A Cast of #Actors for Your #Book

I think coming up with a cast for your book is a great exercise.  Just like pinning ideas on a pinterest page, it helps you determine qualities of your characters and brainstorm traits you didn’t think about.

I put together a cast for my book currently posted on Kindle Scout, The Light of Supremazia!  It’s about kids who can see spirits and attend a high school run by famous dead people.

Jules Winklevoss would be played by Kiernan Shipka, also known as Sally Draper from the Mad Men series.  Just like Jules Winklevoss, she can be tough, brave, snotty, and vulnerable at the same time.


Jules has two best friends at Vita Post Mortem Academy.  Dahlia Langdon is the shy and awkward friend who grew up in a prestigious, broken family.  She would be played by Ariel Winter from Modern Family.


Jules’s other best friend, Logan Klomp, is a know-it-all, lovesick half-Asian dude who doesn’t care about fitting in.  He would be played by Nickelodeon’s Ryan Potter.


Jules’s equally brazen, but less approachable, sister, Sharpee Winklevoss would be played by Emma Watson.  Honestly, I picked Emma because she looks a bit like Kiernan, and of course I loved her as Hermione.


Sharpee’s best (and only) friend is Chase Hastings, a rich kid, living in his older brother Ryder Hastings the Third‘s perfect shadow.  Chase and Ryder would be played by Nash Overstreet (from the band Hot Chelle Rae) and Chord Overstreet (Glee).


Vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout!

What exercises do you use to understand your #characters better? Share with #author @alanasiegel (click to tweet)


Technology in Literature

To make a contemporary novel timeless, an author needs to balance the use of outdated technology and the most recent fads and trends.

As a reader, you never noticed the lack of computers in Harry Potter, no matter when you read it.

However, the book series and TV show Pretty Little Liars would never have succeeded without the inclusion of cell phones.

Technology is constantly improving and here to stay.  I think it is best to include as long as the technology isn’t a short-term craze.


Since my latest book is a young-adult fantasy novel, I recognized my core audience uses technology all the time, so I decided to invent an app.

The Light of Supremazia is about a girl who can see spirits. PhantomFollow is an app that tracks spirits, and its gone viral at Vita Post Mortem Academy. The more famous or rare the spirit, the more points the player gets. See the app in the app store above. 🙂

Vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout.

How do you deal with current #technology in your #writing ? Join author @alanasiegel in the discussion (Click to tweet)

#Harry Potter had no new #tech – timeless? Share with writer @alanasiegel (Click to tweet)


Modern Day Books Need Add Ons

As I prepare to launch my next book series, I keep thinking about additional ways to enjoy the story. How many times have you read the details by J.K. Rowling about characters she didn’t mention at the end of the series? Or get excited because they brought the characters of Vampire Diaries to life in a tv series? Or sing along to a song from the Hunger Games movie on the radio?

Like a bag of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans or your very own Mocking Jay pin, I hope you enjoy Jules’s Vita Post Mortem Academy Class schedule!

Vita Post Mortem Acadedmy Class Schedule

The Light of Supremazia, book #1 in the (after)life lessons young adult, fantasy book series!

Check out the pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/alanasiegel/afterlife-lessons/

Check out the book trailer: https://youtu.be/ZfKnXA8oJBE

Like the #NightsWatch and the #Kingsguard on the Eve of a Great #Battle …

… we must DRILL, DRILL, DRILL!

This isn’t the battle in Blackwater Bay, or at the Whispering Willows, or at the Fist of the First Men.

This is DANCE!  Big show at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts on Saturday night.


And then we watch Game of Thrones on Sunday night. 🙂



the Mother of Dragons


More Than

Our love is more dangerous than Bonnie and Clyde’s.

Our love is more more romantic than Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s.

Our love will last longer than Bella and Edward’s.

Our love is more magical than Remus and Tonks’s.

Our love is more powerful than Lois and Clark’s.

Our love is more passionate than Rhett and Scarlett’s.

clark gable & vivien leigh - gone with the wind 1939

Our love.


Is Optimism My Fatal Flaw?

I know, I sound crazy. It’s like saying being able to do magic like Harry Potter, or compel people with your mind like Olivia Hart, is a fatal flaw. Let me explain.
When I watched the episode of Glee that was a tribute to Cory Monteith, I was crying before the episode even started. Okay, I’m not helping to prove my point.
I’m really good at being optimistic. No, I mean really good. Maybe, too good. I have an extraordinary ability to look at the bright side. I compartmentalize things in my brain so that the unpleasant experiences are rarely remembered, and the positive occurrences are front and center.
I often tell my friends, ‘I don’t do sad.’ In fact, I make my friends read books and movies before me, because if it doesn’t have a happy ending, I’ll just skip the hassle altogether.
So what’s the problem, you ask? Glee was the problem. The episode memorializing Finn Hudson went against every grain in my body. The show that usually added song and dance to everyday life suddenly was indescribably sad. There was no happy ending. I couldn’t compartmentalize the heartache. I couldn’t pretend everything was going to be okay. In real life, he was dead.
As I read through my favorite novels, I realize many fatal flaws can be considered virtues. Some would argue Harry Potter’s fatal flaw is honor. His integrity and innate need to do the right thing ultimately causes him to die. However, the key point was that without accepting inevitable death to protect the one’s he loved, he wouldn’t have been able to survive the curse.
Percy Jackson
Another example is Percy Jackson. His fatal flaw is loyalty. He would sacrifice the world to save someone he really cares about. Is that really a bad thing?
Athena teaches Percy that some fatal flaws can be good in moderation. I thought about this for awhile, and I decided I’m not going to submit to this decision that optimism is a flaw. I don’t care if I have a slightly twisted view of reality because I wear rose colored glasses. I would rather see the glass half full. When moments of sadness make their way through the cracks of my optimistic armor, I’ll have a crying jag, but then I’ll take out my magic wand, shout,”EXPECTO PATRONUM,” and cast a patronus of sunshine, rainbows, and ragamuffin kittens, and blast that gloomy dementor into oblivion.

Mom, My Personal Superhero

I’ve been thinking about Moms as superheroes for awhile now, but I took it as a sign when one of my best friends from NYU gave birth to a baby boy last night.  Pregnancy, labor, and birth…now that takes superpowers. Congrats, Lovecakes!

I find most motherly superpowers (other than giving birth) to be behind the scenes.  Rather than being the person, sword in hand, fighting the dragon, mothers are the unsung heroes in the background. Without their support, the protagonist would never have the courage to stand up to the dragon at all.

That is of course, unless your protagonist IS a mother. [I’m picturing Claire Dunphy from Modern Family who doesn’t take crap from anyone and still finds time to take her kids to mathlete competitions. Or perhaps Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones?] But in most of the fantasy books I read, the mother is there to support the lead. This blog is a tribute to all the Supermoms.

Molly Weasley from the Harry Potter series is, hands down, a supermom. From cooking dinner for a family of eight, to joining the Order of Pheonix, to killing Bellatrix Lestrange, she is heroic.


Another superb example is Sally Jackson from the Percy Jackson series.  She lived (and died and came back to life) in terrible circumstances with an abusive husband, just to protect her son from the wrath of the gods.


Even grandmas can be superheroes.  Remember Gran from the True Blood series?  Fighting and loving vampires and fairies.  That’s hardcore.


However, no superhero compares to my own mom. Brave, smart, thoughtful…as my Aunt Iris would say, she is the whole package! Her love and support makes me the women I am today.  And trust me, I can take on any dragon!

photo (36)

And just because Olivia Hart tends to think like me, I leave you with a quote from the Olivia Hart and the Gifted Program Series:

She said exactly what I needed to hear. “Thanks, Mom. I love you. I’ll call you,” I said and hung up the phone. Something about a mother’s guarantee did wonders for self-confidence. I felt hopeful because Mom said I could do it. I was going to save my friends. –OLIVIA HART, THE RESCUE