Finally read Lauren Kate’s Rapture – book 4 and last of the Fallen series

I am a sucker for YA novels. There, I said it. Not that I haven’t read my share of hard core fiction over the years. I was an English major for crying out loud. I’ve read, analyzed and discussed ’til the cows come home. I’ve more than done my time. But I have to say the books that get my time these days are those that promise to take me away, if only for a short while, from the day to day deluge of life. Tolstoy, sorry to say, simply doesn’t do this. That type of fiction works another part of the brain completely and honestly, that part is so wiped out these days I just need a little love and fireworks to invade my tired little mind.

Enter YA.  Or what I have come to describe as paranormal, and romance, and vampires, werewolves and angels.

And enter again, Lauren Kate’s Fallen.

I didn’t love the Fallen series right away. I think what has been covered in four books could have been covered in three, and the characters at first were painful their love at first sight a little hard to believe.  But as I said in a previous post, I was drawn to the book because of its hauntingly beautiful covers and after investing time in the first and second book, I became a fan and was determined to stick with the series to the end.

I’m glad I did.

Last week the fourth and final installment, Rapture, hit stands. I thought it wasn’t due out until December, so imagine my surprise when last month it was brought to my attention it would be ready in mere weeks. This weekend I bought, read, and can now exhale.I won’t give anything away. Fallen Fans aren’t exactly excited about spoilers. But I will say I feel like in this book Ms. Kate hit her stride. Maybe it’s the journey that I have been on with the two characters, or maybe now that I have published my first novel I understand what it takes to do something as she has – see a story through from beginning to end, over the course of four books, nonetheless – but I have to applaud her for delivering what feels like the best in the series.

It’s a little sad when a series comes to an end, but it is time for this one to and so glad in this case the ending didn’t disappoint. I am pleasantly surprised what started out as a book I struggled to get into turned into a series I now draw inspiration from.

Inspiration comes in the most interesting ways, from the most interesting places, don’t you think?

My take on book covers and trailers

As I move into the final stage of preparation before my first novel is available, I am reminded of the growing importance of knowing your audience and marketing to that audience.  Publishers of YA novels know their audience well. They have mastered the art of attracting readers and encouraging buzz through two simple concepts: the book cover and fan videos.

Lauren Kate’s Fallen series has probably one of the most successful case studies of this exact approach in my opinion. In honor of the forthcoming Rapture, the last book in the series due out in December (December, ugh! that long?!), I wanted to share a little bit more on why I think so.

Fallen’s cover was the very reason why I reached for the book to begin with. Sitting on a bookshelf, surrounded by dozens of vampire and werewolf series, it stuck out. It was like an Evanescence video — dark and haunting — and I needed to know what it was about. If it captured my attention, a woman in her late thirties, I could only imagine how it captured the attention of its league of readers – the screaming 16 year old girl.

I read the series and of course I was hooked. While I didn’t think it was written particularly well, I did like the story and had to know what was to come of the main character Luce, and this beyond beautiful boy she was strangely drawn to, whom we later learn is Daniel, a fallen angel who is destined to find  and lose Luce lifetime after lifetime – punishment for “something” they did thousands of years earlier.

When I started to research Lauren Kate to learn more about the series, I then stumbled onto the website which echoed the dark design of the book, with the sound of crows and wind, and a visual of the book’s setting – a dilapidated church serving as a reform school for problematic teens. But not only did I find the website creative, but the book’s community of fans as well, creating their own buzz and excitement around the series through incredible fan videos.

Tapping into this fever, publishers created contests for fans to submit their videos, which were then showcased on the book’s website. And because the community showed such excitement for the series through videos, the book’s marketing team created an incredible video trailer to tease the next book in the series, Torment. Featured on the book’s website, it served as the point of entry for the site.

Then the book cover was revealed.

And it didn’t stop there. For the third book in the series, Passion, the trailer went a step further, giving readers insight into the theme of the book, which was history and time.

And of course the book cover was incredible, finally revealing Luce’s face, which was another nod to the story, as we finally get to see in that book who Luce is and has been lifetime after lifetime.

But the trailer for the series’ conclusion, Rapture, is truly epic and worth an award in itself. While the cover has already been revealed, and isn’t one of my favorites, the trailer is truly incredible and has me on pins and needles waiting for the book.

I just watched it today for the first time so I wanted to share it with you. Of course I am an aspiring novelist so I don’t have her marketing budget as Ms. Kate. But I am trying a few fun things, and drawing my inspiration from the buzz around books that I have really enjoyed these past few years, including the Fallen series, and its epic conclusion Rapture, whose trailer I could get lost in.

Case and point.

Discovering Bridezilla

Digital music has created a unique way for authors to generate excitement among readers for their new work. Playlists posted on their Facebook Fan Pages or websites are a great way for many of today’s authors to share with their fans the music that helped inspire them while writing. I first noticed this when Stephenie Meyer posted her playlist for the insanely successful Twlight, and since then, it seems like it’s caught on like wildfire, with songs shared on playlists giving many artists their big breaks.

For some artists, author playlists help bring their music to a new audience, with many rising in fame simply because they were mentioned as a song that inspired the author. No long are musicians reliant on soundtracks to push their music to the masses. A tweet, a blog post, even a fan vid can help share their work as well.  Ever heard of Bridezilla? Yeah, me either until their music was used in a fan vid for Lauren’ Kate’sPassion. I listened, I loved, and now I am a fan. The title of that song is “Lunar Eclipse” and after digging around a bit, I found even more of their music. “Heart you hold,” is hauntingly beautiful.

Do you listen to music while writing?  Create playlists? Share with me the artists that inspire you. And in the meantime, listen to Bridezilla’s “Lunar Eclipse.” Reminds me of wet city streets, clouds drifting in front of a full moon, and the sound of a heartbeat , so loud, it drowns out the sound of your steps…..