There is a tentative release date of June 3rd, for my novel Connected. So many things to do before then, not the least of which is make a book trailer, which I’m both excited about and kind of dreading. I’m attempting some live action, and I really don’t know what to expect. I’m also in the process of picking out an excerpt for the publisher, but I’ll post one of the alternate prologues I cut in the earlier stages of editing. Just have to find it and clean it up a little. 🙂
In talking to my publisher about the specific genre my book Connected falls under, I was forced to stop and reconsider what I thought was a done deal.
Found this cool genre map on Book Country: Genre Map
The super powers in the story lend themselves to paranormal, but I guess it could be considered fantasy or sci-fi. To me, fantasy seems more fairies and other magical things, while sci-fi is more technical somehow, more brainy or futuristic. The romance tag is straightforward, it just has to be the main plot or a major subplot, as far as I understand it. I’m amazed at all the new genres popping up – dystopian and steampunk, among others, are very popular now. Makes me almost wish I created a dreary socialist futuristic regime as the setting for my book. 🙂 Almost! I’m a little too positive to want to write an entire book in that frame of mind. Kudos to the authors that can pull it off; I think it would be beyond exhausting.
Please comment and let me know your favorite genres, new or otherwise.
Along the same lines as my previous post, I’m currently reading Cinder and really enjoying it. It just struck me as odd that I injected sci-fi references into a post about princesses, and then I found this book, which is a brilliant blend of sci-fi and fairy tales. The universe works in strange and mysterious ways…
Anyway, this book is such a refreshing take on the classic Cinderella tale, and I’m very excited to see where it goes. 🙂
I want to talk about princesses. Not just any princesses, Disney princesses in particular. I know, not exactly YA paranormal, but I think you’ll find it interesting nonetheless and there is an element of romance. Actually, now that I consider it, most of the princesses are teenagers, and there’s almost always some kind of magic or other paranormal aspect to the stories. So I am on topic after all. 🙂
What’s got me a bit baffled is the unprecedented success of Frozen. Please don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of the film. Not a fan like my four year old daughter, to whom it is a form of cinematic crack, but still, it’s a lot of fun. The characterization is wonderful, as is Kristen Bell, who I’ve loved since Heroes. Elsa’s a very strong female protagonist / antagonist, and it’s undeniably cool that she has freezing powers. Hans is a great bad guy, and Kristoff is so loveable. Okay, Olaf is a tad annoying, but I think that’s balanced by Sven and the trolls, who are just plain adorable. Plot’s a little weak, but when you’ve got ice powers, plot is practically incidental, right? Plus it’s got not one, but two princesses, even though technically Elsa does become the queen pretty early on. But all of those elements, how do they equal the perfect formula? Why is it that Disney hit the jackpot with this film?
I have to put that, so the three hundred or so people on the planet who haven’t seen this film won’t get upset. Chances are good that anyone who stumbles upon my happy blog has already seen it multiple times.
Here’s the thing: I’m not a fan of the ending. Maybe it’s because I grew up with the traditional Disney princesses: Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, even Ariel. All of their tales ended in the same blissful fashion: the girl gets her prince at the end, and they live happily ever after. “True love” always meant girl/boy relationship. With Frozen, I think they’re trying to say that it was Anna’s true love for her sister? I’m still a little confused…maybe it’s Elsa’s love for her sister? I say this because Elsa reveals afterwards that love is how she melts the ice, but honestly it seemed like Elsa was just sad when Anna froze. I would think she’d be feeling regret more than love. Whether it was Anna’s love, Elsa’s love, sisterly love in general (who knows), regardless, the whole thing was a little weak. The love interest (or deuteragonist, a fancy word I learned from the Disney Wikia site) doesn’t have to save the day, that’s not what I had an issue with. Anna just sacrificed herself for her sister, I guess that was kind of anti-climactic. Hans being blown away when she froze was totally a plot device, because otherwise he would’ve just stabbed Elsa as she was sobbing. Maybe it’s the whole “what the hell just happened” moment when Anna’s heart melts and I can’t figure out why. Maybe it’s the fact that when Anna becomes frozen, Kristoff just stands there, and does nothing at all. Would that happen, if he were really in love with Anna? Wouldn’t he want to at least be close to her? The whole scene just felt off to me.
Yet everyone seemed to buy into it. Parents were happy it was the love between the sisters that saved the day, even though it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Maybe they were just happy it wasn’t another princess waiting to be saved. The trend has been more empowering over the years, anyway, I think as far back as Belle. The newer princesses have been more involved in the final showdowns, some even saving the day themselves, as you can say (arguably) happened in Frozen.
I have a few working theories as to why Frozen was and is so ridiculously successful. The first theory is the music. It’s got a lot of catchy tunes, not to mention the main song “Let it Go,” sung in perfect key in all its complexity by four year olds everywhere. The second theory has to do with Elsa. I think her situation appeals to the young psyche – a girl who had to be good all the time, and then she finally gets to let her hair down and be herself, no matter how evil that truly is. I think the bonus features had a bit on how they were going to make Elsa a little darker; I almost wish they did – she seems dark to me. The whole metaphor of cold and how she was able to completely isolate herself from people – she’s clearly introverted, almost to the point of misanthropy or she would’ve gone crazy. Perhaps it’s Olaf. Even though he annoys me, I think he’s got that Jar Jar Binks* kind of appeal to kids. Could be it’s what I liked the most about the movie: its main protagonist, Anna. Her personality is so innocent and sweet and carefree. I love the contrast of her to Elsa.
Perhaps I’ll never truly understand the secret behind its success, and why it’s fared so much better than other films. Take for example, The Princess and the Frog. That movie is by far my new favorite Disney princess movie (Cinderella will always have a place in my heart, meek as she was). Tiana is such a positive female lead; I guess I can relate to her sense of purpose and wonderful work ethic. She’s not even looking for a prince, she wanted to do it all on her own. Plus the villain – Dr. Facilier, so evil! And the songs, the supporting characters (can’t help but love Mama Odie and Ray), the plot…that movie had everything. Plus it was real animation – a rare and beautiful gift in this day and age. It could just be me being nostalgic, but I love the softness of the lines and characters in real animation. The CGI stuff is so exact, to the point of it looking harsh. Beautiful in a different way, I guess.
Well, we know they’re coming out with a sequel…so what will Frozen 2 be like? Will it be as horrible as The Little Mermaid 2 and Cinderella 2? So-so like Cinderella 3? Or will it be the rare exception, better than the original, like Star Trek 2*? If it’s anything like the short that recently came out, I’m sure it will be fun and utterly captivating, if for no one else than all the four year olds.
*Sorry I geeked out there for a second—I do enjoy Sci Fi too sometimes 😉
I’ve noticed a trend in YA Paranormal fiction, particularly those books labeled YA Paranormal Romance, and that’s the presence of a love triangle. Seriously, every YA Paranormal (Romance) I’ve read lately has had a love triangle of some sort, whether it’s a more overt struggle for the heroine to decide who she loves, or a less pronounced additional guy she’s interested in or even an enchantment beyond her control, through some extraordinary plot twist.
All of this leads me to wonder, is a love triangle required to append the description of “Romance,” or is it just another popular trend? My soon-to-be-published novel, Connected, has a definite romance element to it, but no love triangle. Would it be sacrilege to call it a YA Paranormal Romance? Let me know what you think!