Thanks to everyone for their opinions on the book cover. I heard from friends here, in person and on Facebook. It looks like number 6 is the winner. I have to make a few adjustments so I will have a grand unveiling soon. Whoot whoot!
SOME COOL STUFF FROM THE WEEKEND:
I spent Saturday visiting blogs by my weekly writing group buddies. One, Mr. Jeff Miller, will have a book published in December called The Bubble Gum Thief. The premise is really cool, it's about a man that starts off with a small crime and builds up to murder. On Jeff's blog, he has the first page of the novel posted with notes about exactly how much that opening scene changed with each draft. Jeff wrote multiple versions of the same scene hoping to find the exact right approach and I respect that effort. The page is really good but I think reading the notes beneath is fascinating. I'll keep you posted when the book drops because it sounds really good, I just preordered mine on Amazon.
Venturing into YA
I grabbed a TON of YA books from the local library. That's been my reading material for the last week or so. Some I started and discarded, either because they are dystopian with no world building or the main character is too goody two-shoes. I don't mean that as an insult. I think YA with a flawed MC is a difficult sell, but it's hard for me to get interested in a person with no foibles.
I've read two so far that I've enjoyed. I'm only part way through this one but I'll go ahead and mention it because I've found it so surprising:
Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano, so large that the caldera can only be seen by plane or satellite. And by some scientific measurements, it could be overdue for an eruption.
For Alex, being left alone for the weekend means having the freedom to play computer games and hang out with his friends without hassle from his mother. Then the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence. Alex begins a harrowing trek to search for his family and finds help in Darla, a travel partner he meets along the way. Together they must find the strength and skills to survive and outlast an epic disaster.
What I like so far:
Alex is the MC and he is a real, genuine kid. He reflects a bit too much on his mom at the beginning, but that's just my opinion. That was the only time, so far, he seemed overwritten. Alex has studied martial arts which gives him a leg up in a world gone mad but he's also confused and not sure how to survive. He wants to believe that people are basically good but he has enough sense to be scared. He also makes huge mistakes because of hunger or thirst, like trusting the wrong people.
Also, so far, Mike Mullin has done a wonderful job introducing paths of survival. There are the super religious Jesus-is-coming-for-us group, the people who will do what needs to be done to survive including murder, the evil people that will thrive in this situation, the neighbors banning together, the rebels and those that want to remain hidden with their precious stores of water and food. Mullin weaves different characters into the story by making them people that Alex interacts with in ways that further the plot. In lesser hands, Alex would just meet interesting people that would have nothing to do with the story.
One of the my favorite things is that this is a survival story where we do not magically gloss over being human. This kid has to worry about where to pee and poop, as does everyone in the story - there is no running water in an apocalypse. The author does not shy away from the fact that this kid has erections. It's not told in a titillating way, but he also does not hide the fact that an hormonal teenage boy's penis gets hard. And there's a gay couple and they're normal. That sentence may sound offensive, but I read plenty of books where if there's a gay couple, male or female, they're nothing but a collection of stereotypes. This was refreshing.
What about you guys? Any books/movies/plays/songs/sports/life in general have you excited?