Saturday, December 31, 2011

Writing Goals for the New Year

[ ] Put more excerpts of my books up on my blog.
[ ] Edit The Silenced early on in the year.
[ ] Publish The Silenced for the Kindle and Nook.
[ ] Write the next book in the series The Privileged.
[ ] Edit and publish the book for the Kindle and Nook.
[ ] Write the finally book of the series.
[ ] Think of another idea for a Young Adult novel.
[ ] Finish writing my Novella in January.
[ ] Edit and publish my Novella for the Kindle and Nook.
[ ] Write everyday this year without exceptions.
[ ] Get more followers on my blog.
[ ] Post more blog posts at least 2 to 3 a week.

I know it's a long list but I have never been more excited
and motivated to type posts, write books, and connect
with the writing world. Good luck to all the other authors
out there.

R.J. Ropsen

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top YA Books of 2011

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta 
Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon 
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick 
The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa 
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Indelible by Lani Woodland 
Heros til Curfew by Susan Bischoff 
Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
Divergent by Veronica Roth 
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand 
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins 
Inheritance by Christoper Paolioni 
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
The Iron Quill by Shelena Short 
Daimon by Jennifer L'Armentrout 
Delirium by Lauren Oliver 
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong 
Desires of the Dead by Kimberley Derting 
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia
The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore, James Frey, Jobie Hughes
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

What are your top book picks for 2011?

R.J. Ropsen

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top YA Book Covers of 2011


R.J. Ropsen

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mysterious Beauty

A vast woodland of giant greens
slowly sweetly pitter patter
drip, drip,
their wet soft markings tumble
towards a gentle terrains embrace
here they fall asleep for eternity
embracing their surroundings
with an echoing symphony


A grand explosion
of colorful delight explodes
boom, boom
goes blue orange yellow
celebrating an unorganized joy
colliding caressing and complete
they throw a mysterious sparkle
across an untamed wilderness


A glowing circular light
emits shadows into the darkness
swish, swish,
it glistens across golden strands
creating a beauty unseen and
untouched by nature
then finally the radiance crashes
changing its light to collide
softly with the land below


A golden sliver
emits a faint glow
splash, splash
the glass land reflects the sliver
into the sky and the ensuing
darkened forever
the only one knowing is the man
sitting quietly on his wooden perch
forever hoping that the world will stay

You are,

All those beautiful things to me like
the vast woodland of giant greens,
a grand explosion of delight,
the glowing circular beam,
and a golden sliver shining faint
you’re an unseen rare beauty
that masterpiece of amazement
that I can’t help but see
in the sun, the moon and the rain

R.J. Ropsen

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Favorites of Christmas

There are a lot of things to love about Christmas time.  Here
are some of my favorite things I enjoy during the holiday

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss
Even a grumpy Grinch can fine love in the holiday season.

A trip aboard a train where you are taken all the way to the
North Pole.

Short Video
The Spirit of Christmas
A magical story by Nancy Tillman made into a short video.

The Who Song
The song at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas
welcoming in the Christmas day.

Christmas Lights
There is something special about driving around at night
looking at the lights. 

Outdoor Activity
Ice Skating
Nothing says the holidays more then skating on an outdoor
rink on a cold winter day.

Hot Chocolate
After a cold day outside a nice hot cup of cocoa warms
you right up.

Fresh Pine Needles
A freshly cut tree standing in the living room brings on the
nicest smell of pine needles.

Christmas Book Tree
Why not make a Christmas tree from your favorite books?

Spending Time With Family
There is nothing more special during Christmas then spending
time with family and enjoying every moment of it.

What did you enjoy about the holiday season this year?

R.J. Ropsen

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Great Christmas Stories

The Magic of Christmas

   Christmas is a magical time of year lights dazzle the streets, stockings
hang by the fire, and warmth fills the air. There are many things about the
Christmas season that can be enjoyed too. The heat of hot chocolate
after a cold winter day, sitting by the fire letting the snow melt from your
clothes, and curling up in bed to read a great Christmas story. Christmas
stories can be just as magical as the Christmas season. Here are a few I
have enjoyed over the years. I hope you enjoy them too.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Synopsis: Take a ride aboard the polar express. There you will journey to
the North Pole.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Synopsis: Meet the Grinch a person who hates Christmas and tries to steal
it from Whoville.

The Carpenter's Gift by David Rubel
Synopsis: Join Henry and his father during the depression as they try to sell
Christmas trees in Manhattan.

The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett
Synopsis: Teeka tries to train reindeers for Santa's upcoming flight but finds
there antlers tangled. Everything is going wrong. Can Teeka get the reindeer
ready in time?

The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman
Synopsis: The Spirit of Christmas comes like always that year. There were
lights outside, tinsel on trees, and ornaments hanging but something was
still missing. What could it be?

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Synopsis: Peter wakes up one day to find snow outside. He quickly puts on
his  snowsuit and wanders out to enjoy everything about the new fallen snow.

Rocking Horse Christmas by Mary Pope Osborne
Synopsis: A rocking horse is discovered under the Christmas tree. A little
boy hops on and goes on magical adventures. Soon he forgets about the
horse and it gallantly waits for a new owner up in the attic.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by  Susan Wojciechowski
Synopsis: Jonathan Toomey, a great woodcarver, is alone for the holidays.
He had lost his family along time ago. This Christmas a boy and his mother
have a special request for the carver. Can they help bring joy back to his life?

A Christmas Carol (picture book) by Charles Dickens
Synopsis: Four ghosts visit a grumpy old man in hopes that he can discover
the true meaning of Christmas.

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner 
Synopsis: Have your ever wondered what snowmen do at night? So did one
young child and he might have been right.

Just like these wonderful stories I hope you too have a magical Christmas!

R.J. Ropsen

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In My Diary(2)

Two Month Story

   It is hard to imagine I have only been doing this a little less then
two months now. When I was younger I wrote occasionally but
never as much as I have now. I started my first novel called, The 
Silenced, and finished writing it. Now all I have to do is wait for
it to be edited. Hopefully I will be able to publish it as an eBook
no later then  February. The prologue of, The Silenced, is on my
blog under the tab with the same name. It is in third person while
the rest of my story is in first person. You can check it out if you
are interested.

   Last week I started a new writing project. I had a different idea
for a story and have decided it will be a novella. That means I am
going to take a little break from writing the next two books after, 
The Silenced, which will be in the Egret trilogy. The novella is an
entirely different project for me. The story is not in the young adult
genre that I prefer. Instead it is an autobiography and I have
started writing it already. So far I am enjoying it.

   Two months ago I decided I wanted to be an author and have
written more then I ever have. I really enjoy everything about it so
far too! Hopefully others will enjoy my writing enough that I can
make more of a career out of it. For now I will work and write
and work and write because every new word means I  may be
closer to my goal. I know it won't be easy but I am in it for the
long haul.

R.J. Ropsen

Saturday, December 10, 2011

EBook Formatting

   I recently was helping a friend format an ebook. I have never done
this before, and used the internet as a major resource.While searching
the web I came across an amazing website! Step by step, the website
went through how to format an eBook for the kindle and nook. For
people who are visual learners like me, there were three videos that
showed the process. Better yet, all of the tools they suggested for
formatting the eBook were free!

   Using the website I was able to format the ebook in a little under
eight hours which I didn't think was that bad since I was learning how
to do it; I even added pictures and links to the book. Now with the help
of the website I am confident I could format an eBook in a couple of

   A few days ago, I put the eBook I formatted up on the kindle. Once
I put it on amazon, it published the eBook within 10 hours without any
 publishing issues.  Here is the book I formatted, Walk On. Check out
the formatting by "looking inside" to see if you like that type of formatting.
(Page breaks aren't shown in the preview)

   Why pay someone to format your eBook, or submit it to a site that
takes some of the profit when you can do it yourself! Look at this
website, and try formatting your eBook today!

 R.J. Ropsen

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Inspirational Quotes for Writers

    Sometimes writers find it hard to write. Or other times they feel a little
defeated. Here are a few motivational quotes that I enjoyed. Maybe they
can help you pick up the pen and scratch away again.
"Easy reading is damn hard writing."
-Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the 
only secret."
-Matthew Arnold

"Wake the happy words." 
-Theodore Roethke

"It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, 
but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous." 
- Robert Charles Benchley

"Writing is rewriting... If you fall in love with the vision you want of 
your work and not your words, the rewriting will become easier." 
- Nora DeLoach 

"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we 
are unable to say."  
-Anaïs Nin

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written 
yet, then you must write it."  
-Toni Morrison

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." 
-William Wordsworth

"Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the 
fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon."
-E.L. Doctorow

"Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new 
-Baltasar Gracian

"Becoming the reader is the essence of becoming a writer."
-John O'Hara

"Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to 
get to work in the morning:  I wanted to know what I was going to say. " 
-Sharon O'Brien

"Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your 
editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be."  
-Mark Twain

 "Take chances. You will succeed if you are fearless of failure." 
-Natalie Goldberg  

"If you wish to be a writer, write."

"Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow that talent to 
the dark place where it leads." 
Erica Jong  

"I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter."  
-James Michener

“Until you're ready to look foolish, you'll never have the possibility of 
being great.”
- Cher

"This is for writers yet to be published who think the uphill climb will 
never end. Keep believing. This is also for published writers grown 
jaded by the process. Remember how lucky you are."
- Terry Brooks

"When asked, 'How do you write?'I invariably answer, 'one word 
at a time.'”
- Stephen King

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
- Agatha Christie

R.J. Ropsen

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Challenged Books

   Throughout the years there have been many Young Adult books
that are challenged. If a person or group does not agree with the
viewpoints of a certain book they may challenge the book in question.
They may go to libraries or local schools advocating for the books
removal and access to the public .
   I believe that authors have the freedom to write about anything
while readers have the choice to read any book they want. ALA has
two lists of books that people most frequently challenge, one from
1990-1999 and one from 2000-2009. Some of these books I have
read and really enjoyed. Which ones have you read?

Challenged books I have read:
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Goosebumps (series) by R.L. Stine
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
His Dark Materials (series) by Philip Pullman
Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss

My score:
1990-1999= 13/100
2000-2009= 15/100 28/200

Score Scale
1-10 Challenged Book scaredy cat.
11-40 Getting braver.
41-70 You eat them for breakfast.
71-90 Nerves of steal...
91-100 The ironman/ woman of Challenged Books!

Check out the lists to find out where you rank.
1990-1999 Challenged Book List
2000-2009 Challenged Book List

R.J. Ropsen

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Update on Novel Part 3

After another two weeks of writing:
  (last update was on Nov. 14th)
[x] Wrote 60 more pages in these few weeks.
[x] Put up an excerpt of, The Silenced, on my blog.
[x] Finished my novel and it isn't the end of November.
[x] It is 37,720 words, 187 pages, & 19 chapters long so far.
[x] Was able to finish with all the other NanoWrimo Writers.
[x] Posted several other blog posts these past two weeks.
[x] Outlined the first 3 chapters of the next book in the series.
[x] Continually think of new things to write about.
[x] Try to write everyday and push myself to get better.

Future Goals:
[ ] Send novel out to two different editors.
[ ] Get a beta reader to read The Silenced.
[ ] Put up an excerpt of  the 1st chapter.

Wish me luck!

R.J. Ropsen

Monday, November 28, 2011

In My Diary(1)

Confessions of a Writer   

   My love for writing came from my passion for reading. I grew
up in a small town in the middle of nowhere and there wasn't
much to do. Once I discovered I could ride my bike wherever I
wanted I had all the freedom in the world. I used this freedom to
go to the library at least once a week. I rode my squeaky blue
bike down the sidewalks until 15 minutes later I made it to the
library. It was my favorite thing to do especially during summer
vacation when the days would drag on slowly.
   I would search the young adult section of the library for hours
trying to find the next great book. Living in a small town has its
disadvantages. The section for young adults in my hometown
library was tiny and confined to the back corner. There wasn't
much to chose from but I always found something worth reading.
There were some advantages too. Living in a small town meant
that there weren't many people at the library. I usually had the
section all to myself and would be left alone for hours.
   My favorite thing to find was great series. That way I had quiet
a few books to read for a long time. I would scour the section
for hours reading excerpts and beginning chapters of books. It
wasn't an easy task finding a great book. Once I found a stack
of them I would carry the heavy load up to the check out desk.
With a bag in hand I hopped back on my bike and rode to my
house trying to stay balanced from the weight of the books. My
bike squeaking as it went.
   Finally making my way home I would snuggle into a spot on the
couch and read for hours devouring book after book. Sometimes
I read so quickly that I went back to the library only after a few
days. I was hooked and couldn't stop reading. The greats like
R.L. Stine and AVI were all I needed.

What are your earliest memories of reading?
Why are you hooked on YA fiction?

R.J. Ropsen

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Kindle for Your PC

   Have you always wanted to read e-books but do not have
an e-book reader? Well, you are in luck. Amazon has a
free Kindle app for your PC.
   I found two great free apps that Amazon has created for
use on the PC. It works best for Vista, XP, or Windows 7.
You also need to have an Amazon account to run the app
because is syncs with your account. But this is free and easy
to get. It also allows save all of your e-books on your account
so they can be viewed on different platforms.

Cloud Reader
   This app allows you to download e-books to view through
an internet browser. It works really well and gives you a
great reading experience. Similar to reading a PDF on your
computer but with better features. I would give this app a 5/5.

Find it here: Cloud Reader

Kindle for PC
   I download this app from Amazon right onto my computer.
It has a few more features then the above app like adding a
list of collections.
   However, I didn't like this app as much. There were problems
with it when I was using it. One big problem was that some
downloaded e-books couldn't be opened while others could. I
didn't have this problem when using the Cloud Reader. I would
give this app a 3/5.

Find it here: Kindle for PC
How to use it: User Manual

Give it a try.

Download the apps!
Then check out my list of free YA fantasy e-books.

R.J. Ropsen

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The ABC's of YA Literature

*every letter is linked to a great website

A is for our favorite Authors'.
B is for Book based movies.
C is for "Couldn't stop reading".
D is for Don't limit yourself to one genre.
E is for books for Everyone to Enjoy.
F is for Finishing a book in a day.
G is for Goodreads.
H is for Heros and Heroines.
I is for Imagining the Impossible.
J is for Jotting down your thoughts.
K is for Killer book endings.
L is for Lists, Lists, and more Lists.
M is for My list of great book trailers.
N is for YA Newsletters.
O is for books On cd.
P is for Popular books in YA lit.
Q is for a Quest for readers.
R is for great websites for Readers.
S is for the greatest Series.
T is for Teen literature day.
U is for Upcoming YA book based movies.
V is for the Vampires we love.
W is for Werewolves, Witches and Wizards, oh my.
X is for Xtra content.
Y is for YA book lists.
Z is for Zooming through YA Fiction.

R.J. Ropsen

Friday, November 18, 2011

What Celebrities Would You Choose to Play Your
Favorite Book Characters?

   Movie directors are always trying to find the next great box
office hit. With Breaking Dawn, Harry Potter, and the Hunger
Games, as of late, lots of YA book based movies are hitting this
industry's market.
   But have you ever watched a movie and thought that the actor
or actress didn't fit the character from the book?
    Well, I wanted to try my hand at being a movie director and
decided on actors and actresses to play characters in some of
my favorite books. Here it goes.

Casting Call:
     Stargirl: AnnaSophia Robb

The Giver
      Jonas: Dylan Minnette
  Gathering Blue
      Kira: Ivana Baquero
      Matty: Sterling Beaumon

      Leader: Christian Bale

Ender's Game
Jaden Smith

Last Book in the Universe
       Spaz: Jake Cherry

House of the Scorpions
       Matteo:  Dev Patel

Artemis Fowl
       Artemis: William Moseley

Among the Hidden
       Luke: Max Records

       Claudia: Saoirse Ronan
       Finn: Chris Massoglia

The Warrior Heir
      Jack: Daren Kagasoff

Subtle Knife
      Lyra: Elle Fanning
      Will: Jonah Bobo

The Little Prince 
       The Narrator: Jude Law
       Little Prince: Charlie Tahan

A Wrinkle in Time
        Meg: Emma Roberts
        Calvin: Nathan Kress
        Charles Wallace: Max Page

        Palmer: Asa Butterfield

R.J. Ropsen

Thursday, November 17, 2011

40 Things Readers Should Do Before They Die

A Bucket List For Readers:

1) Throw a book party with your favorite books.
2) Write your own book and publish it.
3) Participate in NanoWrimo during November.
4) Read a book in a foreign language.
5) Write a letter to your favorite author and send it.
6) Meet your favorite author in person more than once.
7) Become a book reviewer and start your own blog.
8) Read a book way outside your comfort zone.
9) Spend a whole day reading and finishing a novel.
10) Visit a real country/place from a story you love.
11) Pretend you are a character from a novel for a day.
12) Tell an author how much you love their work.
13) Leave a book in a public place for someone to read.
14) Write the name/author of a fav. book in a bathroom stall.
15) Have a movie marathon with book based movies.
16) Go to the premiere of your favorite book based movie.
17) Write a letter to your favorite character.
18) Do a reading marathon; read out loud  for 24 hours.
19) First do a reading 1/2 marathon; read out loud for 12 hours.
20) Listen to a book on cd. Why not? They are great.
21) Read a banned book from the banned book list.
22) Share your love for reading with anyone who will listen.
23) Join a reading club or book blog.
24) Create a list of best books you ever read.
25) Get a book related tattoo (for the brave ones).
26) Try to collect all the award winning books.
27) Read an indie novel. Tell the author how much you loved it!
28) Get signatures from your favorite authors.
29) Get a book before it has official been released.
30) Borrow a book from a fellow reader.
31) Collect all the books in your favorite series.
32) Read all the books from your favorite author.
33) Read at least one book from a new author each year.
34) Have a reading related New Years resolution.
35) Stand up to a book bully by defending a book you love.
36) Have more reading friends on tweeter then other friends.
37) Start a YA Book List.
38) Get on the news for a reading related event.
39) Start your own reading related event.
40) Do all the things on this list.

What are the things that made your bucket list?

R.J. Ropsen

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

YouTube YA Book Reviewers

    YouTube book reviewers share their reviews of YA literature through
uploaded videos. Watching their channel is a great way to expose yourself
to different books in the YA world. Here are a few good ones I found when
searching YouTube. I hope this helps you find other great books to read.

1) Chapter Chicks, are two chicks who review YA books.  Each review
shows book title, authors name, publisher, and page count. You will easily
be able to find their reviewed books.

2) The Story Siren, talks about YA books that she has bought or received
to review. She features many great books each week and the channel
directly links to her blog. There she reviews the books she received.

3) Ivng Books, reviews books and does in my mailbox on her channel.
This is a great way to see a lot of YA fiction! She lists all the books she
mentioned in the details of her videos. It makes it easy to find them too.

4) Ya Fiction Freaks, does library hauls and bookshelf tours which
provides great exposure to YA literature. I also like her kid corner
where a kid reviews books!

5) Five Awesome YA Fans, is a great channel. It features five YA fans
who review books. Each reviewer has their own day of the week to
review. There are lots of videos on their channel.

6) i Eat Words Channel, has tons of reviews on her channel. My favorite
videos are her monthly favorites. In these video she talks about the books
she loved reading and tells why.

7) We Read Books, are 10 reviewers that happen to review YA books.
They have their own genres they like to read. This allows you to see
many different books written for YA's.

Check them out!

R.J. Ropsen

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

YA Book List Added

Attention: YA Book Bloggers/ Reviewers
and YA Readers.

  I added a new page to my site entitled YA Book List.
I want it to be a way for readers to share great books
they have read. The list will be compiled under the YA
Book List section in my blog.
   If you are a reviewer then you can share some great
books too and also a link to your review of them. That
way I can link the books you choose back to your
   The books can be of any genre as long as they are YA.
Lets get it started by creating our very own list of great
YA books! Check it out!

R.J. Ropsen

Monday, November 14, 2011

Update on Novel Part 2

After another two weeks of writing:
  (last update was on Oct. 25th)
[x] Decided on the title of my novel will call it The Silenced.
[x] Put up info. and summary of The Silenced on my blog.
[x] Now changed my mind deciding this will be the 1st book.
[x] On the 126th page of a goal of 200 pages. (may be longer)
[x] On the 32,290 of 50,000 words, 65 % done. (may be longer)
[x] Finished writing the 12th Chapter last night started on the 13th.
[x] Have been able to write over 1,000 words a day.
[x] Most productive day I have written over 3,000 words.
[x] Push myself ever day to write & have enjoyed the process. 

Future Goals:
[ ] Try to finish novel by end of November.
[ ] Send it off to editing after it is complete.
[ ] Put up an excerpt of The Silenced on blog.

Wish me luck!

R.J. Ropsen

Sunday, November 13, 2011

YA Upcoming Movies

   One of the most anticipated  YA fantasy movies, The Hunger Games, is set to
be released in 2012. With the debut of its full length trailer, November 14th, on
Good Morning America. The YA world is abuzz about Katniss Everdeen and
the rest of her cast in The Hunger Games. Lets not forget about Peeta and Gale
too. Here is a list of other movies I am looking forward to watching and all of
them are based on books!

2011 Releases:
Breaking Dawn (movie)
Hugo (movie)
Adventures of Tintin (movie)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (movie)
Paranormalcy (movie)

2012 Releases:
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (movie)
The Hobbit (movie)
The Hunger Games (movie)
The Mortal Instruments (movie)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (movie)
Shiver (movie)

2013 Releases:
A Wrinkle in Time (movie)
The Seventh Son (movie)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: 
The Sea of Monsters (movie)
Incarceron (movie)
The Maze Runner (movie)

Unknown Release Dates:
Airborn (movie)
Septimus Heap: Magyk (movie)
Wake (movie)
The Subtle Knife (movie)
The Secrets of the Immortal 
Nicholas Flamel (movie)

What movies are you looking forward to?

R.J. Ropsen

Saturday, November 12, 2011

YA Free E-Books

*(free at the time of posting)
   Here are a few free E-Books I found on amazon. Haven't read them yet but
thought they looked really good. I based my list below on appeal of title page,
interesting synopsis, number of good reviews, high rating, and readability.

The Golden Acorn by Catherine Cooper
Jenny Pox by JL Bryan
Grey Eyes by B. Alston and Q. Ramey
Lux 1.1 Seeds by Jalex Hansen
Glimpse by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Anathema by Megg Jensen
Regression by Kathy Bell
Shadow of the Sun by Laura Kreitzer
Death Whispers by Tamara Rose Blodgett
The Amulet by Alison Pensy
Shatter by Elizabeth C. Mock
Starfire Angels by Melanie Nilles
Diary of a Vampeen by Christin Lovell
Eternal Eden by Nicole Williams

R.J. Ropsen  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Great Websites for Readers

   Are you always looking for the next best book? Well there is good news. The internet has lots of websites that can help you.  With the help of these websites below you can find awesome books and reviews.

1) Goodreads, is an online community of readers. Here you can find reviews or you can rate books, monitor reading progress, and review your read books.

 2) Librarything, another great online reading community where you can catalog all the books you have read and even create different groups like books you own, lent out, or would like to read.

3) Indiebound, is a great resource for finding books that are not mainstream. Featuring Indie next list, Indie bestsellers, and Indie community.

4) YAbookcentral, has a huge database of young adult books that are reviewed and rated. The books on the website are organized into latest fiction added, latest non fiction added, top reader rated,  most reviewed books, hottest books, advanced search, and an a-z index.

5) Youtube, believe it or not is a great tool for readers. You can search a title of a book and author finding  their book trailers. There are also a lot of great book reviewers on Youtube and can subscribe to their channel.

6) Teenreads, features books for young adults. The site has reviews, authors news, interviews, and contests.

7) Cybils, is a site for literary awards. Every year it features finalists and winners in many different categories including  fantasy and sci fi, graphic novels, and nonfiction. It also has an archive of past winners and finalists going back to 2006.

8) Yalsa, a young adult lit service and a division of ALA. You can find young adult award winning books and booklists.

9) Sparknotes, is great way to remember details about a book you read months or even years ago. This site gives you detailed summaries on each chapter. Or can be used to find out what a book is about by reading a quick overview.

What are some of your favorite sites?

R.J. Ropsen

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book or Movie?

Favorite Movies Based on Books

   Book-to-movie adaptations are popular in the movie industry. Some, like
the Harry Potter series, have become million dollar sensations. The  newest
movie, The Dealthy Hallows Part 2, brought in around $250 million dollars
   In light of the new movie from the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn,
hitting theaters, November 18th. Here are some book-to-movie adaptations
that made my list.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (original) (book/movie)
A Series of Unfortunate Events (book/movie)
The Secret Life of Bees (book/movie)
The Lightning Thief (book/movie)
The Golden Compass (book/movie)
City of Ember (book/movie)
Water for Elephants (book/movie)
Horton Hears a Who (book/movie)
Bridge to Terabithia (book/movie)
Flipped (book/movie)
Angela's Ashes (book/movie)
The Secret Garden (book/movie)
How to Train Your Dragon (book/movie)
The Da Vinci Code (book/movie)
Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of NIMH (book/movie)

Sneak Peek:
50 upcoming movies based on books.

What movies made your list?

R.J. Ropsen

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

YA Fantasy Book Trailers

11 Great Book Trailers

   Book trailers are a good way for authors to get readers interested in their books.
While searching the internet I came across several trailers; some were good but
others were not as spectacular. Here are eleven book trailers I found that made
me want to start reading. Most of them are for YA fantasy novels. You can find
the trailers below in no particular order.

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater 
I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
iBoy by Kevin Brooks 
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 
Maze Runner by James Dashner
Wicked Lovely by Marissa Marr
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

Are you hooked yet?

R.J. Ropsen

Monday, October 31, 2011

First Review

First review is up on my blog under reviews. Check it out.

P.S. I am always looking for new Young Adult Fantasy books
to read. If you have any suggestions let me know.  I will post
a review once I am done reading.

R.J. Ropsen

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Update on Novel

After two weeks of writing:

[x] Finished my 1st draft last week; 80 pages & 18,000 words.
[x] Got all my ideas down for my novel in my 1st draft.
[x] Started my 2nd draft focusing on tone and word choice.
[x] Wrote 33 pages in 2nd draft, around 8,000 words.
[x] Fixed my prologue so it flows better and is more exciting.
[x] Finished writing 3 chapters working on 4th chapter.
[x] Read sections of my novel out loud making sure it flows well.
[x] Finally picked title for my novel.
[x] Realized this book will be the 2nd in a series.

To do list tonight:

[ ] Try to complete the next chapter of my novel!

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 24, 2011

10 Fantasy Books I've Enjoyed Reading

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Bartimeaus Trilogy  by Jonathan Stroud

The Giver Series by Lois Lowry

Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L' Engle

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Artemis Fowl by Eoin  Colfer

R.J. Ropsen

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What works for me as a writer?

Here are a five things I have discovered work for me as a writer.

1. Having a netbook.
  My netbook allows me to write anywhere, and I take it everywhere. I got a used netbook for around $150, and I have been using it a lot. Now I can write in the car, at a park, or even at a restaurant that has free Wi-Fi.

2. Writing my first draft as quick as possible.
  After the first 30 pages of my first draft I was having a hard time thinking of what was going to happen next. I was too worried about how my writing was sounding and could not come up with any ideas. So instead, I decided to write without correcting anything, and as fast as I could. This helped me with my ideas and I was able to  finish my first draft in a week. Now I can go back and work on the tone of my novel.

3. Finding the best time to work.
  I have found that 11pm to about 4am works best for me. This is when everyone else is in bed, so I have no interruptions. Without distractions I am able to write considerably better.

4. Reading books in the same point of view as my story.
  I got a few books from the Library that I really enjoyed reading, which are in the same point of view as my story. When I looked at the novels again, this time I studied them as a writer. What did I like in there writing? What worked well for them? This made it more clear what I was lacking in my own novel.

5. Reading my novel out loud when I am writing.
  Now I am working on my second draft, and am trying to develop a good tone and flow. I tend to write a couple of paragraphs and then read them out loud. This helps me see what flows well and what does not. Reading aloud also allows me to edit my work better. Because I am reading slower I can see the errors in my writing.

R.J. Ropsen

Friday, October 21, 2011

First Drafts

  Here is something I found entitled, "How Good Is Your First Draft?".  I thought it had a good take on first drafts so decided to post it. Check it out.

R.J. Ropsen

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Beginning

  Over the years I have read countless stories and have developed a passion for reading. I have enjoyed books by Lois Lowry, Orson Scott Card, Jonathan Stroud, J.K. Rowling and many other  authors. These books have brought joy to my life, submersing me in worlds I could hardly even imagine.

 One day I decided that I wanted to create a book that allowed others to enjoy themselves as much as I had. This idea started at a young age. When I was a child and the teachers asked us what you wanted to be when you grew up; I wanted to be a writer. Now I am taking a chance and am starting my very first novel.

  I hope that you will join me as I begin my journey. I will continue to post along the way, as I will surely continue to write.

R.J. Ropsen