Please welcome author Jayme Beddingfield, a very kick-ass writer. I even used "very" to describe her and it's a non-essential word. *Free Edit tip!
Anyway, we decided to interview each other for a fun blog post, and when she sent me her questions I realized I had to up my game. Please read on to find out what fictional character she'd want to be best friends with, the color she'd choose if the world could only have one hue, and other similar important issues. You can also find out more about her and her writing, so please read on!
What books have you written?
The Highly Capable, which is the first in my new urban fantasy series The Ruby Dawson Saga.
If you could be best friends with a character from a book you’ve read, who would it be? Why?
I would pick Alice Cullen from the Twilight Saga. She was one of my favorite aspects of that series because she was such an awesome friend to Bella. Alice is so fun and enchanting, loyal, and supremely kick-ass.
If a magic genie said he could turn you into any kind of fantasy creature you wished, what would you be? Why?
I love this question so much. It’s hard to pick one, but assuming it would be a permeant transformation, I would have to go with a fairy.
What’s your favorite paranormal ability?
I’m always amazed by the mind which leaves me torn between telekinesis and clairvoyance.
If the world could only be one color, what would you choose?
I think a world that was entirely turquoise would be rather magnificent.
If you could be Buffy, Willow, or Anya, who would you be?
I love this question. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was my one of favorite shows, still holds a spot on the list of shows I’ll always love. I would definitely be Buffy. She’s a totally kick butt, witty and ambitious character.
What are you writing currently?
I am currently finishing up The Immensely Powerful, Book 2 of The Ruby Dawson Saga, and I’m also writing a coming of age young adult book that I’m really excited about.
What books or authors have served as inspirations to your own writing?
There are so many fabulous authors and incredible stories out there, and honestly, I gain so much inspiration from all of it. Everything tends to have a piece of inspiration I can take from it. That being said if I were to call out any one particular, it would be Katherine Patterson’s Bridge to Terabithia because it was the first book I read that truly turned me onto the world of literature, which has become such a big part of my life—sometimes my entire life.
What’s are some must-reads on your to-be-read list for 2016?
This is the year that I’m tackling all of Maggie Stiefvater's titles for sure. I’m currently reading The Dream Thieves, which is the 2nd in The Raven’s Cycle series. It’s crazy good. This year I have a goal of reading 100 books. I haven't made a point to do this since my sophomore year in college.
What is the best movie you’ve seen based on a book?
That’s easy. The Hunger Games Trilogy lent itself extremely well to the big screen. I love those movies, almost as much as the books.
If you found the fountain of youth, would you drink from it and be young forever?
Yes, I think I would. But, knowing myself I would probably bottle it up and think about it for awhile first, make a pro/con list, and then after some sleepless nights, I would drink it and then convince my loved ones to the same.
Where can we find your books? And what are your links?
My blog jaymethescribbler.com is an awesome place to stay update with my releases, events, and creative work. I’m always putting up short stories and various serials.
The Quirky Book Sirens
We don't fall in line with guidelines or rules, we like the unique as well as the tropes. We're all-genre lovers, but we must admit, fantasy and sci-fi appeal to our whimsical, magical natures, just a bit. We're sisters talking about books, writing, and anything in relation to stories, fables, and myths. We'll yarn some, we'll darn some, we love to try some .... books.
My sister and I just launched a vlog, called the Quirky Book Sirens, in which over drinks, we discuss various themes in books and the industry. In our debut episode we discuss YA horror, throwback style, meaning we reminisced on the likes of R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike.
Check it below:
Realism v. Fantasy in YA
From a reader and observer's standpoint, magic, vampires, angels, and witches have been hot trends and themes since the dawn of Harry Potter and Twilight. In came the era of fantasy and paranormal geared for young adult readers. Meanwhile, us OLDER "young adults," who'd long been searching for romances between teen vamps and vastly vivid magical world-building suddenly had just as vast of a selection of books to choose from.
As a reader who has been reading fantasy my entire life, it was amazing to have so many new titles and wonderous stories. And of course, it's been helpful to have launched my writing career in a time when the kind of books and stories I like writing are popular, in literature but also in television and movies.
So the point of this post ... A recent article in the Irish Times made the statement that fantasy in YA may be on its way out in 2015, making room for stories centered around more realistic themes. Now, while the author admits it's a sweeping generalization, I still felt the need to argue the point, specifically because of the reasons the author, Robert Dunbar, gives for this prediction in Realism Replaces Fantasy in Young Adult Fiction:
"Traumas and tantrums, often arising from clashes with various authority figures, remain a feature of the “growing up” process, but in the more accomplished novels they are seen as providing the opportunity for enhancing inter-generational understanding rather than merely creating an excuse for prolonged outbursts of shouting."
The writer of the article then goes on to mention two books, both of which explore elements of homosexuality, and the deeply moving adolescent experiences that are involved in these books. I'm not questioning his analysis, I'm sure they're quite deep. But in the midst of all that, fantasy in YA still has a place. Harry Potter himself dealt with insecurity, loss, bullying, child abuse, discordant friendships, consequences, and the sacrifice that comes with choosing to be a leader in a world of followers. These books were not just so wildly popular because of the amazing world and epic battle JK Rowling created, they also resonated on a human level.
Many YA fantasy books delve into heavier themes, including homosexuality, suicide, shifting parental relationships, abuse ... So my response to this article is no, realism is not going to be replacing fantasy in the YA genre in 2015. I think there's plenty of room for both. And often, they can be one in the same.
Even though I review books occasionally at Cellar Door Lit Rants & Reviews, I never really read many books reviews until last year when I released my first book. The reason I began at all was because I became obsessed with the reviews of my own book. It was through my sudden interest in reading reviews on Goodreads, blogs, and Amazon, that I found out that love triangles were on their way out and that "insta-love" as it's termed, is regarded with disdain.
Now it shouldn't surprise anyone that I love to read. Any writer should be passionate about books. I grew up devouring fantasy, science-fiction, and YA. Within these magical world, whether fantasy or literature, one of my favorite parts was the timeless romances and soul connections. So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that true love and instant connections had become passe. Perhaps they'd never been popular to begin with, although I find that hard to believe judging by the number of books that were grounded in this concept of the ultimate love story.
Perhaps it's because readers are grounded more firmly in reality nowadays, although I find that also hard to believe. If you're anything like me, getting away into a world of myth and magic is an escape from reality, and epic love is often a part of that. People snub their noses at Twilight by saying it's not good writing. Perhaps it's not complex or involved writing, but it's the kind of approachable writing that allowed millions to fall in love with, wait for it, a love story.
I get it, I'm married, so I know how real relationships work and it's not all fluff and flowers and starry soul connections. But instant connections are how people often get together in the first place. If my husband and I hadn't been instantly attracted to each other the night we met, he wouldn't have stayed when his friend left the bar we were at, I never would have asked him for his number even though I'd never asked a guy for his number in my life, and he wouldn't have called me the next day. Ultimately, our own love story never would have been written.
Love triangles have never bothered me as a reader, but I understand why other people may be sick of them. But despite really despising this term, I am defending "insta-love." Because it's not unrealistic, especially when you're writing about teenagers, who experience a passionate range of emotion. I write fantasy to imagine worlds where anything can happen, realistic or not. But connecting with someone on a physical or emotional level doesn't seem like fiction to me. That's the non-fiction woven into the magic that makes stories worth reading.
So what's the story? Why are there so many readers who dislike insta-love? I'd love to hear comments below!
K.M. Randall writes fantasy and paranormal for both a general and young adult audience. Her debut novel, an epic fantasy called Fractured Dream, launched in June 2014, and her second book, The Reaper's Daughter, launched May 2015. Randall also published Fairytale Lost, a prequel to Fractured Dream, as an exclusive on Wattpad. She blogs about dreams, female heroines, and activism and its relevancy to the literary and fictional world. And when in the season, sometimes she just likes to talk about Halloween. She is currently hard at work on the second book in the Dreamer Saga series, Shattered World.