World's Oldest Fledgling

The blog of Stephanie Wardrop, Y A Author

An interview with Vi, one of three girl shutterbugs who stumble on a secret in Adrianne James’ Overexposed

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Thanks so much for dropping by the blog, Vi!

(1) What draws you to photography? 


I think the question would be what DOESN’T draw me to photography. There is just something so beautiful about capturing the world around me to keep forever. There is a saying or something that I heard at one time or another, every moment of every day is important. So why should I just take pictures of “special occasions” if every moment of every day is something important? Photography lets you capture any moment in time and keep it forever.

(2) How did you come up with the name “Jilly” for your camera?

Jilly is my camera’s name because there was this really great chick I knew once. She was super inspiring and I loved her to death. She pushed me to follow my dreams no matter what, even if they weren’t the easiest things in the world to achieve. So, when she left  Willow Spring to pursue her own dreams, the minute I got my hands on my camera, the single piece of equipment that could change my life, I knew I had to name her Jilly.

(3) What are your favorite subjects to shoot?


Honestly? Anything that doesn’t complain after a few minutes. I love taking pictures of people, but they tend to complain when I get too bossy about how they need to stand or look at the camera. I see the pictures in my head and I want them perfect, so I may get a little out of control. Nature is something else entirely. I have to change to get the shot I want. I have to work harder and I like that it pushes me.

 
(4) What subject is hardest to capture? 


Me! I only have a small handful of pictures that I am in. I have hundreds of my friends and family, and thousands of the landscapes around here, but I never manage to get into the pictures. I should really try to do that more. 
(5) can you explain what you mean when you say photos need the “before, during, and after”? 
Oh of course! When shooting a series of photos, you need to be able to show the entire story. With video, it’s easy to give an impression because you can watch the whole scene unfold. But with photos, it’ a single capture of a single moment. Without all the moments surrounding it you can really confuse things. Like, if I showed you a picture of a woman draped in a man’s arms, you might think they were romantic and I took a picture of a couple. But if I showed you the photos that lead up to that one, and those after, you might see two strangers walking past one another, the girl tripping, the man catching her and setting her back to her feet, and them going their separate ways.

(5) You’ve also said Willow Springs is a small town with big secrets. Can you give us a hint about any of them?

A hint? Let’s see, a secret that goes back more than ten years and no one would ever expect who was behind it all. A secret that when exposed could ruin the lives of a lot of people and a secret that almost destroyed any chance at a future outside of Willow Spring for Ashley, Macy or myself because the idiots involved try to scare us into keeping our mouths shut. It almost worked. We almost caved. But we couldn’t. We had to tell the truth.

I guess we’re just going to have to read to find out what the girls found out!  You can pick up your copy here!  

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Georgia and Michael Meet Two Norse Gods

Georgia and Michael Meet Two Norse Gods

A visit to St Bende’s blog.

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The Summer of Love Blog Tour Begins!

The Summer of Love Blog Tour Begins!

Snark and Circumstance Part 2, Charm and Consequence is out today! Stay tuned for links to all the blogs I’m visiting.

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Charm and Consequence Plot Teaser #5

Tomorrow’s the release day and here’s the last plot teaser — the ending scene has a reggae soundtrack. But there’s also some Airbourne Toxic Event and “Moonlight in Vermont” as well.

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Charm and Consequence Plot Teaser #4

“You’d better put a ring on it”? Georgia doesn’t want a ring, but her born-again sister, Leigh, does. What kind? I almost posted a Jonas Brothers video here instead, and they’re famous for sporting a particular kind of ring . . .

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YA Writers, Late Night Talk Shows and a Little Passive Aggression

I’m moving some posts over from my Tumblr (stephaniwardrop.tumblr.com) and since this is by far the most popular of them, I thought I’d start with it. 
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I write now to declare myself – officially – a Craig Ferguson fan.

I just watched the clip of his interview with John Green on The Late Late Show (I had to watch it as a clip on Tumblr because I cannot stay up late enough to watch the show live) and the interview was funny and smart.  And you know what I liked best about it?

In eleven-plus minutes, Ferguson did not once refer to John Green as a “YA writer.”

He praised the book as being both “funny” and “moving”, spoke of its prominence on the New York Times bestseller list, joked about prophylactic dentistry and kicking John Green’s ass and spoke, generally, as a fan who respected Green’s work, specifically The Fault in Our Stars, which he did not classify as a “YA book.” 

He just presented it as a good book.

Now you might ask yourself why this would make me happy, especially since I, myself, am proud –ecstatic, really – to be able, at last,  to call myself an official YA writer.Though I would never put myself in the same category as John Green (except in that we are both parents of cool sons named Henry). Why, then, would I be happy to have one of the best YA writers in the world today not referred to as one of the best YA writers in the world today?

Because I believe that YA fiction is … fiction.  That while it appeals, primarily, to young adults, a good YA novel, like any work of fiction, speaks to everyone and is worth being read by everyone.  But often, despite its huge popularity (one could almost say its sales carry the larger publishing industry) and the fact that as the LA Times and other sources have reported, the vast majority of YA novels are both purchased and read by actual, official biological “adults”, YA books are often marginalized as less important.  Lightweight.  Not really “books”, even. 

With my colleagues in a college English department, I’ve been planning recently a series of visiting writers coming to campus and speaking to our students and the community.  One academic colleague, a writer of literary fiction, asked me if YA writers actually go out and speak to people and where they would do this.  Maybe local Barnes and Nobles stores?  And who reads these books, exactly?  Would our students know who these people are?

At first I was perplexed by these questions; then I was angry.  And then I was sad.  Because in missing out on what’s going on in YA fiction, she’s missing out on some really good books – period — whatever their generic category.  And that’s her loss, not the YA world’s.

People seem to assume that YA books are not really books, not serious ones, at least, and that they must be easy to write (though not as easy, they assume, as children’s books, which, after all, are sometimes less than twenty pages long and can therefore be written in the time it would take you to chop up a salad). These are the same people who also assume that young people are illiterate idiots with no interest in art or ideas — but if that were true, wouldn’t they be an extremely difficult audience to write for?  If this were true, how could we even get one of these teenage troglodytes to put down their iPhones and pick up our books in the first place?  But kids do pick up and read these books, in high numbers. And those readers, like readers of any work of fiction, do so because they want to be invited into another world and to inhabit the psychological complexity of a character or two as they navigate those new worlds. Worlds in which teenagers struggle to preserve their dignity and sense of humor as they die of cancer (Green’s The Fault in Our Stars) or figure out how to be true to their emerging selves and sexual identities (A S King’s Ask the Passengers, Little, Brown Books) or to survive as would-be beauty pageant contestants on an uninhabited island where they crash landed because multinational conglomerations and puppet dictators and religious/social conservative politicians are seeking higher profits for their hair removal products and higher ratings for their reality shows (Libba Bray’sBeauty Queens, Scholastic Books). 

YA readers are readers, and YA books are books.

And that’s why I’m glad Craig Ferguson didn’t call John Green a “YA writer. “

My parents are huge fans of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, so I called them this morning and asked if they had seen the episode.  Of course they had, and though they had no idea who John Green was, they found him funny and charming and my mom was planning to download The Fault in Our Stars on her Kindle.  She had no idea it was a YA novel and was surprised when I told her. 

She’s going to order it anyway because it just sounds like a good book.

Anybody missing out on YA books misses out on a varied, nuanced, important, and wonderful world.  The President of the United States knows this, as you can see here on  in his town hall meeting with John Green during which he echoed Green’s exhortation “Don’t forget to be awesome.”  (But refused to name the Greens’ soon-to-be-born second child.)

Clearly, Craig Ferguson does not forget to be awesome.

And I am grateful.

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Charm and Consequence Plot Teaser 3

The contents of a red plastic cup can get you in all kinds of trouble. Unless you’re lucky enough to have someone looking out for you.

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Charm and Consequence Plot Teaser 2

Georgia knows Jeremy Wrentham is trouble when he walks in. But she opens the door any way. Check it out on May 28th!

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Charm and Consequence Plot Teaser #1

The second installment in the Snark and Circumstance series comes out in two weeks! People have been asking what happens to Georgia and Michael, so I’ll be giving you some hints over the next 13 days to get you ready. Today: New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle”.

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Guest post: Kelly Hashway on writing a serialized e-novella

As we anticipate the SUMMER OF LOVE BLOG TOUR, I’ve asked my Swoon sister Kelly Hashway to compare notes with me on turning a novel into a serialized e-novella series.  You can find my take here at Kelly’s blog and Kelly weighs in below.  Look for her series

Image  at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  Take it away, Kelly!

1 Book + 1 Publishing Contract = 3 Novellas

            About a year ago, I decided to branch out from my branded genre, which was paranormal. Why? Well, I noticed that all my paranormal books had a big romantic element to them, and it made me wonder if there was a romance writer lurking inside me. So, Game. Set. Match. Heartbreak was born.

I set the story up on the basis of a love triangle. Personally, I love the conflict love triangles involve, and I’ve been in a few love triangles myself, so I knew I could convey the emotions. I wrote the book and submitted it to my agent. She loved it but thought it wouldn’t sell since I was a paranormal writer. Enter Swoon Romance. They accepted my novel on the condition that I could break it up into two novellas. I agreed.

I started trying to find a natural break in the story, and I did—but it wasn’t in the middle. It was only a third of the way through. So, lucky for me, the head of Swoon Romance said that instead of compromising the story, we’d make it into three novellas. Yay!

Now I could see where the novellas would start and end, but the task became making each novella stand on its own. I had to really work on character development to portray each character fully in a short amount of space. It was tough, but luckily, I have a great editor, and with the help of her insightful comments, I was able to convey a lot with only a few words.

So, Game. Set. Match. Heartbreak became a series with the titles: Love All, Advantage: Heartbreak, and Perfect Match. How do I feel about the transformation? Great. I love novellas, and I’m excited for people to read about Meg, Ash, and Noah.

Thanks, Kelly! See you on tour!

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