Archive for September, 2011

Young adult fiction. Those are three of the hottest words in the publication world especially given the box office successes stemming from the Twilight Saga novels and the Harry Potter juggernaut as well as the worlds of The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars that have been turned into TV gold.

In what I hope will become a regular feature here at Rueben’s Ramblings, I will shine a well-deserved spotlight not only on well-established writers but exciting up-and-coming novelists in the world of young adult fiction and delve into the interesting worlds for which they have created.

Stacey Kade

Entering into this wonderful world of young adult fiction is author Stacey Kade, an award-winning corporate copywriter, who has written about everything from backhoe loaders to breast pumps; but now she has turned her writing toward a more interesting subject: ghosts

Her current series consists of the books The Ghost and the Goth and Queen of the Dead (both available through Hyperion Books). But, why don’t we find out what Stacey has to say about her career and how she became a young adult novelist in her own words:

Question: What inspired you to write your books?

Stacey: I guess I write the stories I want to read. I love young adult novels, and I was intrigued by the idea of a romance between people who are total opposites, in every way, including life/death status.

Question: How long was the story in development and how long did it take you to write each book?

Stacey: I don’t outline in any kind of formal way, but it takes me about a month or so to kind of wrap my head around the characters and the story and where it’s going. I need to know the end before I can start. Each one took between three and four months to write.

Question: What inspired you to become a writer? Did you always know or did the interest come at a later time in your life?

Stacey: I’ve always been interested in storytelling (but) it took me awhile to realize that it was something I could try in book form, though. I didn’t seriously start trying to write a book until after I graduated from college.

Question: What was the most difficult scene to write in either book?

Stacey: Oh, I think the end of Queen of the Dead was tough. It was emotionally difficult for the characters (and for me) and just a tricky scene to manage for a lot of different reasons. I can’t explain too much more without spoilers!

The Ghost and the Goth

Question: Can you please provide a general premise for each book?

Stacey: The overall premise of the series revolves around two characters: Alona Dare and Will Killian. Alona Dare is part of the popular crowd, the girl everyone wants to be: Captain of the cheerleading squad, Homecoming Queen, and kind of a mean girl. And then she dies in a rather abrupt fashion–death by school bus. So, now she’s a ghost, trying to figure out why she’s still here instead of moving on to the light.

Will Killian is a ghost-talker, someone who can see, hear and touch ghosts, and it makes his life miserable. He’s a social outcast, the school weirdo. He’s just trying to make it through high school without being kicked out or locked away in a mental institution because everyone thinks he’s crazy.

The first book, The Ghost and the Goth, is about Alona discovering that she is, indeed, a ghost and she’s stuck in a place in between the living and the dead. Will is just trying to get by. His principal is out to get him, and his psychiatrist thinks he should be locked up. The last thing he needs is another ghost–particularly a very persistent one–pestering him. But Alona is in danger of disappearing for good, and he’s the only one who can help.

So the two of them, with all their bickering and name-calling, have to figure out a way to work together.

In the second book, Queen of the Dead, Will and Alona have figured out how to work together and they’re both struggling a little with feeling more for each other than they should. Then a new ghost-talker, Mina, shows up on the scene, claiming to have more information about Will’s dad, who died years before. Alona doesn’t trust her, but Will is intrigued. And Alona has her own problems with her still living family–they’re moving on with their lives without her. All of this sets Will and Alona more at odds with each other than ever. And when they’re not working well together…well, it causes all kinds of problems, some of which cannot be easily remedied.

Question: Do you have a favorite character?

Stacey: That’s like asking me to pick a favorite child, but I will say that, in terms of writing, Alona is a lot of fun because she has a very distinct voice and she doesn’t hold back. And as a writer, sometimes it’s fun to really let loose!

Question: Will you be writing more books in the series?

Stacey: One more book in this series, and then I have a new series starting in 2013 with The Rules. It’s about a girl who was raised as a genetic experiment hiding from her creators under the guise of being a “normal” sixteen-year-old, and the boy who tempts her to break the rules that confine her existence and keep her safe.

Question: If a movie were adapted from the book, which actors/actresses would you like to see play the primary characters?

Stacey: The models on the cover are pretty much exactly how I pictured Will and Alona, so I’d love for that to be the case with a movie as well. Readers have suggested actors for Will (Landon Liboiron from Terra Nova or Jeremy Sumpter from Friday Night Lights), but I haven’t heard any suggestions for Alona yet.

SECRET REVEALED: Here’s a little behind-the-scenes trivia: Alona is named for the wonderful actress Alona Tal, after I saw her in (the TV series) Veronica Mars as Meg.

Queen of the Dead

Question: When is your next book coming out and will it be a continuation of the first two books?

Stacey: The third and final book (to be called Body & Soul) in the trilogy will be out in May of 2012, and it’s definitely a continuation of the first two books.

Question: Do you have a favorite story arch or favorite character?

Stacey: You know, Liesel and Eric (secondary characters in the first two books) were so much fun to write especially in the scenes where Liesel and Alona argue. Actually, thinking about it, I really loved writing all of the ghosts. It was fun coming up with their individual backgrounds and deaths.

Question: Were any of the characters modeled after you or anyone you know?

Stacey: Every character, I think, always has a piece of the writer in him or her. But, no, the characters aren’t based on anyone in real life.

Question: Are there any story arcs that you ended up not using in the book?

Stacey: I toyed with the idea of Will’s father’s death being murder, but it added an unnecessary layer of complication and I felt it didn’t resonate with the rest of the story as well.

Question: Do you have any advice for new writers?

Stacey: Don’t give up. It’s really easy to begin doubting yourself, but believe in the story and your passion for telling it.

Question: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?

Stacey: Assuming my non-existent training wasn’t an issue? I’ve always been interested in archeology; however, the dirt and sleeping in tents aspect does not appeal to me.

Question: What book(s) are you currently reading?

Stacey: Right at this very second, I’m reading The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton; but when I’m not deep in writing mode, I often go through two or three books a week.

Question: Who is your personal favorite writer?

Stacey: Oh, that’s a tough one. I have so many! My mentor and critique partner is SF/F author Linnea Sinclair. I’ve learned so much from her. I also greatly admire Meg Cabot, Jennifer Echols, and Suzanne Collins. Jane Austen is my all-time favorite.

Question: If anyone would like to get in touch with you both, where should they write, email, tweet and do you have a website dedicated to the book (or any of your other work)?

Stacey: I’m on Twitter (waaaay too much) and you can find me there as @staceykade. I’m also on Facebook (facebook.com/staceykade), and I have a personal website with an email/contact form here.

Stacey Kade lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and their three retired racing greyhounds, Joezooka (Joe), Tall Walker (Walker) and SheWearsThePants (Pansy). When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll likely find her parked in front of the television with her Roswell DVDs, staring rapturously at Jason Behr. [EDITOR’S NOTE: A woman with good taste!]

Make sure to check out Stacey Kade’s books the next time you are at your local bookstore, visiting Amazon or whatever book outlet you prefer; and make sure to pick up the third book in her trilogy (Body & Soul) when it is released on May 29, 2012 and be on the look-out for new trilogy The Rules in 2013.

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John Corbett in Hunt for the I-5 Killer

The Lifetime movie Hunt for the I-5 Killer will debut on October 2 at 8 PM.

In the early 1980s Washington, Oregon, and California were rocked not by an earthquake but by a vicious serial murderer. Randall Woodfield terrorized, sexually assaulted, and killed numerous women in the three states, all of whom were attacked near the 1-5 Freeway that runs through the Western states. The tells the story of one extremely determined detective who won’t rest until he finds this ruthless man and puts him behind bars for the rest of his life. The film stars John Corbett and Sara Canning (The Vampire Diaries) and is based on the book by Ann Rule.

There is currently no video that can be found for this movie.

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Big night of brand new shows on all of the major networks last night. Here is how all of the Tuesday night dramas fared against each other in the overall ratings:

8 PM Shows:
NCIS (CBS) [NEW] – 19.2 million
Glee (FOX) [NEW] – 8.3 million
90210 (The CW) [NEW] – 1.7 million

9 PM Shows:
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) [NEW] – 16.1 million
Ringer (The CW) [NEW] – 2 million

10 PM Shows:
Unforgettable (CBS) [NEW] – 12.3 million
Body of Proof (ABC) [NEW] – 9.4 million
Parenthood (NBC) [NEW] – 5.5 million

What did you watch last night? Please share.

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The new show Homeland will debut at 10 PM on Showtime on October 2.

Who’s the hero – who’s the threat? When MIA Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) returns home to a hero’s welcome after eight years in enemy confinement, brilliant but volatile CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) isn’t buying his story. She believes that Brody has been turned and is now working for Al Qaeda. What follows is a dangerous game of cat and mouse with nothing short of American national security at stake. Mandy Patankin and Morena Baccarin co-star.

Here is a trailer for Homeland.

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Trying to figure out what to watch tonight? Be it new episodes of the TV season, reairs of cable series or a movie, here are some suggestions:

6:30 PM:
50 First Dates movie on ABC Family

7 PM:
E.T. movie on HBO Family

8 PM:
NCIS on USA Network
Burn Notice on MyNetwork TV
Law & Order: UK on BBC America (Reair)
Hope Floats movie on Oxygen

8:30 PM:
Sweet Home Alabama movie on ABC Family

9 PM:
Harry’s Law on NBC (NEW)
NCIS on USA Network
Burn Notice on MyNetwork TV
Law & Order: UK on BBC America (Reair)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie on Starz

10 PM:
Revenge on ABC (NEW)
Luther on BBC America (Season Premiere)
NCIS on USA Network
Hope Floats movie on Oxygen


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Hey All,

There isn’t a lot of news for today, but here is what I found:


Actress Kate Burton (Grey’s Anatomy) will appear in the new upcoming ABC drama Scandal (yet another Shonda Rhimes series) as Vice President Sally Hewitt in what will be a multi-episode appearance. The series follows a professional fixer (Kerry Washington) who formerly worked at the White House. Scandal is expected to premiere sometime in late February or early March. (Natalie Abrams at TV Guide)

The cable network Starz has given a second season renewal to the Kelsey Grammer drama called Boss that hasn’t even debuted yet. It will begin its first season next month, but the network must have a lot of faith in the show to give it a renewal. The series is about a powerful Chicago mayor (Grammer) who is hiding a deteriorating mental condition. (Cynthia Littleton at Variety)


Coming off the recent success of the newest update to Upstairs Downstairs, BBC One (one of the major networks in Britain) is moving forward with a 6-episode follow-up that will include, among other stars, Alex Kingston (who plays recurring character River Song on Doctor Who). (BBC)


Film District, the company behind this year’s releases Drive and Insidious, is finalizing a deal with MGM to allow the movie studio to finally distribute the remake of Red Dawn sometime next year. The cast includes Chris Hemsworth, who, since the filming of this remake, has gone on to star in this summer’s Thor and Josh Hutcherson, who, also since the filming of this remake, has gone on to film The Hunger Games which will be out next March as well as Adrianne Palicki (from Friday Night Lights and the failed Wonder Woman TV pilot), Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and who will be seen in Immortals this November) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen and Supernatural). (24 Frames and First Showing)

That’s it. Enjoy!

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Fall TV Prediction

Cast of The Playboy Club

We’re two weeks into the new 2011-2012 fall TV season and it’s already time to start talking cancellations; at least in terms of which new show will be the first to go. And, given how poorly The Playboy Club has performed in its first two outings – 5 million viewers for its debut and 3.9 million from its second airing last night, the death knell is sounding LOUDLY.

You can look for this show to be the first casualty of the new season!

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As we enter into the second full week of the new TV season (with all of the shows returning and the new shows debuting), here is how the primetime dramas for Monday night fared in the overall ratings:

8 PM Shows:
Terra Nova (FOX) [2-Hour Series Premiere] – 9 million
Gossip Girl (The CW) [Season Premiere] – 1.5 million

9 PM Shows:
Hart of Dixie (The CW) [DEBUT] – 1.8 million

10 PM Shows:
Castle (ABC) [NEW] – 11.9 million
Hawaii Five-0 (CBS) [NEW] – 11.1 million
The Playboy Club (NBC) [NEW] – 3.9 million

What did you watch last night? Please share.

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Trying to figure out what to watch tonight? Be it new episodes of the TV season, reairs of cable series or a movie, here are some suggestions:

7:30 PM:
Inception movie on Cinemax
Wanted movie on FX

8 PM:
Glee on FOX (NEW)
The Mummy movie on AMC
Clueless movie on Oxygen
The Client movie on TV Guide Network

8:30 PM:
Enchanted movie on Disney

9 PM:
NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS (NEW)
Ringer on The CW (NEW)
50 First Dates movie on ABC Family

9:30 PM:
The Big C on Showtime (Reair)

10 PM:
Body of Proof on ABC (NEW)
Unforgettable on CBS (NEW)
Independence Day movie on Cinemax
Nights in Rodanthe movie on Lifetime Movie Network
Clueless movie on Oxygen
Cairo Time movie on TMC

10:30 PM:
The Big C on Showtime (Reair)


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Love's Everlasting Courage

The Hallmark Channel movie Love’s Everlasting Courage will debut at 9 PM on October 1.

In this second prequel to the series of Love movies based on the book series by Janette Oke, Clark Davis (Wes Brown) struggles to maintain his land and support his wife, Ellen (Julie Mond), and young daughter, Missie (Morgan Lily), during a long drought. Worried they may lose the farm to the bank, Ellen agrees to take a job as a seamstress in order to pay off their debt. Soon after Ellen starts work, she becomes ill with scarlet fever and passes away. Devastated by the loss of his wife, Clark turns to his parents Irene (Cheryl Ladd) and Lloyd (Bruce Boxleitner) for support. As Clark struggles to find water in order to create a harvest and repay his debt, his daughter Missie has a difficult time coping with the loss of her mother. Clark is conflicted whether to send Missie to live a better life with his parents, or if she should stay with him. But when Missie runs away after accidentally setting the house on fire, Clark faces the possibility of losing the one person he loves most.

Here is the trailer for Love’s Everlasting Courage.

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