The lovely Colby Marshall, who you met last month, invited me over to her neck of the internet. Pop on by to learn a few of my favorites, what I’d rescue in a fire, and something you might be surprised to learn about me.
Because who doesn’t love shenanigans?
You guys! I have an honest-to-goodness review and giveaway over on JeanBookNerd.com!
This is my favorite part of the review:
The decision to place this gift onto teenage Biz is brilliant. She is in the prime of her teenage years where discovery is a major part. What better way to tell this story as Biz discovers and learns her talent.
That’s EXACTLY what I wanted people to take from the story! It’s like that meme on Facebook about literature teachers completely misinterpreting the author’s intention, except she got it right.
So, if you STILL haven’t read FLICKER (really?) go check out the interview and enter to win a copy lovingly signed by me!
I’d like you to meet my friend Colby Marshall. (isn’t she adorable?) We first met blogging when I still lived in Mexico and Colby was in the middle of a challenge to blog every day for one year. I was immediately entranced with her obsession with hippopotami and spitting llamas, and I’m thrilled to feature her on Hoosblog!
Without further ado, here’s Colby!
Google for Writers
Google is probably both the best and the worst thing that ever happened to writers. Particularly mystery and thriller writers. Let me tell you why.
When William March wrote The Bad Seed, his classic thriller about a mother who begins to suspect her child of sinister tendencies, in 1954, he couldn’t simply pull out his iphone and call up the latest research on nature versus nurture. He couldn’t run an online search for the hallmark signs of psychopathy to “write into” Rhoda Penmark. Granted, he needn’t use the word ‘psychopath’ for everyone who picked up the novel to know that little girl was one conscienceless piece of work. On the one hand, this is an ugly thought. What would I do any time I needed to find the answer to how to poison someone without any investigator or M.E. being the wiser? How would I figure out the best angle of a gunshot wound to make blood spatter in a certain direction? And how would I know what sorts of criteria for these internet searches lands me on government watch lists?
And yet, one can’t help but feel sorry for March. Why? Because I know exactly how I would learn these answers if not for Google: the time consuming, tedious, and often frightening world of real-life interviews and experience. If that’s the case, to have gotten so many of the chilling details of Rhoda’s personality right, he had to have either interviewed some creepy humans, or worse, been unfortunate enough to know a psychopath himself. Then again, Google searches didn’t keep me from knowing one in person, but I digress…
That said, while Google has some amazing perks for writers, it might be the worst thing to happen to writers since liquor stores started closing on Sundays in most states. After all, if agents, editors, critics, and fans can’t readily double-check whether or not your details about the Bigfoot sighting of Australia in 1914 are accurate or not, chances are, they will simply either trust that the author’s facts are correct or suspend any disbelief they might have for the sake of a good story.
Now, with the rise of search engines more powerful than Joan Rivers’ botox, novels like The Da Vinci Code that are set in the real world could never exist unless the settings and details used to forward the novel have been researched to a fault. It’s a beautiful and terrible thing. When authors can turn out a product that nails every detail and the Da Vinci Codes of the world are born, the difficulty level of the constraints skyrockets the quality of the thriller. However, the majority of books fall somewhere short of that level of research perfection, so otherwise wonderful stories are put down, shunned by critics, and sometimes never read at all because of that little devil in the details. I personally love research, since I feel it takes my work to a new level, but even so, I have my moments when I wish I were in the days of no Google or smartphones where I could imagine what I think I’d wear in sub-arctic temperatures, and most people wouldn’t be the wiser.
What do you think: do the benefits of being able to Google almost anything outweigh the problems with it?
Thanks Colby! Now, everyone run off and buy her book!
I’d love it if you spread the word, buy, and if you’ve read it, post a review. Word of mouth is the best way for more people to meet Biz and I appreciate all your help!
The story moves at a quick pace as you’re drawn into Biz’s world right from the first page, and an intriguing world at that. One that blends paranormal elements seamlessly into everyday life, before taking you into the depths of a mystery with an unexpected climax. Above all, Biz’s thoughts and experiences shine through on each page, giving her character an authenticity that will connect you with the story and her life. Also, the author honors her readers by wrapping up loose ends before teasing with what’s to come in the sequel ‘Fracture.’ Overall, ‘Flicker’ is a fantastic YA novel.
– Bella Bowie
The thing I like most about the book is that the concept is really unique. What if you could have a seemingly limitless supply of do-overs? What would you do over? The female character exhibits a lot of positive attributes which is sometimes lacking in YA fiction and means a lot to me as a mother of two girls. Mom to mom, I am going to let my 12-year-old read it–there’s nothing stronger than kissing, some “strong” language, but nothing she isn’t hearing at school. I’m looking forward to the sequel and I’m sure my daughter will be when she reads it.
– Montessori Mama “bigeyeblue”
As a 39 year old man with several teenaged children, I feel qualified to say that `Flicker’ is a book with the potential to produce a true genre-busting YA franchise.
Like the Twilight series, the protagonist is a teen girl with a complicated life reflected in sometimes moody prose. However, the similarities between `Flicker’ and `Twilight’ end there, as Hooyenga avoids turning `Flicker’ into the dumbed down literary lollipop of Bella’s world (yes, I admit, I read Twilight).
Instead, `Flicker”s Biz leaps off the page as an authentic, complex, honest rendition of a teenager struggling with friendships, her parents, new romance, school pressures….oh, and that whole `flickering’ thing.
Ms. Hooyenga shows impressive skill in character development, narrative voice, and story pacing. This is a tremendous first effort by an author worth watching!
– Scott Brew
Hello? Is this thing on?
Wow, I let a little more time slip by than I intended, but wedding planning takes up a wee bit o’time. We’re at the 5-week mark and most of the details are sorted out, so now I’ve moved on to the little things. This weekend several ladies are coming over and we’re having a Pinterest party — turning corks into name card holders for the reception!
But that’s not why I’m here. Today I’m pimping FLICKER (and there’s more to come so get ready!) by taking part in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. I did something similar last fall, but this will be a test to see who’s paying attention. My friend Avery (go buy her book RESONANCE) asked me to play along, so everyone wave to Avery!
1: What is the working title of your book?
2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
You know when you’re driving down a road on a sunny day and the sun strobes through the trees, causing a flickering effect? That phenomenon has always messed with my head — to the point where I can’t keep my eyes open — so one particular day when that was happening I wondered about a girl who the sun, when it did that, made her travel back to yesterday. Flicker was a natural word for me to use to describe it.
3: What genre does your book come under?
Young Adult. I’ve sub-categorized it as paranormal because of the time travel, but the main story takes place in the normal, everyday world.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh my gosh I have no idea. I really like Selena Gomez, so let’s say her.
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Biz uses sunlight to flicker back to yesterday and must decide if it’s worth telling her secret to save a little girl’s life.
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Self-published under my imprint Left Handed Mitten Publications.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I wrote the first draft during NaNo, but didn’t finish it in the 30-day time frame. It took me TWO months.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The WAKE trilogy by Lisa McMann has a lot of similarities, primarily because Janie lives in a normal world but has something that makes her different, the same as Biz.
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My grandmother was my inspiration because I was caring for her when the idea struck.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There’s a hot boy, lots of sarcasm, a little making out, and action!
Buy FLICKER today!