The Agency Games

Title, Book Blurb, and Cover Art Release for “The Agency Games”

On January 18, 2018, I shared with you all my dream, goal, and journey of writing, editing, finishing, and publishing “The Agency Games.”

Well, nearly two years later I am proud to share with you my official and finalized title, book blurb, and cover art:

 

“Agency in The Hunger Games

Desire, Intent, and Action in the Novels”

For 21st-century young adults struggling for personal autonomy in a society that often demands compliance, the bestselling trilogy, The Hunger Games remains palpably relevant despite its futuristic setting. For Suzanne Collins’ characters, personal agency is not only the physical battle of controlling one’s own body, but includes responding to a multitude of internal and external influences such as morality, trauma, power, and hope, while maintaining a sense of self.
This book offers an opportunity to explore personal agency through in-depth examinations of the individual lives of Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Cinna, Primrose, and other residents of Panem, and through the analysis of other themes such as the overabundance of bodily imagery, the social expectations within the capitol, and the problematic parental figures of the series. By looking directly at individual agency and how it is gained, exercised, lost, and reclaimed, 21st-century readers will discover their own “dandelion of hope” through the examples set down by Collins’ characters, who establish over and over again that human agency is ultimately always attainable.

The Hunger Games

 

Is this book something you might be interested in? Click the link and be sure to drop a comment: Agency in the Hunger Games – SIGN UP!

Do you know anyone who might be interested in this investigation of their favorite Hunger Games series? Please make sure to reblog or share it with them!

©KaylaAnnAuthor2019

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Agency Games

The Agency Games – Official Release Date: Spring 2020

Hey there everyone!

Wow, it has been WAY too long since I have longed on and now that I am on, I plan to catch up as much as I can. December is right around the corner and you all know what that means: BLOGMAS! I will most definitely be posting with Christmas spirit come December.

Now for the REALLY exciting news, yesterday I received an email from the publishers letting me know that my book had passed the editing portion and was moving on to production. You can well imagine my reaction:

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If that wasn’t exciting enough, I received a follow up email from the publishers today letting me know that my book is scheduled to come out in Spring 2020!

After working so hard on this project, going through so many peer reviews, and revisions, sometimes this book did not seem like a possibility. However, today was just a reminder that hard work pays off! Not only did a get an official release season, but I also found my official COVER ART and FINALIZED TITLE on their website!!!

I literally cried happy tears.

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Stick around, because I am revealing that cover art tomorrow!

Lastly, to everyone who has been so incredibly patient with me the last few months during my “invisible” months, thank you! Thank you for the way that you supported me during this whole journey and for the way I know you will continue to do so. I’m still working on that balancing act, but I can promise to find my way back to this wonderful world of blogging.

Love,

Kayla Ann

The Agency Games

Agency Games Friday: Terminology on Reaping Day

Hello there and welcome to “The Agency Games Friday!” On these days, I will be talking all about Suzanne Collin’s famous Hunger Games series! Some of my posts include excerpts that did not make it into my upcoming book or just character discussion. Have any fun questions or comments about The Hunger Games or something you think I should talk about? Drop me a line in the comments!

Today, we are going to discuss the term “reaping.” Now, there are two kinds of people in the world. Person A immediately recognizes this term from The Hunger Games from the title “Reaping Day.” Person B vaguely recalls that this is a term we used to use to refer to when workers would go out in the fields and bring in the harvest. Let’s just say that Collins certainly knew what she was doing when she chose to title the day in which the Capitol steals two children from each district Reaping Day.

So, let’s go ahead and unpack this word, because really, all it takes is one word for Collins to create layer upon layer of meaning in this one scene:

The term “reaping” can have several connotations from the positive imagery of gathering a harvest all the way to the negative concept of a grim reaper. These contradictory interpretations depict both the relief parents feel when their child is not chosen as tribute and the grief that other parents feel when their child is reaped. Furthermore, there is something very violent about the action of reaping. Indeed, it involves the cutting down of whatever is being collected. Likewise, the tributes are being cut down as their identity is stripped away.

Now we have this new term, tribute, and once again, Collins integrates significance with its usage.

In naming those selected to participate in the Games “tributes,” the Capitol attempts to place a positive light on their sacrifice as tribute often refers to a gift willingly given to appease the gods during ancient times. However, despite the Capitol’s pre-approved terminology, the tributes do not give themselves freely, rather the Capitol claims their lives forcibly. In incorporating terms such as reaping and tributes, Collins depicts the bodies of the districts as commodities which the gluttonous populace of the Capitol consumes, unable to see beyond their faux peacock eyelashes. Tributes are subjected to cameramen that perch “like buzzards” and “gobble up” the images of the sacrificial children to feed the audience back home.[i] It is not enough that the districts be punished, the tributes must be humiliated and their bodies must become public property . . . (learn more about the bodies of the tributes and agency in my upcoming book!)

[i] Collins, Hunger, 41

Join me next Friday for more discussions on The Hunger Games!

Comment below: What do you want me to discuss next?

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Know Your Source Material

While this tip is mainly for non-fiction writers, it is applicable for you fiction writers too!

For scholarly, nonfiction writers it is so important to know your chosen text better than the back of your hand. Insights and epiphanies come on the 10th or 20th time when re-reading a series not the 2nd or 3rd. This is because every time you read, you gain a new insight, and then the next time you read the same story your view will change and you will read the same events in different light. So keep on reading again and again.

And AGAIN.

While some people prefer to make handwritten notes in the margins, I use color-coded post-it-notes. I do this for several reasons. 1. I can assign different colors to different ideas. For example in the picture below yellow post-it-notes mark something to do with the physical body, pink marks morality and blue marks trauma. These are the three topics through which I am analyzing Katniss’s agency. No doubt when I get into additional characters I will have to add more colors. 2. The post-it-notes give me more room to write out my thoughts than the margins do. 3. If I see a large grouping of post-it-notes in one section I know to more carefully re-read those portions. Of course everyone’s strategies might be different but this is mine.

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Also, while your source material should be your PRIMARY focus, you should always be reading other books, articles, blogs, etc on the same topic. Why? It’s smart to read what other people are saying and noticing. Sometimes you might agree and realize that there is nothing left to say on a particular subject. However, other times you may find something that you disagree with completely or something that was mentioned but never fully answered. In your own writings you can address such arguments and give more insight to previously ignored ideas. Also, if you realize that what you are writing has already been done, you can save yourself some time and effort by finding a new subject.

FICTION readers and writers: the same goes for you! Read what is out there, specifically books in your preferred genre. What are they doing that is working? What are they doing that isn’t working? Read like your life depends on it, because really, your career does.

Before writing comes reading.
My advice: read, read, read, read, read!

Happy Writing Everyone!

***If you liked today’s tip be sure to visit “Writing Tips” on my main menu for more tips and tricks! Have any questions about writing? Leave them in the comments!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Agency Games

The Agency Games – Sign Up!

As you all know I have been working on my book, The Agency Games (working title) for the past several months and I turned it in (all 78,218 words) to the publishing house on May 11th!

Originally, I intended to send it to the Peer Reviewers on May 31st but I exceeded my own expectations and finished early! I also just received news that my rough manuscript is currently in the hands of two peer reviewers! Hopefully this means my book will be published and sold in late 2018 instead of early 2019, but it is too soon to tell. I have to wait a couple of weeks (possibly months) before I hear back from the Peer Reviewers, and I am kind of nervous, but I can’t wait to read their feedback! Hopefully they love it and also have some constructive advice on how to improve it.

As I get closer to publishing The Agency Games, I’m hoping to start a list of people who are interested in my book.

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Please note: putting your name below does not mean that you have to buy anything.

However, if you are interested in:

  • Information about Book Release Party dates and details
  • An online Book Release Party through WordPress
  • Early access to the The Agency Games
  • Discounted Prices or Signed Copies

Then, please leave a comment below!

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Again, if you leave a comment that does not mean that you have to buy the book and I promise not to spam anyone with emails. I am only trying to get a realistic idea of who is currently interested in a scholarly look at the beloved Hunger Games series!

Thank you!

And Happy Writing!

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Read!

Read? But we are writers, we write!

Yes, but we should also be READING.

A large part of what we do is based on what we know, what we have experienced, and what we have read. Let’s be honest, most writers are also reading enthusiasts. Reading and writing often goes hand in hand. Through reading we come to learn about this wonderful world of writing.

At one point in your life, a certain book or series truly inspired you. You decided, you wanted to write something like that, you wouldn’t to create worlds and characters that touched not only your heart but the hearts of others. That’s because reading inspires and encourages. For me, my writing is inspired by hundreds of books such as Harry Potter, Eragon, Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, etc. These books and their authors have encouraged me to become the best author I can be. Reading also connects us to others, whether they are fictional characters or real people who share the same interests.

In order to be a successful writer, you want to be a frequent reader. Now of course, you have deadlines to meet and reading every day may not be possible, but in your writing journey don’t forget or underestimate the power of reading.

Reading can be inspirational.
Reading can be an escape.
Reading can be an adventure.
Reading can be a connection with others.
Reading can encourage.
Reading can be comforting.

What else, in your experience, can reading be?

In the comment be sure to answer, “reading can be ______________.”

Happy Writing (and reading) Everyone!

 

Spotlight:

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Lloyd Chudley Alexander was an American author of more than forty books, primarily fantasy novels for children and young adults. His most famous work is The Chronicles of Prydain, a series of fantasy novels whose conclusion, The High King, was awarded the 1969 Newbery Medal for excellence.

A successful author of more than 30 publications, Lloyd enjoyed reading Shakespeare, Dickens and Mark Twain. He asserts that King Arthur is his favorite hero. If Lloyd Alexander can find the time to read and places so much importance on it, we should too.

Happy Writing (and Reading!) Everybody!

***Be sure to check out more tips under the “Writing Tip” tab on my main menu! Have questions about writing or blogging? Leave them in the comments below!

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Know Your Points of View

The fact is, a lot of novice writers switch point of view unintentionally or without knowing that there are specific categories of Point of View. Knowing these categories can help authors decide which point of view is best for their story. For the experienced writers out there, this might be a refresher or old news, but it is still worth remembering! For the novice writers, I hopefully have something new to share with you concerning Points of View:

There are in fact six different Points of View:

  • 3rd Person Omniscient
  • 3rd Person Limited Omniscient
  • 3rd Person Objective or Dramatic
  • 1st Person Central
  • 1st Person Peripheral
  • 2nd Person

The most commonly used P.O.V.s are 3rd person limited and 1st person central.
3rd Person Limited is when the narration is viewed through the mind of one character in particular but does not use “I” or “My” throughout. Also, the reader is not granted access to everyone’s thoughts, only one character’s thoughts. Consider the Harry Potter series where we follow the story through Harry, we view the action as Harry sees it, and we often come to the same biased conclusions as Harry.

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1st Person Central is similarly viewed through one character, but the narration strictly uses “I” and “my” throughout the story. Consider The Hunger Games series as we read the words through Katniss’s voice.

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One reason you might want to use 1st person over 3rd person is to help anchor the readers into the narrator’s perspective. 1st person helps connect the readers to the narrator’s struggles and beliefs. The story feels more personal.

Now that I’ve covered the two most common, you might be curious about the others.

3rd Person Omniscient is a narration that can jump around from mind to mind, from character to character. While this P.O.V. can be done well and offer a lot of information, it often can go wrongly when readers find it difficult to follow the narration. One example is the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.

3rd Person Objective/Dramatic is narrated from an unbiased narrator. The best example is a fairy tale in which the story is laid out, the facts are given, but no opinion is offered and we do not often hear the thoughts of the characters.

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1st Person Peripheral is similar to 1st person central as both are narrated by an individual character who uses “I” and “My” throughout. The major difference is that in 1st person peripheral the narrator of the story is a minor character at best and is describing the major events happening between other characters. The best example of this is The Great Gatsby which is narrated by Nick, but if we are being honest, no one really remembers Nick because he’s not that important for the story. He’s as much a member of the audience as we are.

Lastly, there is 2nd person which is the least used P.O.V. In these narrations, the “speaker” consistently addresses the “you” of the story. “You” are the story. It’s an interesting, yet hardly used P.O.V. due to the difficulty is successfully sustaining such a narration without sounding awkward or repetitious. I’m not sure I can even think of one successful novel that would be labeled a 2nd person P.O.V. . . .

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Well, there you have it! These are the six points of view you can use when you write! Your point of view does affect your narrative and as such you should consider it when writing, editing, or re-writing your stories! It applies for poetry too! In fact, 2nd person can work nicely with poetry. . .

What P.O.V. do you use most often? Why?

***If you enjoyed today’s tip be sure to check out more under the tab “Writing Tips” on my main menu! Have any questions about writing? Leave a comment!

Happy Writing Everyone!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

Four Great Ways to Market Your Work

You’ve got your book. It is beautiful and sparkling!

But what now?

How can you promote it and get people to read it?? Whether you are self-publishing or going through a traditional publication house, you are going to need to promote yourself and your own work.

Some of the ideas below are mine and some belong to others that I have picked up along the way, but I am combining them below for your reading pleasure and hopefully they will help you like they have helped me!

  1. Social Media
    1. I know you are probably rolling your eyes right now and saying “well, duh!” but don’t underestimate your social status and don’t just post: “Here’s my book!” Give us reasons WHY we should want to read your book. What will it do for us? Think about how books have been marketed to you. What made you stop and think, yea I want to read that!
  2. Book Promotion Sites
    1. Here is one site that offers a couple of different options
      1. http://www.paidauthor.com/best-ebook-promotion-sites/
  3. Personal Touch
    1. Swap Meets/Farmer Markets/Small Bookstores/Book Signings
      1. Set up a booth, say hello, shake some hands
      2. Offer to do a book reading and signing at local book stores
      3. Don’t forget, people are more likely to buy your book if they meet you and like you instead of seeing an ad on a screen. So get out there and give it your personal touch!
  4. Friends and Family
    1. There is nothing wrong with asking your friends and family to read and leave reviews on your book, but don’t be too surprised if they don’t all respond. Family and friends can be a great support system, but not always great readers.

These are just some ideas that I’ve come across. How do YOU promote your book? Have you had success with any of the above? Do you prefer the social or personal approaches?

Have you done something different? Be sure to like and comment in the section below.

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Market Yourself

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Whether you are a self-published author or an author using a traditional publishing house, it IS your job to market your work and promote yourself. You cannot wait on someone else to do it for you or for your book to simply come into existence with a fan base. While some publishing companies may help, they are not going to do everything for you. Some publishing companies might publish your book, place it online, and that’s it. And while you may get some traffic from that, it probably won’t be much.

UNLESS

You have already starting promoting yourself and your work. Many of you probably already know this, after all, that’s why many of you are bloggers. You are building your audience. Good! (This is possibly one of the most fun ways to promote because you get to build real relationships.)

By promoting yourself and your work via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Blogging, etc., you are given a chance to build an audience who is interested in what you have to say and what you publish. Otherwise, according to Jeff Goins “you’re just speaking to an empty auditorium”. So start promoting yourself.

You might be asking: “How can I do that? How can I get followers?”

Well start by following others, commenting on their posts, joining groups, building reciprocal relationships with the people in your field and then point them back to your page, group, or blog. You cannot simply set up a page and expect people to find you. (Wouldn’t that be nice?)

You have to do the work if you want the results! So get out there, set up a page, or a blog, or a website, join a group, get to know other writers, and start posting regularly.

Tomorrow I’ll be sure to post some more suggestions on exactly HOW to promote your work so be sure to keep your eyes on this blog!

How have YOU promoted your work in the past?

Be sure to answer in the comment section 🙂

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Poetry, Uncategorized

Do You Know (A Poem)

Do you know

That when you sit beside me

I am completely captivated by your presence

Do you know

That when you put your arms around me

I feel safe, secure, and surprisingly hopeful

Do you know

That when you touch my hair

I exhale in relief

Do you know

How much I love you

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.