Movie Night with Author Shana Mlawski

Tonight’s movie comes from YA fantasy author Shana Mlawski! Her debut HAMMER OF WITCHES is set in 1400s Spain! (Get your copy right here.)

1.) FIRST QUESTION! Who’s playing who in the movie?


Let’s start by assuming we’re making a live-action Hollywood picture starring English-speakers. These are actually some big assumptions, because I’m a huge animation fan, and HAMMER OF WITCHES is set in Spain. But okay: we’re going American. Unfortunately, this film’s going to be hard to cast, because the protagonist, Baltasar, is brown-skinned, and most teen heartthrobs in the U.S. are white.

(Note to Hollywood: Bo-ring.) Looks-wise, Aramis Knight might be our best bet for Bal. He’s playing Bean in Ender’s Game, so he must be pretty good. That’s important, because I only cast good actors in my fake movies.
Good actor for fake movie
Baltasar was raised by his uncle Diego, who in my mind can be played by no one but Mandy Patinkin.

Like Diego, he’s Jewish, and more importantly he has experience playing a Spaniard. That was a Princess Bride reference and if you don’t get it yeesh I’m old.
Man from Princess Bride I don’t remember but am just as old-feeling
The book begins when Baltasar gets into trouble with the Spanish Inquisition because of Amir al-Katib, a legendary sorcerer and all-around badass. Amir would have been played by Alexander Siddig, a.k.a. Siddig el-Fadil, a.k.a. Dr. Bashir from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, except Siddig stubbornly refuses to age. Alexander, I need you to play a 60-something-year-old. Stop looking 30, you dashing Trekkie, you.

Dashing trekkie

Seriously, what fountain of youth is this guy drinking from?! Ahem. Anyway. As Baltasar sets out on his quest to find al-Katib and save the world, he meets Jinniyah, a half-genie. Because there are so few young brown-skinned actresses in Hollywood these days, she will be played by Rubina Ali, a.k.a. young Latika from Slumdog Millionaire, which means we will have to fly her over from India again so she can be in our movie.

Baltasar also meets Catalina, who must be played by Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka because I am Mad Men fanatic, and as far as young actresses go no one can touch The Shipka.

Untouchable Shipka
Also, there’s Antonio, who will be played by Jim Beaver (Deadwood fans represent)…


and Martín Pinzón, who will be played by John Hannah, a.k.a. Batiatus from Spartacus: Blood & Sand
(it’s better than you think!)…


and Vicente Pinzón, who will be played by Diego Luna (de Y Tu Mamá También)…

Spanish Johnny Depp looking

Rodrigo, who will be played by Mathew Baynton from Peep Show…


Caonabo, who will be played by Prison Break’s Amaury Nolasco…

*eyebrow lift*

and Anacaona, who will be played by Q’orianka Kilcher, because if Hollywood’s going to keep typecasting her as historical Native American characters they should at least cast her as a historical Native American from pre-Columbian Latin America instead of, like, Pocahontas.


Oh, and of course Cristóbal Colón, a.k.a. Christopher Columbus, who will be played by—wait for it—Christopher Eccleston.


I’m told the Santa María was bigger on the inside.

2. Cast looks good! But the writing is what matters. (*wink, wink* *nudge, nudge* Ha! I crack myself up.) Who do you want to write the screenplay?

How about the Adventure Time writers? Somehow they always manage to write things that are exciting, touching, funny, and weird all at the same time.

3. You win for this answer alone. Who’s directing?

Hayao Miyazaki is probably my favorite director, so if he wants to make HAMMER OF WITCHES his next Studio Ghibli animated masterpiece, who am I to say no? Guillermo del Toro is the obvious choice for the live-action version.

4. Producer?

As I said, the Ghibli guys. If it’s to be animated I’ll also accept the guys who made The Secret of Kells.

5. Who HAS TO be on the soundtrack?

Tricky question. The book takes place in 1492, so technically the soundtrack should be full of medieval/Renaissance music like this or something more Arabic-inspired like this.

But we can have it updated by, say, Rodrigo y Gabrielaor our favorite fake medieval princess, Joanna Newsom.

Buuuut even though HAMMER OF WITCHES takes place in 1492, it has a pretty modern sensibility, so we can go with a completely modern soundtrack, which might include The Decemberists (very “boaty”)  and the weirder Iron & Wine tracks.

Buuuuuuuut, for the record, when I was writing and needed to get into Bal’s head I usually listened to Memory Tapes, because when you think of a guy in 15th century Spain your mind naturally goes to chillwave electronica. I can vouch for that!

6. What’s the line on the poster?

I guess the one on my bookmarks: “There is magic in a story. Dark magic.”

7.  I loved all of this. What did I miss?

This was fun! Thanks for letting me play!
Thank you!
And you guys can add HAMMER OF WITCHES to your TBR here.

More than One Hero

I was combing through my child’s hair and noticed just how knotty it was. I’d given it what I thought was an anti-tangle treatment (a good read through) the month before but it didn’t look like it.

Pieces floated about, tied in knots, not even to the main point.

I know that time gives you distance from your work and I’m grateful. I’ve seen so many horrible things in my story that I can’t believe I never noticed.

But when I’m not writing about the secondary characters in their POV, I can’t always keep track of what they did. I know as far as what they got out of it (like if my secondary character fought someone to get to her energy level or if she got that before the fight.)

The details are messy and whether I want them to or not, come through in telling words later, a service to the characters who weren’t there and the readers who weren’t there either.

I’ve considered outlines but outlines are one) not my thing, 2) unhelpful without a goal.

I stared at my cast. So many of them are named, but so many aren’t. As they are way in the background, probably not mentioned really.

And I was thinking of giving them their own goals?

*laughs madly*

But it’s a good idea.

One of my TC’s (toughest critic) favorite thing to do is ask about an older, and embarrassingly self-indulgent, story.

The main character has stumbled into a colony of supernaturals who can’t let a human know about their existence. She isn’t allowed to leave now.

This is the famous 11-book series spawned in half a year. AnyWHO.

TC always ask why the hell the other characters protect the MC. I get tired of answering the same thing but TC is always right. (Or she hasn’t been wrong yet.)

My other characters *can* love my MC and come together but they have lives outside of hers. It’s one of the things that makes them 3D.

So now, fastforward to my baby who has tangles in her hair. Rip ’em out (ouch!) and with the newly made Hero’s Journeys (here & here) weave an outline and keep secondary characters in check.

I get it. That’s a lot of work, but look at it this way, you’ll see that story you love so much from different views.

And your characters (with their Tags and Traits sheets, Hero’s Journeys) will be more real than before. Even your villains/antagonists/etc!

*I freaking love doing these hero things. It’s so exciting!

Comments welcomed and adored.

Poison Event at Book People

Hey, all!
So last Friday was the Book People event for Bridget Zinn’s Poison!
First off, I was half an hour early thinking I was already late. Ha! I must have looked so funny tearing my way through that cozy book store and intruding on some early signing.
(Am so sorry for the startle, staff!)
Then didn’t talk to anyone but sis. I’m always deluded into thinking I’m more outgoing in real life than I really am. -.-
So speakers ran: Bridget’s cousin, husband, three local authors (who read some of the book.)
As you all remember, this is yet another first for me! It was neat.
Okay, okay. Here are some salvagable pics:

Movie Night with author Trisha Wolfe

 You know who we love here at The Girl? Assuming I’m more than one person handling the blog? Teehee. The amazing Trisha Wolfe.

Today I have her for the super new, super cool Movie Night feature here! And Trisha’s latest, OF SILVER AND BEASTS is getting the Hollywood treatment. *winky face*

1.) Ok, first question: who’s playing who in the movie?

Wow. This is a hard one lol I mean, there are so many great actors/actresses, and because I rarely watch TV or movies anymore, I’m probably not even up to date on them. But, I guess, for my main characters in OF SILVER AND BEASTS, I’d have to say that Scarlett Johansson (with black hair) would do a wonderful job playing Kal. Her tough girl roles are always delivered beautifully and strong. Zack Efron is very close to how I picture Caben. And at least one of the other male contenders would have to be played by Sam Worthington—he’s just simply amazing. I picture Sam maybe playing Crew J For Kal’s best friend Lilly, Zooey Deschanel (OHMYGOSH, my girl crush. Good taste!) would be one of my top choices.

2. Who do you want to write the screenplay?
That’s pretty easy. I’m HUGE Joss Whedon fan. Like, the biggest. Joss writes some of the most amazing and strong female characters in the industry, and I would die of sheer happiness if that ever happened. (<3)

3. Have a director in mind?

Hmm I guess not really lol I don’t know enough about the movie industry to know who’s who. But I absolutely love LOVE the visuals and creations for both Pan’s Labyrinth and Hell Boy: The Golden Army. With OSAB having very dark and unique creatures and settings, it would be so awesome to see how Guillermo del Toro would interpret the book. Honestly, I think that would probably be the coolest thing ever.

4. Producer?

Not really sure. Again, I don’t pay attention, so I’d have to research it first. Maybe Del Toro also, since he produces as well.

5. Who HAS TO be on the soundtrack?

I’m a pretty big music fan, so my list here would be way long ha! But I’ll name off my top three:
Florence and the Machine—singing anything. I think they have the perfect sound for the soundtrack, but No Light, No Light is one of their songs I’d request to be in the movie.
Kittie—doing one of their older jams. With OSAB’s first setting being in Cavan—a queendom—I’d like to have a lot of female bands in the movie.
System of a Down—doing a cover of Black (Yeah, that will never happen, but a girl can dream)

6. What’s the line on the poster? (Not everyone thinks of this one but they should!)

Don’t Let the Madness Win.

7. This is all you.

Thanks so much for having me, Elyana! This was so much fun. You ask the best questions, and really made me think about how I picture the movie for OF SILVER AND BEASTS.  I’m in the perfect mind set to jump right into the sequel now. Thank you!
No way! Thank you!

You can add Of Silver and Beasts to your TBR here

Cover Reveal! Ten Days by Olivia Mayfield

Ten Days  by Olivia Mayfield
Publication date: May 2013 
Genre: New adult/YA crossover sci-fi romance


Seventeen-year-old Cally isn’t like the others. In her society, the Machine caters to every whim, ensuring people don’t have to leave their pods. But Cally and her best friend Marshal find themselves drawn to how things used to be, when people lived on the surface of the earth and relied upon manpower, not technology. When physical contact wasn’t uncivilized, and love was normal, acceptable, embraced. Cally tries to swallow down her increasing dissatisfaction with the “rules,” as well as her rapidly developing feelings for Marshal, a task getting harder each day.

Then, things start going downhill, fast. Food is spoiled. Air grows musty. The population panics about the dysfunction–is it sabotage? Anarchy? But Cally and Marshal discover the truth: The Machine, the answer to all their problems for longer than anyone can remember, is breaking down. Now, these two have to risk it all to save themselves and the people they care about…before their entire world destroys itself.



Olivia Mayfield has been an unabashed fan of romance since she was a young teen, secretly devouring her mom’s Harlequins. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing, as well as a Master’s degree in English, and lives with her family in Ohio. In her free time, she loves reading, shopping, wearing absurdly high-heeled boots, cheesecake, singing karaoke, and harassing her friends.


Well here it is! Isn’t it gorgeous? ^^

Small Announcement!

Yes! I’m doing it here too!

Come this Friday, at 7PM, there’ll be a celebration in Austin, Texas’ Book People for Bridget Zinn’s debut Poison.

If you’re part of the Austin YA area, we hope you’ll come!

For those of you who don’t know the talented Bridget Zinn passed shortly after selling Poison and isn’t here to celebrate it.

We hope to do her justice and spread the word for her!

Come join us. Deets:

Bridget’s site

Book People

Everything I Say

Can and will be used against me.

My feet are in need of kicking up. Not because I feel like a boss but because I have weird knees.

It’s relevent. I’ll tell you why.

A few months ago, I started getting questions from some social media peeps and some real world friends.

How do you use Twitter?

What’s a hashtag?

Why do authors/agents/etc acknowledge your existence?

In order my answers would be:

*laughs* I’m still learning. (Play with it.)

It’s the gift from above. It’s power. It’s a drug. (I have a problem. Send help.)

Um, it’s not a big deal.

The last question bothered me as it bothers me to talk about it now. People answer me because I talk to them, maybe because they want to talk back.

Those people up in the publishing ladder ARE people.

But lately, I realized why other Hopefuls ask me this. It isn’t because anyone higher than Hopeful is rude or exclusive. (Though they could be if they wanted.)

It’s the way Hopefuls interact with them.

Yeah, some of you might call me a kiss ass or maybe think I’m manipulative but my parents raised me with manners, told me not to pester people, and I usually don’t if I can help it.

I say things like ‘thank you,’ ‘please,’ and junk like that. I’m not somehow above Hopefuls. Not even close. I’m just on the side that acts decent.

I’m not pulling this shiz out of the air either.

Plenty of people will agree with me. How would you like it if an eager (or not eager) stranger pestered you, demanded more of you?

And it hurts more than it helps. Be the right kind of insistent. Learn the rules THEN break them.

Please. Hopefuls (and I am NOT an exception. Ask some of the agents of YA) come off looking petty, impatient, rude.

When you’re on ANY public place, when you release something that’s either on the Internet or could be put in it, you better make sure you can deal with the consequences.

Think that Oscar comment by that one “humor” site.

Think agents, editors, bloggers, readers TALK.

Imagine, for one second, a world where being a writer means you’re judged by, oh my gosh!, YOUR WORDS.

Be polite.

Be patient.

Always be professional.

Cursing, tweeting in your underpants, or saying you don’t like some popular book is all fair game. Bashing someone, demanding attention, asking your followers to hate someone makes you look like a child.

A petty, self-centered, tantrum-throwing child.

And no one wants to work with those.

Don’t throw your toys at people who know things or don’t get ignored. We don’t wail in public about a rejection or about a no answer. We’re not doing anything but handling it with grace. (Faked, forced, or otherwise.)

Everything you say, do, show other than in your house, alone, can and WILL (always will) be held against you.

We are always being watched. An agent, an editor, and an author will read this. Maybe more of each category.

This is the way the world works now.

And I’m willing to stand by what I just wrote. I know who I am, I try not to assume much, and it doesn’t mean I’m scared of consequences.

There are always those, even when I don’t hear/read them.

But I’ll say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and curse and do whatever I want anyway. Being polite doesn’t make you inauthentic. It makes it easier to connect to people.

Like future employers and such. *lifts eyebrows*

Learn the rules, learn the etiquette, you’ll still be you if you do it right.

Book Review! Forever, Interrupted

**Thanks for the ARC, P.S. Literary!**

When twenty-something Elsie and Ben elope after six months, they can’t imagine slowing down their intense love, but the ink isn’t dry on the marriage certificate when Ben dies.

This book. Just this book.

Story time! (Please don’t tell me you thought–just ssh.)

Back when the official summary was released, I went over and read it. As a writer of fantasy, the word ‘forever’ catches your eye wherever it’s used.

The summary? It made me cry.

I felt stupid, naturally but I quickly threw the book into my TBR. Even if I didn’t read adult and not much contemp.

And I wasn’t big on the whole girly friendship shiz either. I’m not some special snowflake on feeling iffy about reading some shallow girl recovery with some stupid alcoholic drinks and strippers.

I love Sex and the City but not everyone can write female friendships without making the women mindless tramps.

This book just–okay, so I saw the cover and we know me. We know how picky I am. We know how merciless I can be, slamming the art basics into people’s faces. (Okay, maybe I don’t do that, but still.)

This cover just…It’s perfect. Just adorable the way the title curls around the rings (one ring cracked if you look closely.)

It’s a soft blue with mustard gold rings.

Just pretty and wonderful.

More points for the book. But still, I was cautious. Books and movies and all sorts of artsy stuff can be hit and miss.

Especially me. I don’t know what it is but I will put a book down no matter how far I’m into it. One wrong word, one banana peel and I toss the book over my shoulder.

I really wanted to love this book. I wanted to read a good romance novel with a realistic happy ending. (Not to bash the romance peeps–because I have a ton of romances I love–what are the chances I fall in love with a twenty-something doctor billionaire who has land on the moon and a knack for the sack? Mm. I don’t do math well enough to know.)

So this could be the one. I’m not for romance-centered plots. I don’t always enjoy them and grieving I know. Tragedy and death and that stuff I write and watch and sometimes, as every human does, I experience.

Still, I waited. I checked out the author, the wonderful Taylor Jenkins Reid on Twitter. I looked at the release date of her debut a few times, thought of the publisher as if I could figure out what to expect.

I went back to regular life. UNTIL the amazing happened.

It’s one of those moments. Right place, right time. P.S. Literary offered to giveaway ARCs to the first five (or something close to that) tweeters who knew what date Forever came out and through which publisher.


I checked quickly, tweeted, and I was almost sure I was too late. Deflated, I reminded myself that come July (which was an eternity away) would come soon enough and my birthday was before that.

I could cash in the birthday for a brand new book. (BOOKS.)

But then P.S. was like, “GIVE ME YOUR INFO.” And I died. I screamed, I flailed, I reported in, I worried, I watched, I waited.

The day it came in, I realize I was terrified of losing this ARC. As if losing it would unravel this country.

Did I mention? First real world ARC!

I danced with my book, serenaded with it, spoke sweet things to it, then I cracked it open and cried down my shirt.

I hate to admit it, but it’s true. I cried so hard, so much in the first few chapters IN FRONT OF WINDOWS.

I’m sure the neighbors thought I was high. I’d be cackling one moment then crying “no” the next.

Reid has this amazing grip on readers. She controls when and what you feel but you’re never anything other than with Elsie.

And for those of you who haven’t lost anyone in any way (vampires,) this is exactly what happens when you lose someone.

Her storytelling is so intimate, so raw that if you have experienced grief, it almost feels like betrayal.

She gives away what goes through our heads, what we feel, how we act and the fact that as we grieve, we *know* what we’re doing.

I know, I know.

And I’m sure some of you want to step away from this intensity but I beg to differ. As a society, we fluff up grief in our entertainment so that when grief happens in real life, we don’t know how to handle it.

But death happens every day, to everyone. Not in the same day, but you get it.

And, as Forever, Interrupted reminds us, we survive.

I loved this book so much. I may have spammed everyone related to the book. (Sorry! I swear I’m the harmless kind of weird.)

The friendship was just so real and so…ugh. It’s crazy but I wanted the fluff. I could hear and feel what happened as if it was real life.

So awesome. I love the ending. I truly do.

This is Taylor Jenkins Reid’s first novel and I’m dying for her next. You will be too.

Out of five stars, I give her seven.

Forever, Interrupted comes out July 9, 2013 from Washington Square Press (Simon & Schuster.)

Visit the debut author on her site