The Next Best Thing

This is the first meme I’ve done on this blog, but it seemed like fun and I got tagged (by Larua Wardle) so I decided why not?

What is the working title of your book?

TERRIFYING TORA

Where did the idea for the book come from?

It’s going to sound a little silly, but I work with cash at my day job and sometimes when I turn my back on the customer to get out the cash I can’t help but think ‘Man, it’d be so easy for them to just shot me or something right now‘. I’m generally not a paranoid person and doubt that will ever happen to me, but my mind tends to jump to rather horrific situations from the most mundane tasks. Not out of fear, probably out of the fact that I read/watch a lot of horror/deadly stories.

Anyway, that idea just came alive one day at work. I thought it’d be interesting to have a character that always had horrific thoughts invading her head, thus Tora Kuragawa was born. I wanted a new story to write for NaNo 2012 and the rest of the plot just flowed out after Tora got into my head.

What genre does your book fall under?

YA Paranormal Thriller/Suspense

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

This is really hard for me. I never think about actors/other people when I’m thinking about my characters… So, this question took the longest for me to figure out.

Tora Kuragawa would be a young Aoi Miyazaki (like, Virgin Snow Aoi Miyazaki):

https://i2.wp.com/lh4.ggpht.com/elaing.zhang/RyvlJmzapwI/AAAAAAAAFus/9xWwICpjSlM/s800/005.jpg

The second main character is Delaney Gunvald and I really can’t think of anyone, and after doing some searching, the only one I can think that would sort of work would be a teenager Chris Hemsworth:

https://i2.wp.com/www.aceshowbiz.com/images/wennpic/chris-hemsworth-photocall-the-avengers-01.jpg

Guy would be Logan Lerman, just imagine him constantly having a really bad case of bedhead and then you’d have Guy:

https://i2.wp.com/data.whicdn.com/images/18265452/tumblr_lu9hnqogIA1r5z1b1o1_250_thumb.jpg

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

One sentence…? That’s so hard. Here’s my best go:

As a victim of an unnatural death, sixteen-year-old Tora Kurosawa is stuck in the In-Between and is forced to play the reapers’ game: conquer her death and let go of her life and they’ll let her crossover, fail to do so in seven days and she’ll be banished to the Netherworld for an eternity.

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

Represented by an agency. I’ve always thought of going the traditional route. Not that there’s anything wrong with self-publishing, it’s just not for me.

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

About seven days. I didn’t realize until I was done how fitting that is (since Tora only has seven days to save herself). It was for NaNo2012 and I had a pretty thorough chapter-by-chapter outline so I didn’t have to wonder what to do next? Now it’s time to revise, revise, revise. 

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

I would say it’s like ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD / GIRL OF NIGHTMARES by Kendare Blake in the horror quality of the book and because of the Gunvald family.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Kendare Blake, I really loved her books and it inspired me to try something horror-esque. Also ASHES by Isla J Bick, which also has a lot of horror in it and just the burning desire to keep reading until the very end of that book stayed with me. Except the ending really irked me (freaking cliffhanger…). THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers is a thriller/suspense (with zombies, which is awesome) inspired me as well. I really loved it. Summers’s voice is just so there and the pace of that book was remarkable. I loved it from start to finish. I would also say POSSESS by Gretchen McNeil. I loved her voice in that book and it was probably the first YA Paranormal Thriller that I consciously read because of the genre.

Plus, the classic Stephen King (CARRIE, IT, THE SHINNING). One of my favorite horror writers.

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

Tora can’t control where her soul stays, if someone thinks about her hard enough she’ll be pulled to them. Her parents never bother to mourn for her, but a stranger cries for her constantly. A boy that she saw right after her death, the boy that let her die. At least, that’s what he (Delaney Gunvald) believes. The only other person who pulls her is her murderer, where she is forced to watch him torture other innocent girls.

And now I get to tag some people…

Delancey Stewart
Jennie
Jessica Nichollas

Snow White and the Huntsman

I’ve been wanting to see Snow White & the Huntsman since I saw the first preview for it. I like dark twists on fairy tales (because usually they were dark before Disney got a hold of them). Charlize Theron is always good and I’ve liked Chris Hemsworth since I saw him in Thor. The only thing that I didn’t like was Kristen Stewart as Snow White. I’ve seen her in Adventureland, Panic Room, and Twilight (only the first one, I never bothered with the rest). I wasn’t really impressed by any of her roles even though I liked Panic Room and Adventureland.

Plus, the idea that KStew could be fairer than Charlize Theron…? I couldn’t help but think ‘in what reality?’ because, come on, Charlize Theron is an amazingly beautiful woman. In the commercials she was clearly a knock out. And then there was KStew. Plain looking KStew in a role of the ‘fairest of them all’.

I couldn’t get with that, but I still wanted to see the movie. Tonight I finally got the chance and I was pleasantly surprised. Charlize Theron was amazing, no shocker there, and Chris Hemsworth was amusing and somehow sexy even though he looked highly unwashed. The little girl that played young Snow White was cute and had really beautiful eyes. I could totally believe she would grow up to be the fairest of them all. And KStew?

She was actually pretty good. At times, she even looked as lovely as Charlize Theron. She only has a couple facial expressions, but otherwise she did well. I remember her biting her bottom lip like a hundred times in Twilight, thankfully she didn’t do it once in this movie. I read a couple reviews slamming her acting but I don’t think that’s fair. She actually did a good job. I was very impressed by her in this movie.

Before you say it, I know the whole point was inner beauty, that she was kind and fair on the inside in ways the evil Queen could never be. But even if it wasn’t, if it was just about outer beauty, this movie made me believe that KStew could rival Charlize Theron’s beauty on a really good day.

It even inspired me. I’ve been having issues with my current WIP even though I’ve been able to write parts of it every day. I was stuck. I didn’t know where to take the story but the beauty of this movie helped me. I came home and wrote a scene.

The movie kept me entertained from start to finish, the acting was good, the plot entertaining, and that’s all I look for in a movie. I don’t need it to be picture of the year, just something that was worth my money. Snow White & the Huntsman is just that. I would recommend anyone seeing it, even you aren’t a KStew fan.

Update: Due to the news that KStew had an affair with the married director of this movie, I feel the need to retract the compliments I gave for her. Truth is, she should be given very few things to say (as she was in this movie) and just thrown in the midst of action, if the movie hopes to be good. Because, well, let’s face it. KStew doesn’t have a lot of facial expressions, and apparently no morals. Really? A married man? Really…? Ugh. Then she goes and apologizes to her boyfriend in a public weepy thing (probably more for her fans than him, because if it was for him she’d have done it in private). Yeah, great for you KStew, now what do you have to say the the wife?