I am super excited to welcome A.G. Howard to the blog today for the Authors are Rockstars tour. Anita published her debut novel Splintered this year, and the second book in the series Unhinged is set to release in January 2014. It is a magical retelling of the epic fairy tale Alice in Wonderland, and it is amazing. Splintered has been one of my favorite books that I have read this year. It has romance, magic, an amazing heroine, and totally hot guys. If you would like to check out my full review go here. On top of writing an amazing book Anita is also such a nice person. I have chatted with her on twitter a few times and she has always been so sweet and humble about her awesome work. I think she is a total rockstar and I will always be a huge fan. Today we have a special post about how music affected Anita’s writing and how it inspired her characters.
Building Characterization Through Music
Music plays a role in everything I write, from evoking the mood or emotion I’m trying to portray, to helping me hone in on characterization. I choose songs not only for their beat and melody, but for the lyrics. Each book gets its own unique playlist.
Two of my favorite songs while writing SPLINTERED were “Distance” by Christina Perri ft. Jason Mraz and “Lose Control” by Evanescence. They both set the tone perfectly for Alyssa and her two guys.
First, “Distance” is the epitome of the relationship between Alyssa and her best friend/secret crush Jeb—how they’re both holding back, afraid to act on what they feel. And since it’s a duet, it’s easy to imagine each of their thoughts by reading the lyrics included in this video.
And so that you can, too, I’ve included the lyrics to the song below and attributed the verses to represent their wordplay. You can feel the seduction and temptation Morpheus weaves into every phrase, and Alyssa’s reluctant acceptance of it. In the last verse, Morpheus’s true intention comes to light … along with a hint of remorse for what it could ultimately mean for Alyssa.
You don’t remember my name.
I don’t really care.
Can we play the game your way?
Can I really lose control?
Just once in my life,
I think it’d be nice,
Just to lose control, just once…
Leave all the pretty flowers in the dust.
Mary had a lamb.
His eyes black as coals.
If we play very quiet, my lamb,
Mary never has to know.
Just once in my life,
I think it’d be nice,
Just to lose control, just once.
If I cut you down to a thing I can use,
I fear there’ll be nothing good left of you.
Since I love AG Howard’s work I want to be able to share her books with one of our lucky readers. You will have the choice of either Splintered or a Pre-order Copy of Unhinged. This giveaway is international as long as the book depository ships to you.
Anita Grace Howard lives in the Texas panhandle, and is most at home weaving the melancholy and macabre into settings and scenes, twisting the expected into the unexpected. She’s inspired by all things flawed, utilizing the complex loveliness of human conditions and raw emotions to give her characters life, then turning their world upside down so the reader’s blood will race.
Married and mother of two teens (as well as surrogate mom to two Labrador retrievers), Anita divides her days between spending time with her family and plodding along or plotting on her next book.
When she’s not writing, Anita enjoys rollerblading, biking, snow skiing, gardening, and family vacations that at any given time might include an impromptu side trip to an 18th century graveyard or a condemned schoolhouse for photo ops.
Want to read more from A.G. Howard?
This giveaway is provided by me (Bridget!)
Available January 1, 2013 from Amulet Books
About this Book:
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
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