Untitled IP Work I Wish I Could Make YA

I went home recently. It was a trip well worth the wait. But while at home, I had the best IP idea while sleeping. As usual, it happened while I was dreaming. To say I was annoyed to wake up is an understatement.

Unfortunately, it also was an ADULT IP idea instead of a YA one. What does this mean (I know people out there are thinking dirty things)? Basically, my idea would be a better fit for an adult book than a children’s book. So since I can’t develop it for my market, here it is (please keep in mind, this is really rough since I wrote it down during the early hours of the morning, aka 7 am (what? I am not a morning person)):

In her last year of college, a young woman befriends the new British exchange student, Henry, and they begin a romance. Picture Henry Cavil (who I dreamed about) or Sam Heughan (just because I needed a picture of him in this post).

Henry-Cavill-Olympics-VIP-03

outlander-ep4Their first conversation over the phone and that is what really attracts Henry. They are together for years, with the girl not knowing that Henry is really a duke. Eventually, he reveals it. They get into a fight, and patch it up, though the girl lets him know she is with him for him and not the title. To her, it doesn’t matter. As his birthday approaches, the girl has decided to surprise Henry for his birthday by knowing how to conduct herself in the aristocracy. She hires a tutor at the recommendations of one of her close friends and the girlfriend of one of the other lords.

A few days before Henry’s birthday, his mother arrives to tell Henry that his father is dying. The girl is preparing to leave with them when she hears the call pull away. She races down the stairs and outside to find Henry only to find him by the door clutching a magazine.

They have an explosive fight. Henry shows her the magazine, a royalty one, and points to a picture of the girl;s mother holding a shopping bag filled with nothing but shampoo. He tells her that he knows she never wanted him, pointing to the other aristo in the magazine and noting that she can’t name that person (she can’t. her lessons haven’t covered them yet); he tells her that she changed and only wants the trappings of privilege. During their arguments, his mother and sister return. The sister, Chloe, likes the girl, but their mother never liked her.

Henry shows the girl a photo in a different magazine, saying if the girl really cared, she would recognize his mother and the girl’s work. The girl looks, and is enraged. She points and says “That’s not my work.” In a very small shot is picture of Henry with his ex. The girls says he is the one who never loved her.

The girl is getting ready to storm out, but stops. She won’t be the villain. She turns back to the room where Henry is sitting, clutching his head, surrounded by his mother and sister. The girl lays a card down on the table, and tells him about the surprise lessons. As for the picture, she gives him pregnancy stick. He blanches. Her mother bought it for her, and was trying to hide it from the photographers.

The girl leaves. Chloe follows her down the steps and reminds her that the baby would be the heir. The girl angrily replies as she gets into a taxi that she would sooner claim she didn’t know who the father was then let her child be raised in Henry’s family.

A few days later, it is confirmed the girl is pregnant. She is hiding out in her mother’s apartment. Henry has been calling nonstop, but she just can’t deal with him. She points out to her mother that she is homeless, no boyfriend (I don’t know if they are married or not), and jobless, living with her mother. Her mother urges her to talk to her friends.

She rings up her friend, Katie, a good friend from college. Katie has moved so Henry hasn’t been calling her to find the girl. The girl and Katie make plans to hang out that day.

And that is all I have.

It is told in the third person point of view (or POV for my mom’s edification). And rest easy, there is a happy ending.

The Hollywood Teen Romance I Need to Happen

Lately I have been feeling like I am all about the book reviews, which is fine, because it means I am reading (yay for reading!) and I have so many books to read.

But I am oddly not satisfied with my reading.

Don’t get me wrong, I have loved so many of the books I read. They are truly great, and I would love to have found them. But have you ever loved something so much, you ate it all the time, and even though you still love it, you also wonder what else could be done to make it better?

Take The Royal We for instance. If you read my review, you know how I feel. And as most of my friends can attest, I have been hankering (much like I would for tacos) for a princess book or a Hollywood teen romance.  A Royal We came along and I DEVOURED it. (In case you can’t tell, I am hungry). But it oddly left me wishing for something more.

Actually what I really want is an insightful book about Hollywood and romance. Rebecca Serle’ Famous in Love, which I was soo excited for, and then it fell flat for me, was a good spring board, but I want more.

I would recommend for anyone in the same boat to check out Emily Evans’ The Accidental Movie Star. It was closer to what I wanted to see then Serle’s book, though the TV show might end up fulfilling the things I wanted to see expanded on in her book.

Basically, I have been saying Hollywood Teen Romance would be the next thing. I have wanted it for at least three years now.

So the Hollywood teen (new adult?) romance I want would explore what happens after they get together. Say for instance, you ( a regular girl) met and started dating the heartthrob of Hollywood (I have no idea who I am imagining in this role, to be frank.  So for the time being just say the girl met a Henry Cavill looking man at a Starbucks (side note to my side note: He’s hot)).

Henry-Cavill-Comic-Con-2012
Marry me.

How would this relationship work? How would she feel about him being away to work? Maybe she is cool with it because she is not looking for a relationship, and is in her first year of college. How would he feel about having to be away? All those college parties are just ripe pickings for a hook-up. How to they navigate keeping their relationship secret from the paparazzi? Kate Middleton storyline!  And how do they deal with these hurdles as they become more involved?

I want this book. I want the nitty gritty of navigating this relationship. I want to see the actual Hollywood process!  This is my Hollywood teen romance.

Let me just orchestrate this.

UPDATE: I just found out Map to the Starsa Epic Reads Impulse title, is on this same premise. I promise to read and report back my findings.

Complex Characters: (Not) My Hero, Klaus

Randomly, I have been thinking if there have been any protagonists in YA books who are clearly not a hero, but not a villain either.  The closest I could come up with is Mara Dyer in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Truth bomb: I am obsessed with The Originals and a large part of that is because of Klaus Mikaelson.

When Klaus was first introduced in The Vampire Diaries, he was the villain. Like straight up. He killed Elena’s aunt. He terrorized the residents of Mystic Falls. But somewhere along the way, fans fell in love with him. I personally fell in love when he revealed his softer side to Miss Caroline Forbes.

And then he jumped ship to his own show.  And suddenly, the villain that had been developed for a season and a half became the protagonist of another. At first, I wasn’t so sure I would like this. Klaus was THE villain. Yes, he had some redeeming qualities, but even he would admit he was evil.

However, as the second season develops, I find myself getting sucked in (pun totally intended).  He still does the villainous things, and other characters view him as a villain, but, especially on the most recent episode, Klaus has greater complexity. He admitted to killing a beloved character, even though he didn’t, because everyone else needed to fear him. We can debate whether this actually played to his advantage or not, but I digress. The videos below give a bit better context to the situation.

Unlike Rumpelstiltskin, who reveled in being a villain, and Snape, who was a conflicted hero, I am not sure what Klaus is. He certainly acts like a villain, but I am not sure he revels in it. More like a hurt child acting the way everyone says he must.

There are now books about The Originals, but I would love to see a YA book tackle a protagonist like Klaus, a character everyone else views as evil, but that we as readers can see differently. Actually, Julie Plec should just write that book for me.

Diamond in the Rough

Sometimes I get really weird dreams. Like REALLY weird dreams. And the other night I had an interesting, yet odd dream.

But strangely enough, I felt there was something there and when I recounted my dream to by roommate, she agreed. So without further ado, I give you my weird dream:

Imagine the hero as Kevin Sorbo built like Jason Moymoa but no quite either man.

Kevin Sorbo from my dream

He is attracted to our heroine who looks like Mila Kunis. Our hero is this rich man who has a house on a jungle cliff side. Hero and Mila are having a fun flirtation when she is kidnapped by terrorist along with his family (i.e.  Mother, uncle, and kid cousin). The terrorist have them on a speed boat and Mila Kunis is handcuffed to the steering wheel. The terrorists drop the family slowly over the edge, but they can swim so they are shortly rescued. Mila is still handcuffed when a helicopter comes and takes out the terrorist. Our hero has rescued Mila but she is like “Where are you?” And he tells her he used a remote control helicopter he has been controlling from the cliff side with his assistant (the assistant is female).So Mila makes it back to land, and the reporters are hounding her. The assistant comes to get her. As they are walking back up the house, Mila asks if the assistant can get her stuff and the assistant tells her that he (Our Hero) is more fascinated with Mila than Mila is fascinated with him.

And then I woke up.

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So my dream was weird, but I feel like there is a good story nestled in all the weirdness. My dream feels like Fifty Shades of Grey meets Twilight meets Speed 3, and it wasn’t even done when I got up for work.

So let’s reimage this as more YA and less weird. I’ll make our hero a teenage tech genius with his own start-up (like Mark Zuckerberg, but better looking, and not Kevin Sorbo). Our heroine will be a normal high school student that he meets at a coffee shop (she works there) as he is working on some new code. His assistant will actually be his older sister, who is majoring in business and is helping our hero with his business.

Now for the Diamond in Rough:

Our hero meets our heroine in the coffee shop where she works as he is working a problematic new code for his company. He is fascinated by her normalcy, i.e. going to high school and all that entails. She is drawn to his brilliant mind. They quickly become friends. She starts hanging out with him and his family. He shows her his company and she has some insights into how to help him recruit more people. He is attracted to her but also a bit shy. Terrorists, in an attempt to control his company for their own means, kidnap our heroine along with his mother, uncle, and kid cousin. The terrorists are using a speed boat to get away, with our heroine handcuffed to the steering wheel. The terrorists drop the family slowly over the edge. Our heroine is still handcuffed, thinking through a plan of escape now that the family members are out of direct harm’s way, when a helicopter, remotely controlled by our hero, comes and takes out the terrorists. Our heroine pilots the boat back to land where she is met by our hero’s older sister/business manager. The business manager tells our heroine that our hero is more fascinated by our heroine than she is with him and that our heroine needs to be careful not to break his heart. Our heroine is rejoined with the family and our hero and they share their first kiss.

End of book 1, I think.

I know it needs work, but hey, it started from a weird place.

My Addiction to I.D. TV

I have a confession: I am addicted to ID TV, Dateline, and 48 Hours.

But here’s the kicker: I can’t read true crime.

The true crime books are too much for me. I often explain it like this: reading is an active activity and TV is a passive one. With active activity, you have to engage your mind. When I read, the book becomes a movie in my head. TV is different. You can turn on the TV and do other things. I like to cook and work on this blog while the TV is on.

Recently, my roommate made fun of my addiction, and a light bulb went off. Is there YA true crime?

By YA true crime, I don’t mean crimes featuring young adults or teens. I wonder, because I know I am not alone in my love of ID TV and Dateline, are the true books aimed for young adults? (Of course I am thinking 16 and older readers.)

I recently read two Romanov’s biographies. One, by Robert K. Massie was aimed for adult readers and the second book by Candance Fleming was aimed for young adult readers. One thing I noticed between these two books was how the subject matter was dealt with. Massie’s was much more dry and in the details. Fleming’s focused on developing a story and balance. So why am I mentioning these two books?

When I was thinking about YA true crime I realized that if it is to be done, it has to be handled just right. The writer will have to balance the darkness of the story and not overload a young reader with every detail. The thing I love about Dateline and 48 Hours is that it is not just the crime, but the hunt for the who and why of it all.

I would like to see some young adult true crime books. Detective books and murder mysteries are about to come back into the spotlight, and I think this should be a development in the YA nonfiction lists.

If you have ever read a young adult true crime, please let me know in the comments and I will check it out!

Complex Characters: The Guilty Pleasure of Rumpelstiltskin

Warning***Spoilers***

In honor of one of my shows returning (Once Upon a Time), I have decided to do a complex character study of one of the best villains: Rumpelstiltskin. I honestly would love to see a YA book about a villain and the best example I can point to for an example of a villain people can connect to is Rumpelstiltskin.

If you don’t watch the show, you should. The video below contains major plot spoilers for the third season, but it is a GREAT example of Rumple actions and driving reasons.

So let’s start.

Rumpel becomes the Dark One because he wanted to save his son from the army. He becomes addicted to the power and uses it to protect his son, but also to punish people who have wronged him.

This addiction is central to how Rumpel loses his son. But the power also allows him to see how he can get his son back. Rumple uses his dark powers to play with people’s lives so he can arrange the sequences of events (i.e. making the Evil Queen actually evil, killing people, conning them into doing things for him) that eventually causes the curse which was the endgame to getting to his son

So though he does evil things, he does them for reasonable reasons.

But what I love about Rumpel is that he OWNS it. As he says in the video, “I’m villain.”

For all that he loves his son, and his girlfriend, he admits he is the villain. There is no apology and there is no removing his agency.

Something that irritates me with female villains lately (**Cough** Maleficent), if that they act out but their stories make it clear they are not evil. Rumple owns his villainhood.

I would love to see a young adult book about a villain who owns it. They do evil, they acknowledge it, but at the same time, the reader can identify with some of the choices.

Rumpelstiltskin is a complex character I can get behind. Hence my guilty pleasure in loving him.

Tonya Harding Meets Bunheads

So several factors played a key part in bringing this topic to my mind. As readers will know, I recently reviewed Bunheads by Sophie Flack. If you missed it, please pop over to it and familiarize yourself with my thoughts. A while back, my roommate and I were watching 30 for 30: The Price of Gold on Netflix, about Tonya Harding and “the whack heard around the world”. I highly recommend the documentary.

While reading Bunheads, I kept flashing back to this story. One of the things that made the Tonya Harding scandal so juicy was that it felt like it was made for the movies. And I realized that it would also make a great young adult book.

First, let me say, I am sure there are some legal issues to developing a book about this. I am not a lawyer nor do I have access to one to ask, so let’s just assume a fictionalized version of this story would be out (aka not allowed).

But when I was reading Bunheads, I realized it wasn’t the ballet book I really wanted to read. There are rivalries in the book to be sure, but nothing that was as drastic as the events of 20 or so years ago.

The ballet book I want is a bit more dramatic.

Picture this:

On the night of one of the biggest performances of the year, the soloist is brutally attacked (but not like murdered-attacked, more like broken legs (still gruesome, but you know)). Shock reverberates among the company’s dancers. Who could have done such a thing? Only young corps dancer, What’s Her Name, suspects the culprit is one of their own. Now she must figure out who broke the soloist legs before the next dancer is taken out.

Ballerinas are scary, man. Black Swan anyone?

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