YA Indie Carnival: Where Do You Escape?

YA_Indie_CarnivalHi fellow indie book-lovers! In this day and age of a million kinds of crazy, writers, and people in general love to escape for a while, out of life, out of bills, out of work, out of the house or the world, and into someone else’s world for a while. Some things we read because they are recommended and something important that we ‘should’ read because they have an interesting thought pertinent to the world today. Other books we read simply because they are somewhere we can duck out of the fray for a while. Sometimes those two kinds of reading experiences are in the same books but not always, or at least they don’t have to be.

Lately, I have favored books that are like a bag of movie popcorn. I might get some nutritional value from it if you count popcorn as a vegetable and butter-flavored product as dairy. But I’m not eating it for nutrition. I’m eating it and reveling in the sheer artery-clogging joy of stuffing my face with something that tastes good. Likewise, the books I seek out lately I’m not reading for the intellectual content, whether it has those qualities or not. Some do. They’re like those tasty fruit juices that actually have veggies in them, or broccoli cheese soup. It’s a bowl of molten-lava cheese that happens to have some florets of superfood snuck in, that don’t taste like vegetables because they’re drowned in cheese. What’s not to love?

Books I am reading/have read lately:

Cold Rain (Harry Dresden series) by Jim Butcher

Mark of Athena (read to daughter) by Rick Riordan

Glory Days by David Brin

I devoured Cold Rain in a day and a half. It was like your bag of Halloween candy that you try to space out over the course of weeks, or even a single week, but if you have zero self-restraint like me, you wind up sitting down on the couch and before you know it have wolfed down the entire bag and are left sitting there with a ring of chocolate around your mouth and a guilty look when you realize it’s  3 in the morning and you have to get up for work in 3 hours. It was constantly entertaining, witty banter the whole way, which I can’t get enough of. It was picturesque and fascinating, with his descriptions of faery and the Wild Hunt that were visual and tactile. It was so action-packed that when Harry never catches a break, neither do you. I finished it feeling like I had run the Tough Mudder. But it was also thoughtful, portraying a hostile force in a different light that just re-enforces the sense that there is no black and white, no pure evil or good, that things just aren’t that simple. Those kind of stories are like crack to me. I love reading them and I love writing them.

I am currently reading Mark of Athena to my daughter, having just finished Son of Neptune. We’ve been having fun with the whole Heroes of Olympus and Percy Jackson series’. It revitalizes a mythology that had previously been done to death. I liked his explanations and how he fit everything into the modern world. I am highly entertained by anachronistic writing, taking something from the past and sticking it in the modern world. It’s just fun. The only thing I didn’t like was his portrayal of the god Hades. I don’t know why. Maybe I was too much of a gothy chick in high school, but Hades was one of my favorite Greek gods, and portraying him as a psychotic megalomaniac who spawned the leaders of the Nazis struck a bad chord with me, being Jewish. From my recollection of myth, Hades was relentless and grim, even cruel, but not evil. And I know that he wasn’t really portrayed as evil in the series either. But the comparison was too jarring for me. Perhaps that is my cultural perception of the cadre in charge of the Holocaust which makes me twitch, though I’m sure it wasn’t the first time someone has referred to such people as sons of Hades figuratively. I do like Riordan’s way of writing from different points of view in the Heroes of Olympus series, using different chapters. I have always written from different points of view and have looked for better ways of doing it. So he is influencing my writing as well, in that I am working on breaking things like that into separate chapters, or on being able to portray action for another character better through a different character’s eyes, so that I can keep the same perspective for a while.

From all of these candy and popcorn munching sessions, I get dual benefit: I get to disappear for a while into a world where I can be a fairy or a wizard or a demi-god, instead of a grown-up who has to pay the mortgage and make sure that this or that mundane detail of life gets done. And I get inspiration and tips on how to do things better for my own novels.

Where do you like to escape to, what kind of books do you devour? And what do you get out of it, in your life or in your writing? How do they inspire you?

For other ideas or other reviews of authors, visit the other carnies at the following links!

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series 4. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 8. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9. Ella James 10. Maureen Murrish
11. YA Sci Fi Author’s Ramblings 12. A Little Bit of R&R
13. Melissa Pearl 14. Terah Edun – YA Fantasy
15. Heather Sutherlin – YA Fantasy

 

And see what’s new and upcoming from the YA Indie Carnival!

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