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Win a copy of Nobody and Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (ends 2/20)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Mystery: Katie Alender

Anddddd it's Katie! She's the author of upcoming novel Bad Girls Don't Die which comes out really soon! You can find her here and my review here.
Okay, the most random thing I can think of is that when I used to live in a giant apartment complex with an underground parking garage, whenever I was backing out of my parking space, I would think, “If there were a clown driving a tiny car behind my car, I would run him over!” [From Yan: Oh my! Cindy Pon is going to get squashed!] Not on purpose, mind you. But how are you supposed to see a clown in a tiny car? And why would he be driving through my underground parking garage, anyway?

I don’t know what it means… fear of clowns? Fear of small cars? Fear of getting grease paint on my bumper?

Don't think I haven't tried to figure it out.

I’ve always been too analytical for my own good. I can take something simple and spin it into a thousand different meanings. This helps me talk people into things. It also, I think, helps me write fiction.

I’m good at seeing things from other people’s point of views. I don’t necessarily agree, but I can understand that at least they think they’re right, based on XYZ factors. After all, everyone thinks he or she is right. If we didn’t all think that, the world would be a much politer place with far fewer road rage incidents (or "me just shouting at people in the safely sealed off bubble of my car" incidents).

So when I write, I just tap into that. In fiction, you only need, like, one good idea a year (unless you’re Meg Cabot or Nora Roberts, in which case, you need about 33 good ideas a year). You may go through fifteen bad ideas before you settle on your good idea, but that’s still a fairly cut and dry process.

Now, when the idea’s settled on and the writing starts, that’s when it helps to be able to “spin” things. Because you have to take a situation and explain your way into and out of it. And every character needs to act and sound as though she truly believes what she’s doing and saying, which means that, as a writer, you have to be able to get into their head and see things their way. Even if you HATE people who are obsessed with checking email on their iPhones all the time, if you have a character who does that, you need to be able to understand how important it is to her, or when you write the scene where she defends what she's doing, it won't ring true. (Like, maybe she's really stressed because her book is coming out soon... and she's obsessed with Google Alerts... and maybe you should take pity and send her chocolate!)

When you write fiction, you’re basically taking a “fact” (your premise… like “high school girl discovers she’s a princess”) and adding your spin to it—in the case of “Princess Diaries,” it’s the story of an awkward girl who isn’t sure she has what it takes and isn't sure she wants the added complications in her life.

Now imagine if “Princess Diaries” were about a girl who’d always longed to be a princess because she always thought she was different form everybody else? Totally different story. Or a super-rebellious girl who didn’t believe in the monarchy, even if she were a part of it? It's all just a matter of perspective.

Coming up with your idea is the first big way to "spin" your work. Choosing your character/s is the second big way. And making sure you see the world in terms of the character/s is the third big way. And the best way to prepare for this is to constantly be looking for ways to see the world through someone else's eyes. That's a surefire way to help you create realistic characters. (And as an added bonus, it helps teach you compassion!)

So hyper-analytical neurotics unite! Together we will create characters who are just as neurotic and hyper-analytical as we are… and then we will analyze them.

Happy spinning! And watch out for clowns in tiny cars.
k.
We have a double surprise this Monday! Katie is giving away a "oodles of fun random stuff" to a random winner! But wait, I am giving away my ARC of her book! So that means you lovely readers will have two (2) chances to score a lovely prize.

Katie's prize bag will given away randomly:

Rules:
+1 if you comment under this post
+1 if you start following me
+2 if you were already a follower (google reader counts)
+2 if you post about this giveaway (show me the link!)
+2 if you refer someone
+1 to the person who you referred!

And the ARC will be given away to the "scariest" doll. Bad Girls Don't Die focuses on dolls so I thought that it will kind of cool. Just email me at yan(dot)pocky(at)gmail(dot)com with your picture. I prefer that you somehow own this doll or just found it in a dollstore instead of going to google. If you just take a picture of the doll with your hand in a peace symbol that will work. Mostly I fear that everyone will have the same picture that's online. And plus it'll be funnier if the doll was your own. Remember it does not have to be scary scary hence the quotes.

This giveaway will end on June 15th to give you guys time to take the picture! This is a US and Canada giveaway!
Katie has just informed me of her awesome plans on her blog! She's going to have downloads, giveaways, etc. So stop by to see what she's planning!

64 comments:

  1. I would love to be included in the giveaway. I have read so many good things about Bad Girls Don't Die that I cant wait to read it.

    I am already a follower.

    Since I dont actually have a scarey doll, I will just tell you the one doll that still freaks me out. Chucky, still freaks me out to this day, I cant watch that movie.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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  2. I really want to read this book!

    bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

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  3. I'm already a follower.

    bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

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  4. I'd love to win.


    mj.coward[at]gmail.com

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  5. +2 follower


    mj.coward[at]gmail.com

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  6. Okay, how random would it be if I won my own prize? Ha ha ha, just kidding.

    I think my scariest doll was my Raggedy Ann, because I used to suck on her hand and it turned mildewy or something, but my parents never took it away and I just sucked on it and enjoyed the salty, mildewy taste.

    That is actually VERY gross, in retrospect. I'm going to have to talk to my parents about this!

    Thanks to everyone who's participating (I hope you'll visit me this week for other fun stuff)! And thanks to Yan for having me here. And thanks to the clowns who never took the chance.

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  7. this is great, I have really been looking forward to this book! count me in!
    sports dot erikalynn at gmail dot com

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  8. i blogged about it here
    http://kissmybook.blogspot.com/2009/04/bad-girls-dont-die-contest.html

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  9. This book really does sound amazing. Great guest blog. I love it, and clowns in tiny cars, huh? Oh no, now I'll be freaked out! lol

    -already a follower
    -referred by Erika Lynn. :-)


    -Lauren
    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

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  10. Erika Lynn got me here!

    Little advice....don't put two contests into one post! Craziness!

    I'd love to enter both so that this comment as entry for the first contest and I'll submit my entry for the ARC give away tonight, when I have access to my "dolls", or should I say my 4 year old daughter's dolls....you never know what to expect with that!

    Great contest!

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  11. THIS LOOKS ah-mazing!
    addictedtobooks1993@yahoo.com

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  12. Please enter me! And I blogged about the contest here

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  13. Oooh, I'll definitely watch out for them. You never know what a clown is up to! I'd probably want to run them over on purpose. Clowns are creepy! *shudder* But whether or not I'd be able to is another thing entirely as I don't have a license so for all I know, I wouldn't be able to do it on purpose. Then again, I'd probably be hazardous to the health of everyone around me so hey, I'd have a good chance of running them over if they were behind my car! Ha! Take that, creepy clowns!

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  14. Well I wouldn't want to run him over on purpose (maybe) but I would sure lock my doors! Clowns freak me out so bad (thank you, Stephen King). This sounds like a really interesting story!

    +1 I'm now a follower and a Google Reader subscriber!

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  15. Ooh, "oodles of fun random stuff" sounds like fun! I'd love to be entered :)

    & Already a follower.

    And the guest post is great; hehehe @ clowns in tiny cars. Poor Cindy.

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  16. Funny thing - clowns in cars! Great contest; please enter me!

    I am a new follower.

    shelcows AT gmail DOT com

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  17. See, see, see!! THAT is why I refuse to drive a car smaller than me!!!

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  18. The creepiest doll I can find is: http://baxterking.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/bubbapilla-toddlerpede.jpg or http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ivA2yXsX-Kk/SAPUWjMMh0I/AAAAAAAAAL4/ODmIBKzA4E0/s400/DSCF2103.JPG They are CREEPY! *shivers!*

    -Senfaye :)
    annieluvsmuffin@Gmail.com

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  19. I just started following you! =) And has also linked the contest to the sidebar of my blog: www.orientaldesires.blogspot.com

    ^0^

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  20. This one http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c259/mgoode/scary_doll7.jpg creeps me out the most of the ones I found, it reminds me of the ring. This one is a close second in creepiness: http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f246/alohavamp/creepy_doll_by_goingforthegold.jpg

    And these three are definitely honorable mentions.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_FvjBw4p2xv8/R3PkcthpolI/AAAAAAAAAMQ/fhKdfWBWq60/s320/artman_photo953756.jpg
    http://photos.jpgmag.com/9710_8181_9e5b7741cd_p.jpg
    http://newagedolls.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/22.jpg

    +1 I commented earlier. :P
    +2 I already follow.
    +2 I put a link here: http://bookcontestlinks.blogspot.com/2009/04/april-27th-2009.html

    Laina1312@gmail.com

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  21. I got carried away googling. I'm going to have nightmares for ages now. I actually used to have nightmares about this one doll of mine coming to life.

    Sorry, I babble when I'm tired.

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  22. Hi! Thanks for the contest!

    +1 if you comment under this post
    +2 if you were already a follower (google reader counts)
    +2 if you post about this giveaway (show me the link!)-In my sidebar

    http://www.theelectricalbookcafe.blogspot.com/

    Wdebo :)

    electricalbookcafe@yahoo.com

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  23. Would love to win! I just became a follower, and I found this giveaway on http://bookcontestlinks.blogspot.com/2009/04/april-27th-2009.html

    vvperesk@gmail.com

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  24. I would love to be entered please!

    ssummmer(at)gmail(dot)com

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  25. I loved this book and I would love to win a bag of random goodies! I am already a follower! Thanks for the giveaway!

    katieb206@gmail.com

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  26. OOOh, I want this book soo badly.
    And I'm a follower.
    thtchickkaitlyn7@aol.com

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  27. A random bag of goodies always is nice! Enter us!

    Beth & Nathan
    bnbookblog@gmail.com

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  28. LOL I didnt really have alot of dolls. I had cats **hey they didnt mind being dressed up, and they drank outta bottles**

    +2 I follow!

    ~linda~

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  29. Finally I knew the dolls would come in handy one day.I am game for winning this.Please enter me .I am already a follower +2 +1
    ozairamahin@gmail.com

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  30. Put me in :) I'm a follower.

    Purdypirate@gmail.com

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  31. please count me in on the giveaway
    thanks
    blinky_35(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  32. Sounds cool! I love the idea of a surprise bag of random stuff! It's just like one of those dollar store grab bags you used to get as a kid! I bit this grab bag will be better than that dollar store junk though!

    I was already following you before this contest, but as my google reader was uber bogged down I caught your contest on Book Contest Links first, so Laina deserves the credit. I hope you are having a lovely week!

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  33. Sounds good
    Count me in
    im following

    Email;factory_girl450@yahoo.com

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  34. Please count me in for the surprise bag of stuff - I'm scared of clowns and not fond of dolls either (they freak me out a bit)!

    i did enjoy your post from the author, particularly the part where she talks about finding the premise of your novel and how much it affects your final product. i guess it might be straightforward to seasoned writers, but it was new to me.

    + I'm a follower

    thanks again!

    gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

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  35. I've also added a link to your contest in my blog's sidebar.

    http://startingfresh-gaby317.blogspot.com/

    gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

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  36. I'm commenting and I'm already a follower...I'll try to refer someone or post about it (and will comment if I do!)

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  37. EnTER!

    thtchickkaitlyn7@aol.com

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  38. Oh, I will have to go dig my dolls out of my closet...Katie's gift bag sounds fun :)

    I am already a follower.

    pepsivanilla14(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  39. OK well I started following today.And nope, I do not have a pick of my scary doll, because well... I wouldn't own one, but I have a scary AMOUNT of dolls.. how does that count:)Billions of Barbies in their Boxes & even MORE that I've played with. If you really want to see scroll to the end of my webpage that I did YEARS ago that I sadly no longer have access tohttp://www.geocities.com/catgirlree/Babs/Babs.htmlScroll down and there is a pic of a COUPLE of the shelves I owned thenOK so that is that and Chuckie and his bride scares me to deathmarieburton2004 at yahoo dot com

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  40. Random bag of goodies sounds great!

    I have the perfect creepy doll that I got in the hospital when I was like 9 months old, but I have no clue where it is at. It always reminded me of the clown off of IT though - minus the razor sharp looking teeth.

    Already a follower too!

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  41. I had a lot of creepy dolls when I was a kid--especially after my brothers got a hold of it. They really changed them to be even MORE creepy!! They'd scare me in the middle of the night!!

    nancyecdavis@ bellsouth. net

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  42. Thanks for a great post! I would love to be entered for the bag of goodies.

    shelcows AT gmail DOT com

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  43. I am a follower!

    shelcows AT gmail DOT com

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  44. I was already a follower and I posted about this contest on my blog's sidebar.

    What an interesting contest idea! I'm excited to enter.

    blackink.creampaper@gmail.com

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  45. "oodles of fun random stuff"-- just my cup of tea!

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  46. This sounds like such a fun prize!

    Karin referred me.

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  47. I love fun random stuff! I'm a google reader follower, too. :) I can't wait to read this book eventually...

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  48. I would love to win this book
    + 1 I became a follower
    + 2 put this in my sidebar
    + 2 referred some people

    will post pic ASAP!

    teensatthelibrary@yahoo.com

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  49. I'd love to enter! Thanks!!!!

    I'm following.

    I posted about the contest in a blog post and sidebar. http://maxsbooksandthings.blogspot.com/2009/05/bad-girls-dont-die-contest.html

    My email is max.e.brown.94@gmail.com

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  50. I am a follower, and would love to win Katie's bag!

    Thanks!

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  51. Enter me please!

    I'm already a follower.

    lovinfitch(at)aol(dot)com

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  52. I am already a follower. This is great!

    Dey@mts.net

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  53. Count me in!~
    I am already a follower.
    Lifkdasux at aol dot com

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  54. +1 if you comment under this post -- this is my comment

    +1 if you start following me -- AM NOW FOLLOWING YOU!

    +2 if you post about this giveaway -- putting on my sidebar, so i cant exactly give u a link!

    Leah:)

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  55. Please enter me in this amazing contest!
    +2 I'm alreay a follower

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  56. Please enter me, thanks!
    booksobsession(at)gmail(dot)com

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  57. +2 I posted this on my sidebar at http://booksobsession.blogspot.com

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  58. +1 I was referred by: http://maxsbooksandthings.blogspot.com/

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  59. Snarky, engaging, and downright creepy, Bad Girls Don't Die is one stellar debut novel; Katie Alender has created one of the most engrossing and consuming novels of the year.

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