Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Blogtoberfest Day 5 - Megan Crewe

When I first heard about Give Up the Ghost, the debut novel from today's Blogtoberguest Megan Crewe, I thought, "Oh noes, a book about a girl who speaks to ghosts! That's what my book is about. And this one sounds amazing. I'm too late!"

Of course, I quickly realized that there are just as many ways to write about ghosts as there are ways to write about vampires. Maybe even more. It's not like in the movie Highlander, where "there can be only one" (and hey, maybe if those two immortal dudes stayed out of each other's way, there could've been more than one there, too. I'm just sayin', it's a big planet).

Megan uses the dead to explore how one girl, Cass McKenna, deals with life. In short, she doesn't--living people can be very hurtful, after all. I could go into more detail, but this awesome book trailer puts it much more eloquently!

Kirkus Reviews called Give Up the Ghost, "A poignant character study of a deeply wounded girl moving toward a nuanced, forgiving view of humanity," while Teens Read Too said, "It's hard to believe that GIVE UP THE GHOST is Megan Crewe's debut novel. It's wonderfully written, has characters who are easy to relate to, and contains pitch-perfect dialogue."

Megan joins us today with a spot-on analogy, which is something we writers really love:

* * * *

How carving a jack-o-lantern is like writing a book

When I was growing up, transforming a pumpkin into a glowing jack-o-lantern was one of my favorite parts of Halloween. Maybe because, if you think about it, it's a very similar process to writing a novel:

1. You begin with a brilliant image in mind. This will be the most awesome jack-o-lantern/story ever! No one's carved a pumpkin/written a book quite like this! People will be awed when they see/read it!

2. Before you get going, there's a certain amount of messy preparation. Scoop out the guts and seeds. Throw ideas at the wall and see which ones stick. Scrape the sides until they're clean. Scribble down research notes.

3. Time to put down ink. Draw the face on the pumpkin to show where you'll carve. Write out an outline or an exploratory draft. Your vision is starting to take shape... and somehow it's not as perfect as you envisioned it. Oh well, soldier on! It just needs more fleshing out.

4. Knife to pumpkin or fingers to keyboard. Your hand slips here--oops! Maybe it's fixable, maybe it's not. (One nice thing about books over jack-o-lanterns: they're more forgiving to mistakes.) But hey, what looks like a slip might turn out to be even better than the design you planned! Strangely, the eyes/scenes you thought were going to be so powerful are falling short, but you're discovering all sorts of depth in the mouth/subplots. Or vice versa. Whatever the case, it never quite manages to match that original brilliant image.

5. But that's okay, as long as you've got a light. Every jack-o-lantern can give you the shivers once it starts glowing from within. And every story can captivate as long as it has a spark to bring it to life. The trick is finding it, and fanning the flames. The rest is magic.

(The spark in GIVE UP THE GHOST? Cass. Her voice and intensity made it a story that had to get written.)

Author photo by Chris Blanchenot
Jack o'Lantern photo from Megan's actual childhood

* * * *

To enter to win Give Up the Ghost, leave a comment below. For complete rules, read the introductory post.

Deadline for entry: Wednesday, October 14, 11:59pm Eastern. THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. The winner of a signed copy of GIVE UP THE GHOST is...Sheila Deeth!

Other open Blogtoberfest giveaways:
Shannon Reinbold-Gee and 13 to Life
Saundra Mitchell and Shadowed Summer
Sarah Beth Durst and Ice
Nancy Holder and her 5-pack of novels
Kelly Parra and Invisible Touch

Thanks again to Megan for joining the party!

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I would love to read this! It's been on my 'to buy' list for a while :)

- D

Posted by: Blogger Dena at 10/07/2009 9:37 AM

For me, there's writer's block. Carve the nose, maybe an eye or two... then stare dumbly at the pumpkin hoping it will somehow manage to carve itself the rest of the way. But no. It just stares back! :)

Posted by: Blogger Ken at 10/07/2009 9:46 AM

I am always on the lookout for great new YA material.

Posted by: Blogger Melinda Hamby at 10/07/2009 9:48 AM

This book looks awesome and I would love to read a copy.

Posted by: Blogger cait045 at 10/07/2009 9:48 AM

I love this comparison! :) I'd love to read this book.

Posted by: Blogger Brooke Reviews at 10/07/2009 9:57 AM

What a great post!! I love the comparison to pumpkin carving!!

Posted by: Blogger Jamie at 10/07/2009 10:02 AM

Hi Jeri :)
Thanks for having Megan Crewe here today & thank you Megan for the great post. I loved the jack-o-lantern analogy.
All the best,

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/07/2009 10:12 AM

What a neat analogy. Of course, I can't carve pumpkins. Maybe that's why I've never tried to write a book?

Posted by: Blogger Riva at 10/07/2009 10:29 AM

I enjoyed the trailer and would love to read this book!
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger throuthehaze at 10/07/2009 10:54 AM

So that was amazing comparing writing a book to carving a pumpkin. That's incredible that Megan could actually compare the two. This book sounds very interesting! Enter me to win! Congratulations Megan on your first book!

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/07/2009 11:10 AM

I've been hearing alot about this one, sounds good!

Posted by: Blogger tetewa at 10/07/2009 11:13 AM

I loved it! There is no way that I would have ever drawn a correlation between the two.

Give Up th eGhost sounds like a really cool book!

Posted by: Blogger Melanie at 10/07/2009 11:26 AM

I once tried to carve a Jack O Lantern, and the result was dreadful. I think I needed a sharper knife! And someone else to do the carving. Ah well... ;-)


Posted by: Blogger Cara King at 10/07/2009 2:28 PM

Great post! I would really love to read this book!

Posted by: Blogger Poppy at 10/07/2009 2:37 PM

It's funny because I've never actually done either one of these things, carved a punpkin or written a book, but I'm planning on carving one this Halloween and I've been toying with some writing.


Posted by: Blogger Asylumgirl at 10/07/2009 7:41 PM

GIVE UP THE GHOST sounds like a book I would love!

Thanks for the contest!

Posted by: Blogger Karen W. at 10/07/2009 9:13 PM

Great post. Give up the Ghost sounds like a great book and story, cant wait to get the chance to read it.

Posted by: Blogger donnas at 10/07/2009 10:15 PM

Love carving pumpkins! Great contest!

Posted by: Blogger Book~Adorer at 10/07/2009 10:38 PM

Hi Megan~
I am really looking forward to reading Give Up the Ghost.

The thing I enjoy most about pumpkin carving is watching my kids and grandkid's faces as they clean out the pumpkins. My three year old granddaughter tells me everytime she sees a pumpkin...look grandma there is a pumpkin pie. You gotta love those grandbabies!

Posted by: Blogger Lori T at 10/07/2009 11:29 PM

I like the sound of this one. Would love the chance to read it. :0)

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Posted by: Blogger Dawn M. at 10/08/2009 1:48 AM

Oh my gosh tell me why I was deep into this book trailer lol my friend was like "what are you watching?" Which I promtly gave him a harsh "SHHHHH!"
Anyway this book obviously got my attention but I will just put an imaginary "e" at the end of Cass' name!

Posted by: Blogger Casse AKA Catholic Kittie at 10/08/2009 7:53 AM

Please enter me, I have been dying to read this book!

A Blog with Bite!

Posted by: Blogger Froggy at 10/08/2009 11:48 AM

I never tried carving a pumpkin till my kids were in school, and then it was such a messy procedure we never tried again. So comparing it to writing a book, ouch. Think my fingers are hurting...

I'd love to read this.

Posted by: Blogger Sheila Deeth at 10/08/2009 3:48 PM

Awww! Pumpkin carving, it has always been a favorite of mine. The book looks amazing, it's just something about ghost that gets you into the spirit of Halloween. I love the trailer!

Posted by: Anonymous Brittany Littlepage at 10/08/2009 4:44 PM

lol never actually finised a pumpkin, i really am bad at cravin

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/08/2009 8:47 PM

Mary D
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

I've been dying to read Give Up the Ghost for weeks now, it's one of the top books on my Christmas Wish List :)

Posted by: Blogger M.A.D. at 10/09/2009 12:57 AM

Loved the pumpkin carving comparison.
Your book sounds great.

Posted by: Blogger Katherine Hazen at 10/09/2009 6:18 AM

I've been wanting to read this for awhile!

faked_sugartone at hotmail

Posted by: Blogger Diana Dang at 10/09/2009 2:30 PM

Great analogy! However, I keep thinking of the pumpkin I got when I was about eight or so that had a big rotten spot on it we had to cut around. I ended up giving it huge eyes and a little beak and calling it an owl! It was cute for the short time it lasted!
Anyway, I've heard really good things about this book, and the heroine sounds like someone I could easily relate to. I'd love to win a copy!

Posted by: Blogger Kimberly B. at 10/09/2009 4:02 PM

I love the book cover and the story sounds interesting as well. Very interesting analogy between writing and carving too.
Thanks for sharing!

Debbie G in NY

Posted by: Blogger WriterWannaB_NY at 10/10/2009 1:10 AM

I can't wait to read this! Sounds amazing.

Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/10/2009 12:26 PM

Oooh, great analogy. Thankfully, I'm less likely to hurt myself on my keyboard than on a sharp carving knife... :)

Posted by: Blogger alanajoli at 10/10/2009 10:55 PM

thanks for the giveway this books look great. i would love to read this!


Posted by: Blogger Unknown at 10/12/2009 12:22 PM

Fun analogy!
Congrats to Megan!!

Posted by: Blogger Kelly Polark at 10/12/2009 10:39 PM

I love the analogy! Give Up The Ghost looks so great!

Posted by: Blogger Erica at 10/14/2009 9:03 PM

This book looks so good! Please enter me!


Posted by: Blogger Andrea at 10/14/2009 9:13 PM

The winner of a signed copy of GIVE UP THE GHOST is...Dena! Dena, I don't have your e-mail address, so please send your mailing address to me at jeri AT jerismithready DOT com in the next week.

Thanks to everyone who commented! We still have more than two weeks to go, which means three weeks of open contests. Yay!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/15/2009 1:51 PM

The new winner of GIVE UP THE GHOST, since the first one did not respond within a week, is Sheila Deeth! Congrats to Sheila!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 10/23/2009 12:21 AM


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