Hey guys! Today I'm posting as part of the Home Run Blog Tour for STEALING PARKER and Sourcebooks! We've got an awesome post today, where Miranda talks about where she gets her ideas and inspirations! And below, I've got my review for STEALING PARKER and all of the ways you can stalk...er, contact Miranda to tell her how much you love her books! Enjoy and Happy Reading :0)
Peanut Gallery: Where does Miranda get her inspiration? Find out as Miranda speaks about her idea origins. As a bonus, Miranda shares the best advice that she ever got about being a writer.
Geez, this is a pretty hard question. I get my inspiration from all over the place. From conversations I have with friends and people at work. From inside jokes with my husband. I read lots of books, and see how my favorite authors write plot arcs and characterization, and then I set out to do that too, but with my own edge. I often look through my junior and high school yearbooks to remind myself of how I felt when I was younger. I also like to read my old diaries. One time I got a book idea from a true fact under a Snapple lid. Another time I got a book idea because somebody had broken into my car!
I got the idea for the “Jerry Rice fake baby home ec” project in Catching Jordan because I remembered this time I was out on the football field in junior high, and a football player was pushing another player around in a stroller.
The best advice I ever got as a writer?
- An editor told me my strongest skill as an author is writing groups of teens goofing off and talking about nothing, so now I try to have my characters bantering while doing lots of wild and wacky things while trying to move the plot forward. And I have a great time doing it! I try to write silly scenes that I hope people will enjoy reading.
Here are my tips for new writers:
1) Do not give up. With the first book I ever wrote, I sent out over 100 queries and only received 4 requests from agents. With my second book, I sent out 17 queries, got 9 requests from agents, and 4 offers of representation.
2) Don’t use fancy words. Use words you hear in everyday life.
3) Read tons of books in the genre you want to write in.
4) Make sure your prose has a rhythm. Read your work out loud before showing it to anybody.
5) Find lots of beta readers who read in your genre. It’s important to have a well-balanced book, and to get that, you need lots of opinions.
6) Listen to all feedback – negative and positive. Without constructive criticism, I’d be nowhere. I can’t grow as a writer (or as a person, for that matter) if I don’t know where I’m missing the mark.
7) Trust your first instinct. My 7th grade science teacher once told me, “Miranda, a human being’s first instinct is correct 90% of the time. If you’re going to deviate from your first instinct, you’d better have a good reason why you should.” When I send out a first draft (or portions of a first draft) to beta readers, I’m always open-minded when comments start coming back to me, but before I consider implementing any suggested changes – I have to remind myself to think about why I wrote what I did in the first place. It’s very normal to feel silly or dumb after hearing comments, and immediately feel like you need to rush to do exactly what that person says — But you’ve also got to remember that you’re smart, too, and you wrote what you did for a reason.
8) Make sure your characters aren’t black and white. Let them make mistakes. Nobody wants to read about perfect characters.
9) Your truth isn’t everybody else’s truth. When building a world, it’s important to make sure that you adequately frame a person’s situation and beliefs. I mean, how could people be so evil as to make a little boy live in a cupboard under the stairs? Readers “buy” it because Mr. Dursley’s been painted as a man who abhors anything unordinary.
10) DO NOT QUERY right after you finish writing your first draft. Let your book sit for a few weeks before trying to get an agent. You might need to revise before anyone else reads it. Sometimes I can write a first draft in less than a month, but then I’ll spend 7-8 months editing it!
Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
After a scandal rocks their conservative small town, 17-year-old Parker Shelton goes overboard trying to prove that she won't turn out like her mother: a lesbian. The all-star third-baseman quits the softball team, drops 20 pounds and starts making out with guys--a lot. But hitting on the hot new assistant baseball coach might be taking it a step too far...especially when he starts flirting back.
Parker's story is very different from Jordan's story, but it is still an excellent read. Parker is a girl who is trying desperately seperate herself from her mother's lifestyle and the rumors it sprouted about her. She's also trying to come to terms with her faith and dealing with a highly inappropriate crush on the new baseball coach. We get to see Parker's internal struggle with God and her need to know why things have happened to her and her family. I'm not a religious person and I don't typically read things that have religion incorporated, but it was done so well here and it never became preachy. It really helped the story, by showing the battle that was going on inside of Parker and even gave some insight into why she's made some of the choices she is now dealing with.
I know it's totally cliche to jump right to talking about the guys, but I can't help myself. Firstly, Brian gave me creepy feelings the whole time I was reading and those didn't get any better when he proved to be a huge jerk. I felt for Parker because at her age, the kind of attention she was getting from him, would be so easy to make into something bigger. I could see the ending that Parker couldn't, and I just wanted to shake her and tell her to stop letting this guy take advantage of you. Will, on the other hand, is so many kinds of adorable. I love this boy to pieces and I really liked how their friendship evolved throughout the whole story. They've known each other for years, but they had always just kind of been on the outskirts of each other's lives, and that all changes when Parker starts managing the baseball team.
I don't know what it is about Miranda's writing, but I love the sports stuff that is incorporated into her stories, even though I don't actually like sports. It doesn't take over the story, but it's definitely a big part of the characters lives and it helps everything kind of gel together. This one was a one sitting read for me and it will definitely be on my re-read shelf. I honestly believe you can't go wrong with a book by Miranda Kenneally. She writes excellent female protagonists and totally swoonworthy boys! Definitely one to add to your shelves :0)
Where to find Miranda:
Her Website: http://mirandakenneally.com/
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