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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Good News & Horrible News

I have good news and horrible news you guys. First the good news: I updated my FAQs and the Watersong page. Now the horrible news: I saw the cover for Tidal (the third book in the Watersong series), and it's the most amazing cover. When I showed it to my mom, this was her reaction:


My mom has never used the phrase "OMG" before.

So you may be asking yourself, if this cover is so awesome, how is this horrible news? Because I can't show you yet. I want to show the whole world, but I still have to wait a little bit.

But if you have even tepid feelings about Wake, trust me when I say that you'll dig this cover so hard. Tidal is also one of my favorite books ever to write (probably tied with Ascend or Torn). (Not that I didn't enjoy Wake or Lullaby - because I did, but Tidal was just extra fun.)

When I write serieses (is that plural for series? is there a plural for series), I tend to think of them as steps. The first book in the series is the bottom level, but each book needs to progessively take a step up, amping up action, romance, and danger.

I also use the "horror movie rule" when I write. That means that the body count needs to be higher for each book. Or if not higher, then at least more powerful. (If I kill 2 minor characters in the first book, I need to kill 3 minor characters in the third book, or at least one important character.)

So Wake is setting things up, introducing characters, revealing the danger, and asking questions. Out of the four books in the Watersong quartet, Wake is definitely the slowest. A big part of that is because I had to introduce six main characters - Gemma, Harper, Alex, Daniel, Penn, and Thea - as well as several side characters, like Lexi, Marcy, Brian, Nathalie, and Bernie. I wanted to really take my time and establish who they are and what drives them, so when their motivations and integrity are challenged in later books, it makes more sense.

In the first book, I really focus on Gemma, Harper, Alex, and Daniel. I especially wanted to establish the romance between Gemma and Alex. But in the second book, since I've really set up the principals, I get to dive more into Penn and Thea, and deepen the relationships between all the characters, and delve further into the mythology behind the series.

With Wake, I wanted to keep the mythology as clean and simple as possible. The mythos behind Watersong is based on Greek mythology, which is so rich and epic, it's easy to want to include too much and make things more complicated and harder to understand. So for the first book, I definitely wanted to keep it on a need-to-know basis.

I actually originally had more, with the characters really explaining their ancestry and getting into it, but when Eric (my assistant/best friend/alpha reader) read through it, he found it hard to keep straight all of the names and characters. He was right, so I cut it down and streamlined the history.

But as the series continues, I get to incorporate more aspects of the mythology and explore more of what is behind the series. Some of my favorite characters and stories from Greek mythology get to make their way into the series.

What I think made Tidal so much fun for me to write is that I got to add more layers of the mythology, but also the romance gets hotter - and more complicated. Some of the peripheral characters really come into their own, and the stakes really get high. Plus, I think it has an ending that you won't see coming.

One thing about Wake is that it may seem like there are lot of coincidences in it - that things just happen. I don't believe that much in coincidence, so I don't use that much of it in Watersong.

I'm writing Elegy (the fourth book) currently, and it's really fun to write. My favorite part about writing the final books in a series is that I get to put all the pieces together. Things from the previous three books - some that were obviously important, and others seemed insignificant - and put them all together to make a picture.

Really, that's my favorite thing to do, and I think it's something that I did well with all the books in the Watersong. I like showing you the picture at the end. The first 3/4 of the book are filled with things to set up a fast-paced and climactic last quarter.


I really like making collages, and I've always compared my writing to style that. I like taking bits and parts of the beginning of the book and putting them together to make the picture at the end.

33 comments:

  1. To answer your question, series itself is both singular and plural. Congrats on the great cover. I hope all is going well. It certainly appears to be.

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    1. That's what I thought, but it sounded wrong to be me both ways I said it. ;)

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    2. Actually, series is the plural of serial.

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    3. You could say, "When I write books for a series..."

      Great post, Amanda. Keep up the good work!

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  2. I haven't read Watersong yet but this post has seemingly convinced me to do so! You're a very inspiring person; being so young and accomplishing so much. As an aspiring author, I look up to you. Keep up the great work!

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    1. Sounds amazing! Let me just enter my credit card details into your obviously legitimate website...

      (End sarcasm)

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  4. I loves Wake Thought it was brilliant the face you have two separate stories happening I'm so excited to see how it comes together. When does book 2 come out?
    I was just wondering with my blood approves I
    Know you couldn't find inspiration for the final
    Boom has anything changed there?

    Thanks Amanda absoultly love your work

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  5. Amanda,it sounds great to me. Just be you!Your awesome girl. Keep breaking the ice.
    Raven

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  6. It would be nice to have the picture of the end if my blood approves, when u finish the final watersong book it would be nice if u can try finishing the mba series b4 starting a whole new series. We need some type of closure. In letters to elise, peters last letter seems to imply that he will be joining alice in being a hunter, or at least doing it solo. It would be nice to see if im right and find out how it works out for alice. Its been almost 2yrs now and as a huge fan of all your work, it would be nice for alot of us if you gave us some type of closure for mba. Regardless of how long it takes you, I just hope your planning on finishing your story and not leaving your fans hanging. Sorry to lecture and sound ungrateful, its just my fav of all your series and would like to see the end picture. Your one of my fav authors and are so talented and creative, I cant wait to see what your next series will be about. P.S. Would love to read the next hollows soon.

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  7. She did write it, its called Swear...just not published yet as far as I can tell.

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    Replies
    1. Awhile ago Amanda did a blog post explaining she doesnt know how to end it or how to write it, I don't think it was even completed.

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  8. Congratulations on the new cover. Boo to not being able to see it, but I understand. Looks like you are coming into your own, too. That's always good news.

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  9. Awesome news!
    Hope it will be published in Germany too.
    Best wishes
    D.
    From the very south of Germany :D

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  10. I love reading stuff that is based off of Greek Mythology. So when I started reading "Wake" and realized this, I was so excited and I cant wait for the rest of the series. I also can't wait to see what ur next book series is going to be about :)

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  11. I can't wait to see Tidal's cover! The first two look amazing but I can't wait to see the third one :) I'm pretty sure it's just as awesome. I also just finished reading Wake the other day and I really liked it. Although in the end I tried guessing who was on the cover? Was it Gemma? Or someone else? I was confused since Lullaby has someone different on it.

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    Replies
    1. The first book has Gemma on the cover, and Lullaby has Harper on the cover. Tidal has neither Gemma or Harper on the cover.

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    2. Awesome! Thanks for letting me know! Now I have to wait and see who's on Tidal n_n

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  12. Loved Wake. Can't wait for Lullaby. Keep writing :) Your books make me happy!

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  13. I truly believe that there is nothing that you can write that I won't absolutely love. Most books I can stop reading, do other things, etc...but your books are the only ones that my world absolutely STOPS for. Don't ever stop writing! :)

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  14. I cannot wait to see the cover...if it can make your Mum say "OMG" for the first time, it must be amazing! ;)

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  15. When I first read the title, I started freaking out because I thought the "horrible news" was that you were never going to finish the MBA series. Whoa that was a relief to hear the horrible news. Haha just take your time with the vampires

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  16. Great news! Amanda, I enjoy your work and am grateful for what you've done for the world of indie publishing. May I ask if you have any friends who are into children's books, especially those about animals? I would love to share my new book "A Father's Wish"
    (barnes and noble, amazon) with them to get some feedback.

    thanks
    Christine Corretti

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  17. I am so obsessed with the series I can't wait any longer for lullabye, and tidal is just to engrave for afterwards. the cover sounds amazing, like I could go yankee doodles on it, since I've never used the word haha. anyways, thankyou for the whole series, it had inspired my photographic world a lot, and also that I have an alter ego which she is a siren. anyways, amanda, do you believe in the siren's existence? siren scents, reinhardt kenneth.

    it would be an honor if you'd visit or even comment on my photographic blog:)
    http://reinhardtkenneth.blogspot.com

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  18. Can't wait to see the cover!! I loved Wake and the cover for both Wake and Lullaby are beautiful. I'm counting down the days for Lullaby's release.

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