Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Author Interview: E. Van Lowe

Yesterday I reviewed Boyfriend From Hell by E. Van Lowe and today I am excited to have him here for an interview!

1.     Where did you get your idea for Boyfriend from Hell?
The idea for Boyfriend From Hell didn’t come from one specific thing.  When I sold my first YA, Never Slow Dance With A Zombie, I decided my next book should be paranormal as well.  I got the idea to write about the devil from an animated short I saw on YouTube. Lucy, Daughter of The Devil.  I also wanted to write about a close mother/daughter relationship that mirrored the close father/son relationship I had with my son.  I threw these two seemingly unrelated thoughts into the blender and, voila! Boyfriend From Hell.
2.     Megan is a great character and I love her relationship with her mother. What inspired this amazing character and her relationship with her mother?
I think I answered this already, but I will elaborate here.  I always try to put something personal in my writing—tell some story that a reader might say “yeah, that’s how I feel.”  I had a very close relationship with my son.  He referred to me as his best friend.  As a Dad, that’s got to make you feel extra special.  And then one day when he was well into his teens, without warning, we weren’t best friends anymore.  I only know how it went down from my side, but I wanted to explore it from both sides—hence Megan and Suze.  By the way, we’re close once again.
3.     What inspired you to have Megan fall in love with a “bad boy”?
When I was in middle and high school all the girls liked the bad boys.  I wasn’t a bad boy.  Sometimes I’d fake it, but the girls saw right through me.  Again, I was writing what I know—good girls like bad boys. Since I wasn’t a bad boy, writing Guy Matson allowed me to experience what it felt like vicariously.  I could be cool and suave and dangerous—all the things I wasn’t in high school. LOL.
4.     What do you hope a reader will come away with, reading Boyfriend from Hell?
I hope they enjoy it.  My main goal as a writer is to entertain.  I’m not trying to accomplish anything too deep here: read my books, hopefully identify with some of the characters, and come away feeling entertained. If that happens, I am successful.
5.     Have you started writing the third book in this series yet?
Yes, I have started the third book in the series, Heaven Sent.  The book picks up eight weeks after Earth Angel—the last week of school. And it starts with a bang. Recently, however, I received edits on the first book in a new series from a new publisher for me.  So now I am working on the edits before going back to Heaven SentHeaven Sent is due to come out in December. 
6.     What is your favorite book that you wrote?
That’s like asking a mother who’s her favorite child.  And you know you can get in trouble answering that question. LOL. I guess the one I’m working on right now.  It’s the first book in the Hollyweird series.  It’s about a fifteen year-old necromancer living in Hollywood.  The title of each book is a spin on an old movie title.  The first book is called: The Zombie Always Knocks Twice.
7.     What is your writing routine? Do you dedicate time to writing or do you write when you feel inspired? Do you like to outline your books before you write or go with an idea and see where it takes you?
I am a fulltime writer.  It’s how I earn my living, so I go to work every day like everyone else.  Like any job, some days are better than others, some days I write more than others.   I am a great procrastinator, too, so that can slow things down ;-)   I do write an outline, but I keep my outlines sparse, and I am constantly going back as I discover new things about the story or the characters. Here’s my daily routine: I either workout or walk in the mornings. Shower and go to work.  I still do the Hollywood thing, so sometimes I have meetings to attend or a script to work on.  My entire work day is built around creating new content.  I also spend time working with young writers who are trying to break into movies or TV.  It’s part of giving back.  I quit around six.  If I’m on a deadline, I will pick up again into the night.
8.     Who are your favorite authors?
My all time favorite author is J.D. Salinger, hands down.
9.     What is your number one favorite book of all time?
My favorite book is Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger.
10.  How is writing for tv different from writing a novel?
TV writing is not for everyone—especially if you’re writing sitcoms.  There are lots of hands in the pot in TV.  It’s never all yours. You have to develop a thick skin about your work, or you will not survive.  The best thing, though, is you learn to write quickly, and to come up with lots of ideas.  I can sit in a room with TV writers and we will come up with 20-30 story ideas in a day—not all good, mind you.  My greatest lesson from TV that helps me as a novelist, is that ideas are cheap—execution of the ideas is everything.  I do my best to execute my ideas in a very entertaining fashion, so people will like my books and want to come back for more.
Thanks for having me, Kathy.  If your readers would like to know more about me they can visit my website: http://evanlowe.com/
Or thay can follow me on Twitter @evanlowe.

Don't forget to check out the rest of his books: Never Slow Dance with a Zombie and Earth Angel.

Thank you so much for doing this interview with me!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Boyfriend from Hell (Book Review)

Title: Boyfriend from Hell
Author: E. Van Lowe
Series: Falling Angels Saga
Source: from author for review
Publisher: White Whisker Books

Goodreads Summary:
Fifteen year-old Megan Barnett and her single mom, Suze, have a special relationship—they are friends, close friends, who do almost everything together. 

“But come on, guys, she’s my mother… Can I really tell her that while we’re snuggled up on the sofa watching Spider Man Three, I’m secretly undressing James Franco with my eyes? Of course not…” 

The special bond takes a turn for the worse when Suze decides to start dating again. She hasn’t had a man in her life since Megan’s father left ten years ago. 

Enter two mysterious young men, Megan’s new classmate, sinfully attractive bad boy, Guy Matson, and the dangerously handsome art dealer, Armando. Before long Megan and Suze both wind up in steamy relationships. 

But neither of the handsome pair is quite what he seems. In fact, one of them is Satan, with his sights set on a new bride. Megan has precious little time to figure out how to stop him. If she doesn’t, either Megan or Suze are quite literally going to HELL.

This book was an excellent read. It was scary, fun, and witty all at the same time. Just when I thought I knew what going to happen, there was always some twist that changed things and kept the story going. I just couldn't put it down.
I especially loved the character of Megan. She seems like a typical teenage girl, not a perfect, can-do-no-wrong heroine. She was so easy to relate to because I could see teenage me in her and I'm sure the same would be true for a lot readers.
I also love her special relationship with her mother. They are so close and yet they were struggling to stay that way for most of the book. Despite the handsome men in their lives, this was my favorite love story of the book.
I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone I know and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.

Rating: 5/5

Come back tomorrow for an interview with the author of this amazing book!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hop Against Homophobia

I am really excited to participate in this Hop coming up in May. As a Marylander, I am proud of our state that it will soon be joining the short list of states that will allow same sex marriage. Homophobia is a real problem in this country and it makes me sad whenever I hear about a suicide of a man because he was bullied so much for being gay. That kind of bullying needs to start. And I am excited to play my part in this Hop Against Homophobia.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Follow Friday 2/24/12

Q: Activity!!! Take a picture or describe where you love to read the most…

I don't have one favorite place to read. I bring my e-reader with me wherever I go so I can read just about everywhere. If I was forced to pick and answer, I'd say in bed.

I have a book review and author interview ready for next Monday and Tuesday!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Follow Friday 2/17/12

This Week on Kathy's Library:





Currently Reading:
Boyfriend From Hell by E. Van Lowe

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cocoa Almond Darling (Book Review)

Title: Cocoa Almond Darling
Author: Jeffra Hays
Source: from author for review

Summary from Author:

"Cocoa" is a love story, a man-woman, mother-daughter triangle.  
Told by Milly, an opinionated white grandmother, "Cocoa Almond Darling" relates the woman's history, her love for a married black man, and the daughter they share. Although this slightly illicit family of three try to avoid racial tensions, those tensions are there, erupting, and disrupting, their love for each other. Although Milly prefers not to talk about inner feelings, she tells the reader everything, with humor, some of it bitter. The issues of race are always there as an undercurrent, but the love story is powerful, and Milly's voice is real.

I read the first ten pages of this book and then put it down. I was bored. Yesterday, I picked the book up again because I had to review it. And I am so glad that I did. Once I picked it up, I didn't put it down until I had finished it at three o'clock in the morning because I was that absorbed in the story. Once I got into and got to know Milly, I just had to know what happened to her. She is a wonderful character. I almost feel like she is a real person that I know now.
It is also the best story I have read about race issues in a long time. This story brings to light the differences between black and white, and what it is like when they fall in love. Even with racism not often an issue, this novel highlights the other issues that exist with this type of relationship.
The book is heartbreaking and wonderful and a must read for anyone interested in race-relationships.

Rating: 4.5/5

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart

In order to not give away any spoilers, I'm not going to explain my choices. If you've read them, then you'll understand. So in no particular order (except for number one), here they are:

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  3. Sophie's Choice by William Styron
  4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  5. Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews
  6. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  8. The Dark Tower by Stephen King
  9. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  10. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Monday, February 13, 2012

Life Before Death (Book Review)

Title: Life Before Death
Author: Matt Frend
Source: from author for review

Goodreads Summary:
There’s something you need to know - there's more to life than living. This is the conclusion a young woman arrives at following a soul-searching road trip across Australia. Mandi and her friends including Timbo, a young man from Wardaman country, travel through the wilds of the Northern Territory, exploiting what they see as an unjust law – and grow a crop of cannabis. Their spirited ride through late-twentieth century Australian counter culture involves run-ins with the authorities, collaborating with bikers and seeing the underground side of life. Then an event occurs which gives Mandi an insight into the other side of life itself, and provides her with a message. A message, which for Mandi, resolves the ultimate unknown – why are we here?

My Thoughts:
I have mixed feelings about this book. The writing in this book is amazing. But the story moves very slowly and there almost seems to be no point to the novel. While the lack of moving plot made it take me a long time to get through this book. The conversations between Mandi and her best friend Robyn are always interesting and very thought provoking. And there are plenty of these conversations throughout the book that kept me reading despite the slow pace. This book is full of quotes that I have circled so that I'll remember later and great writing, but the actual story seemed a little lacking. However, if you are someone who is into metaphysical and philosophical conversation, this is a book that I would recommend. Just don't go into it expecting a light read and fun plot.

Rating: 3/5

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Book Tag

I was tagged by TheDaydreamer3 in this book tag so here it goes:

The Rules:

  1. You must post the rules.
  2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
  3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
  4. Let them know you've tagged them!

TheDaydreamer3's Questions:

1.Who was your last book boyfriend  and why? Ron Weasley. He was my first book boyfriend, and I've yet to find someone who can take his place. He may very well be the only book boyfriend for me.
2.What is the last 5 star book you read? Angle Evolution by David Estes (review here)
3.If money were not an issue, what would you buy yourself at this very instant?
A house with a giant library that I could read, blog, and vlog in comfortably. And of course with every book I want to read.
4.What is your favourite movie? A Knight's Tale
5.What is your favourite song this week? I love Luke Conard and Landon Austin's cover of Skyscraper.

6.A book you've read at least 3 times? I've read all the Harry Potter books more than three times. I don't think there are any other books that I've read more than twice though. Unless maybe it was for school. I prefer to read new books when I can.
7.What Tv Shows are you currently watching? Glee, Lost, Doctor Who, Teen Mom, Teen Mom 2, Dexter, Californication
8.Do you like spoilers (Not major one.)? No. I usually don't even read the summary on Goodreads or on the back of the book before I start reading a new book.
9.What's your favourite Genre? Young Adult Fantasy
10.What book/series got you hooked on reading? I bet you're expecting me to say Harry Potter since I've mentioned it twice already, but actually is was Black Star, Bright Dawn by Scott O'Dell.
11.Why did you start blogging? I started my first blog just for my family about wedding plans and such during the year before I got married. (That blog no longer exists). I started my current personal blog in May as a place for me to get my thoughts and connect to the blogger community since I was already reading other blogs at this point. I started this blog in December, because I read a lot and I really wanted to start writing book reviews but they just didn't seem to fit with my personal blog.

My Questions:
1. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring five books with you, what would they be?
2. What's a favorite quote from a book you've read recently?
3. What is your favorite thing about writing a book blog?
4. What is your favorite title to a book ever?
5. What is your favorite cover to a book ever?
6. What book are you most looking forward to reading right now?
7. If you could live in the universe of any book, which one would you choose?
8. Eff, Marry, Kill: three characters from books you've read.
9. What's your favorite book to movie adaptation?
10. What's your least favorite book to movie adaptation?

And I tag:
1. Laura @ Colorimetry
2. Paula @ Phantom Paragrapher
3. Viktoria @ TToria
4. Erin @ Biblio Mania
5. Weronika @ Love Thy Book
6. Charlotte @ Charlotte's Web of Books
7. Marjo @ Book Readers
8.  Shannon @ A Kindle in Hong Kong
9. Esha @ readaholicme
10. Vicki @ Enchanted Book Haven

I would love to tag all of you, but I can't. However if you want to answer these questions, consider yourself tagged as well.

Thanks again to TheDaydreamer3 for tagging me. I loved your questions!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Caution: SuperBookDeals

I order a lot of my books online through either the Amazon or Barnes and Nobles marketplace. One of the major authorized sellers on Barnes and Noble is SuperBookDeals. I bought two books from them on December 26. I have not received them yet. In the process of trying to find their phone number, since they don't respond to e-mails, I found out that this is not an uncommon occurrence. So I thought I would pass this warning on to the rest of you in case you shop in the markplaces like I do. DO NOT use this seller. Chances are, you will never receive your order.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ten Favorite Love Stories

In time for Valentine's Day, I made a video about ten of my favorite love stories from books or tv shows.

The video is in response to Jillian(the other American from Two Americans One Aussie)'s video about her top ten favorite love stories. Check out her book blog here.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Publishing My Novel

I've written my first good novel, the first one that I really want to get published. After considering all my options, I have chosen to self-publish. Of course, this is an expensive project. So I've started a Kickstarter Project to help raise the money to achieve this goal. I need to raise at least $2,000 for this project to get funded. I'd love it if you could help me out. There are some pretty awesome rewards for donating. Interested? Check it out here.

To read a synopsis and excerpt from the novel, click here.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Follow Friday #2

Q: Define what characteristics your favorite books share. Do they all have a kick ass heroine or is the hot love interest the Alpha Male?

The most important part of a book for me is the character development. If the characters are complex and realistic that will put a book much higher up on my favorite books list.