Left Coast Crime Writer's Workshop

Last Friday was the Left Coast Crime Writer's Workshop and it was a great way to reinforce some of the things I'd learned from Alexandra Sokoloff's book, as well as to get some new information on ebooks from Elle Lothlorien.

Elle Lothlorien
's presentation on ebooks was eye-opening. Some great information on her publishing journey and things that worked (plus things that didn't). Her general advice was to get your book looking as professional as possible if you go the self-published ebook route, and a cool resource for that is CrowdSpring. You can set the fee you're able to pay, upload your book description, and have artists submit their interpretation of cover art. You can turn them all down if nothing captures your interest, but it's pretty incredible to see the wide variety of interpretations.

I won't rehash Alex's workshop since I've already blogged about her book, but as homework she asked us to list the top 10 movies and books that compare to our stories. My list for Crow's Rest was:

Starman (just watched the original trailer for this on Netflix and nearly fell out of my chair laughing, but I stand by it as an example and best parallel for my story)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer series (not a movie, I know)
Harry Potter books and movies (for their allies disguised as villains, and vice versa)
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (for its depiction of faeries as not-so-nice creatures)
Tenth Kingdom (for its fractured fairy tale feel, and the family dynamics)
The Usual Suspects (for characters that aren't what they seem)
Hot Fuzz (same reason as above, as well as an irreverent attitude)
Ella Enchanted book and movie (she doesn't have any powers of her own, but is able to hold her own among those that do)
Shrek movies (fractured fairy tale and irreverence combined, plus my MC can be kind of crude and rude on occasion)
How to Train Your Dragon (for some of its family dynamics, and the obvious hero's journey)

What about you? Have you ever put some thought into which books and movies inspire your story, and why?

(Photo, from left to right: me with a usual goofy expression, Danna Wilberg, Alex Sokoloff, and Nancy Herman)


Susan Oloier said...

I used one of Alexandra's books to plot out my most recent manuscript. I find her tips to be absolutely amazing!

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