Can Choice of POV Mean DOA?

So, I’ve hit a wall again with my reading. It happens.

Client work keeps me really busy and there’s the not-so-simple matter of finalizing the mountain of book details before publishing, preliminary marketing and mucho tasks still to do that make it nearly impossible to start a book let alone stay awake long enough to read it.

I was sooooooooo eager to read Jamie McGuire’s follow-up to Beautiful Disaster released recently. And though I started Walking Disaster around my birthday – now over a month ago – I didn’t finish it until just the other day. Because of a new practice — I say gimmick — that’s becoming more prevalent and much panned by the fans, though they may have only themselves to blame. The alternate POV.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-couple-holding-hands-image15708971Now, don’t get me wrong: of course, when I read any book in the female protagonist’s point of view, I’m slightly curious as to what that same book would sound like from the lead male character’s perspective. But be careful what you wish for. Sometimes what we think we want, we actually do not want at all. And while there may be different layers and colors to the story because it is being delivered from a totally separate and unique voice, it doesn’t change the fact that (A) the story plot points will remain the same and (B) the dialogue that features both characters is, yep, you guessed it, going to be identical, too. So, essentially, you’re hearing the same story retold. While hopes of hearing some new conversations and witnessing new revelations about said male character may be appear in the book, overall, these can be fairly scarce as in the latest McGuire follow-up. And this isn’t a slight at this author at all. Quite the contrary, I frequently cite McGuire as being very influential in my interest in the genre in the first place and she is by no means the only author to use this device.

What I question is why fans that beg and beg authors to do this then turn on them when they do? I have seen so much flak over McGuire’s sequel, people who are positively LIVID with the final results.  I am certain that the book is the result of those same fans’ loud and bubbly appeals for more Travis ‘Mad Dog’ Maddox! Folks, you wanted to hear from your book boyfriend, so there you go! You got him!

Some writers like M. Leighton (Up to Me) and J. A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never) do a fantastic job volleying back and forth from chapter to chapter representing multiple POVs while continuing to move the plot along without repetitiveness or an opportunity for boredom to set in. It is done skillfully, creatively and compellingly for the reader.

I went back and forth on choosing how I would tell my story for my upcoming book The Muse Unlocked. Initially, it was first person, present tense. Then, omniscient third person present tense and back to first-person past tense. Like a see-saw. I really struggled to make up my mind. Finally, I decided on ominiscient third person past tense.  And I’m glad that I did. The reader primarily gets an inside look into the main female character’s thoughts but there are some scenes in the book, where I do let the reader privy to what’s behind the words and actions of the lead male and I believe it was a simple case of being a reader of this beloved genre myself.

As I wrote, I kept asking myself – if it were me reading this, what would I want to know? Whose mind would I want to crawl up inside and examine more closely?

I’ve heard some authors talk about writing for genres outside their own favorite reading preferences simply because they had that one great big idea or they developed a following early and kept on feeding it. I don’t think I could do that. If I fell out of love with a style or genre, I think my heart would pull my words and stories somewhere else. I believe I would feel compelled to travel in a different direction.

Right now, this is where my heart lies and is supposed to be, and I feel fortunate that I know this. My own POV is clear as a bell. Now if only choosing it for our characters were that easy…

Happy reading!
ck

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On GoodReads? Let’s Gab!

Kindle1This one will be a shorter post today. I wanted to remind anyone who follows me to connect with me on GoodReads, as well. It’s a great little community and an awesome spot to simply start a dialogue with like-minded readers who enjoy similar books. A little birdie told me that you are likely to see me as a GoodReads author out there myself sometime in the not-so-distant future. Will keep you posted on that! For now, click here to stop by for a visit and friend me on GoodReads so we can get down and dirty talking about our favorite books. And let me tell you: I have an eclectic bunch of titles – from plays to novels, existential literature and classic fiction to young adult and my growing obsession with contemporary romance, and most recently, a new addition, some exploring of the erotica genre.

In fact, I’ve just added a few book reviews today of Cameron’s Lincoln‘s last two books in the Holiday Heat Series, TIDES OF LUST and OCEANS OF DESIRE. Cameron is going to be a guest blogger in a few weeks, and if you are a romance reader who has been looking for opportunities to stretch your reading interests in some new directions, one area that seems to be growing in popularity especially with restless romance readers is the more heat-inspired, erotic romance genre. Writers like Lincoln, Paige Thomas and Chase Boehner are starting to garner some serious attention from readers who don’t normally dip in the erotica pool.

Lately, reading in general has been a real challenge for me. I have several books on my Kindle that I pre-ordered and awaited their arrival with great frenzy and yet there they sit now, patiently waiting for me. They include BEAUTIFUL STRANGER by Christina Lauren (the second installment in that popular series) and as of this morning, THIS GIRL, the eagerly anticipated third book from Colleen Hoover (love her!!) to follow two of my absolute favorite books SLAMMED and POINT OF RETREAT.

Finding the time to steal away for a little pleasure reading has been quite a feat. In fact, I started the very eagerly awaited WALKING DISASTER by Jamie McGuire several weeks ago, follow-up to the popular and much-adored (moi included) BEAUTIFUL DISASTER.  Between my work schedule and getting my own book ready to publish, as well as the mixed reaction on my part to the sequel, it’s been slow going. I’m almost done and frankly, can’t wait to be finished. And that reaction surprises me tremendously. Hmm. To be fair, haven’t technically finished yet. You’ll just have to read my GoodReads review when I complete it to find out the ultimate verdict.

So…don’t be a stranger. Let’s shoot the breeze about our favorite authors and titles – old and new – and celebrate the geeky bookish fools that we are. *hoists large banner* Letting the book-reading freak flag fly high…WOOT WOOT!

Happy reading (oh yes, indeedy!)
ck

News from Some Trusty Bookworms (01.13.13)

Happy Sunday, folks!

It’s been a busy week of freelance work for me, so not too much to report on the novel-writing front – but keeping to my chapter-a-week pace, with writing time blocked off this afternoon (thankfully).

But many of my favorite writers have been busy generating some news of their own this week. So if you happened to miss a groovy book blogger spill it or a tweet or Facebook update from the authors themselves, maybe you haven’t heard…

  • One more Hoover news nugget… she and her colleague Jamie McGuire and Tammara Webber are going to be appearing together at a group book signing event Sunday, January 20 at A Real Bookstore, located in Fairview, Texas. I’d love nothing more than to attend but given that Fairview is about 1,200 miles away from me, I’m not seeing a road trip in my future. Perhaps I can persuade them that Tampa Bay is lovely at this time of year or even nearby Orlando and they can bring family members with them to enjoy the many local attractions and beaches 🙂 I am also not above bribing in Florida wine, cigars, strawberries and other produce, so just name your preference…
  • And speaking of Travis…Much as Stephens was able to deliver something special to her readers a little early because of their social media enthusiasm with a sneak peek at Reckless, Jamie McGuire recently announced that her publisher Atria has agreed to release the sequel to Beautiful Disaster — Walking Disaster — two weeks early if the author reaches 30,000 likes on the author’s Facebook page. As of this afternoon, she was a little under 800 shy. So “like” away, readers! I’ve done my part, have you? Come on, you know you miss Travis…
  • Author Samantha Young hosted a Twitter chat with fans earlier this week, during which she revealed that her next On Dublin Street series book will focus not on its predecessor’s leads Joss and Braden but instead on Jo, Joss’s friend with whom she works at the local bar and the telling of her story. She offered the reasoning behind the decision, assuring readers that they will continue to get a glimpse into the world of their beloved Joss and Braden but that Jo’s story had yet been told and would offer insight into her perceived identity as a “golddigger.” So perhaps we will fall in love with Jo and her adventures with Cameron MacCabe just as we did her friends. Down London Road will be available in the U.S. May 7, 2013. (Okay, everybody…chime in: hurrah!)

So many books, so many bottles of red wine. Perfect! I think perhaps I’ll crack open a new one of each this evening.

Happy reading!
ck

Fascinating, Schmascinating

I love TV specials, especially ones that involve lists. (Yes, I’m funny that way.) Perhaps it’s the closure fiend in me that appreciates a good definitive ranking or it may just be all of those years growing up with Casey Kasem’s Top 40 — who knows!

Each year, Barbara Walters offers her own take on the 10 most fascinating people for the year – sometimes they make sense; other times, they seem to come out of nowhere. But no matter how many years I watch it, I always feel like the list doesn’t reflect who I would include. Last year, I ranted to my Facebook friends and shared with them my own list but THIS year, you get to suffer, too.

So it only seemed fair that I also INVITE you to join in the merriment when I posed this week’s Kuhnspiration blog question: Who would you feature in your own “10 Most Fascinated People of 2012″ TV special?

Have you thought about your choices for the year? I do hope that you’ll share your picks, too. Remember: this is my list, so I can put whoever the hell I want (as you can, too). So please, no whining about who did or didn’t make the cut. I have my own definition of “fascinating” as I’m sure you do, too. So without further delay…here we go!

10. Kate Middleton. The chick got married last year but she was everywhere in 2012. As the future Queen of England, she found herself quite busy — touring the world, representing the host country with her main squeeze at the Summer Olympics and giving people plenty of opportunities to ponder both her outfits and the status of her biological clock and baby-making desires. Poor thing. Talk about a walking spotlight. She has one built into her perfectly stylish stilettos, I’m sure.

  9. Zombies. They were everywhere — books, TV, movies, music…embedded in our brain voluntarily though no doubt for the pure pleasure of devouring that zombie-obsessed brain later!

zombie

And if the growing popularity and surprisingly good ratings of the AMC hit “Walking Dead” indicate, we won’t be rid of these mind-gnawing mongrels anytime soon. And. That. Is. Okay. By. Me.

  8. Ryan Murphy. Okay, you probably won’t find this talented producer, writer, TV innovator on other people’s lists this year BUT YOU SHOULD.  He just may become this decade’s David Kelley with one big difference – all of HIS shows don’t feel or look like the same show. Armed with the challenge of keeping Fox’s “Glee” interesting despite most of its graduating class members being scattered across the country, Murphy has managed to introduce some new intriguing characters and still highlight old favorites. It hasn’t always worked this season though there have been a few standout episodes including one featuring not one, not two, not three…but FOUR break-ups in one hour-long episode. And though viewers were sad as hell as they watched, Murphy was still able to deliver an entertaining and poignant show. Let’s add to this existing show two new ones earning both critical acclaim and a fan following – “The New Normal,” a half-hour sitcom on NBC, and FX’s sophomore installment and completely haunting and addicting “American Horror Story,” and you’ve got one talented, and fascinating creator.

  7. Whitney Houston. No one ever doubted her talent but she hadn’t really been on anyone’s mind lately. Then, one unbelievable news day and she became all that anyone talked about for months. In much the same way Amy Winehouse left following an all-too-soon, truly sad way to go, the iconic singer seemed to become more popular and revered after her early 2012 death. We knew the talent was still there but were saddened to see it get buried and lost deep under a long-time and ultimately, life-ending addiction. This was a tramautic year for music fans who saw so many of their favorites besides Houston depart – from Dick Clark, Don Cornelius, Davey Jones and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees to Beastie Boy Adam Yauch,  Donna Summer, Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay, Etta James and The Band’s Levon Helm, and unfortunately, so many more. Whitney was just one more heartwrenching final note.

  6. Mitt Romney. There are going to be some people surprised to see this guy on my list, particularly since there is an absence of the other guy… you know, the one that won, the one I actually voted for and have been behind since 2008. Again, this list is about fascinating — and it was fascinating to watch this guy running for the most important office in the land come up against his own party’s leadership and their lack of enthusiasm and backing at times. Sometimes his own mouth got himself in trouble. (We on the other side understand this only too well — we’ve got Vice President Joe Biden in our camp, remember?) Still, it was never a dull moment to watch his campaign unfold from waaaaay back over here and see how campaign progress and platforms changed on what felt like a daily basis sometimes. Which Romney would we see today, some late-night talk show hosts joked but there was some truth to the levity.

MittLyle

Separated at birth? I’ll let you be the judge. You must admit – he looks an awful lot like Lyle Waggoner of “Wonder Woman” fame.

As Election Day neared, I do believe we got closer to seeing the real Romney. I wonder now had he run a little bit closer to home and owned up to representing what he truly believed from the get-go — what appeared to be a more moderate mix of views — and worried less about pleasing more conservative factions in his party, if he would have been able to beat President Obama. Quite possibly. I was originally worried that Romney’s religious affiliation as a Mormon being somewhat unknown or understood by many Americans might hurt him, but I really don’t think it did and for that, I was relieved. I do believe someday there will be an openly atheist, Muslim, Buddhist or Jewish president but it will be a while probably, but I hate to see anyone unfairly treated because of their religious beliefs or lack of them. No, I wasn’t rooting for the guy, but I’d never want to see that happen and besides, for me, there were plenty of good reasons having nothing to do with infringing upon his freedoms that led me to vote against him. But it doesn’t change the fact that he was a fascinating dude to follow this year.

 5. Justin Bieber. Disclaimer: I do not own one CD by Mr. Bieber nor have I downloaded anything from iTunes or viewed his concert film, seen him perform live (and with no intentions of changing this anytime soon)…so I would by all definitions of the word NOT be considered a fan. That being said, the world ate this kid up like he was chocolate-stuffed pizza all year! Whether it was what he was singing, what his hair looked like this week or who he was or wasn’t dating anymore, everyone was oozing Bieber Fever…still! Wait a second. I thought this kid was supposed to fade away by now. So if that’s the case, why is he still so popular? I just saw a headline last week that he was even the most searched celebrity online for 2012, so just running into news stories is apparently not enough. People are actually out there LOOKING for more of them, too! I don’t get it. I just don’t get his allure. He seems like an okay kid, a little awestruck with himself but nice enough, but his singing is nothing special, only a few of his songs the slightest bit memorable and his dancing does nothing for me. Don’t forget I watch all of the superstars over on “So You Think You Can Dance?”  Now that’s dancing. But clearly the world disagrees with me. Hmm. Maybe I’m missing something. Oh well, I’ve got books to read and books to write, so I’ll just have to miss the ferry for that one.

    4. Christian Grey, et al. Nope, Grey’s not a real person but a fictional character from the best-selling Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy but I haven’t seen this much fervor about the casting of a character for the big screen since the selection of the young actors to bring Harry Potter to life many years ago. Unlike that casting, I find myself caught up in this cinematic frenzy myself. This year, people began following movie producers’ every move to get one step closer to finding out who is going to write it, who is going to direct it, and of course, topmost on the minds of a predominantly female reader fan base, who will play the dangerously sexy object of their affection. I could have listed the book’s author E.L. James like Barbara Walters will and Entertainment Weekly already has, and it would certainly make sense, but let’s remember that the title of this list is not the BEST people of 2012, the SMARTEST people of 2012 or the most LIFE-CHANGING people of 2012. The word is “fascinating,” people. And it is this character that has completely captured the attention, hearts and minds of readers across the world, and this year demonstrated just how deep that infatuation lies with book-inspired product sales and social media melee over movie production and casting news (legitimate or otherwise) with no signs of waning anytime soon. Unless they take too damn long to cast the part. Oh, and if you want to know who  this writer thinks should play the part, ahem, it’s this fella right here. One Mr. Henry Cavill…and you’re welcome.

Cavill2

Another fascinating development stemming from this Grey infatuation has been the transition of these readers to other contemporary romance as well as erotica authors as they continue their quest to uncover other intriguing characters and dream lovers among the pages. Female readers especially are starting fan pages and Twitter handles for their favorite characters and leading in-depth story discussions online and in book clubs about everything, including dialogue, character drive and motivation and fantasy casting for these other beloved characters not yet destined for the big screen. These range from the similarly intense and complex Gideon Cross (Bared to You/Reflected in You, Sylvia Day) and Professor Gabriel Emerson (Gabriel’s Inferno/Gabriel’s Rapture, Sylvain Reynard) to the charming bad boy (is he or isn’t he?) Travis Maddox (Beautiful Disaster , Jamie McGuire) and Cash and Nash Davenport (Down to You , M. Leighton) to the nice guy with just a little bit of an edge Will Hooper (Slammed/Point of Retreat, Colleen Hoover) and Lucas (Easy, Tammara Webber). If you are a woman and romance, lust and emotional connections to characters were requirements on your reading checklist this year, you probably have been introduced to every single one of these sexy men on the list and have  read (and in most cases, RE-READ) these books. You will be happy to know (as am I) that nearly all of them will be back in 2013 sequels. Sigh.

3. The American Voter. And that means those of you who voted for that other guy (see #6 above), too. Thanks. That’s right, thanks. For coming out and doing your job. Not everyone expected you to do so, but I had faith that you would. It was mesmerizing all year to watch the various people who came out from the shadows to speak up about their candidates – sometimes people whose support you never expected to see thrown in a particular direction or words emerge out of some mouths that should have perhaps stayed behind their lips. (Yeah, that’s right, Donald Trump and Jack Welch – I’m talking to both of you.) But most fascinating was watching to see people rally behind their candidates and in some cases, major policy changes about everything from gay marriage to legalization of marijuana. All of the political “experts” thought they knew exactly what the American Voter would do on November 6, but many of them were quite surprised at the outcomes for various races and initiatives across the nation.  I was just pleased to see so many people speak for themselves and come out to the polls. Good job making yourself heard, America – again, whatever your message was. It was heard – loud and clear.

  2. Malala Yousafzai. One young girl may have changed the way many people view education and what it really means for other people across the world. The little girl from Pakistan could be voted Time Person of the Year, and it all started with an anonymous blog about wanting to go to school. Once she revealed her identity, her name and face and the reaction to her plea became synonymous with what is wrong in the world that a young girl not only can’t speak her dreams aloud but that they can be taken away with force and brutal violence. She was shot in the head for wanting to learn and telling other people this. No matter how many times I repeat that sentence in my head, it will never make sense that this is the same world that I live in and where I make my dorky, off-the-wall comments about anything and everything (as I am doing right now), and here is this brave, pensive young girl that gets nearly killed for stating what would make her happiest in her life. It’s such an important lesson for us all to be vocal and expressive about what we want because we have the right and the ability to do so. We must. For Malala.

And finally, the most fascinating person in 2012, according to moi…

  1. Lucy Marie Kuhn. No, you haven’t heard of her yet but you will. Someday.

LucyMarieKuhn_UpClose

My little granddaughter was born early one Tuesday morning last month and has already mesmerized those around her. She truly is the most fascinating person of 2012…if you ask me.

I’d love to hear about your list, too. Do tell. 

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend, and as always, thanks for reading.

Cheers to finding that daily spark in your life.
~Chris