Tuesday, February 23, 2010

That Was MY Idea!!

Oh man! I have to start off this post with some fan-art of awesomeness!!!

The first one is from Laurelle_DaVinchi on the Wingsfansite forums who put together all of my covers including an old fan cover that the lovely Saundra Mitchell made for me. Check this out!!

Thank you, Laurelle!! I love it!!!

The next one is one from a few weeks back that I have been trying to remember to post, but the link is on my phone and I blog on my computer so . . . . anyway, here, you go, from Katie at SophistiKatied!

Isn't that so made of awesome! Please for visit Katie at her blog, she does Fan Art Fridays and really good reviews of lots of YA books. It's a new favorite of mine! Thank you, Katie!!

Okay, so something I often hear from other authors, established or aspiring, is being concerned when they hear about someone else writing the same basic storyline as their WIP. Everyone worries about it--especially if you have a particularly brilliant idea.

But you know what? You may be worrying too much. Editors often say it's all about the execution, and in the area of storylines, that hold true. A couple of examples (please excuse the weird, trying-not-to-be-gender-specific syntax):

"Protagonist A and Protagonist B meet and experience a sudden and deep connection. But can their love survive when Protagonist A wars between loving Protag B and the desire to kill them?"

Think you know what book I'm talking about?

Suuuuure you do.

I'm talking about Evernight, by Claudia Gray, Lament by Maggie Stiefvater, The Dark Divine, by Bree Despain, and the absolutely incredible upcoming Mistwood by Leah Cypess.

Vampires, faeries, werewolves, shifters, they all fit that storyline.

But let's get more specific:

A small town is surrounded by an invisible, impenetrable sphere. The residents must find a way to survive not only their new isolation, but the terrors that they themselves are becoming.

Now do you think you know which book I'm talking about? Because that storyline is pretty dang specific. Do you?

Because it could be Under The Dome, by Stephen King, or it could be Gone, by Michael Grant. Both very good and successful books by NYT Bestselling authors. Totally different books.

I've actually received email from people who are aspiring faerie authors who were like, "I was so worried! I thought your book was just like my book!!" One went so far as to worry if she could be sued for copyright infringement! (No, btw.) But without fail, these authors all commented that within fifty pages it became clear that I was telling a different story than them.

A lot of people say ideas are a dime a dozen. I don't quite agree with that. Some ideas are just freakin' brilliant and are totally worth their proverbial weight in gold. But most? It's about the execution.

To kind of illustrate what I mean, I have this video of total win by a group called the Axis of Awesome. This video is a bunch (I believe thirty-six?? Read that somewhere) of songs that can all be sung to the same four chord set. It is fascinating. He just plays the same four chords on the keyboard and keeps singing all these songs! Totally different songs. As different as the examples I've sited above (moreso in a lot of cases!!) but they all can be sung to the same accompaniment. (Language warning: there is some language in the middle of this number--you've been warned.:D)

This really can be applied to idea. They say there is nothing new under the sun. Chances are you fall under one of those "nothing new" categories.

And that's okay! That doesn't mean you can't make it your own! That you can't add remarkable characters and surprising twists and inimatable plot elements! Every idea can be done a different way. A better way, even.

This isn't to say that you can write your novel about Larry Blotter who goes to a sorcery school and makes friends with Hepsabah and Raul. That's not going to fly.

I'm not saying copy. Please, please, please, don't copy!! But of you are in the process of writing the story you love and you discover that some big-wig author wrote a story with a similar plot? It's probably very different from yours. Don't stop working on your story just because of that. There are too many books coming out every year for yours to truly be the only book like it. If you start trying to do that, you are never going to reach more than the halfway point on your WIP. (I know I wouldn't.)

Now, do pay attention. For example, I had Laurel and David meet in Biology class because they were sophomores, and I love Biology! But if I had thought about that famous scene in Twilight, I probably would have changed that particular class to something else. in fact, I have sometimes wondered how cool it would have been if they had met in music class. Wouldn't have changed the story a lot, and I would have avoided a lot of Twi-comparisons.

Did I copy her? Contrary to what some people think, no.:D Should I have thought about that and changed it for the sake of the market? Yeah, probably. But regardless, it's okay.

Do your thing. Do it your way. And I think you'll find that you really do have something unique and original.

As long as you're not writing about Belinda and Edwin who are fighting for their doomed love. Stay away from that one.:D


Sunday, February 21, 2010


You know that category in Jeopardy! that means it could be anything? Yeah . . . that's this entry.:D Lots of fun stuff though.

First off, a bit of news for all you aspiring authors, my lovely friend, Mandy Hubbard (author of Prada and Prejudice) is officially an agent!! After training for about six months under Jenny Bent (you guys know her? You should! I imagine a bunch of you have queried her. Heck, I think I got rejected by her twice. She's awesome!) Mandy is teaming up with Bob Diforio (I have a rejection from him too:)) as a brand new agent! Here's her PW announcement:

"Mandy Hubbard, a YA author (Prada and Prejudice) and agent, is joining D4EO Literary Agency as an agent concentrating on YA and middle grade fiction. She can be reached at Mandy@d4eo.com."

Mandy has spent the last few weeks communication directly with editors at all the big New York houses introducing herself and getting a feel for their individual tastes, etc. and she is really ready to go! So if you are looking for a hungry new agent with a great reputation as a person (:D) you may want to try Mandy. She is, as of last week, officially accepting queries.

Secondly, the incredible and fabulous Mundie Moms just turned one! And, of course, I was there to celebrate with them.:D Check out my post and browse their site while you're there. An amazing group of women with fabulous taste who have been so supportive of Wings right from the get-go. Thanks Katie!!!!

Okay, are you ready to watch my head explode from awesomeness? A few weeks ago my book released in Italy. Well, part of their promotional push was making a Facebook fanpage for David Lawson complete with an app you can install to get messages from David!!! As if that weren't enough, a band called Yavanna teamed up with "David" and put on a show this past weekend and went back and forth between singing and reading passages from MY BOOK!!! *insert fainting here* So I was totally stoked about that.

And then I saw pictures.

Oh. My. Gosh! The leaves! The cover! The huge projection screen!!!!!!

That is a big freaking picture of me up there!!! (Admittedly this picture was a little nerve-wracking.)

And aren't they just gorgeous?!?!?!?

I was just blown away! And there are a couple more pictures in the Facebook album. It was so surreal, especially knowing that all of this was happening in Italy, and in Italian. Whoa.

So I will be blogging again tomorrow and have a fun little video helping me illustrate why you shouldn't worry about someone writing "your idea." Till then!


ETA: Also someone posted some video. :)

Monday, February 15, 2010


*shifty eyes* I'm a day late. I had a busy and fun Valentine's Day and I hope you all did too!!

But I do have winners!! And since I'm not one to prolong the agony, here we go!

The winner of the ARC is twaddleoranything, with her pairing of Gavroche and Scout.

But this contest was so fun, I really could not just stop there!!

So our runners-up who get Valentine's treat bags are:

Emily Jane Jimenez pairing Alex Kim and Owen Armstrong

and Meghan Rachelle pairing Susan Pevensie and Rupert Giles!!

Thanks you everyone for entering!! We had almost 200 pairing and I got the biggest kick out of reading them all!

The small print, please email me at aprilynne pike (at) g-mail dot com with your address. If I do not hear from you by Friday, I will pick a new winner to take your place, so please email me!:D

Thanks again for entering!!!


Monday, February 08, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

. . . a little early.:D

It's that time of year!! The time when love is heavy in the air?? No. The time when romance blossoms like flowers? Nope.

The time of year when Aprilynne gives away an ARC??

Ding, ding, ding!!!!:D

It's ARC time!!!

The Wings series is, at its heart, a love story, so I like giving an ARC away around Valentine's Day because . . . well, because I'm corny.:)

So one ARC of Spells is up for grabs!! Anyone is eligible, and all you have to do to enter is comment with your fantasy fiction pairing! Who do you think would make the very best couple from fiction (YA or not)? Who are those characters who go so perfectly together despite being created by totally different authors and living in completely separate universes?

For example: I think Hermione Granger and Edward Cullen, were totally MTB. After all, only a 110 year old vampire could keep up with her extensive knowledge, Hermione could use the love and attention that Edward would lavish on her, and Edward would totally appreciate Hermione's intelligence and subtle beauty.

Wings characters are up for grabs, but using them won't give you an edge.;)

Enter up until 12:00 EST on Saturday, February 13th, and I will announce the winner Valentine's Day.:D This blog posts on Blogger, LiveJournal, and Facebook--you can leave your comment any of these three places.

And if you don't win this one, you will have two more chances! Wingsfansite.com and Late Bloomer Online are both doing giveaways too! The Wings Fans' is already up and running and Late Bloomers are gearing up for theirs. So check out both these site for their contests and, if you feel like it, join or become a follower!

Good Luck!! I wish I had ARCs for all of you!!!


Monday, February 01, 2010

So. Tired.

So my husband is taking his bar course and is gone all the time and even when he's home he's studying (hey! It's like being in law school again!) so why am I the one sitting here at my computer totally exhausted? *slump*

Oh, and with an ear infection. Again. My right ear hates me. But I have amoxicillin, so I'm a happy girl.:D

Actually, we've been having a lot of things break on us this last six weeks. And with the exception of the ear, they have all had to be replaced. The car, my husband's glasses, the washer, the sprinkler system that the new dog dug up. Yeah. This has left me with an amazing car that I love to pieces, new glasses that Kenny is kind of meh about but getting used to, a bottle of amoxicillin that made me contemplate how great it would have been to have that stuff during the Black Plague, and a dryer that sounds like a very quiet airplane taking off (and we *think* that's the way it's supposed to sound . . . we'll see.) Oh, and an appointment with the landscape guy. Also, some massive spending shock. Makes me glad we pay our taxes as we get checks instead of the other way around. (All you writers! Pay your taxes as you get your checks!!!:D)

I got word that my editor and co-editor enjoyed the third Wings book (yay!) and will be sending me my ed letter soon (*scared*). Actually, I'm really excited because my editor is brilliant and always asks just the right questions. (You know, the ones that make you go, Duh! Why didn't I think of that?)

And then, last week, I Twittered a pic of my banana bread and a bunch of people asked for the recipe. I rather had a good time making it fit into a tweet, but for those who can't decipher my many abbreviations, here is my really easy, really good banana bread!

Pre-heat over to 350 Degrees (I always forget this part.:D)

1 Stick Butter
2 Eggs
3-4 mushy bananas
3/4 cup brown sugar (or . . .yanno, a whole cup:))
2 Cups flour (wheat or white)
1 tsp Baking Soda
Dash salt.
*moar mix*

Pour into whatever size of loaf pans you prefer (I make one big loaf.) And bake for 60-70 minutes. (The low temp, long cook time is what keeps it really moist!) If you use smaller loaf pans, reduce your cooking time.

If you want to be fancy (and heck, I always do) then you can sprinkle brown sugar across the top of the batter and it will caramelize and be really yummy.:)

I made a double batch last time: