Top Media of 2015

by Diana Sousa

Media other than books that I enjoyed this year. Most of them came out in 2015, the exceptions being some of the comic books and the games. And of course I didn’t watch / play / read these as a form of procrastination… it was research. For… stuff, and things.

The results are in alphabetical order and not by preference. And because this has a lot of images, the lists follow after the cut!

Continue reading

End of Year Book Survey 2014

by Diana Sousa

endofyearsurvey

I found this fun survey by Perpetual Page-Turner that I thought would be interesting to do! Feel free to do it too and link it to me, or comment with your own favourite books!

2014 Reading Stats

Number of books you’ve read: 40

Genre you read the most from: Science Fiction (category would be YA)

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?

Allegiant, by Veronica Roth (in a disappointing way)

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

The Natural History of Dragons, by Marie Brennan

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

– The Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer

– Shadowplay, by Laura Lam

– Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #6, by evil heart breaker Zack Whedon

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Marissa Meyer

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Diviners, by Libba Bray

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I don’t usually reread, I have a very good memory and would rather read new things. But perhaps Serenity: Leaves on the Wind.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

    

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Amy Dunne from Gone Girl

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

Pantomime, by Laura Lam

13. Most Thought-Provoking / Life-Changing Book of 2014?

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?

The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

“She got on with her education. In her opinion, school kept trying to interfere with it.”
– Soul Music, by Terry Pratchett

“In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t Google.)”
– Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?

– The Diviners, by Libba Bray – 583 pages

– Equal Rites, by Terry Pratchett – 283 pages

– The Fisherman’s Net, by Laura Lam – 20 pages (short story)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn (even though I guessed the plot twist!)

18. OTP of the year

(Can I say Zoe and Wash even though one of them is… you know… dead?)

– Micah and Drystan (Micah Grey series)

– Thorne and Cress (The Lunar Chronicles)

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

– Rocket Raccoon and Groot (comics)

– Thorne and Iko (The Lunar Chronicles)

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Soul Music, by Terry Pratchett

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure.

I don’t usually read anything based solely on peer pressure or recommendations. At least I didn’t this year.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Huh… no one.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

I haven’t read any 2014 debut, I know, shame on me! I’ve bought a few, but haven’t gotten to them yet.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

New York City in the 20s in The Diviners by Libba Bray.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Rocket Raccoon, by Skottie Young

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

…Serenity: Leaves on the Wind. Are you noticing a certain theme by now?

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

Rocket Raccoon #5 (90% of the dialogue is “I am Groot”)

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Allegiant, by Veronica Roth (ugh ugh ugh)

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

– Jackaby, by William Ritter

– The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

Winter, by Marissa Meyer

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

None of the Above, by I. W. Gregorio

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

The Shadow Cabinet, by Maureen Johnson

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading Life In 2015?

Read a lot more books than I did this year.

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone.

None, unfortunately!

(Actually… there is one, but I can’t tell you about it! Secrets secrets!)

New Website, Portfolio, and Giveaway!

by Diana Sousa
header2
The new logo

So… you’re saying it’s been almost an year since my last post, huh? Well, I… hmm…

OH LOOK a shiny new website!!

I suppose I could say a lot has changed since my last post. At least I hope so, although I suspect the truth might be a bit different. But for now I’d like to focus on the revamp of the website! I felt like it was time for a new look. I’ve also updated the information on several of the pages, and added two new ones:

– The Extras have links that I find important and worth sharing, whether they are writing or book related, or about other things. This is a growing collection and there will be new links every week, or any time that I see something that I’d like to save and to share with the readers of this website;

– The Portfolio has my design and illustration work. Now that I’ve finished university I’ve been doing some projects in and out of the writing community and it’s something I really appreciate doing. If you want to check out my latest projects they’re just a click away!

The sidebar has also been renovated, and below my logo is a quote that changes every time you refresh or change page! (Come on, you can try it. Fancy, huh? It’s a kind of magic) Just details to make this a bit more homey. I would have given you all cookies, but I’m afraid I’ve eaten them all myself. Oops!

I also intend on using this blog more, I promise! I have some ideas and projects in development that might do just that. But until then, and to celebrate the new website look, I’m doing a giveaway to thank you! I’m giving away a character illustration (like this or this) or a simple illustration of your choosing. It’s a small gift, but hopefully you’ll like it!

Thank you for reading and best wishes! Aim to misbehave.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An Unexpected Journey

by Diana Sousa
Books, by Zhen Yang

It was almost a year ago that I started to actually dedicate myself to trying to publish a book. Since then I have read so many articles on writing, queried so many great agents, met so many excellent people… I discovered a great community, gotten amazing feedback and support. Two years ago I would never have guessed any of this.

I finished writing and revising a book, started another one, decided to take a break on that one, and I’m now researching for a completely new one. If it wasn’t for college I’d probably have done more in this area. But it’s my last year, and in a bit more than six months I’ll be free and part of the statistic of unemployment… so, yay? (I’m actually looking forward to this one, I need time to focus on some of my own projects.)

I started working on Edwardian Promenade in January, on Lytherus in August, and started my internship with Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron & Associates in September. I’ve read so many amaaazing manuscripts because of this last one, learned so much while editing, reading queries, what works, what doesn’t… And yet I still wonder why anyone would want my opinion on any of this.

(I’ve also learned how hard it is to say no sometimes, because even though there might not be anything wrong with the book, it just isn’t the right one. It has given me a new perspective on the query responses I’ve gotten.)

I have read less books than I wanted, less comics and graphic novels, I haven’t drawn near as much I’d like to, but I have still procrastinated and wasted time when I should be working. But that’s the same as it has always been.

Overall it’s been a good year. I need to remind myself of that sometimes. I don’t want to be soppy (I need to maintain my image of evil, after all), but it’s true. Let’s hope 2014 is even bigger and better. It’s going to be different, I know that. And scarier. But doesn’t that make it more interesting?

(At least I hope so. I’m overly optimistic today, must be the lack of sleep.)

Maybe I should go back to work now. Yes, stop this silly procrastination nonsense. Yes… *goes back to playing video games*

P.S.: One of the things that’s going to happen in January are the results of PitchWars! I was chosen to be part of Team Michelle (or Team Mostly Harmless, how great is that?), but I’ll do a more in-depth post about that then. Wish me luck!

NaNoWriMo and Deadlines

by Diana Sousa
As Msyterious As A Cat by AbelPhe

What have I been up to, you ask? Oh, you didn’t? Well, you could leave me to talk to myself then… or maybe stick around and see if I have something interesting to say. I probably don’t, though. Just some crazy ramblings about stuff and things.

So… where was I?

The first time I did NaNoWriMo was in 2007. 6 years ago. And although that first time didn’t go very well, the ones that followed did. I was finally getting things done, instead of dragging on and on during several months and then never actually finishing everything. I learnt that I worked better on a deadline, or at least with some kind of goal in mind. This system worked for several years… until I got into university.

As many of you know, university is already pressure enough. Besides, in November I always have several projects to develop and finish, so starting a novel during this month is nothing short of crazy. NaNoWriMo has the worst timing, and yet I can’t resist trying it every year, even if my goal isn’t 50k words.

Because, you see, during those months that it actually went well, when I actually had time, I learnt how to work. How to keep writing, how to use the time you have, how to ignore your inner editor (ahah, liar liar pants on fire, I’ll never be able to do that), and I applied all that to writing in general. Not just in November, but over the whole year. I started Sincerely Yours, the Villain in November, didn’t get anywhere near fifty thousand words, but I still finished it eventually. I didn’t give up, even when I thought it was worthy only of fire.

I suppose what I mean is: although NaNo doesn’t work for everyone, or perhaps it does and you just don’t have time, it has the potential to help you get something done. Maybe it’s the deadline, the pressure, the community (and my group of writers is crazy and amazing), but at least for me it was a great way to learn that I could do it.

But that’s the easy part. Now I have to actually write this manuscript. The motivation is there, I just need time. Or a time turner, that would surely help. I have even outlined the book (well, some of it) and I’m usually a pantser! Let’s see how this goes.

Apart from that I have recently been working as an intern for Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron & Associates, and it’s been amazing. I’ve had the opportunity to read some great manuscripts, and although I can’t exactly tell you about that, I think I’ll make a post about it in the near future. It has been a very interesting experience.

So good luck to those of you doing NaNo, don’t go insane!

On Moving On To New Projects

by Diana Sousa
Paper Thoughts by Julia Davis

What have I been doing over the past weeks, you ask? Summer holidays should mean I have all the time in the world to do whatever I want, to make those plans happen and be… productive! Truth is I have been procrastinating more than I should, but I think I needed it. I had a break to catch up on TV shows, to draw and play some games, to do quiet things while recovering from a long year. But this blog post is not about that.

This week I attended an online writer’s conference, Write On Con. It was amazing, I met some great people, and received a lot of positive feedback (two Ninja Agents commented on my manuscript, and my query got requested live!). I recommend it to every writer, and can’t wait for the next conference (which I’m sure will be even better). Here’s Day One and Day Two for those who missed it.

It feels really good to be part of this community, and the overall experience made me think about how I perceived myself as a writer. Just one week ago this blog post was going to be about how I felt ready to move on to other projects, but how at the same time I felt a bit wary of starting another manuscript. SINCERELY YOURS, THE VILLAIN has been getting better feedback that I could have ever hoped for, and I’m not giving up on it. But I can’t get stuck on a single project. The idea of starting a whole new thing from scratch seems scary, but now I finally have the motivation to do so.

So, yes! I’m going back to more familiar grounds, and I’m now planning and outlining a new Sci-Fi manuscript. I’m a mixture of plotter and pantser, and although I can’t throw myself head first without any plans, I can’t outline everything to exhaustion either. I’ve been doing some research, and who knows, maybe in the next days I will actually open Word and WRITE! It’s going to have spaceships,  aliens, conspiracies, and a Battlestar Galactica-ish feeling that I’ve been wanting to explore for a long time.

Motivation feels good. I’ll admit I’m using this blog post to push myself further, and by putting this new project out there it makes it more real. Maybe I’ll finally stop wandering about and start putting words into paper. The unknown is scary, but if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be worth exploring. I will never know until I try it.

To infinity and beyond!

A Confession

by Diana Sousa
Bluebird Singing in the Dead of Night…
I have to admit that blogs might not be my thing. I do like to make the occasional post, but they will probably be so far apart that I don’t know if this actually deserve to be called a “blog”. And besides, who wants to read my ramblings anyway, right?

…Well, I’ll assume you want to. Or might be interested in doing so (proceed with caution, though). So I have finally surrendered to Twitter, after all these years. I do want to take writing seriously, and if this helps me get there, so be it. I’ll call it an adventure!

This doesn’t mean I’ll stop posting here. I will blog, but I can’t promise a post a week (not with college work raining down on me). So you can find me here, where I’ll try to make reasonably interesting posts.

And by that I mean crazy ramblings, of course. That’s much more fun.