Authors always talk about how music influences their writing, and some authors even create soundtracks that they write to. Four authors, Quinn Loftis, Amanda Havard, Amy Bartol, and Chelsea Fine took it one step further by creating original music to go with their books.


The UtopYA 2013 Convention took place at the end of June in Nashville, TN. For the UtopYA Awards ceremony, Amanda Havard worked alongside three other young adult authors to write a song for each one of their books, including her own. These songs were performed at the Awards Ceremony at UtopYA by Amanda Havard and Erica Erwin.

There was such a response from the attendees, asking if they could get a copy of the songs that the four authors decided they would get them recorded and available for their readers. Now, we have the finished product and they are available for download, as well as videos to go along with them, up on YouTube.

Along with the music videos to check out we also have interviews with the four authors and a really cool giveaway.

Describe your book in 5 words
Quinn Loftis: Romance, action, werewolves, best friends, victory.
Amy A. Bartol: Wicked, damn, sexy, angel, love.
Amanda Havard: Supernatural, dark, demented, adventurous, addictive.
Chelsea Fine: Fountain of Youth. Forbidden love.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
Quinn Loftis: First.

Amy A. Bartol: For me, the hardest line to write is the first line. It sets the tone of the entire book.  It’s the hook.  You should know if you want to read the story after you read the first sentence, so…no pressure.  I feel like the end always takes care of itself.

Amanda Havard: I’m sure it depends on the book, but I planned the opening sentence of each of the Survivors books in advance, so I guess the last lines are the ones that have taken a bit more effort to select.

Chelsea Fine: The first line! I’m always really nervous and careful about my opening lines.

What about music inspires you to write or what about writing inspires creating music?
Quinn Loftis: Music creates emotions, strong emotions and I’m able to use that emotion and put it into a scene.

Amy A. Bartol: Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing, all you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed.”  If that is true, then to me, music is the razor blade. When I listen to music while I write, I find different worlds between the notes. Each song has a new tale that builds like floodwater. It helps me to abandon the logical part of my mind for a more creative, visceral one.

Amanda Havard: Music is a particularly emotionally-charged form of storytelling, and so it’s a natural pairing to other forms of storytelling. I love that the right song is a soundscape; it’s the soundtrack to the movie scene going in my head when I write, and so it helps me set the tone, get the mood, imagine the faint but important details, and really situate characters in the moment. And when I write music for books, it works in reverse. I’m harnessing the scene and channeling it back into sounds. The whole thing is a cyclical kind of creative magic for me.

Chelsea Fine: When I listen to music, I can “see” my story playing out — kind of like a music video — and it makes my characters and setting come to life in my mind.

Best writing tip you’ve ever received?
Quinn Loftis: Write every scene so that when it ends the reader is thinking I have to know what’s going to happen next, the entire book should be written so that the reader is constantly saying this.

Amy A. Bartol: Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. –Oscar Wilde.  (He didn’t actually tell me that personally, I sort of read into it.)  *wink*

Amanda Havard: Write the story you know you must. (A close second, an ever-important truth: Every debut writer makes the same point three times. Find the one way to say it best, and cut the others.)

Chelsea Fine: Write your heart out and be fearless! Both are hard to do, but incredibly important to my storytelling. I write what I feel, and then I have to trust myself enough to let other people read it — eeek! But it’s SO worth it!

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?
Quinn Loftis: Onyx by Jennifer L Armentrout, because it’s an extremely unique and intriguing idea and a wonderful escape with great characters.

Amy A. Bartol: I wish I had the novel I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak when I was a teenager. The story is about Ed Kennedy, an underage cabdriver who has a coffee-drinking dog named The Doorman and a secret crush on his best friend Audrey. Ed has a peaceful routine until the day he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. After that day, Ed becomes the messenger.

The book, written in the first person present tense, is funny and heart pounding and sad and euphoric. It reads like you can step into Ed’s shoes, breathe his air, and see what he is seeing. In short, it’s amazing. There is a message at the end of the story that when I read it, struck me as if it had been written just for me. It says: “Maybe everyone can live beyond what they’re capable of…I’m not the messenger at all. I’m the message.”

After reading it, I knew instantly that I had to try to write a book because maybe I was able to live beyond what I always thought I was capable of. If I had read that novel when I was a teenager, maybe I would’ve started writing earlier.

Amanda Havard: Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. I doubt anyone marketed that as YA as it’s adult literary fiction, but it’s about a high school girl whose experiences were similar to my own at that age, and when her character was being an idiot, I probably could have used reading about it to realize I was being the same kind of idiot. I read it as an adult, and even then it still hit close to home. I wonder if I wouldn’t have figured out more about myself sooner if I’d had such an honest reflection in text. (Sittenfeld is my favorite author, by the way. If you haven’t read her, then you must. Every now and again, we all ought to reach our hands into the waters of literary fiction and see things through a different lens than we typically do.)

Chelsea Fine: Divergent by Veronica Roth. Growing up, I felt like Tris — like I belonged somewhere else, or could be awesome at something else, I just didn’t know what. When I read Divergent, I was like, “Yes, Tris! You don’t need to be Abnagation. You can be anything you want! Go for Dauntless!” I wish I had experienced that kind of bravery when I was a teenager. But I guess it’s never too late to become who you were meant to be… ;)

From Quinn Loftis’ PRINCE OF WOLVES
A Mate, A Match, A Mark
iTunes Download – http://bit.ly/MateMatchMark
From Amy A. Bartol’s The Premonition Series
Darkness In the Light 
iTunes Download – http://bit.ly/DarknessLight
From Chelsea Fine’s Archers of Avalon Series
Electricity
iTunes Download – http://bit.ly/ElectricitySong
 
From Amanda Havard’s The Survivors: BODY & BLOOD
Human 
iTunes Download – http://bit.ly/HumanSong

GIVEAWAY
The giveaway includes 1 soundtrack and 1 signed copy of each book, to coincide with the soundtrack, and 1 ticket to UtopYA 2013 which Includes:
-3-day pass for Conference,
-fan admission to Public Book Signing event,
-general admission to Third Annual utopYA Awards & Afterparty,
-admission to Sunday Write-In.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will star Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Count Olaf, and on a recent episode of Live! with Kelly, the actor shared many interesting details about the new show.

Anyone who’s looking forward to the book to film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s wonderful series will no doubt be thrilled to hear what Harris had to say while updating Kelly Ripa on what he’s been up to.

Perhaps most notably, NPH revealed how A Series of Unfortunate Events is being cut up into episodes. So far, the first four books are two episodes each:

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Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will star Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Count Olaf, and on a recent episode of Live! with Kelly, the actor shared many interesting details about the new show.

Anyone who’s looking forward to the book to film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s wonderful series will no doubt be thrilled to hear what Harris had to say while updating Kelly Ripa on what he’s been up to.

Perhaps most notably, NPH revealed how A Series of Unfortunate Events is being cut up into episodes. So far, the first four books are two episodes each:

Netflix’s ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ episode count

neil-patrick-harris-series-unfortunate-events-netflix

“They truncated all of the books into a two hour movie,” Harris said of the Unfortunate Events movie starring Jim Carrey, noting that it just wasn’t a great adaptation. “And there’s thirteen books in the series. So [Netflix’s take] is more spread out. Each book is going to be two episodes. We did the first four books, the first eight episodes of the show.”

As for the tone of the show? Great news: “It’s super dark,” he said. “It’s a much darker on the take on the material than has been seen before.”

When Kelly asked Harris if her kids could watch it, the actor dropped some interesting information about Neflix’s plans:

“I hope so!” he replied. “It’s not Rated-R dark. It’s the most expensive show that they’ve ever done. It’s the first one they call a four quadrant show, so they’re try to get four different quadrants to like it. So in addition to being for adults and for 20-somethings and teenagers, they want it to be for kids as well.”

Dark, appealing to all ages, and two episodes per book? We are so down.

Netflix has yet to share a premiere date for A Series of Unfortunate Events, but we’ll keep you posted.

Jessica Jones introduced us to Marvel’s live-action Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who has his own show debuting on Friday. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time.

The mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rich and complicated. Not only do you have to remember what’s happened from episode to episode and season to season, it’s also important to keep in mind what’s happened in other shows and movies.

But that’s why we’re here. Looking forward to Luke Cage premiering on September 30? Us too. Having a little trouble remembering what happened in Jessica Jones and not feeling up to rewatching the show from start to finish? No problem.

Read full article

Jessica Jones introduced us to Marvel’s live-action Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who has his own show debuting on Friday. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time.

The mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rich and complicated. Not only do you have to remember what’s happened from episode to episode and season to season, it’s also important to keep in mind what’s happened in other shows and movies.

But that’s why we’re here. Looking forward to Luke Cage premiering on September 30? Us too. Having a little trouble remembering what happened in Jessica Jones and not feeling up to rewatching the show from start to finish? No problem.

Everything you need to know about ‘Luke Cage’

The man

luke cage premiere date

We first met Luke in the series premiere of Jessica Jones and he was in the majority of the episodes for the season. He owned a bar in Hell’s Kitchen and made it a priority to stay away from complications. Too bad Jessica Jones is the definition of complicated. Sweet Christmas.

With chemistry pretty much off the charts, it didn’t take long for Luke and Jessica to start hooking up. Unfortunately, between Kilgrave’s manipulations and Jessica’s lies, the situation came to a head and Luke found out it was Jessica who was responsible for his wife’s death way back when Kilgrave was livin’ large with Jessica at his side.

Luke left after that, but not before he ran into Kilgrave with the intention of killing the man. Instead, Kilgrave used his power of mind control to plant Luke back into Jessica’s life and keep an eye on her until it was time for Kilgrave to use his trump card. He even forced Luke to blow up his own bar.

In a final confrontation, where Kilgrave once again played with Jessica’s emotions, Luke said he didn’t forgive her for killing his wife and, under Kilgrave’s power, attacked her until she was forced to put a shotgun to his head and pull the trigger.

Thanks to Luke’s powers, he survived, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t some damage. Luke was unconscious, and Jessica was forced to bring him to the hospital where Claire used her position as a nurse to sneak him back to Jessica’s apartment and keep an eye on him.

By the end of the series, once Kilgrave was killed and Jessica was arrested, Luke recovered from his injuries and left Jessica’s apartment when Claire wasn’t looking.

The myth

luke cage mike colter

Luke Cage’s powers are not unlike Jessica’s, though where they both share a similar level of strength, Luke has the added benefit of unbreakable skin. The experiments he was subjected to didn’t make him completely impervious to injury, as seen when the shotgun blast rattled his brain so much it did some internal damage. Areas like his eyes are also open to injury, if Claire sticking that needle through the socket is any indication.

Luke is also just, you know, a big guy. Is intimidation a supernatural ability? Because if so, this guy has got it in spades. He’s a good fighter and obviously used to dealing with the seedier side of the city, so even without his powers, he’d be good to have in a fight.

Luke Cage from the comics isn’t much different, though his interactions with other superheroes have given him an additional leg up. For instance, Iron Fist has taught Luke Cage additional fighting techniques, but we haven’t seen that in the MCU since Iron Fist has yet to debut on Netflix and it’s uncertain what their interactions will be like.

Apparently Luke also has a sweet jacket that’s as impervious as his skin. Given all the clothes we see him go through in the trailers for the upcoming season, perhaps we’ll see him gain a useful item like this in the upcoming freshman run.

The legend

luke cage clip

Luke Cage is already making a name for himself by the end of Jessica Jones, and it’s clear that season 1 of his own show is only going to further his story as a legendary hero. If you want to avoid spoilers at all costs, skip this section. If you’d like to get familiar with some of the show’s upcoming new characters, read on.

In Luke Cage season 1, it’s clear that Cornell Stokes/Cottonmouth will be to Luke as Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin was to Matt Murdock’s Daredevil. This is the guy who wears the crown around Harlem (where Luke has recently moved following his interactions with Jessica), and it’s pretty clear Stokes took no time in pissing off Luke.

Mariah Dillard will be an enemy of a different variety, as she’s a powerful local politician who also happens to be Stokes’ cousin. From the trailers it looks like the two are in business together, but the relationship is contentious at best. Alvarez/Shades, an associate of Cottonmouth, is also going to cause some problems for Luke.

On the other side of the line you have Misty Knight, a police detective who has Luke Cage on her radar. She might also be causing some problems for our hero, but she’s definitely one of the good guys. Her partner is Rafael Scarfe.

Claire will also be returning, this time in a starring role, so the hope is we’ll be seeing plenty of the nurse who is heroic in her own way. She might not have supernatural abilities, but she heals who she can, despite their various complications. She’s also there to light a fire up under the asses of heroes who might be losing their way — and she’s very good at her job.

Everyone’s favorite crook, Turk, will also be showing up in Luke Cage, as will Claire’s mother, Soledad. You can also expect Willis Stryker/Diamondback to play a part this season. He’s tied up with Cottonmouth and Shades and definitely has something against Luke. In the comics, they go way back, and Stryker even had a thing for Luke’s wife, Reva.

Here’s the latest trailer for ‘Luke Cage’ season 1

‘Luke Cage’ season 1 will be exclusively available to stream on Netflix come September 30

Once Upon a Time season 6 will see Sean Maguire’s Robin Hood at least one more time! Come on, is anyone ever really gone for good on this show?

Remember when Hook died, but he really didn’t? Remember when Neal died, but we got see him again in limbo between reality and the Underworld? Well, Robin Hood is following a similar Once Upon a Time narrative arc as EW confirms that the outlaw will return in season 6.

Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis confirmed the news saying, “We’re thrilled to have Sean back for this story arc and are excited for the audience to see what we have planned, which in the wake of his character’s heartbreaking demise, is something we hope is unexpected and surprising.”

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Once Upon a Time season 6 will see Sean Maguire’s Robin Hood at least one more time! Come on, is anyone ever really gone for good on this show?

Remember when Hook died, but he really didn’t? Remember when Neal died, but we got see him again in limbo between reality and the Underworld? Well, Robin Hood is following a similar Once Upon a Time narrative arc as EW confirms that the outlaw will return in season 6.

Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis confirmed the news saying, “We’re thrilled to have Sean back for this story arc and are excited for the audience to see what we have planned, which in the wake of his character’s heartbreaking demise, is something we hope is unexpected and surprising.”

Bringing back characters is one of the major reasons why characters on this show can never have closure. In the aftermath of season 5’s most remarkable death, Once Upon a Time took the necessary steps to give Regina closure. In Neal’s apartment (once again, reviving Neal’s presence for Emma), Regina began to process the reality of her life through a letter from Robin.

Once Upon a Time season 5 regina robin

Kitsis makes note that Regina’s course of action this season will deal with processing her grief. “I can tell you that a lot of this year is about Regina dealing with loss and moving on, because I think Regina has the most unfair luck of anybody, but that’s what makes her Regina,” says Kitsis.

We already caught some of that in the season 6 opener where Regina talks with Snow White about her character’s story and its various interpretations. If the feather floating away from Regina on the bench was a nod to her finding the strength to let go even a little bit, what will Robin’s return mean for her mentally? Regina needs all her faculties to face the most terrifying adversary this season– herself.

What will Robin’s return look like?

Maybe he will appear Jiminy Cricket style and remind her of her best qualities as she faces the Evil Queen. Or perhaps he will appear to save his daughter through some kind of intrinsic bond that exists between them? Maybe that feather actually means a bit more than we give it credit for!

Once Upon a Time season 5 episode 100 review regina robin henry

Kitsis and Horowitz note that Sean Maguire will have “an arc” meaning it is likely that he will appear in more than one episode.

What are some of your theories for Robin’s involvement in season 6? Let us know in comments!

Once Upon a Time season 6, episode 2, “A Bitter Draught,” airs Sunday, October 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.