Posted by: T Y | July 22, 2013

A New Sandbox

Come August, The Lit Connection will turn six.  Six years is a long time, my friends, but sadly, all good things must come to an end. You’ve probably noticed in the past year (or more…apologies!) that my regular posting schedule has taken a dive. For me, anyway, blogging has lost some of its former glory, which is a nice way of saying ‘WordPress is soooo 2006.”  After seeing so many of my book-blogging homies come and go and the great Google Reader gone to RSS-feed-heaven (OH GOD WHY?), it’s time to turn over a new leaf. Plus, need I mention that Outlander is finally going to be a TV show and my Jamie Fraser casting skills will be as defunct as Google Reader (again, WHY?!?!?!?)

Also, also, many things have changed. I got engaged earlier this year and things are looking up for my writing endeavors (mums the word for now, more on this later).

So I’m taking The Lit Connection to the pound and putting her to sleep. But fear not, I’m keeping her open in case you ever feel the need to troll her archives and read about the first time I discovered Twilight and gushed over Edward/Jacob, in which case, I’ll DIE of embarrassment.

That being said, you can still find me all over the interwebs.

Stalkers take note:

1) You can find me at my revamped tumblr: http://teresayea.tumblr.com/    I’m still blogging about books, musicals, shirtless men, swoon-worthy characters, and sexy sinister villains. Tumblr is a smaller garden, easier to maintain. The same silliness still applies. Y’all know me here as T.Y., but I’m taking a cue from Marky Mark and going by my full name. Consider me the ‘Blogger Formerly known as T.Y.’

So come over to my new sandbox and we shall continue to play. Put me in your new feed reader…if you have one now that Google Reader is deceased (I’M STILL PICKING THE SHATTERED PIECES OF MY HEART OFF THE FLOOR. SOB!)

2) Twitter @Litconnection  

3) My Pinterest 

With that said, I will be mounting my stallion and riding off into the sunset.

I heart you all. Let us engage in a big pervy group hug.

T.Y.

Posted by: T Y | February 14, 2013

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing:

I’ve been tagged by my critique partner Kristina and to be fair, tagged eons ago by my other CP Rhiann for this meme. So without further ado…

 
What is your working title of your book (or story)?

BLACK HEART, RED RUBY
Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wish I could say it came to me in a dream a la S.Meyer, but I usually have to hunt down my ideas and whip them into shape like a lion tamer.

Necklace

I told my boyfriend I wanted to write YA Raiders of the Lost Ark with the love/hate romantic chemistry found in Pride and Prejudice. Following the Indiana Jones route, I needed my MacGuffin or  ‘the object all the characters desire and are willing to plot, manipulate, kill, and die for.’ Think the Ark of the Covenant, the glowing brief case in Pulp Fiction, the ring in Lord of the Rings, etc…   In high school, I wrote a short story about a cursed ruby. I recycled said ruby and gave it resurrection powers. BAM! MacGuffin in the house!

As for my main character, I turned her into Captain Ahab and made the ruby her white whale. She gets a little intense, obsessive. Somewhere during my master planning, I read that ‘no one could hurt you more than your family’ so I gave those closest to her secret evil. They are the snakes in the pit, so to speak.

It’s all very premeditated. I might have a PowerPoint presentation of this book floating around my hard drive.  I would be happy to give you a lecture after I locate my laser pointer and um, get a life.
What genre does your book fall under?

YA gothic horror
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Remember when this blog used to be the hot spot for my Outlander and Witch of Blackbird Pond fantasy casting? Aside from writer, my other dream job is casting director. I made a casting board of the main characters because that’s how I roll. That thing about getting a life? Yeah, I need to start…pronto.

This is probably for my critique partners’ benefit or for the agent(s) who currently have my manuscript and decide to drop by to confirm that I’m not an ax murderer (no, I’m just a nerd). Anyway, do I have the character descriptions down or what?

Actors:

Ava Nolan: Felicity Jones with more eyeliner. She was my model for Ava since the beginning.

Ben Wolcott: Andrew Garfield. Originally Gaspard Ulliell and Ben Whishaw (notice a similarity in names?). I needed someone cute, nerdy, on the scrawny side, but creepy…

Cam: Tom Felton after a few sessions at the gym.

Uncle Tav: Richard Armitage.  Oh man, this picture! It’s like he’s undressing me with his eyes.  Also, this role is secretly ‘Oscar bait’ so Daniel Day Lewis, you know you want it.

Ava’s mother: Eva Green because I am charmed by her wicked eyes and come-hither stares.

Ava’s Dad: Michael Fassbender because he can play the ‘man on the verge of a nihilistic abyss’ role  and ugly cry with the best of them. Ava’s ‘daddy issues’ explained.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Seventeen-year-old Ava Nolan’s life as an amateur relic hunter is filled with backstabbing—not to mention literal stabbing—when her hunt for an occult ruby pits her against her graverobber uncle and her ambitious boyfriend.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

As God as my witness, it will be pimped by an agent!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I give you the Goldilocks answer: long enough but not too long.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh and the recently published Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd for the gothic-y vibe. The Pretty Little Liars and The Luxe series for the salacious dramarama.

 


Who or what inspired you to write this book?

 See Raiders answer above. And all the V.C. Andrews novels I read as a pre-teen. The DRAMA, the SCANDAL, the creepy family portraits, the ‘daddy issues’ and ‘mommy issues.’


What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Sex, lies, murder, madness, macabre artifacts, haunted houses, tomb raiding, and sinister family secrets. Need I bust out my PowerPoint presentation?

 

Posted by: T Y | September 25, 2012

Books Read 2012

Books I Read (Minus the DNF) with random commentary.
JAN 2012

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Comments: Incest is icky, but this is a heartbreaking love story between siblings.  And I say this with absolute seriousness. Remember in V.C. Andrews’ Dawn when Philip Cutler is all ‘It’s not incest if we turn the lights off’? and that was um, gross, but in Forbidden, I was really rooting for Maya and Lochan and hoping they’d run away (but not procreate). I felt so TORMENTED after this read.

FEB 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Comments: Pretty Cover!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Comments: Hazel’s quest to meet that Peter Van author dude mirrors my Christopher Pike stalking. I can relate. Unlike Peter Van Mumble Mumble, Christopher Pike is really nice and HE WROTE ON MY FB WALL WISHING ME A HAPPY BIRTHDAY ONE WEEK BEFORE MY ACTUAL BIRTHDAY WHICH MEANS HE HAS ME MARKED ON HIS CALENDER. ZOMG I’VE BEEN MARKED BY THE PIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To quote Hazel: What is this life?????

MARCH 2012

Misery by Stephen King

Comments: The book is much freakier than the movie. I learned a new word: man gland. And when Annie Wilkes threatened to cut off Paul Sheldon’s man gland, I was secretly worshipping Stephen King’s sick mind.

APRIL 2012

Cujo by Stephen King

Comments: Rabid dogs are scary. That’s all. Read with some liberal skimming as there were lots of exposition on ad agencies and whatnot. Could use a ‘man-gland’ now and then.

MAY 2012

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott.

Comments: Stopped page 195. Reason: Library book due. Aspiring dressmaker on Titanic. I liked the pacing and rapid scene breaks, but when my copy went back to the library, I felt like I could live without finishing it. I’d probably pick it back up again when the Titanic mood strikes.

Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

Comments: Derek Craven is one sexy gambling kingpin. And he speaks with a cockney accent, much like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, except Derek gets it ON with mousy romance novelist. Not that Dick Van Dyke doesn’t get it ON now and again. If you recall his Penguin dance, he is very flexible and… feral.

JULY 2012

Cracked by K.M. Walton

Comments: The bully and the boy he bullied become roommates in a psych ward. This is neither here nor there, but I kept imagining Biff and George McFly as roommates.

AUGUST 2012

Phantom by Susan Kay

Comments: This is one big mother of a book, but I am obsessed with The Phantom of the Opera and sort of want to marry the man behind the mask. This book is about his life and is so scrumptiously written that I actually looked up from the text to mouth “Wow.” Oh Phantom, you are like the most perfect man EVER. Master architect, magician, composer, tortured genius—who cares about your face? Christine doesn’t deserve you…Please take me to your secret lair and let me play with your mechanical monkey (oh how wrong this sounds).

SEPTEMBER 2012

The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell

Comments: Gothic-y middle grade involving a tumbledown mansion and an aviary filled with creepy birds. Birds freak me out. Feathers. Beaks. Scaly feet. Nasty avian scum! I once saw a man at the beach with two parrots on his arm and nearly tossed my cookies. Do not EVER ask me to pet your pigeon.

God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie Debartolo

Comments: This book is like a love letter to LA from characters who hate LA. This book is hilarious and the voice, my God the voice…Since this is blurbed as “This generation’s Love Story” on the cover, I already knew what was coming and yet, the end felt like a million daggers into my heart all the same. And when I finished picking up the shattered pieces of my heart off the floor, I thought about all the tragic endings I encountered this year. The Phantom. This book. A Fault in Our Stars. Forbidden. It’s the year of tempestuous love and untimely deaths. P.S. I pictured Jacob and Trixie as Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke circa Reality Bites.

Posted by: T Y | September 3, 2012

GUTGAA Meet and Greet

"Deana
So there’s a writing extravaganza going on (See badge) during the month of Sept where all query-ready writers are gearing up to get an agent. And since I’ve been having DREAMS about signing with an awesome agent and spent most of this year tweaking (Oh man, have I been tweaking!) my manuscript and query letter, I’ve joined…
Oh look… A meme!
A few extremely random things about me: My name is Teresa. On this blog, I go by T.Y. cuz that’s how I roll…
I’m a science geek by degree, bookworm at heart. My favorite book is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon because Jamie Fraser is the hottest man alive who doesn’t really exist. I’ve also had a lifelong crush on Nat Eaton from The Witch of Blackbird Pond, a book I’ve read 11 times.
Book crushes aside, I’m a huge musical aficionado…meaning you have to PRY The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary DVD from my cold dead hands. Plus, I could literally hum Les Miserables all day every day and annoy you to no end.  If you understand the reference below, then you and I must be friends.

-Where do you write?

A very cramped desk in the corner of my living room.

-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?

A panda-shaped speaker. Also, a roll of toilet paper to blow my nose since I forgot to buy Kleenex. It is very ‘Joan Wilder-Romancing the Stone’ absent-minded of me.

 

-Favorite time to write?

10 am to 3 pm. Otherwise, I work around my day job schedule.

 

-Drink of choice while writing?

During winter: Stash Peach Black Tea.

During summer: Snapple Peach Tea.

 

-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?

Depending on the project, I listen to 1-2 songs on a continuous loop and said song becomes the theme of my novel. For BLACK HEART, RED RUBY, my query-ready YA gothic romance, the songs were Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ and the 19th century Irish Ballad ‘The Last Rose of Summer,’ which is the creepy lullaby featured in the book.

For my current WIP, it’s a cross between ‘The Beauty Underneath‘ from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Love Never Dies’ soundtrack and ‘When You Taught Me How to Dance.

-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?

 My heroine, Ava Nolan, is a cross between Captain Ahab, Jeremy Renner’s character from The Hurt Locker, Scarlett O’Hara, and …Larry David. In other words, she’s obsessed with her goal, a master of her domain yet socially clueless, and unknowingly pisses off the supporting characters more than once. But fear not, she redeems herself in the end…

The plot was inspired by Aguirre, Wrath of God, a 70′s German flick about conquistadors searching for the lost city of El Dorado.  Aguirre, the antagonist, gets a little gold-obsessed, offs the commander and pushes the expedition deeper into the Amazon until the crew mutinies and he’s all “If I want the birds to drop dead from the trees…then the birds will drop dead from the trees. I AM THE WRATH OF GOD!” So evil. So demented. So intriguing…  As you can tell, I have a fondness for villains.

I also wanted to write a love-hate romance like Pride and Prejudice. So there’s lots of ‘I RUE the day I ever met you’ followed by ‘I was so wrong about him!’ Swoon!

There’s also quite a bit of…family drama. I am indebted to V.C. Andrews in this regard. No incest, though, sorry to disappoint. And the supernatural ruby quest? Pure Raiders of the Lost Ark, except, you know, with an Indy who tends to get into catfights.  

Anyway, here’s my elevator pitch:

17-year-old Ava Nolan’s life as an amateur relic hunter is filled with backstabbing—not to mention literal stabbing—when her quest for an occult ruby pits her against her graverobber uncle and her ambitious boyfriend. 

And here is what BLACK HEART, RED RUBY looks like in my mind:

-What’s your most valuable writing tip?

Since perfectionism is my worst enemy, I repeat this to myself all the time: ‘There’s no use in arranging deck chairs when the Titanic is sinking.’ Finish the novel first, line edit later, which, for me, is easier said than done.

Posted by: T Y | August 28, 2012

Projects

I’ve been semi-hard at work on my second novel. I have a title. A badass title. Unfortunately, I am artistically superstitious and cannot talk about my work-in-progress(s) until I’ve finished drafting so you must remain in the dark.

This second project is a YA historical fantasy set in Scotland circa 188o. See collage below… There is a high amount of Victorian Era drug use involving absinthe and syringes. Interesting research fact, syringes were invented in the 19th century–in Scotland, in fact–so it was meant to be.

As per my tastes, the fantasy element is very light so it’s more of an ‘alternate history’ than ‘high fantasy.’ Also, character names and places will never contain ‘ae.’

In three simple words: love, drugs, and monsters.

And below is WIP #3, a YA historical fantasy set in Elizabethan England.  It was born out of a NyQuil-induced dream involving Elizabethan-era spies, though the actual premise is pure backstabbing Rome/I,Claudius. A vague description: Ruffle collars, court intrigue, poison, murder, executions, empires, tyrants…

Posted by: T Y | August 3, 2012

Stranger than Fiction

 It is a truth universally acknowledged by my co-workers that we work in the epicenter of insanity.  Crazies come, crazies go…Oh how I wish they would GO!  Some are nice, some are just plain mean (one of them hurt my feelings and I will never be the same again. SOB!).

So another crazy lady came into the office. She was wearing a sundress and a floppy wicker hat–not too crazy on first impression. She leaves for 5 minutes, presumably to buy a drink, and returns in tie-dyed skinny jeans and a paint-splattered blouse.

Where did she change her outfit? In her car? More importantly, WHY did she change her outfit? Maybe she had to change for work? But tie-dyed skinny jeans???

At first, I thought she was another person because the first lady I was speaking to had on a sundress. I did not expect an outfit change. She asks to use the bathroom and exits wearing another dress. 3 OUTFITS IN 15 MINS. My head is spinning. This lady just performed a Clark Kent to Superman outfit change before my very eyes. The answer: lady=superhero.

Speaking of Superman, I just watched Superman 4 on TV and must quote Nuclear Man: “Take me to her OR I WILL HURT PEOPLE!!!”

Posted by: T Y | June 12, 2012

Revision Den & Unconventionally Sexy Men

Apparently I only ever blog anymore when I’m high on caffeine and man oh man am I CAFFEINATED.

A couple of irrelevant things. The novel. Oh man the novel. It is a fat man in need of more liposuction. Here are some word count stats that will excite no one but fellow writers and moi.

1st Draft: 113K words.

1st Revision: 103K

2nd Revision: 101K

3rd Revision: 95K

4th and current revision: 80K and shrinking…

My swiftly diminishing word count gets me so jazzed!

Almost as jazzed as thinking about Tom Hiddleston, who I think is a dreamboat but everybody just looks at me with barely concealed disgust and is all, “Of all the hotties in The Avengers, you choose Loki? EW!”

To which I reply: “Hiddleston, much like an olive, is an acquired taste.”

Them: “That’s a taste I’ll never acquire.”

Me: “I want to eat ALL the olives.” And now I realize that’s gross.

But then I hear this sexy voice clip of T.Hiddleston reading from ‘The Read Necklace’ and I want to open up a JAR of olives and GORGE!

These are my thoughts while caffeinated. Now you know I’m weird but I hope you love me anyway.

 

Posted by: T Y | March 2, 2012

Old Maid

So folks are telling me I’m getting old. Granted, a lot of the folks I know (bless their bitter little hearts) tend to be assholes and extremely age obsessed. Allow me to recreate a scene from my real life. This is my embittered co-worker giving advice to naive co-worker: “You better get a ring on your finger soon or you’ll end up an old maid like TY.”
Being naturally spunky, I’m all: “I age like fine wine, you !$#^%#$.”
Whereas embittered coworker counters with, “Wine from the Titanic that nobody wants.”
My reply: “Wine from the Titanic is the best wine of all!”

I’m only 27 and as much as I would like to retire from the workforce, the fact that I can’t collect Social Security means I’m not that old. I’d be the first to admit that for a large part of my early twenties, I lived in fear of reaching 30. My obsession with The Witch of Blackbird Pond is partly to blame since Kit Tyler and her cousins got hitched by the ripe old age of 16. Now that I’m almost 30 and surrounded by 21-year-olds dreading 23, I don’t see anything wrong with being a 30 or 40 or 50 year old woman, single, childless, and LIKING IT. So I’ve been going around telling people I can’t wait to turn 30 and the response is always a baffled, sometimes horrified WHY??? They think I have very warped ideas. I think society is warped. Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a Jane Austen novel and that’s not a good feeling.

Posted by: T Y | February 15, 2012

2011 Books Read

Better late than never. Remember how I used to blog and make OCD-worthy lists and collages of all I’d read? I still make lists, but collages these days, while never extinct, are few and far between.

2011 was a slim yet memorable reading year. I discovered Lisa Kleypas and dedicated the entire spring to reading her backlists. And new author crush: Stephanie Perkins! I plan to write an entire blog post on how much I swooned during the reading of Lola and the Boy Next Door.

The Wild Rose, the  final installment of Jennifer Donnelly’s Rose Trilogy came out in August covered in awesome sauce. There were Lawrence of Arabia and motorcar chases, dude.

In between, there were many ‘Did Not Finished’ books. I’m a notorious abandon-er of books (known to abandon on the last few pages!), so I don’t count something as ‘Read’ unless I read or liberally skimmed every. single. word.

Oh, and I read The Witch of Blackbird Pond again. It’s a sickness. This is re-read #12.

Jan. 2011
Room by Emma Donoghue

Feb 2011
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (re-read)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (re-read)

March 2011
Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Re-read).
Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas
Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas

April 2011
Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas
It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas
After the Night by Linda Howard
Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

May 2011
Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
Seduce Me At Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas
Tempt Me At Twilight by Lisa Kleypas
Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

June 2009
Intensity by Dean Koontz
The Lost City of Z by David Grann (liberal skimming)

July 2011
A Shore Thing by Snooki
Jane by April Lindner

August 2011
The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (liberal skimming)

September 2011
Fury by Elizabeth Miles

October 2011
Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur
If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Dec 2011
Legend by Marie Lu

Posted by: T Y | January 16, 2012

You thought you’ve seen the last of me…

and you would be WRONG. Ho ho, guess who’s blogging again.

Okay, so here’s the deal. I’ve been tugging my hair out tinkering with the dreaded query letter and giving myself an ulcer that no amount of Junior Mints could cure. So in my rare, vulnerable moments on ye ole blog in which I express that I have a soul, I’d like to say:  if I don’t get published…I will cry. Deep, heart-wrenching, sobs. Heathcliffian head-banging on tree, howling on the moors type of weeping.

For you see, unless I am high on caffeine or the prospect of watching Michael Fassbender’s Shame on a High Definition big screen TV, I am a reticent girl in person. But if I am doing my job right, my novel and query letter will have an authorial voice that BOOMS. Much like how I like to type in ALL CAPs here.

Oh dear. I am having a melodramatic freak-out in which only a picture of Michael Fassbender’s abs could cure.

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