City of Please-Make-Me-Forget-That-Horrible-Movie, Part II

I finished “reading” City of Heavenly Fire last night.

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And by reading, I mean searching the book for every mention of “Zachariah”, for he is the only character that really matters to me anymore, reading those passages and skipping everything else.

As a lover of books and the written word, this behavior is sinful, blasphemous, profane and when that day comes for me to stand before the literary gods, they will probably hold this exercise in skimming against me.

And that’s when the lawyer in me will rise up and defend myself, reminding the literary gods of the similar blasphemous acts of Hollywood and Ms. Clare, when they came together in an unholy union to produce that piece of shit film that has forever burned my eyeballs and seared itself into my visual memory banks, The Mortal Instruments.

And the gods will sit back and say, “Ah, yes. That movie was a piece of shit.” and they will let me go on my merry way, for my crime of skimming The City of Heavenly Fire pales in comparison to the crime committed when putting together The Mortal Instruments.

So yeah, that’s what happened last night around one in the morning. I searched for Jem, found him, and kept it moving until I reached the end. And no, I cannot review the book for my blog, but I got enough out of it to know what happened, how the series was put to rest.

And at least now I’m free from thinking about the boy from Twilight and the girl with the enviable eye brows.

Dropping the Mike, Emoji Style

The other night I was chatting with some girlfriends online and a conversation that began about waxing quickly spiraled into an emoji fest.

It’s probably my fault.

An emoji for me creates almost a Pavlov’s Dog type of reaction – I simply cannot reply to an emoji with words. Uh-uh. Not happening. Once one emoji enters the conversation, the gauntlet has been dropped and it’s all out emoji war. Words mean nothing. All that matters is the emoji.

So the other night, Jess and Bekah were going hard, tossing out some great ones, Jess sending me every emoji available for use on Facebook, which I must admit, practically absorbed all of my attention. I was about to let it go at that and admit that they were the emoji queens and I was a mere plebian in their midst.

And then I hit them with this shit.

Can we just say drop the mike?

HOLLA.

Interview With Mad Hatter Reads

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Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to sit down with Traci from the blog Mad Hatter Reads, enjoy some tequila and discuss everything from writing The Boy to my dream vacation. Traci pretty much rocks (you can follow her on Twitter at @madhatterreads or check out her blog at http://madhatterreads.com) and the interview was loads of fun so thought I would share it with y’all.

Take a peek…

Would you tell us what we can expect from The Sanctum Trilogy and the newest installment, THE BOY?

THE BOY picks up where the action from THE GIRL ended, which was on the battlefield with Dev and Wyatt disappearing into the portal.

Dev escapes New York City and is racing against time to save Wyatt, landing on the doorstep of her Ramyan Master, Qi, seeking his assistance. The Ramyan, a mysterious sect of Magicals, play a prominent role in Book II and the realization of the prophecy.

Meanwhile, Jools, Ryker and The New York Academy try to move forward and counter the Breslin powerplay, while also coping with their despair. Throw in a host of new characters, from a shapeshifter to a practitioner of Shindo (dark magic), mix them up with the usual troublemakers and you’ve got a pretty decent recipe for plenty of drama and mayhem.

That said, when I think on this book, even with all the political maneuvering, back-stabbing, hot sex and fighting, what stands out the most to me are the themes of loss and acceptance.

Wow! THE BOY sounds action packed! What is your favorite scene in the book and are there any scenes that are hard for you to write?

My favorite scene is towards the latter half of the book when Wyatt very matter-of-factly tells Dev that she is the only woman he wants, momentarily flabbergasting her with his brutal honesty. What I also love is that although he’s being sincere, she really is the only woman for him, he’s also messing with her, enjoying the opportunity to make her squirm a bit.

Darby’s sex scenes are a close second. They’re just downright hot.

Probably the most poignant scene and the hardest to write was between Josiah and Wyatt, when the father finally lets go of the son, admitting to himself he will never see his child again. That was kind of brutal, especially conveying Josiah’s desperation. It just broke my heart.

If you could invite any four of your characters to dinner who would you invite and why?

Jedda, Darby, Jools and Dev, mostly because it would be fun to watch a room full of strong, incredibly fierce women lord it over this incredibly sexy, virile, smart, cocksure man. Plus, we would all have a blast getting drunk together.

Now that would be a fun dinner! Who’s in charge? You or the characters?

A little of both although as the trilogy comes to a close, and I have very distinct ideas about what I see happening to certain characters, I feel the characters are starting to win and tilt the playing field to their advantage. I think they’re getting the upper hand as of late mostly because I don’t want things to end, you know? Especially Dev and Wyatt. They sit in this little part of my soul and I’m not quite ready to part ways with them any time soon, so we’ll see what happens…

Do you have any special quirks when it comes to your writing? It needs to be quiet, or music playing, etc?

Not really. I can kind of write anywhere, as evidenced by large chunks of books one and two being written on the Path train during my commute into and out of Manhattan. And although I’m only on that train for all of 16 minutes, I always seem to get quite a bit accomplished.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Growing up, Judy Blume for sure. I loved her. I still do. Most recently, I would say Laini Taylor. I’ve said it many times over, her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy inspired me to write The Sanctum. Her books are so beautiful and fanciful and fraught with emotion and I wanted to see if I could so something similar.

On a fangirl note, since becoming more active on Twitter to promote my work, she’s favorited three of my tweets, which really just makes me all kinds of crazy. I’ve taken pictures of the tweets she favorited. Snort. And to add to the cuteness, her husband has favorited two of them as well.

Squee!! It gives me a thrill when an author I admire favorites one of my tweets too! What do you feel are the essential elements to a great story?

This answer is probably different for every writer.

For me, I would say the characters. But I’m also the same girl who just received a one-star rating from someone on Goodreads who read THE GIRL and complained that I didn’t describe the settings enough, so take what I say with a grain of salt. HAHA.

I enjoy reading character-driven stories and write much the same way. In all honesty, when there are vast amounts of descriptive paragraphs in a book, I often find myself skimming them, trying to reach the next section of dialogue.

Good dialogue between well-developed, strong characters can carry a story just as well as detailed and descriptive narratives. It’s almost as if comparing active versus passive and I’ll take active any day.

Good sex scenes are also key. And if you’re not going to give up the sexy times, then at least have some serious physical attraction going on, some serious chemistry.

What do you feel is the best part about being a writer? The most frustrating?

The best part is the creative freedom, the ability to construct worlds and develop characters all on your own whim.

The most frustrating? That’s easy. Marketing.

What was the best advice you received when you started writing?

Ann McGinley, my legal writing professor in law school told me that one day I would write a great novel, but while I was in her class, I was going to learn to write like a lawyer.

It’s not exactly advice, but her faith in my capabilities as a fiction writer have stuck with me all these years later. I should send her copies of my books!

Would you tell us about your upcoming projects?

I’m currently working on Book III: The Prophecy, the final episode of The Sanctum Trilogy (meep) and have started taking notes on a series about Darby and Jedda.

They have a decades-long romance that I am quite intrigued by, but do not have time to delve into great detail about in The Sanctum. I was standing in line in the grocery store last weekend, thinking about how much I love them, both together and on their own, and realized they provide more than enough fodder for some good reading and writing.

And now for some rapid-fire questions:

Favorite color? Black, although I do love a deep blue. And some people would swear I’m partial to green.

Favorite ice cream flavor? In a bowl or a cone? Coffee ice cream and a bowl. Although my childhood girlfriend makes all kinds of crazy, homemade flavors and her candied bacon ice cream is to die for.

Where would you go on a dream vacation? Phu Quoc island, off the coast of Vietnam.

If you could have a super power what would it be? I’d love to be able to time-travel. Is that really a superpower, in the sense of Superman or Wonder Woman? I don’t think so, but man if I wouldn’t love to go back in time and have dinner with Zora Neale Hurston and then an after-dinner drink and a smoke with Mark Twain.

What are you reading right now? The Infected by Scott Sigler. All I’m going to say is the itching…

I’m so glad you stopped by today Madhuri! It’s always a pleasure to have you visit and you’ll have to come back to see us soon!

City of Please-Make-Me-Forget-That-Horrible-Movie

As millions the world over, I am currently reading the finale to Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series, City of Heavenly Fire.

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I had been seeing the Mortal Instruments books around for a while, but for some reason or another avoided them for months until on a whim of fancy, I snagged book one in late 2012 and then proceeded to spend the remainder of winter ensconced in Clare’s world of Shadowhunters. I even brought my friend, Corey, along for the ride.

We devoured the five Mortal Instruments books and then turned our attention to Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy, all to hold us over until the publication of Heavenly Fire.

(By the way, if you’re considering reading something of Clare’s, start with The Infernal Devices. It’s great. And you’ll love Jem. No, you’ll love Will. No, Jem. Maybe Will? No, Jem.)

(But I digress.)

Sadly, somewhere between March 2013 and May 2014, the powers that be released the movie version of The Mortal Instruments, starring a girl with enviable eye brows and one of those boys from Twilight. If I sound dismissive and disdainful of the enterprise, trust me, it’s purposeful.

I suppose here is where I should let the reader know that I’m incredibly visual. A crappy song can suddenly sound not-so-bad if it’s accompanied by a ground-breaking video. And vice-versa, a great song can be killed by a shitty video. They created MTV for freaks like me.

And books to movies? Almost always an epic failure. I could list examples, but why bother? You know them already. It’s the same list of the usual suspects, although given my druthers, I would add the Hunger Games simply based on the casting of Peeta.

All of this babbling leads me back to the fact that they made a movie of The Mortal Instruments and because I know books to movies usually suck and because the actors seemed rather deplorable in their interviews and because my friend, Priya, watched the movie and told me it was horrible, I avoided it.

Until about two weeks ago.

When it was on cable and I got sucked in for a total of maybe ten minutes before I had to turn the channel to prevent my eyes and ears from bleeding. It was horrible. It is horrible. And the Twilight boy who plays Jace is NOT Jace and the girl with the enviable eye brows makes Clary more insufferable than I already found her to be.

Ten minutes.

All it took was ten minutes to ruin an entire series for me.

Because as I read the finale, I fear that is what has happened. Jace is now the Jace of the movie with that horrible hair and that whiney voice that not even a British accent can save and that complete lack of sex appeal and Clary is…well, she’s Clary and I never really liked her anyway. But Izzy, kickass Izzy, balls-down-your-throat-whip-slashes-across-your-chest-before-you-know-what-hit-you Izzy, her movie version now appears in my head as I read Heavenly Fire. And her movie version sucks.

So if you’re like me and incredibly visual, stay away from that horrendous piece of film-making and just stick with the books and enjoy the ride.

Me?

I’m going to continue slogging through this thing, waiting for the Emma and Jules passages, the interjections from Clare’s new characters who as of yet, have not been bastardized by Hollywood.

Interview Time! Character interview with Jools Clayworth of The Sanctum Trilogy by Madhuri Blaylock

I didn’t think I could possibly love my character Jools Clayworth. She’s bratty and obnoxious and is the younger sibling you love to hate, but I think this interview might tip the scales in her favor a bit. Miss Clayworth is quite the charmer and a big shout out to Kayti for bringing out her better side.

Check it out.

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With the new book in The Sanctum trilogy out right now (a totally awesome book by the way, you should go check it out). I decided to do something different this time– or at least different for this blog– and host a character interview with one Jools Clayworth, Class A Warrior and Acting Head of The New York Academy. Also one of my favorite characters because she’d just awesome like that. 😀

Full name: Jools Gabrielle Clayworth

Age: 18

Occupation: Class A Warrior for The Sanctum, Acting Head of The New York Academy

KNR: Tell us a little bit about what happens in The Boy?

I feel like it’s a treatise of sorts on dealing with loss, the devastating effects loss can have on you and how everyone handles loss differently.

I’m sure Wyatt would say it’s all about him becoming more perfect than he already was…

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