Happy Monday All:) I hope you had a great weekend, I sure did and now I am ready for a fantastic week! Jumping things off I have visiting today Author Julie Prestsater of the YA novel So I’m A Double Threat which is on tour with Bewitching Book Tours!
INDIEWRITERSREVIEW MUSIC MONDAY WILL RETURN NEXT WEEK:)
So I’m a Double Threat
By Julie Prestsater
Megan Miller, a freshman at Carver High and a Double Threat, the perfect combination of smart and popular.
She’s got the grades, she’s got the friends, and she’s got the connections. Freshman year should be a breeze, but it’s not. How can it be when you have boys, boys and boys on the brain.
And really only one in particular.
Alex Aguilar…the boy of Meg’s dreams.
They met at a party and Meg’s whole world shifted. The spark was there, there was no denying it. But could that spark lead to more? Can a Senior and Freshman really make a go of it no matter what kind of connection they share? Or will outside circumstances ruin not only Meg’s Freshman year, but her chance at hooking the guy of her dreams.
Being a Double Threat is supposed to make you special, but is it worth it if you don’t get your crush?
Fam:) Author Julie Prestsater is generously giving away to lucky winners, some great prizes!
Enter to win:
• 1 paperback
• 5 eBooks
• 1 eBook set of entire Double Threat Series
SEVEN LUCKY WINNERS!!!! So enter to win by leaving your email info in the comment section! Winners will be chosen by Random Sequence!
Good luck! (click to enter) indie-giveaways
About the Author:
Julie is a high school reading intervention teacher who prides herself on matching her students with great books to encourage them to become life-long readers. She enjoys writing stories that even the most reluctant of readers will not want to put down.
Julie is a mom, a wife, a teacher, a reader, and a writer. She also a lunatic when it comes to the NFL and playing Fantasy Football, especially if she doesn’t get my first pick quarterback: Tony Romo. When she’s not at home or work, you can probably catch her on the 15 freeway singing her heart out and dancing away in her car.
“Book Covers: Bringing My Characters to Life”
As a self-published author, it’s liberating to have complete control over my work. For the most part, it’s a good thing. But it’s downright annoying at times, like when I still find errors or rookie mistakes in my writing. However, I can always go back and make necessary revisions since … well, since I can. And I did. I had found a few areas I wanted to polish in my already published novels, and uploaded new and improved versions in all formats … along with … NEW COVERS!
Which brings me to the reason for this particular blog post …
A few months ago, I set out on a new adventure. A book cover making extravaganza. I have to admit. It was just as thrilling as typing “The End” at the end of a work in progress. I usually get all teary eyed when I complete a novel, and it was no different at the end of the photo shoot. I got a little weepy more than once. The tears never dropped (I didn’t want to scare off the talent), but they definitely flooded my eyes.
So, let me tell you all about it.
I really wanted to create new cover designs for my books. I have two more books to go in my Double Threat series, and I never really liked the concept I came up with for You Act So White. I absolutely love that story and I didn’t do it justice with the cover. It was by no means the fault of my book designer. He did exactly what I instructed him to do. It was my fault entirely for coming up with a shitty idea. I’ll admit it. We’ve all been there. Thought something was fabulous and then later thought, “What the hell was I thinking?”
After scouring pages of stock photos online, I gave up my search for my ideal Meg and Alex. I couldn’t find them. But with the help of Matt Ford of The West Gate Studios, I’m so freaking excited to tell you, I found them. Team Meg and Alex can celebrate. Haha.
Matt took the reins and coordinated a photo shoot for the three characters I needed to create new book covers. He did a casting call which drew in a few hundred responses by various models. It’s crazy but I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting it was to hand pick who would portray my very own characters. And the minute I saw each of them, I knew. Brianna Young was the perfect fit for Gabriela Fierro of You Act So White. Jurnee Mroczek is my precious Meggie, and Gabriel Quesada will steal hearts as swoonworthy, Alex. And believe me, ladies, he made a room full of grown women blush when he walked in. He’s bleeping adorable.
We started the shoot with hair and makeup, which Matt also coordinated. We had three artists who worked with the models: Daneen Solomon, Sasha Perez, and Stephanie Barker. They all did fabulous work. Daneen was not only amazing with hair and makeup, but she was instrumental in suggesting wardrobe choices and the posing of our models.
Matt took photos of Brianna first. It was awesome. I explained what Gabby’s character was like and her inner struggle with who everyone expected her to be. I wanted her to look conflicted, torn, irritated. And Brianna did just that. Not only did she look like what I pictured Gabby to be, but her eyes reflected that personal conflict I could have never found in stock photos. Bonus: she wore Gabby’s trademark Chucks. Yay! This was a big deal for me. I know, I’m a dork.
Moving on to Meggie. It was so hard not to call Jurnee, Meg. She was just, Meg, to me. We … I mean, Matt … took some shots of Jurnee solo at first. I wanted as many shots as possible because I’m not sure how these books are going to play out. Who knows? The Megster may need to retake photos with another guy. Alex might not be the one. Yikes!
Throughout the shoot, Jurnee went through a transformation. She started out as a sweet, innocent, freshman, and developed into this stunning, curvy, twelfth grade young woman. It was amazing to see Megan grow up right in front of me.
Then … here comes my favorite part … Meggie and Alex together, at last. I could’ve fainted. Seriously. The two talked while Matt snapped shots. It was surreal. It was like Alex was just chatting away making little Meggie feel safe and comfortable just the way he did in the book. Ay ay ay! If only all my readers could’ve been there to witness this. You would’ve been ooo-ing and aww-ing like the rest of us.
We took some pictures in one location. Then, did quick wardrobe, hair, and makeup changes. And moved to another spot. Three completely different looks, each getting better and better. The way Alex and Meg (let’s just call them that) interacted was exactly how I imagined it. With a little direction from me, Daneen, and Jurnee’s mom, I got what I wanted.
The next morning, I woke up remembering all the things I had said to them, like:
- You have to touch him. You’ve waited your entire freshmen year for this chance, now take it.
- Look at her like you adore her.
- Gabriel: “So it’s been all year and I just started liking her?” Me: “No! You’ve loved her forever but you’ve been stupid.” LOL.
- We’ve waited 295 pages to get to this point, now make it worth it.
I know I rattled off a lot more nonsense, but you get the idea. I was cracking myself up, as usual. But, they got it. They made my characters, who I’ve lived, breathed, and loved for so long, come to life. It was like watching my book, my words, my characters leap off the page and become a reality. Like some crazy Indian in the Cupboard kinda stuff.
It was so perfect in every way. The way Alex spoke to her. The way Meg smiled at him, looking all giddy and smitten. The way he held her in his arms, so gently and loving. The way he softly touched her face. The almost … not quite … but just a centimeter more and … Hold on, this isn’t the book. Hehe. But the image of the sparks flying when he leaned in to kiss her (but didn’t) was enough to be etched into my mind forever.
A special thanks goes out to Matt Ford for putting it all together and capturing the moment. And to the rest of the cast and crew: Jurnee, Gabriel, Brianna, Daneen, Sasha, and Stephanie, thank you! Words cannot describe how forever grateful I will be to all of you for this amazing experience.
So, indie authors, if you’re out there and reading this, this is a must do. Cast your own models and watch your characters come to life. You won’t be disappointed.