Tag Archives: Vivi Barnes

TWIST! Change it up

24 Aug
John Talbot; Ottawa, Canada (Crystal DNA at the National Arts Center) CC 2.0

John Talbot; Ottawa, Canada (Crystal DNA at the National Arts Center) CC 2.0

Once again, I have taken on too much.  Sound familiar?  I have a hard time saying “no” to Really Interesting and Cool Stuff, even when I don’t have the bandwidth.  It’s literally in my DNA.  The thing is, when you’re creative, you can’t just do the Stuff That Must Be Done and ignore all the Really Interesting And Cool Stuff that happens along in life. Denying the experience of those cool and interesting things = souldeath.  And I, for one, am not interested in souldeath, despite some of the really cool zombie movies that are out there these days.

Speaking of zombie movies, I saw one recently that I absolutely love: Warm Bodies.  I’ve never been a zombie fan, but this movie made me one.  How? Simply put, some of the best scriptwriting I’ve seen in a long time.  Somehow, the writer managed to create a story that was all at once cleverly funny, awkwardly romantic, sweetly heroic and brain-eating(ly?) gory.  And, by the way, it had a rockin’ soundtrack.

Probably my favorite scene is when a group of zombies, on their way to SAVE the planet, is walking down the highway – in slo-mo – to Rock You Like A Hurricane by the Scorpions.  Hilarious.  Brilliant. And, you are totally cheering them on.

So, how did the screenwriter(s) do this?  Took something that was “good” and gave it a twist.

Zombie eating brains = good.

Zombie developing crush on a human = twist.

Zombies, zoned-out and wandering around an airport = good.

Zombie who collects and listens to 80’s vinyl  = twist.

See how that works?  Another example is Vivi,’s book: Olivia Twisted, coming out this November (warning: shameless friend-promotion.) She wrote a modern take on the classic Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.  But instead of just making the same story happen in a contemporary setting, instead of making the youths pickpockets, she made them hackers.  Great twist, right?  Oh, and the protag is a girl, but you probably knew that already.

The best part about TWISTing your creative work is: it’s fun!  And, definitely helps prevent souldeath.  This month, as I’ve written, I’ve tried to remember to throw in some twists that really up the interest.

What are you working on that’s good, but would be great if you gave it a TWIST!?

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Cover reveal: OLIVIA TWISTED

1 Mar

I am so excited to share the cover and official blurb for my book, OLIVIA TWISTED, which debuts November 5! Thank you to the entire team at Entangled for your support, and especially to Kelley York for the spectacular cover.

OliviaTwistedCover

Olivia

He tilts my chin up so my eyes meet his, his thumb brushing lightly across my lips. I close my eyes. I know Z is trouble. I know that being with him is going to get me into trouble. I don’t care.

At least at this moment, I don’t care.

Tossed from foster home to foster home, Olivia’s seen a lot in her sixteen years. She’s hardened, sure, though mostly just wants to fly under the radar until graduation. But her natural ability with computers catches the eye of Z, a mysterious guy at her new school. Soon, Z has brought Liv into his team of hacker elite—break into a few bank accounts, and voila, he drives a motorcycle. Follow his lead, and Olivia might even be able to escape from her oppressive foster parents. As Olivia and Z grow closer, though, so does the watchful eye of Bill Sykes, Z’s boss. And he’s got bigger plans for Liv…

Z

I can picture Liv’s face: wide-eyed, trusting. Her smooth lips that taste like strawberry Fanta.

It was just a kiss. That’s all. She’s just like any other girl.

Except that she’s not.

Thanks to Z, Olivia’s about to get twisted.

Check it out:
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17343436-olivia-twisted
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1622660285

“Like” my Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/vivibarnes.author

 

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A special announcement and a giveaway!

18 Sep

I can’t believe I’m posting this. Seriously, it sounds so cliché to say this but I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M POSTING THIS:

I am excited to announce that I have signed a contract with Entangled Teen!

As soon as I heard Entangled was interested in my story, OLIVIA TWISTED (a retelling of Oliver Twist about a foster child who finds friendship in a gang of hackers), I delved into the research. I contacted five (yep, five) of their authors, all of whom couldn’t say enough great things about the company. Entangled doesn’t get paid until their authors make money, so you can bet they put everything they can into each book. In fact, I classify this company as “extreme type A personality,” as I’ve never seen a group of professionals have such a go-get-‘em, dedicated attitude as they do for their authors.

And then I spoke with Stacy Cantor Abrams, the editor. Stacy came to Entangled after seven years at Bloomsbury/Walker Books for Young Readers. She was incredible and very enthusiastic about my story! I called my agent, Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, and said let’s do it (cue Wild Thing music). Here’s the announcement from Publisher’s Marketplace:

They have an amazing group of authors (check them out at http://www.entangledteen.com/authors/). In fact, one of their YA authors, Rachel Harris, is celebrating the debut of her book this very day–My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century!

To my fellow chicks and critique partners and family and beta readers and agent and Twitter pals and work team members who have helped me reach this goal (and put up with my insanity), thank you!

And now, the giveaway: To celebrate my joining the Entangled team, I’m giving away an Entangled Young Adult (or any Entangled) book of your choice to one lucky winner! If you would like to enter:

  • Leave a comment on this post.
  • Include the name of the Entangled book of your choice (you can find them at EntangledPublishing.com). You can say “any” if you prefer the fun wild card method.
  • Include your email address (or Twitter handle, if you prefer). Spell your email address out so spammers don’t attack you with laser beams.

Comment by midnight EST on Monday, Sept. 24. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

To be (happily) continued…

Vivi’s Got an Agent…and a Theme Song!

12 Jun

The Muse gave us these fun t-shirts in honor of our one-year blog anniversary.

Vivi ROCKS! And while this isn’t news to those who know her, Vivi getting an agent has given each of us Chicks exciting new inspiration and motivation.

In the spirit of the blog, we want to celebrate this victory with you, too. I mean, really, Vivi is one of us; she’s a “normal”, hard-working mom of three who’s demonstrated remarkable faith, hard-work and perseverance to make her dreams come true. How encouraging it is for the rest of us to know the secret formula is so simple!

Since Vivi’s announcement was music to everyone’s ears, I figured what better way for us all to congratulate tickling the muse than with a fun little ditty. I hope you’ll sing along, even as you continue down your own path to creative fulfillment.

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