Friday Five

1. Have you seen the If I Stay movie trailer? Oh my gosh… it is so incredibly perfect. Exactly what I was hoping for. Seriously. #AllTheFeels. If I Stay is one of my most beloved books (it’s the novel that made me want to write contemporary young adult) and I have Very Strong Opinions regarding book-to-movie adaptations, especially when it comes to YA, and especially when it comes to books I love. Please, please, please let the movie live up the the trailer’s amazingness.

2. Yesterday I Rocked the Drop, and it was awesome. My girl and I dropped three books (Jellicoe Road, The Sky is Everywhere, and If I Stay — three of my favorite contemporaries) around our town. Here’s hoping three book-loving teens find them and adore the stories as much as I do.



3. Oh, hey, I wrote some new words. I have an inkling of an idea for a sequel to another of my finished manuscripts, and I started tinkering it with it the other day. I know that sounds ridiculous (why start a sequel to a book that hasn’t sold yet?), but I’ve got these scenes in my head and they’re inspiring me (keeping me up at night, actually) and I figure… Might as well write them and get them out of my system. Problem is, the more I write, the more ideas I have, and the more inspired I feel. A real story’s starting to take shape, which is exciting, but also scary. I can write this story, invest months and months of my life in it, but there’s a chance it’ll never go anywhere; it can’t stand alone without its predecessor. But, words are words and practice is practice, right? I’m pretty sure it’s okay to write what’s inspiring, and to occasionally let go worries of whether or not a story will sell. What do you think? How much time do you spend writing only for the pure joy of it?

4. Along with Open Road Summer (adorable!), I’m reading James Scott Bell’s Write Your Novel From the Middle, which is pretty brilliant so far. It’s all about finding your story’s “heart and heat,” which is most often at its middle. James Scott Bell says some smart things about novel structure, but I’m even more taken by his thoughts on voice. He says, When an author is joyous in the telling, it pulses through the words. When you read a Ray Bradbury, for instance, you sense his joy. He was in love with words and his own imagination, and it showed. This, I think, is what’s at the the core of that unteachable thing we call voice. If you’re looking for a fresh take on novel structuring (plotter or a pantser), this is definitely a book worth checking out. 

5. Happy Easter weekend! My girl and I have decided to spend tomorrow at the beach, and Sunday in our jammies watching movies. She told me she hopes the Easter Bunny will bring her an American Girl sports watch, pink Peeps, and a Slinky. Good news… The Easter Bunny Mama has found and purchased all three items. That may seem indulgent (must get the kid exactly what she asks for!), but my daughter is growing up way too fast and if Peeps and a Slinky help keep the magic of childhood alive another day, then I’m happy to provide them. 

Have a wonderful weekend! 


24 thoughts on “Friday Five

  1. Colin says:

    Write what you love, not what you ought–I think the mantra goes something like that. Besides, even if the original novel doesn’t find a publisher this year, that doesn’t mean your awesome agent will never find a home for it, and it’s sequels. 🙂 AND… there’s always self-publishing if the novel doesn’t sell, especially if you know there’s a market for it. I guess what I’m saying is that these days, you don’t have to feel like you’re just writing for the pleasure of it. There are so many more ways to get your books into the hands of readers. Go for it, Katy! 🙂

    I know what you mean about indulging your kids from time to time. As a father of two adult children, I know how quickly they grow up, and how much we want their childhood to last just a little bit longer. Though I must say, it’s fun having grown-up kids, too. 🙂

    Have a wonderful weekend, Katy! 😀

    • katyupperman says:

      Excellent, excellent points, Colin, as usual. Thanks so much! I am certain it will be a blast to hang with my girl as she gets older (we can talk YA books!), but I’m not in any big hurry to get there. Love watching her learn and grow, though I wish she’d slooooow down a little! Have a great week, sir!

  2. Elodie says:

    So…which book is it? If it’s the one I haven’t read yet, I definitely need to catch up (*dreams of more Katy’s writing*)
    And I think it’s great you’re writing something you’re excited about!
    That trailer looks AMAZING! Can’t wait! yay for Rock the Drop and hope you and Claire have a great time at the beach! 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Elodie! I’m tweaking a little something in my Max and Jill book. Hoping to incorporate some ideas Victoria recently had, which are awesome. Best of luck with your edits this weekend!

    • katyupperman says:

      I like your duology idea, Valia. Very smart planning for the future. 🙂 I hope you get to read IF I STAY soon. It is one of my very favorites — totally inspirational in the writing department. We’ll have to compare notes on OPEN ROAD SUMMER soon. I’m nearly done and loving it!

  3. Erin Funk says:

    I say go with the inspiration, Katy! The WIP I’m working on is a sequel, and I don’t even have an agent. I know some people would say that’s unwise, that I should be building up a bigger portfolio of work, but if I don’t write what I want, then I might as well throw in the towel. It’s so tough to invest months in a project that might never go anywhere, but if you write it for the sheer love of the story and your need to follow your inspiration, then really you’re meeting a different sort of goal. I guess I feel that the ultimate goal is to write for yourself and that publication is secondary, otherwise something genuine will be lost in the process. That’s just my reasoning though, and your philosophy might be totally different. Whatever the case, it’s exciting that this idea is begging you to work on it!

    I haven’t read IF I STAY yet, but the movie trailer looks so good. I’ll have to read it before the movie comes out on bluray. I probably won’t see it at the theater because it looks like a tearjerker and I’d rather not bawl my head off in public. Have a happy Easter! 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      “…the ultimate goal is to write for yourself and that publication is secondary, otherwise something genuine will be lost in the process.” <– I feel very similarly, Erin, though I think you worded it better than I would have. It's easy to tell when I writer doesn't have any heart behind their words, and I don't want that to ever be the case with my stories. I hope you get to read IF I STAY soon. I adore that book. It's beautiful and heartbreaking and inspiring all at once. Let me know what you think after you've read it. Have a great weekend!

  4. Krispy says:

    Your Easter plans sound great, and that is so cute what she asked for. Easter has never really been a thing for me, but recently my friend’s made it a habit to have an egg hunt at her house. So I’m retroactively having an Easter childhood now, haha.

    If I Stay was maybe the first YA contemporary I read since the start of the YA boom and I loved it. I agree with you that the trailer seems just right. I wasn’t particularly excited about the movie before (though I love the book), but now I am very much looking forward to it. I hope it lives up to the promise of the trailer!

    Thanks for the writing book rec too. I haven’t heard of that one, but it definitely seems like an interesting, different take on craft. Love the quote about writing with joy and the Bradbury example. That’s exactly why I love Bradbury’s writing so much. 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

    • katyupperman says:

      Easter’s not a huge deal for us, either. It’s more for fun and family time than anything else. Glad you’re getting to celebrate retroactively. 🙂 Let me know if you end up reading James Scott Bell’s latest. I’m almost to the end and I’ve found it to be pretty eye-opening. One of the better, clearer, more concise craft books I’ve read. Have a wonderful weekend, Alice. Happy Easter!

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Victoria! I had goosebumps (and tears!) watching that trailer, too. It looks so well done, and very true to the book. I so hope I’m not disappointed when I see the film. Have a great weekend, lady!

  5. crystalschubert says:

    Happy Easter! 🙂 That “If I Stay” trailer made me cry really hard when I saw it yesterday, and my husband laughed at me. It was the flashback part with the parents holding the baby. Ughhhhhh. Right through the heart.

    And I agree with the other comments–write what inspires you, not what you feel you should be writing instead! I pretty much always write for fun, but then again I don’t have an agent so that’s about all I can do at this point, haha…

    • katyupperman says:

      Yeah, that trailer had me teary, too! I’m so invested in these characters and their story — I will not be a happy camper if the movie doesn’t do it justice. So far, though, I have high hopes!

      Agent or no agent, I can’t write something that doesn’t feel inspiring. That may change if I ever end up with a contract, though. Fingers crossed. 🙂

      Have a fantastic weekend, Crystal, and Happy Easter!

  6. Rachelwrites007 says:

    I LOVE the If I Stay Trailer. Watched it about 5 times after I saw it the first, haha. Then I reread the book. I’m buying the hardcover as a birthday present to myself. 🙂 My best friend and I have arguments all the time over the book (she thinks Mia had no reason to live because her parents/brother were dead; I say Mia’s family wants her to live and be happy)…lol. I am crossing my fingers the whole movie is as amazing as the trailer 🙂 Cue the tears.

    Happy Easter!! Slinky is a great gift. Good eye, C. 😀 I hope your day’s filled with Peeps, and chocolates. It’s Passover this year and so I am jealous of your candies but most of all of your cakes! 😀

    • katyupperman says:

      Happy Passover, Rachel! I’m so sorry to tease you with my photos of cookies and candy. 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful day.

      I totally agree with you about Mia living. She had her music and her extended family and (of course!) Adam to pull through for. Tragic, but yeah… I think a perfect ending to that novel. I love it so much!

  7. Ghenet Myrthil says:

    1. The If I Stay trailer looks amaaazing! I also hope the movie ends up being as satisfying as the book.

    2. I totally forgot about Rock the Drop this year – oops! I will definitely mark my calendar for next year! I love all of the books you dropped.

    3. Yay for new words! I think if you’re excited about a story idea, go for it. You could always make it your fun side project as you work on other things. You never know what could come from writing it!

    4. I really enjoyed Write Your Story From the Middle. It certainly got me thinking about what that moment is in my new WIP. I agree that some of his other tips in the book were great, too.

    5. I hope you had a lovely Easter! Your daughter is one lucky girl. 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      Thanks, Ghenet! I hope you had a wonderful Easter as well! I’m with you on the IF I STAY movie. If it’s even half as good as that trailer makes it look, I’m going to be a weepy mess in the theater. Hope your writing is still going well. I’m enjoying reading your Bootcamp updates. 🙂

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