it. So I'm sometimes a little leary of extra online stuff.

I guess that's a roundabout weird way of saying that for me, it depends, not on the nature of the content, but on the intent behind it.
Mar. 21st, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love Nathan. Not quite as much as I love Simon and Alisha, but a lot!

True Blood did do a lot of fun advertising! And I remember musing on how the Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl TV shows advertise in a sexy way that'd get YA books into a lot of trouble if they tried it. ;)

It's true there's a balance to be struck with promo, as with everything: too much of a good thing is still too much. I'm not sure if a twitter account for a book character would work, for instance! (And yet I'm not sure it wouldn't either.)
Mar. 21st, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
I love the idea of putting up short stories / vignettes from other character's POV. Often I find myself loving the supporting cast equally if not more than the main characters. Seeing a scene or a story from their POV would deepen my understanding of them and make me happy.

(Also, when I write, I make those stories up anyway, even if they won't get into the final book. That's how I get to know all my characters. Don't know if you do the same, but if so, it's a cheap way to make at least one reader very happy.) :)
Mar. 21st, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
I think you have to know the story from the point of view of all the characters, so you can write them from the inside out in a way that makes sense, so what you say makes a lot of sense to me also. And we all know the pain of loving the supporting cast more than the main characters sometimes. ;)
Mar. 22nd, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes! I was about to beg for this, actually. Having just finished The Demon's Covenant (I AM A BAD FAN) and sobbing all over the final pages until they are wrinkly and need drying on the radiator, what I would love is scenes from other characters' points of view. The whole way through, I was thinking how much I wanted to read the whole novel from Nick's point of view as well, but no - I really wanted it from Jamie's point of view - but NO, what's Alan thinking during all this, and oh, wow, what about Seb, and now all I want in the world to read every single scene from every single character's point of view.

And a pony. Can online extras involve a pony?

P.S. - I freaking LOVED The Demon's Covenant. You are so truly amazing.
Mar. 21st, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)
Ye cats and gods, but I love Baen. :-D

I'm actually experimenting with extras right now. They're not freebies, though. The serial novel that I'm publishing, Hickey of the Beast is available as just the base subscription, but you can choose to pay more to get Neat Stuff, ranging from exclusive stories by the author, to an iron-on of the school crest, to a custom RPG scenario written by the author, set in the novel's world. If this works out, I'm going to be using the same "tiered bundles" scheme for other novels my company puts out - you'll be able to buy an eBook for cheap, but you can choose to step up and get, say, an exclusive story, or tea blends based on the world and the characters, or your very own Extrahuman Union persona and identification badge.

Someday, I'd like to encourage my authors to offer free stories and extras on their personal sites, in addition to offering some freebies on my company's site, but for now, the bundled packages with "superfun cool extra swag" seem to be going over pretty well, even paid.
Mar. 21st, 2011 09:09 pm (UTC)
I keep stumbling onto writer blogs that say that you shouldn't post original fiction for free online because it devalues the fiction you want people to pay for, or something. Which is upsetting to me because I am a writer because I want to share stories, and sharing short stories online is one way to do that, and I don't want to stop just because I want people to buy my as-of-yet-non-existent book, too.

I love little extras like the stuff you describe. Finishing off a series and wanting more and then discovering that there actually IS more is great.
Mar. 21st, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC)
Well, as you can see, a ton of professional authors do it, so I think you can too! Neil Gaiman gave away one of his books too, if I recall correctly, and it's certainly done him no harm.

And yes on wanting more and finding more - that's really well put! I know I jumped all over the Becoming Human extras while waiting for the final episode to air.
Mar. 21st, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
I think I remember seeing an interview with him about that, but it was more focused on piracy than freebies. And yeah, it's great to see so many of what I would consider big-name authors doing it -- not only do I get to reap the benefits of reading more of your work, it's also something like a free pass to try doing it myself.
Mar. 21st, 2011 09:09 pm (UTC)
First of all, I think that the way you're currently doing online promotion is fabulous. I live for the 9th. (Just kidding. But it does make my month a little more fun.) I love the vignettes as well, especially Nick's First Word. Actually, especially all of them.

I really liked JK Rowling's online promotion for the sixth and seventh books--the elaborate schemes to get behind the Flash door and get these tiny clues about random characters. But that was a marketing scheme that requires a ton of Flash programming skill and a hardcore fanbase that pokes around the site for hours looking for clues, and that perfect storm might never strike again in our lifetimes.

I dunno. I love what you've done as far as online promotion, as a fan and as a writer. My writer friends and I have a joke that we want to be Sarah Rees Brennan when we grow up and get published. Maps labeled with different places in the books would be really cool, if only because I'm an American and I have no idea where Exeter is (although I have only myself to blame for that, but still, who doesn't love a hand-drawn map?) I also really like Jonathan Stroud's promotion for the Bartimaeus Trilogy ( http://www.bartimaeusbooks.com/ ) The main character has a little blog detailing one of his numerous swashbuckling adventures, and generally little goodies and behind-the-scenes looks at the characters and world. Also, and I have no idea if this is possible, but I crochet, and I crochet stuff for all my geeky joys--Gryffindor scarves, Jayne hats from Firefly, Ewoks plushies, Totoro, you name it--and if there was any kind of knitted or crocheted object that I could make in from this series, I totally would. I guess I could crochet an amulet, but it'd look kind of lame. Maybe an Anzu plushie? But anyway, if you can think of anything from this series that could be made out of yarn and then found someone to make it and write a pattern for it, you would rock my world.

Obviously, that's a pretty specific wish that probably would appeal to a small portion of your readership, but hey, you asked. :)
Oct. 17th, 2012 03:45 am (UTC)
The Bartimaeus world is pretty much ancient Egypt up through medieval Egypt, and there are existing knitted stockings from around the tenth to the twelfth centuries AD. Many of them have "Allah" knitted into them. There are patterns, and the other ones aren't that hard to chart. Knit yourself a pair of Sultan's Socks.
Oct. 17th, 2012 03:46 am (UTC)
PS They're online. Google around for images and patterns.
Mar. 21st, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks soo much for making me aware of the awsome that was Becoming Human. I've watch Being Human and didn't even know that existed! How badly I want there to be a whole series on that..

Ohh and thanks for linking the Lego Lexicon, awsome as well! I'm only half way through your second book and am loving it!

As for extra 'add-ons' for any media, I'm happy as long as its good quality :)

~Back to reading Covenant!
Mar. 21st, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you're enjoying Covenant! And Becoming Human. I do hope it'll be made into a whole series where they supernaturally teen-sleuth all over the place.
Mar. 21st, 2011 09:33 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, The Ogre Downstairs helped me cope with having my very own ogre, *ahem* I mean stepfather when I was a kid. I'd completely forgotten the millons of nights I used to read it to my little brother!

I also second what you said about the use of the 'grubby British setting' making the fantastic and realistic mesh in a strangely authentic way. Uncomfortably so when it comes to Becoming Human. When Adam tries to suavely kiss Christa in front of the Crompton girl, I actually squealed with embarrassment at all the times that happened to me back in the day. Sadly, without the cute awkward vampire boyfriend!

And my fave author promotion is the short stories from the POV of other characters. When you're invested in a universe and a group of characters, getting more than just the book feels naughty and greedy, like being fed stolen chocolate cake...
Mar. 21st, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
I love that book!

Oh, awkward vampire boyfriend with his strange head-patting hugs. ;) It is horrifying to watch him try to win his lady, horrifying yet compelling.

And that is good to hear!
Mar. 21st, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
I like the little extras and hearing the character voice like the tweets you did the other night or even things like maybe what books they read or music they listen to etc. It's funny but when i'm out with my book loving friends we see things in shops etc and say 'omg, *insert character* would look awesome in that' etc.

i could just comment here and quote Nathan at you all night but that would require a great deal of typing

so i'll just say


Mar. 21st, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
Possibly it's just because Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series and Diana Wynne Jones got me at a young age

With those two, I read Lloyd Alexander, who is also The Way Things Should Be.

And I really appreciated those short stories you posted.
Mar. 21st, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
I loved the short stories you have up. More of those would be great. :^)
Mar. 21st, 2011 10:21 pm (UTC)
I really love that Castle's creators/network A) actually print a Nikki Heat book every year that I can buy and read in the bathtub Just Like Kate, and B) make lots of fan in-jokes in the canon, so I feel like they know I'm here enjoying their work.
Mar. 21st, 2011 10:26 pm (UTC)
I hear they do pretty well, too. ;)
Mar. 21st, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC)
I adore the short stories/vignettes from different characters' points of view. Holly Black's "Lila Zacharov" series was a real treat (and the website for the plaintiffs' law firm Mason Wilson & Black was awesome!). I think deleted scenes would also be a lot of fun, or an author's commentary on a particular scene or chapter, or a discussion of the evolution of characters/plot through the writing process. I love to know why writers make the choices they do!
Mar. 21st, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
OH I know exactly what you mean about the grubby British setting! Probably related to all my British-book-reading, too. And being a Beatlemaniac (hmm, urban fantasy set in 1950s Liverpool-- that might be interesting). I like supernatural teens overwhelmed by their terrible personalities problems, too. But I am definitely kind of a psycho-fan for grubby British settings. And non-grubby British settings. It MAY be that I have an Anglophilia problem, actually, but anyway we get to your question:

EXTRAS. I THINK my favorite extras are actually when the author talks about the inspirations behind various story points, or talks about why they did the things they did in the story. These are my favorite DVD extras too-- when the creators talk about how they actually crafted the Storytelling of the thing. But then, I am a boring grownup and a writer, and while I find this stuff utterly fascinating, I don't know how much it is to the average fan.

I DO definitely love extra stories, like yours, and things from other characters' points of view. These WOULD be my favorite FICTIONAL extras at least (the DVD equivalent-- deleted scenes, maybe?).

And see, now I am popping over to your Twitter to read those Two Character Stuck Together Tweets, so I do find that interesting. But I can't get a handle on the concept of actually KEEPING UP WITH ANYONE on Twitter, so it's not so much an advertising tool that works on me as much as another-fun-thing-to-go-check-out-when-someone-tells-me-something-I-need-to-check-out-there.
Mar. 21st, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC)
Out of curiosity, does your love of grubby British settings extend to Michael de Larrabeiti's Borrible trilogy, from the 70s and 80s?
Mar. 21st, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC)
causing him to have literally lost the ability to shut up oh God Adam please shut up,

PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Though it is somehow weirdly easier to take in the school context than in his introduction on BH. It might also have something to do with his looking positively suave in contrast to Mitchell's job interview OH HOLY GOD. Christa asking if he had an off switch made me laugh and laugh and laugh and love her even more. Which is fairly impressive, as I already loved her MASSIVELY.

I love all manner of cross-media content (which is a good thing, given that I'm involved in a a rather ambitious example of it, and I think maybe it's almost less about what form it takes than about making it feel integral to the universe without being essential for those who don't pursue your story the extra layer.

The stuff Barry & Co. put together for BcH was so brilliant in part because it was integrated all along, and sometimes even referred to in the main story when it was necessary to the plot. Or even incidental to it, e.g. the phone video of Christa going off on Adam, and his saying in the subequent ep that she had hit him, which had nothing to do with the murder mystery and everything to do with the Christa-Adam dynamic and the approaching full moon. There's a lot of additional material out there that feels like an afterthought. The stuff that feels like it all comes from the same place at the same time as the main narrative (even if it's only cleverly constructed after the fact to look that way, which is tricky but doable) is what's really going to catch audience fancy.

All of which is really sort of vague and general and possibly not quite what you asked? But maybe useful. Or not. I dunno. :-)
Mar. 22nd, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
Well, in the school environment he's evolving, whereas in the introduction he's learning that he has to. ;) But also he and Christa are terrific foils to each other. Oh, my morally upright snarky werewolf in denial, how you put your finger on the problem there. (Which is to say, I love her massively too.)

I did think the extra stuff was very well integrated, and that that's necessary. Trickier to do with a book, I'd imagine, but it did make me wonder about how to do so!

Mar. 22nd, 2011 12:44 pm (UTC)
Look for the #transmedia hashtag on Twitter. There'll be a lot to wade through, most of it theoretical and lots of it not necessarily applicable to books, but there are always a few ultracool and even practical blog posts & articles every day.

Good luck!
Mar. 22nd, 2011 03:14 am (UTC)
Bad guys with limits? I'm there. It's more refreshing. Like Tony Montana, who won't hurt anyone who hasn't fucked him over. Or Lobo, who always keeps his promises. Such a nice change from every day life.

I like weird shit mixing with the every day. Superman going to the shrink. Alfred's constant nagging to get Bruce Wayne to eat something.

I like redshirts being awesome. Voyager had this one episode where -everyone- got kidnapped but many of the extra got a chance to kick a lot of ass. 'Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh'. I'm not done with it but a random security redshirt saved a hell of a lot of lives because he could run the shield system. Redshirts normally don't do that.

Practicallity. The otherwise forgettable 'Alien Reserection' has a disabled, smaller character. Making him a backpack? Just meant that he could now provide backwards fire to protect the others.
Mar. 22nd, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
I have been watching Being Human since it started airing, but have postponed getting into Becoming Human due to its lack of US-friendliness. (BBC player, I hate you.)

(I long desperately for a good AU while cursing Peter Jackson.)
Mar. 22nd, 2011 12:45 pm (UTC)
Pssssssst... YouTube channel BecomingHumanBlog.
Mar. 22nd, 2011 07:43 am (UTC)
As an aside to this, when frayer and I were at Frightfest last year, we saw Outcast (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1396219/) a little film about magic and terrible beasts on a Glaswegian council estate, and we thought (a) the "feel" of the film was similar in ways to your books, and (b) you'd really love it. The ending is not much cop, but the rest of it is awesome. Teen lust! Daubing magic symbols over the walls! Killing crows! Irn-Bru!
Mar. 22nd, 2011 08:11 am (UTC)
You had me at supernatural Brick, a movie I saw three times in theaters in one week (it's like film noir Shakespeare!) and came to out of a love for Veronica Mars coupled with a lifelong passion for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Seriously, has anyone else seen him in the Dark Shadows revival series? He's so tiny and evil!)

I've been watching the American Being Human remake, which has captured my heart with a return to the Neurotic Werewolf. Oh, Neurotic Werewolf, how I have missed you. Any word on how it shapes up against the original? Is the BBC version perhaps less horrifyingly violent?

The Alan/Sin Detective Agency would rock. It could be a bit like Moonlighting!
Mar. 22nd, 2011 10:38 am (UTC)
I love grubby, real, British settings. I just finished A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin and London just popped off every page. It was a character in the book all by itself. I had always liked China Mieville's London most, but this one was even better.

Must check out Becoming Human. Your tweets on it have cracked me up.
Mar. 22nd, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)
No title
User demoerin referenced to your post from No title saying: [...] who write original fic... *dangles temptation* A bit of Demon's Lexicon love: said in this post [...]
Mar. 22nd, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
I love the way you do promotions! The cookies give away just enough to make me go crazy wanting to read more, but not so much that I know too much.
I'm still trying to think of something spectacular to do for the Promotion Notion contest but I can't wait to see what people have come up with!

Sometimes the promotions authors do confuse me. For instance I know Cassandra Clare is doing something with codes that will give you a complete chapter from the book. But I either came in late or am hopelessly dull and thus cannot figure it out for the life of me. This makes me sad as the website I was lead to was called "dirtysexyalleyscene.com" I would like to know what's going on in that alley!

I also love the short stories you post! Even just hearing random things about the characters is awesome. The Christmas present made me delirious with joy!
Mar. 23rd, 2011 12:57 am (UTC)
As far as extras go, a pretty simple one you could do (one that wouldn't require lots of money or additional skills besides writing/some html coding perhaps), would be to do chapter-by-chapter annotations like Brandon Sanderson (http://brandonsanderson.com/annotation/) does.

You can easily put you and your readers on a schedule that way, if they know that they can come to your lj/your website every [Insert Day of the Week Here] for fun commentary/behind-the-scenes information on your books.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 04:42 am (UTC)
This is sort of unrelated... but your post reminded me of somethign I've been meaning to comment on:

I picked up an audio book copy of The Eternal Kiss, in which you and many others have delicious vampire short stories. I'd been wanting to get it because 1) I LURVE me some vampire tales, 2) I lurve me some Sarah Rees Brennan, 3) I wanted to see if I enjoyed audiobooking as much as traditional reading, and 4) I really wanted to find out if Holly Black was as awesome as you make her sound without buying an entire book series.

So, Holly Black IS as awesome as you make her sound, by far, and I now have a cop of Tithe in my grubby little hands. But... I was really disappointed with your short, "Undead is very hot right now". Before you transfer your sorrow to the fainting couch, I think that was absolutely ZERO percent your fault.

I loved the grubby British setting. I loved the supernatural teens. I loved the struggle to be understood and loved for who you are and the betrayal and the boy bands and the wit and quips. What I didn't love: THE VOICE. A bad British accent, that made all the females sound like men in drag, and sucked all the life out of it. It made them into caricatures, rather than characters. I found myself literally pausing the iPod to repeat the lines over in y head the way I would've read them, and THEN I would laugh.

(The line about the agent being so scary that even reality bent to her will made me guffaw out loud. Awkward, when waiting for your women's bible study to start)

Anyway, all things brings me to my central question: Do you as an author have any say in who reads your books, how they are read, etc? Because i really feel like this voice actor did your generally amazing works a serious disservice.
Mar. 23rd, 2011 12:03 pm (UTC)
Re: sidenote
Do you as an author have any say in who reads your books, how they are read, etc?

No. None at all whatsoever. If I was super-successful (which lord, I am not) I might have a say in who reads my books. Anthologies, in which like a dozen writers would get a say and probably disagree? I don't think anyone, even Stephenie Meyer, gets a say. I've never heard the Eternal Kiss audiobook (I feel pretty fancy it even gets one, honestly, it's not usual for an anthology) so I can't comment, but it really is the luck of the draw. Sorry you didn't like it, of course! (Since you liked the actual story elements there's a follow-on story about my boyband on tour coming out in an anthology called Enthralled in September.)

I am glad you gave audiobooks a shot, for a) now you know a reader who doesn't suit you will affect the story for you, which is useful knowledge for your audiobooking future and b) you have learned of the awesomeness of Holly Black, which awesomeness is and ever has been beyond my capacity to adequately express.

That said, I do like James Langton, the reader for my actual books, who is actually British and a good actor, and while we speak of Holly Black, her new series (starting with White Cat, followed soon by Red Glove) is read - fancy creature that she is - by Jesse Eisenberg. One seldom goes wrong with an Oscar nominee. ;) So it's not all bad in audiobookland.
Mar. 24th, 2011 04:18 am (UTC)
Re: sidenote
*le sigh*

I'm very glad to be able to revisit the boyband in September, which I will do with the printed word and my own internal narrator.

To be clear, I am not swearing off audio books. The anthology has multiple voice actors, some of which were lovely, and I distinctly remember liking the sample of James Langton you posted some time ago. I'll just avoid this boy's narrations like an especially plaguey plague.

As always, love your work and I hope you get super-awesome famous, if that's what you want. In any case, I hope you always enjoy writing. :)
Mar. 24th, 2011 10:34 am (UTC)
Re: sidenote
I hope you get super-awesome famous, if that's what you want

Sure, that'd be nice. ;)
Mar. 23rd, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
I like collections of things that inspired. I know some authors do this on tumblr, for instance, and you can go to this site and click through images or music or words that somehow fit in some way with this world they've created.

And I love grubby, real settings, along with the extraordinary being presented as ordinary.
Mar. 25th, 2011 04:54 am (UTC)
Oh, man. I watched the episode of Being Human that Adam was introduced in and all of Becoming Human. It was amazing. ;_;
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Sarah Rees Brennan
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