On an earth where the spirit world and human world not only comingle but know each other’s deepest secrets, Ewan Trace is an ordinary college senior at a prestigious film school: obsessed with old movies, secretly in love with his best friend Sophie, and looking to forge a career as a writer. Oh—and he also can never go out because his über-agent father and mother are always away and he has to stay home and care for his little sister. But it’s all normal to him…until he finally meets his spirit protector, Zac, and that Terra, the girl he just spent the night with, might be someone far more sinister than she appears.
Now Ewan and Zac are on the trail of a mystery that takes a left turn along the way, diving deep into a conflict between humans and spirits that just may be worse than what they thought was their worst nightmare. And as hearts are broken and people die, the two find themselves strapped to a rocket-propelled adventure far more unbelievable than anything Hollywood could ever imagine.
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Carlyn Greenwald is a writer, student, and decently sized superhero, mystery, and animation nerd. She definitely writes for the YA/NA markets, but her genres of choice include contemporary, urban fantasy, science fiction, crime, romance and mystery. Anything that has at least one murder, a nice-looking guy, and some witty banter will do. She lives in Los Angeles with her dogs, cat, and family.
A Day in the Life of Carlyn Greenwald
I’m a student, so there’s a sad amount of my day that involves school, but I’d say I make it a bit more interesting than most seniors in high school.
Let’s take, oh, say, last Tuesday.
Immediately upon waking up, I turn on my computer for ten minutes or so to check my email and Facebook, just to see if there’s any communications from anything in book world (comments on my blog, emails about Effectuation, or responses to a couple threads I follow on Absolutewrite.com), and go through the basic pre-school routine. I’ll usually have a scene running through my head. Since I’m currently working on a mystery series, those characters have their dialogue and scenes running through my head. During that time in the morning, there’s usually nothing creative about it—it may be a scene I’ve already written or have fully planned out in my head, that I plan to write soon. That day, I was focused in on a scene in my latest work, the story of 16-year-old boy who becomes an intern for a Sherlock Holmes-like exotic beauty of a detective. But, the book is part of cycle that focuses both on the current novel’s detective and a detective from a book I had previously finished, Nick, so I was running through the scene in which the intern discovers Nick in a Jackass-esque viral cop cam video.
My first class of that day (the schedule shifts classes each day) was AP Spanish, so I tried to focus pretty hard, so no time for the cop cam scene (plus, I can’t translate everything into Spanish and thinking and speaking in two languages is awful). From there, I moved onto AP Literature, where my brain had the chance to loosen up a bit. We were studying the omnipresent sexual undertones in poetry, that day’s treat being Marvell’s ‘To His Coy Mistress,’ otherwise known as another dude using crazy manipulation tactics to bag some girl. The idea of all this sexual innuendo in classic poetry remained an amusing idea in my head, and I made a mental note to use either a reference to romantic/modernist/metaphysical poets in the current novel.
After Lit, I actually have an independent forensic science/writing study with two of my teachers, one of which is my AP Lit teacher. So, as we do every other week, we headed into an empty classroom and went over the last 6-chapter chunk of my current novel. We were trying out different methods of feedback, and that week, I was told to have us discuss what was on my mind, so I brought up the cop cam scene. After sharing a few laughs, we had this very constructive conversation about how to adjust the scene to better reflect character consistency and realism, something I can always use a wake up call about. Hah, we ended up talking so long about the section that we didn’t even have time to go over the Poe short story I had painstakingly printed out in red ink (my printer was out of black, I wasn’t trying to be cute, I swear).
After lunch, I had a free period (otherwise known as the biggest blessing in a senior’s life), so I revised the scenes my teacher and I discussed in my current manuscript. Once those changes were put in, I simply continued writing for the rest of the period. In my last class, psychology, we studied classical conditioning, and I paid attention with my thoughts focused on how exactly my last phobia-afflicted character became conditioned to fear his object of fear. After grabbing my stuff, I turned up my car’s radio and got myself back into my last brief moment of living inside my fictional world before I had to focus on my homework. For that particular drive home, I tried to smoothen out the revised cop cam scene, and throw around a few ideas to keep this slightly tweaked version of Nick’s character in other scenes I’d eventually have to write.
After checking my email a few more times, I worked straight through from about 4:00 to 6:00 pm finishing up my homework, and dedicated what time I didn’t spend on evening rituals on writing. Depending on the night, I’ll either read over and line edit another previously finished book (like book one of the cycle I was working on), or actually write, depending on how tired I was. That night, I wrote some more, the days I meet with my teacher usually sparking the inspiration in me. After some swift maneuvering to avoid over-studying for the SAT, I jumped into bed to read. That week, I was working through Stephen King’s Carrie, so I weighed one of the Barnes & Noble leatherbound Stephen King collections on my lap before getting to bed. Overall, I’d say I managed to write somewhere between 1,000-1,500 words, which, on a school day, isn’t too shabby.