Monday, June 1, 2009

Guest Post: A.J. Menden (My New Fave. Series!)

The Elite Hands of Justice Series: Phenomenal Girl 5 and TEKGRRL by A.J. Menden

http://www.ajmenden.com/

Before I leave you to read the lovely guest post A.J. was kind enough to write, I should mention that I love this series. I've read the first two and honestly cannot wait for the next one. It's got a mix of romance, paranormal, adventure, and humor. I highly suggest you give it a shot if you think the books suit you and your reading tastes. Please leave your thoughts in the comments for A.J. and me, as I'm sure we'd both love to know what you are thinking about the books and the guest blog! Oh, and be sure to check out A.J.'s website because I love the playlists she made for the two novels!


In every book I write, there is at least one "goal" scene. This is the scene that pops into my head when I'm beginning to brainstorm ideas for the plotline, when I begin to take the characters, shake them up, and roll them out and imagine, "What if?" Whatever it is, this scene will follow me around wherever I go - in traffic, at work, and even when I go to bed at night. I will write this scene in my head, over and over again, changing this, adding that, looking at it from a different character's perspective, all before it ever ends up on paper or computer screen, such as it were. It becomes my favorite scene in the book.

I can these scenes "goal" scenes because they generally come about midway in the book, and are what keeps me going when I have writer's block or look down at my notes and find I have written nothing for the outline of the next chapter except, "Something needs to happen here." If I stop now, I won't get to write that scene that's stuck in my head! It helps to push through difficult but needed scenes to know that "goal" scene is just around the corner. And when I finally get to it, I either have the end in sight or have found another "goal" scene out in the distance. A second-favorite scene, if you will.

When I was writing "Phenomenal Girl 5," there weren't any superhero romance books on the market and I wanted to combine two of my favorite things. And because I've always liked magic, I added that to the mix too. Lainey was the new girl in the world of superheroes who had just gotten her dream job and now was being trained by the Reincarnist, who quickly became her love interest. And once I had them, I also had THE scene. Once I knew how both characters' powers worked, I knew this scene was inevitable and it was one I mentally wrote and rewrote multiple times and tinkered with in every draft, trying to find the right tone.


With "Tekgrrl," however, I started out writing without the "goal" scene. I had set up "Phenomenal Girl 5" with a group of superheroes I could "spinoff" and do sequels with, having a new superhero as the main character in each book who would save the day and find romance along the way. I had deliberately created Mindy, the rebellious super-smart woman with aliens in her past, as the next main character, and created a love interest for her. But after getting my outline ready, I found when I sat down to write "Tekgrrl," there was a plot problem somewhere I was missing. So I started going throug the outline, finding pieces I could take out, rearrange or add, to see how those changes affected Mindy and the other characters. And after telling my husband of a new way I had thought up to change the story, he mentioned a plot point I had been building to and neglected, and suddenly I had my "goal" scene.

With both "Phenomenal Girl 5" and "Tekgrrl," these favorite scenes are romance related, probably because those are always my favorite scenes in any book. The moment when the hero or heroine declares their love is like a yummy piece of chocolate, and sometimes it can be bittersweet. But it's always one to savor.

8 comments:

Laina said...

I've read this!! It was really good. :)

H said...

I haven't heard of these, but now I want to read them. I love superpowers, but superhero books seem to be few and far between. It's all films (not enough character bulding) or comics (way too much character building!)

Thanks for this, I'll check them out :)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Laina: That's so awesome someone else has read them. I know, arent't they great? Have you read TEKGRRL yet? If not, you need too!

H: You are quite welcome and I'm starting to enjoy a few new superhero books. These are definitely great, with some awesome girl power in the first two. I hope you enjoy them.

-Lauren

Laina said...

Not yet, I didn't know there was another one, lol, my copy didn't say it. I'll have to get it!!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Laina: Yep yep, I gotcha. Definitely read it and let me know what you think. I'd love to talk to someone about it.

-Lauren

carolsnotebook said...

I loved Phenomenal Girl 5, but haven't gotten around to Tekgrrl yet.

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