MaureenMcGowan

COMPLIANCE cover reveal giveaway!

To celebrate my cover reveal, I’m giving away 2 copies of DEVIANTS. Signed if you live in North America, unsigned if you don’t. (Sorry… often mailing a book overseas costs $35-$40 and I just can’t afford that. But I will send it to you from The Book Depository.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m starting to get excited about this release… I can’t believe it’s May already!!!

Oh! And the Spanish version of DEVIANTS (LOS INDESEABLES) was recommended on what my publishers in Spain tell me is the most important cultural TV show in Spain! They made it sound like this was the US equivalent of being featured on Entertainment Tonight, or something. So, Yippee!

Here is the video. My book’s mentioned at about minute 20:50 and it’s easy to scroll ahead.

Página 2 – Héctor Abad Faciolince

And if you’d like to pre-order COMPLIANCE, here’s some linkage.

Pre-order Compliance here:

Spanish TV Recommendation and HUGE poster!

I got some exciting news today.

LOS INDESEABLES, (the Spanish version of DEVIANTS), was featured on the most important cultural review show in Spain, página 2.

And, a HUGE image of the cover is displayed along the river in Bilbao, with the Guggenheim museum in the background. At first I assumed it was FX, but I’m told the book covers are actually there. (Unless I’m having translation issues in my e-mails with my Spanish editor.)

Here’s a snapshot taken from the TV show.

And here is the actual program. Go to approximately minute 20:50.

Página 2 – Héctor Abad Faciolince

After my book, the presenter talks about the YA Film WARM BODIES.

This is very cool. Excited…

Compliance Cover Reveal!!

I’m happy to reveal the cover for COMPLIANCE coming out June 4, 2013.
I’ll be running a contest next week to celebrate, and have some news about signings and events, so check back!
I think the cover captures the idea of the book really well. And I think the red on navy color scheme is very “now”.  At least I keep seeing the color scheme everywhere.
Pre-order Compliance here:
And here is the cover for the Spanish version of DEVIANTS, aka LOS INDESEABLES.
I have to say, I kind of love this cover. The back is cool too. 
You can order the Spanish version here: (sorry, I don’t know any other Spanish retailers)

YA Scavenger Hunt! Spring 2013

The Hunt is now over! Thanks for hunting!! 
Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This tri-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt.Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! (You can also play to win the prize package from the red team too!) 

And… check out my bonus contest at the bottom of the post!

But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM–but there is also a red team for a chance to win a whole different set of twenty-five signed books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
 
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday April 7th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
SCAVENGER HUNT POST

I’m pleased to be hosting, Tara Fuller!

Tara Fuller writes novels. Some about grim reapers​. Some about witches. All of course are delightfully full of teen angst and kissing. Tara grew up in a one stop light town in Oklahoma where once upon a time she stayed up with a flash light reading RL Stine novels and only dreamed of becoming a writer. She has a slight obsession with music and a shameless addiction for zombie fiction, Mystery Science Theater, and black and white mochas. Tara no longer lives in a one stop light town. Now she lives with her family in a slightly larger town in North  Carolina where they have at least three stoplights.
Find out more information about Tara by checking out her website or find more about her latest book BLURRED here!

“Cash is haunted by things. Hungry, hollow things. They only leave him alone when Heaven’s beautiful reaper, Anaya, is around. Cash has always been good with girls, but Anaya isn’t like the others. She’s dead. And with his deteriorating health, Cash might soon be as well.
Anaya never breaks the rules, but the night of the fire, she recognized part of Cash’s soul—and doomed him to something worse than death. Cash’s soul now resides in an expired body, making him a shadow walker, a rare, coveted being that can walk between worlds. A being creatures of the underworld would do anything to get their hands on.
The lines between life and death are blurring, and Anaya and Cash find themselves falling helplessly over the edge. Trapped in a world where the living don’t belong, can Cash make it out alive?”

 


EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
You lucky hunters get a sneak peek at the prologue from Tara’s upcoming release, BLURRED (Kissed by Death #2)!

The exclusive content is no longer available, but check out and pre-order Tara’s book BLURRED here.

DON’T FORGET TO ENTER!

Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Tara Fuller, and more!

To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 33. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

CONTINUE THE HUNT
 
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! Lisa Burstein!
ENTER MY BONUS CONTEST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s YASH time again!!!!

I’m super excited to be part of YASH again! The hunt starts on Thursday!

Here are the deets:

How To Hunt
Participating in the YA Scavenger Hunt is easy! Here’s all you have to do:
On April 4 at noon (Pacific Standard Time), the hunt is open. 
During that time, you can go to the participating authors blogs and websites–you can find them all here. The first thing on the page should be their hunt information–there you can find out about new authors and get exclusive content.
Take note of the highlighted number on each author’s hunt page. You need that number to enter the contest!
Each author is on either the RED Team or the BLUE Team. Add up the numbers of all the authors on the red team, and you have the secret code you need to enter the contest. The prize is all the books from the authors on that team! You can only enter once, and your entry only counts if you have the right number, so make sure you get the right code! Break out those calculators!
You have to submit your entry by April 7, noon, Pacific Standard Time. You can submit your entry for each team HERE.
On April 8th, we’ll announce the winners! There’s one winner for the red team, and one for the blue team. The hunt IS open internationally, to all ages, so you have no excuse to not join in the fun!
See you April 4!

I’m on team BLUE along with these other amazing authors! What a line up!

Amber Argyle
Josephine Angelini 
Kate Avelynn 
Lisa Burstein 
Tera Lynn Childs
Kate Evangelista
Tara Fuller
Rachel Harris
Colleen Houck
Justina Ireland
Ellie James
Carrie Jones
Jessica Khoury
Cindy Madsen
Megan Miranda
Erica O’Rourke
Diana Peterfreund
Amy Plum
Beth Revis
Gina Rosati
Victoria Scott
Jessica Spotswood
K.A. Tucker
Lisa Voisin


High School Writers

Today I talked for an hour to a grade 12 writers arts class in Toronto. I was invited by the teacher of the daughter of a friend of my sister’s. (How’s that for a complicated relationship.)

It was really great and inspiring (for me), and I hope, most of all, that I didn’t completely discourage them from seriously pursuing writing… Because I told the truth–mostly–about publishing.

Looking back at myself at that age, I would have loved to meet a published author and ask questions. But since I didn’t have the guts to try writing as a career back then, hearing the truth about how difficult it is to earn a living as an author probably would have just reinforced what I’d already decided. To do something else…

But still, I really hope that I didn’t say anything today to discourage these budding young writers.

It took me a lot of years to discover (or admit to) who I really am. Here’s hoping the kids I meet today get there sooner. :)

 

The Great (and Terrible?) 3D Oz

Oh, how I wanted to love this movie. And oh how it disappointed me.

I’ve been trying to put my finger on why and here are a few thoughts:

1) This is a movie that used 3D in the worst kind of way. I love how movies over the past few years (notably Hugo, Pina, Avatar) used 3D to put you in the scene with the characters (or with the dancers in the case of Pina). And how they used the technology to make the world seem more real. Awesome.
But this movie uses it to make things come out of the screen toward the audience. In that respect it reminded me of all the really bad 3D movies from the past. Or Joe Flaherty in a vampire costume moving his face toward the camera in old SCTV sketches.

Fast fwd to about the 2 minute mark to get the first example of what I’m talking about. These old sketches were hilarious. But long… Oh, 1970’s Canadian TV.
Back to Oz:  It felt as if the action sequences were planned with the central question being: How can we maximize the number of objects that shoot out into the audience’s faces? Rather than: How can we make this scene exciting and further the plot?

2) The film felt really juvenile. Now, I get that people probably want to take their kids to this movie. But really little kids will be terrified. Big, scary-toothed flying gorillas coming out at you from the screen… (And I thought there could be nothing scarier than flying monkeys…) And yet the tone and dialogue and character development felt like it was aimed at 5 year olds. Or 4 year olds. I’ve seen movies aimed at 5 year olds which entertained me more than this did…

3) They had too many character arcs. I feel like the witches’ stories got badly short changed. I get that it was a story about how the wizard of Oz ended up in Oz… but they why try to tell the wicked witch creation story at the same time? It just didn’t work. Now that I’m typing this, I realize there have been tons of films where the writers successfully told both a hero and villain creation story in one (just about any comic book movie, for example) but this one did not succeed. Maybe because they spent too much time trying to be cute. Or giving us winks to things. Don’t know. But the transformation of the Mila Kunis character from good to evil seemed like an incredible wasted opportunity. And I’d have loved to know more about the Rachel Weisz character too. And the politics of the good vs wicked sides of the witch world… And why witches are in charge in Oz etc. etc. So many interesting things, unexplored.

4) I’ve decided James Franco can’t act. This might be heresy, but it’s how I feel at the moment. I remember seeing him in that James Dean biopic years ago and being blown away. And the critics and everyone from that point on seemed to take it as fact that he was the next coming… But looking back on his filmology, I think he’s annoyed me as many times as I’ve been impressed. It’s like squinting and talking through his teeth, which worked for Dean, is the main tool in his actor’s chest. Now… I did love him in 127 Hours… And I do admit that the Oscar hosting gig, when he acted like he was so above it all, might have turned me against him. But it does say something that I reached this, “Huh, Franco can’t act,” conclusion in the middle of watching Oz. I almost felt like he thought the entire movie was a big goof. Like I was watching Franco on SNL or something, doing a spoof on an Oz prequel, rather than watching him as a character in a movie.

5) Bad romance. Wow. I just thought of this while composing this post. But it was another big problem. First, they start to develop a romance with the Mila Kunis character. And we start to care about her and them. And see problems on the horizon for their relationship because clearly she’s more invested in him than he is in her (which fits his philandering character to this point). So those of us who like romance subplots are rubbing our hands together thinking, this could get interesting! And then we’re yanked out of that romance subplot. And another witch is tossed in his path. And for no reason other than they’re on the same side in a fight, and she looks like a girl he tossed aside back in Kansas, (and she’s blonde?) we’re supposed to believe he’s going to fall in love with her. And her with him. Insta-love. Does not work.

So, in spite of all the above, I actually didn’t HATE this movie. And I thought some things were really cool. (like the way they eventually create the Oz illusion.) But overall, I was disappointed.

Has anyone else seen it?

Feel free to disagree. :)

Kindle Daily Deal

If you haven’t yet bought a copy of DEVIANTS, have no fear!

Today, DEVIANTS is a kindle daily deal!

Only $1.99 in the amazon.com store  Buy now.

And only $1.97 in the amazon.ca* store.  Buy now.

* (Exchange rate and all that.)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Telling Stories with Images

I recently saw a few movies that made me think about how it’s possible to tell great stories with images, or how significantly images can enhance a story.

Last night I saw Life of Pi.

Full disclosure. I LOVED this book. Loved it. Loved how it made me think about the power of faith and/or how the human mind uses storytelling to cope with not only the unknown (God) but also to cope with traumatic experiences…

And the movie did the same, if maybe in a more heavy handed way. This movie is an interesting one for this topic because, while I think a big part of the appeal of the movie was the images, I also think images were a big part of the appeal of the book. The writer was able to describe things in such a way that we saw them as a reader… I must go back and take another look. It’s been nearly a decade since I read the book.

Good news is that I loved the movie, too. The story is framed differently than the book, (I’m pretty sure… **see I haven’t read the book in a decade) but the framing worked and added some context and a sense of reality and was a more interesting framing than a boy in a hospital bed talking to Japanese businessmen. Which, if I recall, didn’t actually frame the book, just ended it… (And the framing in the movie meant we got some nice shots of Montreal.)

The other two I want to mention are probably a little harder to find: Beasts of the Southern Wild and Samsara.

Beasts of the Southern Wild I actually saw months ago and meant to talk about it then. If you can find this one somewhere, I highly recommend it, and also highly recommend seeing it on a big screen if you can.

It’s the story of a little girl named Hushpuppy living in a swamp called the Bathtub. I’m not 100% sure, but I got the impression it’s an area that was purposefully left partially flooded and unprotected after Hurricane Katrina. The government tried to move everyone out of the area, but some people refused to move. And still refuse to even when another storm approaches and floods them again.

But it’s not really about that. It’s about this very little girl (5 or 6?) who’s almost living on her own. Her dad is around, but he makes her live in her own dwelling and barely takes care of her and he’s not doing too well and often she needs to take care of him. The girl has been learning about prehistoric animals and imagines danger in the form of these great mastodon-sized pigs. And that image/idea comes to a head near the end of the film in an inventive way and shows the great bravery of our young heroine.

Great movie. Try to find it.

And Samsara. This one is purely visual. I’m not sure if there is a word spoken during this movie. It’s a series of spectacular images set to music and it’s mesmerizing. Wow. Hard to describe. Try to find it in a good movie theatre. And Go. :)

This trailer intrigued me enough to want to go, but it doesn’t do the film justice.