Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hey, It's Torn

Hey you guys, the re-release of Torn is out today. I'm pretty excited about it, because Torn is an awesome book. For those of you that don't know, Torn is the second book in the Trylle Trilogy. The first book, Switched, is out now, and you should check it out if you haven't.

Also, there's some new content on my website (www.worldofamandahocking.com), including this awesome new floor of the palace in Forening. You can check that out: here.

For those of you that do know about it, you may have some questions about the re-release of Torn. Here are some of the questions you may have, and the answers to them:

Wait. I thought Switched and the other Trylle books were already out. Are these new books in the series?

No. Switched, Torn, and Ascend were previously self-published, but St. Martin's bought the English world rights to them in early 2011. I unpublished all three books in mid-2011. Since then, they've gone through an editing process and are being re-released in both ebook and paperback. Switched came out January 3, 2012, Torn February 28, 2012, and Ascend April 24, 2012. There are still only 3 books in the trilogy.

How are the Trylle books different from their previously self-published versions? Are they different?

There are some differences, yes. The most notable will be fewer errors, since they've had a more intensive editing. They've been polished up and smoothed out, with a few things elaborated on. There are extended scenes, and the third book even contains an additional chapter. But there isn't alternate ending for the series. All the character's fates remain the same.

Additionally, each book contains a brand new, never-before-published short story. Switched has "The Vittra Attacks" which sheds some light on how the Vittra came after Wendy and what they plan to do next. Torn has "One Day, Three Ways" (my personal favorite of the three stores) which shows how three different characters spend a pivotal day from the book. Ascend has "Ever After" which  explains more of what becomes of the characters after the end of the book, and it's set roughly a year and a half in the future.

If I already bought the Trylle books as ebooks when they were self-published, will the new content be updated?

No, sorry. I can't even do that with my self-published books. I've made changes and updates, but when I re-publish them, they don't update to previously purchased books. It's just the way things are.

Can you tell us about any changes in Torn specifically?

I can tell you that while characters haven't changed, there is a new revelation to the book. I can't really say more than that without giving things away. It's more of a clarification than than an actual change, and the book is stronger for it.

Where can I get Torn?

Torn is available in ebook for all ereaders. The paperbacks are available pretty much anywhere books are sold, both online and in stores. There are links to buy the book from my website: here. The books are also out in audio format.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Letter to High School Me

Dear High School Me:

You were right about some things, but wrong about most of them, and you spent way too much time being melodramatic and obsessive. As an adult, you're still that way, but on a more functional level, and by the time you're in your fifties, you might be a normal person.

I'm writing to you today because you spent most of high school assuming you would not out live Kurt Cobain. As of a few months ago, this was officially false, but since today is his birthday, I've decided to address it.

I've also decided to address a few other things: You didn't die because that boy didn't like you. In fact, eventually, you did realize that boy was a HUGE loser and not worth of any of the emotions you wasted on him. He wasn't funny or attractive or that bright. But he was - most importantly - unavailable. This will become a recurring theme in your life. Being attracted to unavailable men so you don't ever actually have to get involved with them, and therefore, in some deluded way, you think you risk never getting hurt.

This is false. The only way to avoid hurting is to not care about anybody at all, and you care about everybody. So you're going to hurt. Let's just save you the trouble right now of trying to avoid pain or thinking there's something wrong with feeling pain: Life is very painful But not all the time. If you accept the pain and deal with it, you'll find much more happiness than if you spend the whole time avoiding it.

But you know what, now that I think about that - you don't go after unavailable guys because you want to get hurt. You do it because you know it will. You know that they'll reject you. Your self-esteem is so ungodly ridiculous that you only go after people that will reaffirm it - meaning people that will reject or will treat you like shit. This is not an enjoyable way to live life. At all.

On a related note, many of your boyfriends will turn out to be gay. I feel like you should establish better gay-dar. This will also be helpful. I think deep down you know that they're gay, because you were never really that attached to them, but it would just save time for everybody if you stopped dating gay men.

Also - those kids you're trying really hard to be cool for to impress, they are dickholes. They are all dickholes. Ten years later, none of those dickholes even talk to you. The friends that you've kept and made long term were the ones you thought you were too cool for. Now you have to spend the rest of your life making it up to them for being such an asshole in high school. Again, it would save so much time if you just avoided being an asshole in the first place.

And another thing, High School Me, you're not the center of the universe. Assuming that everyone hates you is incredibly narcissistic. Everybody else around you is too worried about their own shit to even notice you, let alone care about you or what you're doing. The sooner you realize that, the more fun you'll have. 

Also, you should do your schoolwork more. There's absolutely no reason to do an assignment, and then not turn it in. Who the hell does that? Why did you do that? You got a D in history because you never did a damn assignment but aced all the tests. Why would anybody do that? If you know the shit, do the work, and move on. You could've gotten scholarships. And even if you didn't, you would've felt more pride in yourself and the things you did.

That's your big problem, High School Me. You gave up before you even started. You'd decided that everything in life was going to be pain and miserable, so you just sat around sulking for four years (more like... eleven years) and obsessing over dead people and grunge and people that didn't care about you to affirm your own life view that everybody hates you and that life is misery.

Fun fact, High School Me: Life isn't misery. It's really not. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes things happen that you have no control over that hurt really, really bad. And yes, those things weren't your fault, but you can't spend the rest of your life assuming you're damaged or that you deserved that. You can't spend the rest of your life being hurt because that's how you think life is supposed to feel.

If you want to know the truth, High School Me?  I'm angry at you. I'm angry at you for wasting time when we should've been having fun. It's not until you're in your early twenties that you have a nervous breakdown and figure out that nothing is hard or as painful as you thought it was. You were making it that way in some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

You cannot control everything that happens to you. But you can control how you react to it and how you feel about it.

I'm mad at you and Kurt Cobain for thinking suicide is ever an option. It's lame. It's seriously so lame. I am still so young, there's so much stuff I still want to do, and so much joy I still have to experience. And High School Me, you are a god damn idiot for thinking that I would be done by now. That life had already shown me everything it had to offer by the time I was sixteen.

The point is, High School Me, you have the potential to be happy, to have fun, to love and be loved in return. And I am still so angry with you for wasting it, for wasting so many years of my life thinking that suicide was an option. Not only that it was an option, but a probability. You never tried at anything because you thought you'd be dead by now.

You were so ignorant and so wrong. And I wish more than anything I could have those years back, that I could usually them to do something. Because unlike you, High School Me, I want as much time on this earth as I can possibly have.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Some Stuff on Torn, but Mostly Me Rambling About Other Stuff

I need to join some kind of Southland group. Because I'm crazy about that show, and nobody else I know is watching it. And last night's episode was stupendous. But when I say things like, "Oh my god, how amazing was Michael Cudlitz last night? John Cooper is the best!" or "Wow. Shawn Hatosy has been working out," nobody knows what I'm talking about. I also want to talk about the Ben Sherman story arc because I'm not sure how I feel about it.

These are the things I want to talk about, but nobody wants to talk about them with me. Which makes me sad.

In other news - the first four chapters of Torn, the second book in the Trylle Trilogy, is up now for you to read at the Trylle Series Facebook page. Here's the link to the page, if you want to like: https://www.facebook.com/amandahockingtrylle. And here's the link to read the chapters: here. Torn will be out in just under two weeks, which seems strange to me, but it's also exciting.

I did go see This Means War last night, and I enjoyed it. It was exactly what I thought it would be, which was pleasing to me. And Tom Hardy is probably the fifth most fantastic person that has ever lived.

The one issue that I had with the film: Chris Pine's name was FDR. And nobody ever addressed that. Not even Chelsea Handler, who was delivering wonderful one-liners the whole film. Reese Witherspoon said, "I'm dating this guy named FDR." And Chelsea Handler didn't say anything like, "What? FDR? The 32nd President of the United States? Also, isn't that like a bridge or tunnel or highway somewhere? Were his parents big fans of the Roosevelts? Is he a Roosevelt? I don't understand."

Then later, they referred to Chris Pine as Agent Foster, so I'm to assume him that his name is FDR Foster. And Tom Hardy's kid refers to Chris Pine as "Uncle Frank." So is his name Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foster? That's an absurd name. Well, it's not, but it's a strange thing to name somebody without ever referencing it.

And when Reese Witherspoon was visiting his family, that would've been a great time for her to be all, "Hey, why is he named FDR? Was he born on President's day?"

Also, when she's getting all romantical with Chris Pine, what is she whispering in his ear? "Oooo FDR?" That's doesn't seem right. Something about calling a person by initials doesn't seem intimate.

Anyway, aside from that, it was an enjoyable film. I laughed many a time. Tom Hardy and Chris Pine had excellent chemistry. In fact, they should've ended up together, because they were clearly in love with each other. Between the characters played by Tom Hardy & Chris Pine, they each told Reese they loved her exactly once. But they told each other that they loved each other about ten billion times.

Early in the film, Tom Hardy and Chris Pine were having a conversation where Tom literally says, "You love me. You'd do anything for me. You'd take a bullet for me, and I feel the same for you." To which Chris Pine says, "Yes, of course." And Tom says, "Could you ever imagine transferring those feelings, and feeling that same kind of thing with a woman?" Which Chris Pine honestly replies, "No. Never."

That's basically an admission of homosexuality, isn't it? I mean, Chris Pine never explicitly says, "I want to have sex with you Tom Hardy, whose character's name is Tuck, which is much more normal compared to my never explained initials." But it's implied. Throughout the entire film.

Oh well. I know that they really love each other, and that's what matters to me.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hearts & War

I like Valentine's Day. I don't understand why people hate it. Of the 27 years that I've been alive on this planet, I've had a boyfriend on exactly 2 Valentine's Days, and I still love it.

Part of that may be because I live in Minnesota, and by the time February 14th rolls around, I'm sick of being cold and depressed and it's always dark and I look for an excuse to buy flowers and look at pink hearts. I'm also not adverse to rom-coms.

I should confess that I rarely spend Valentine's alone, even though I don't have a boyfriend. And spending Valentine's with your friends is about ten billion times spending it with boyfriends. Friends are fun and silly and don't care that you want to go see This Means War almost entirely because you like looking at Tom Hardy and Chris Pine. Friends also don't judge if you eat a entire box of chocolate by yourself or if you put on sweatpants when you get home instead of a thong. (In fact, my friends probably prefer if I put on sweatpants instead of a thong.)

To me Valentine's Day is a day to have fun and act girlie and remind the people that you care about that you do in fact care about them. Nothing about that sounds depressing to me. It just sounds like a good time.

P. S. I am actually going to see This Means War tomorrow with a few of my pals. Expect some type of review on this tomorrow or the next day, because man, do I dig Tom Hardy.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Diet Mountain Dew & Southland

This opinion is most likely not popular, but I really enjoy the song "Diet Mountain Dew" by Lana Del Rey. I also don't completely understand why people were so upset about her performance. Maybe it was because it was so over-hyped. I was in England, so I didn't get to see SNL that night, and my Twitter was blowing up with how terrible she was, and I was all, "What the crap?!"

I finally saw it when I got back to the States, and I didn't get it. It wasn't the most exciting performance I'd ever seen, but her music sounded the way it does on her album. Also, I once saw Nirvana play on SNL, and Kurt Cobain was so high, he just lay on the stage and mumbled the words. I mean, it was grunge, so I guess that still counted as being pretty awesome. But the point was at least Lana Del Rey stood up when she sang. And she didn't seem to lip sync or tear up pictures of the Pope. So whatever.

I also super loved SNL's response to it last Saturday, when Kristin Wiig came out dressed as Lana Del Rey. My favorite part was when Kristin Wiig said, "In this age of dangerous school bullying, you have sent an important message: If you think someone is weird, you should criticize them as much as possible."

Anyway, that's enough about Lana Del Rey, who I'm actually not all that interested in, despite what it might seem by how much I've been talking about her. I just like the song "Diet Mountain Dew." But I do not like the beverage Diet Mountain Dew. Only regular Mountain Dew. Which, as an aside, is IMPOSSIBLE to find in England or Italy. At the places I went to, anyway. And that's what counts.

Now onto something that really matters to me: Are you guys watching Southland? That is literally my favorite show on TV that isn't animated or Episodes. (I'm also not sure if Episodes is still on. I mean, I heard it was coming back, but it's still not on, so I don't know. But I really, really love that show.) I also really like Up All Night, but part of that probably is because I'm in love with Christina Applegate. And Dexter. (I've recently come to the conclusion that Dexter is basically just Batman. But better. Don't tell Christian Bale I said that, though.)

So back to Southland. It really is the greatest hour of television you can watch. It's a cop drama, but it's not all easy answers. A lot of these shows, like CSI and Law & Order: SVU follow one case each episode, and it's all glossy and dramatic. But Southland feels a bit more like an episode of Cops, but with more depth. It's grittier and more genuine. Sometimes it's really sad, sometimes it's really funny, and there at times when it's so intense I think I'm going to have a heart attack of intensity.

Also, it's always at the risk of getting cancelled, and it was really nice of TNT to pick it up. It airs on Tuesdays at 10/9 central on TNT, and you should watch it, so it doesn't get cancelled, because it's awesome. And Regina King is super bad ass and could totally crush Mariska Hargitay in a fist fight or an "tear up" off. Michael Cudlitz is really funny & has a nice story line going, and Ben McKenzie is super pretty. Plus, he punched a snotty teenager in the face the other week, and I liked it. Oh, and Lucy Liu is on now.

This blog really has no point, except that it feels REALLY good to not talk about books or publishing. So I might write a whole series of blogs where I talk about everything about books or publishing. That might make me really happy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

UPDATED: Look! It's a Blog!

Hey, everyone! I just updated the FAQs section at the top of the blog, so before you ask a question, make sure you check it out. I also explain where you can get Wisdom for the Kindle.

You may have noticed my absence on the blog. It's been almost a month since I last blogged, which is the longest I've gone without blogging in a very long time. Probably since I started the blog.

The absence was partially because I was very, very busy. I was on a tour promoting Switched, and I spent a lot of time doing interviews. That was the other reason why there wasn't blogs. After spending all day talking about publishing and books, I found that I wasn't very interested in writing when I get done.

Also, I think I just needed a bit of a break. I wasn't very active at all on the internet last week, rarely tweeting or going on Facebook. Sometimes it's good to unplug and relax. But anyway, I'm back! I'm refreshed, and I'm working on Lullaby, the sequel to Wake. So all's well.

I also have some fun things to share with you. Where to start?

When I came home from the book tour, I got a nice surprise. An ARC of Wake were waiting for me, and they look lovely!  As you can kind of tell from the grainy image below.
Wake is the first book in my brand new series Watersong, and the publication date as been moved up to August 7th, so that's also good news. If you're not familiar with what an ARC is, I suggest you read: here. The Story Siren breaks down exactly what it is.

If you'd like to get a copy of Wake for review, you can email publicity@stmartins.com. I do not personally have any copies that I can give out for review, so you have to contact St. Martin's. I can't guarantee that you'll get an ARC, because they do have a limited supply.

UPDATE: ARCs of Wake are sent out for people to review, but since they have a limited quantity of ARCs, they can't send them out to every person that requests them. That means they try to only send ARCs to people who have review blogs or journalists or people who have some way of promoting the books.

My publicist has said they're getting many requests for the books, and that's great, but they won't possibly be able to fill them all. If you'd like a better chance at getting an ARC of Wake, in your email, list your blog (if you have one) and any relevant stats, like how many hits it gets and how many followers you have and any other promotional stuff you would want to do for the book. I also recommend that you read what the Story Siren has posted about ARCs. She's done a very good job of explaining what they are, how to get them, and what to do with them.

Both myself and my publicist are sorry that not everyone can a get an ARC of Wake. But there will probably be giveaways on the future, and I'll be sure to post about them as soon as I hear of any. And I really appreciate all the excitement around the book!

Here's a couple of fun videos. This one is a tour of my office, done all MTV cribs style:

And here's one of my favorite interviews I've done. It's from a local PBS affiliate KSMQ show called "Off 90." The KSMQ viewing area is all around Interstate 90, so the title is a play on that.

In that video, where it shows my hands typing, this is what I was actually typing:
You can click to enlarge.
 Okay. Yay! That was enough of me talking about me. Here's something really cool. The Other House is the production company that did an amazing job making the fantabulous US trailer for Switched. They posted some behind-the-scenes videos and pictures from the Switched shoot on their blog. Here's the link to the full blog: here.

If you haven't seen the awesome trailer, I'll post it again, and here's a couple choice pics from their blog, but you should really go to their site and check out the behind-the-scenes video.

Switched trailer:

And finally, Switched has been on the New York Times Best Sellers list for four weeks, and it's also back on the USA Today Bestselling Books List! Thank you to everyone for buying a book and to all the readers for being so supportive! :)