. . . or why I’m reading Amanda Hocking’s Trylle trilogy.
Like many people recently, I’ve heard of her success on Kindle, and from curiosity, I downloaded the sample of the first book, Switched, to my iPod Touch Kindle app. I wanted to know what she was doing that hooked readers. Now, I know not everyone likes her writing (my friend Alex initially liked the sample, but quit reading halfway through the book), but I had to read it, given the sample. (It’s possible I just haven’t gotten fed up with Wendy’s angst yet, and I’ll agree with Alex in the long run. We’ll see.)
You see, the first book I wrote, for NaNoWriMo 2003, was called Changeling. Summer wasn’t precisely a changeling; she was half-fey. However, she didn’t know that. She’d never known her father, and now weird things were happening to her and she didn’t know why. Where my book failed, though, was in figuring out what happened when she learned the truth. I didn’t have a real society for her to interact with, or real plans for what exactly she had to overcome. My story was overly simplistic compared to Hocking’s because I neglected world-building.
However, if you want to know why her sample hooked me, read the following scene from Changeling. I had to know how she took something so similar and worked through it. (Yes, I know the writing is wooden. It was my first. Sorry.)