I took a break from writing this past weekend and caught Thor: The Dark World.
While I am a fan of the luscious Chris Hemsworth, I must admit (and I’ve said it before) that I love the bad guy – Loki! Largely due to Tom Hiddleston’s fun and charming performance, I only wish they’d give Loki his own movie.
In my opinion, nobody does it better!
Now, I hate to blog and run, but I have another book to finish before 2013 ends. So, I leave you with this burning question and a funny video clip- Who is better: Thor or Loki?
PJ here, and I’ve finally found a form of social media I love! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy checking in with friends and readers on Facebook, but many of those folks are writers, friends, family, high school alumni, and adults who enjoy reading YA fiction, and it can often take up a lot of time getting caught up on everyone’s happenings. I engage in twitter on a regular basis, but as with FB, most of my twitter followers are other writers. After taking a Publicity 101 workshop with Heather Riccio recently, I was prompted to reach out more directly to my audience (namely teens), through tumblr. It turns out, tumblr is easy and really fun!
I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to how I can reach readers and looking at where I’ve had my focus in terms of marketing and social media. Recognizing that I have to expand that all-important sphere of influence and try to connect with readers wherever they may be, tumblr was on the no-brainer list. It was highly recommended by my YA writing peers that tumblr and Instagram are the go-to locations for teens. For sanity’s sake, I chose only one.
I’m just getting started and I still have to work out a few kinks, but I really like tumblr. You can check out my new page here: http://pjsharonbooks.tumblr.com/ I will have to add my books to my page so readers will know where to find them, but I’ll add a little at a time as I figure out how to find teen followers. As with FB and twitter, it’s a slow build.
Tumblr is where I can post a cool pic right from my phone or computer, with a short blurb about the photo, about life, or about any number of things I think are awesome.
Basically, I’ll share snapshots of life as I see it—another way to share my message of hope with teens. I’ll post about my books as well, but 80% of my communication here is going to be about sharing pieces of me with teen readers. You can add a custom background, change fonts, and even connect your posts to FB and twitter, a great way for me to contribute to my brand on my FB PJSharonBooks page.
I realized a long time ago that blogging every day on a static website page was nearly impossible, despite the encouragement of publicity specialists who insist that consistent, frequent posts will garner attention and gain you an audience. Frankly, I don’t have the time or enough interesting, informative, or entertaining things to talk about every day. As it is, I currently use my web site’s home page as a way to keep readers updated monthly about sales, contests, and news about appearances. Keeping your content fresh and making your posts “value added” for readers is a challenge. Blogs such as the one you’re reading now take significant time and effort and weekly blog posting is more than enough for most of us.
I figured a daily blog that literally only takes me two minutes to post would be a great way to start making a shift in the right direction. It’s kind of addictive and oh, so simple, I think I’ll be very happy there and don’t feel the need to explore Instagram at this point. I hope you’ll follow me or share with any teens you think might enjoy some clean, fun entertainment.
What about you? Have you tried tumblr? What’s your favorite mode of social media and why?
1.) The winner of last weeks audio book of HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES is Brenda Maxfield! Congratulations, Brenda! I’ll be contacting you to collect your FREE audiobook download.
If you’ve hung around the Scribes blog long enough then you know we are movie fans. I’m sure I’m not the only James Bond aficionado around here. I started my 007 love affair at a young age, first watching Sean Connery, George Lazeby and Roger Moore on ABC with my family. At the time, I had no idea they were heavily edited. And, of course, all the double entendres went right over my head (Pussy Galore!).
The first James Bond movie I ever saw in a theater was Moonraker. One of the more campier offerings, but I distinctly remember everyone loving the metal-mouthed bad guy Jaws, played by Richard Kiel. I was probably in my early teens and still pretty naive about all the innuendo!
Over the years, I faithfully followed all the Bonds as they changed over time. I was thrilled when Pierce Brosnan finally got his chance with the Astin Martin. And while, I was sad to see him go, I loved Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. The harder edged story and the intensity really made me fall in love with the franchise all over again.
As writers there are some lessons to take away from the Bond movies. Part of Bond’s enduring success is a formula that’s stood the test of time and multiple actors playing our hero.
1. Action – I can’t think of a single Bond flick without several pulse pounding action sequences. And they aren’t there just for the thrill value either. They have a purpose and serve to move the plot along (although sometimes you have to wait until the end of the movie to see all the connections).
2. Babes. Lots and lots of babes – skimpy outfits required – Aside from our favorite secret agent, there are always at least two sexy women. One could be loosely considered to be the “love interest” (at least for the duration of the movie). The other (mostly in the earlier movies), slept with Bond then ended up dead later. Who could forget Goldfinger? Jill Eaton dead on the bed, clad only in gold paint. Or in Moonraker, when the sexpot is eaten by dogs. After a while, the first woman to have sex with Bond had the life expectancy of a red-shirted ensign on Star Trek.
3. Villains – no one has more fascinating, campy villains than Mr. Bond. Granted they have stepped away from some of the more cornball aspects of the series (Man with the Golden Gun – extra nipple anyone!). 007 always shines best when the villains are a match for him . Who can forget Sean Connery strapped to a table with Goldfinger cackling overhead – “No. Mr. Bond. I expect you to die!” Classic.
4. Gadgets – Bond has done it all and with the most amazing gadgets. Explosive pens, cars that morph into submarines, even a rocket jetpack. And the cars. So many beautiful and classic Astin Martins. I know, they strayed away from the AM in some of the films, but I hear it’s back and more awesome than ever in Skyfall.
5. Super sidekicks/happening henchmen- Q, Miss Moneypenny and Felix Lightner. They’ve all helped anchor James Bond and provide a sense of continuity no matter which actors have played them. And those henchmen – Jaws, Oddjob, Xenia Onatop (the fabulous Famke Jensen) and May Day (Grace Slick). There are way too many to name, but for a complete list – click here.
6. Exotic Locales – the locations are characters in their own right. I’m pretty sure Mr. Bond has been just about everywhere – including space.
7. Awesome catchphrases – Nothing says Bond like – “Bond, James Bond.” Or “Shaken, not stirred.” No one can quip like 007. There is always some humor. Depending on the actor and the decade, it’s dry or downright corny, but we fans love it all the same!
8. The Opening Credits – Nobody does it better. The classic theme song.That gun barrel eye view often followed by an amazing action sequence which culminates in opening credits (silhouettes of nude models, weapons – you name it) often sung by the pop star du jour.
Okay, back to writing. Yes, I know I got a bit carried away. Watch any Bond film and you’ll find all or most of these elements. And if you’re wearing your writer goggles, you will find the basics elements – the call to action, GMC, twists, black moments, love (okay, sex) scenes, and final victory.
I’m sure Ian Fleming, when he was writing his books in his hideaway Goldeneye, had no idea that fifty years of movies later, his characters would still be alive and thriving. Something most of us can only dream about.
I’m looking forward to seeing Skyfall. Anyone else? Favorite Bond actor? Favorite movie? Bond moment?Bond girl, villain, location?
Hello Scribblers! J Monkeys here. Even though I finished writing tomorrow’s blog post earlier today, I just finished something that moved me to post again. Hello October 27th!
Like many people, my job includes several aspects that I don’t care for. One of them if folding the Alpine mountain of laundry that my household seems to generate each week. Today was a folding day. I know this because I’ve spent the last two mornings fishing through troughs of clean clothes searching for pants for my son to wear to school.
This morning, I stopped at Redbox to rent myself a bit of folding inspiration – a movie. I rented several, including one that I thought looked absurd from the trailer (ok, well this trailer is better than the one I saw in the theater) – this past summer’s action flik Battleship. NOTE: SPOILERS AHEAD!!! You may want to see the movie, then come back to the blog.
I rented Battleship for one reason and one reason only – that taste of Swedish Delight known as Alexandar Skarsgard. He was every bit as yummy as I could have hoped, if too small a portion. I kept watching – even when it became clear that his presence would not…how we say…continue in the film.
From the trailer this summer, I had the impression that Battleship was the red-headed stepchild of that other Hasbro great: Transformers. Au contraire! If you haven’t seen this movie then get thee to a Redbox! I laughed, I cried – honestly, I cried from the story, not the full laundry basket of socks to be mated. Why do they make so many different styles of socks?!
But seriously – it seems that good writers and good actors and good tech people can make a very good film, no matter how silly the premise.
Spoilers here: (highlight to read) I loved that one major hero of this story was a retired soldier who had lost his legs in battle. He was awesome and it was SO great to see our wounded soldiers being recognized in this way. I also loved that the final battle included long retired WWII vets and of course, a battleship that the current naval officers had no idea how to sail. And don’t forget, the movie was inspired by classic game – it was cool how they worked that in.Of course, the movie also included the standard hero-as-screw-up coming of age story and the freaked out geek who predicts disaster at the beginning. And of course, the girl – but she was spunky.
Today’s Secret: If you like a good story, give Battleship a try. The trailer doesn’t even hint at the best parts of the film.
Today’s Question: How do you inspire/reward yourself for doing those aspects of your job that you hate?