Sunday, July 29, 2007

Authors Answer: Favorite Characters

About two weeks ago I emailed a bunch of authors and asked them two to three simple questions (depending on their answers) about their characters, two of them emailed me back so far. If any reply after this (because some got sent late because of full inboxes and other problems) I will continue to post their answers. Here's what I've received so far though.

Justine Larbalestier
Who was your favorite character in your books and why?
That is an unanswerable question. I love them all! Even the villians.
Honest. Except for when I hate them all.

Who was your favorite character to *write* and why?
Usually whichever is the one I'm finding easiest, which varies. Right
now it would be the protag of the novel I'm working on right now. But
who knows who it'll be in a few weeks?

Norm Cowie
Who was your favorite character in your books and why?
Tough question. That's why I wrote a sequel. I loved the characters. The word play between Knob (the elf wannabe) and Thurman (the sorcerer) comes from both characters. And then they both gang up on Guy, with the Warrior keeping a fond 'parental' eye over their squabbling, making it dialogue rich and fun at the same time. But if you pinned me down, ... I'd bleed, maybe sue for assault... but in the end, I'd have to admit that Knob is my favorite. He's clueless, learned, innocent, sensitive, ferociously protective and creative at the same time.

Who was your favorite character to *write* and why?
The Warrior might ... just might ... be my favorite. Again, it's tough, because they are all a hoot. But writing her battle cries ("I earned these spider veins!" and "Ketchup is too a food group!") and creatively reaching to try and write a believeable woman character was a fun test of my imagination. She's vulnerable, but can kick your butt at the same time.

If these are different, why?
I think for the reasons I gave. One was fun to create because I'm so far removed from being a lady warrior. But the other is, well, a guy, and I have some experience there, and the truth just had to be told.

Thank you very much to Norm & Justine for replying to me! Hopefully I can get some late replies too. :) And if you're a fellow writer, you don't need to be emailed to answer these, I would love if you sent me your answers too! lyokofans at yahoo dot com

Also, all blogging is going to be put off for awhile while I write. I made a few major breakthroughs over the past few days (one which woke me up and kept me awake for an hour while I made notes, haha) and I really need to write them out before I loose all the details.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Potter fans, have no fear

It's not entirely over. There may be no more books, but JK Rowling said she is going to write a charcter encyclopedia which will include unpublished backstories as well as what happens to characters & the wizarding world at large after the end of the 7th book.

The entire article is here, but read only if you've finished the 7th book as it contains many spoilers!

Btw, my reviews for 13 Little Blue Envelopes and Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows are still coming. Be patient please, I've been working hard lately to get all my college plans in order :)

EDIT: There's another article here that gives a tiny bit of info on some of the characters to do with what happens to them after the epilogue.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter Midnight Release Experience

So, as usual, I'm behind on blogging. Except that this time I have a legitimate excuse which about 90% of the book-reading population will accept: I was reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I will not spoil you here and now, I promise. I just want to talk about my midnight release experience. And as Justine Larbalestier commented on her blog, it seems the majority of the internets disappeared along with me for the same reason.

Alright, so it actually started out at 9 in the morning Friday believe it or not. The Borders I was going to for the release party opens at 9, and that's when you can pick-up your wristband that determines the order in which you get your book. I was actually 5 minutes late, but my friend thankfully saved me a spot in line. The line was unbelievably long and wrapped around the store. I did not end up far back in that line, but I still waited about 40 minutes. In that 40 minutes I discussed with my friend Jess and her friend who's name I don't actually know, the possibilities of the series conclusion, the different characters, (some Twilight), and then I played on my iPod for them two songs. The first was Accio Deathly Hallows by Hank Green of Brotherhood 2.0, the second was Mysterious Ticking from Potter Puppet Pals. They loved it, and I loved the odd looks we were getting from those around us. Life's more fun that way.

Anyway, I got the wrist band and I ended up in the second group: silver. Which I was happy with, it meant a heck of a lot less waiting at midnight!

But here's the thing, my friend Jess who I had gone with, she had her graduation party that day too, which was fun and all, but it meant we couldn't leave her party until 11:30 at the earliest. And I think we got out of there even later than that because we dressed up and had to get ready still.

The party at Borders we went to was called the Grand Hallows Ball, so my friends and I all dressed up in formal ball dresses (well, as close as we could get: prom dresses), which was, admittedly, my idea. So yeah, it took us a bit to get ready, and then we had to pick up a friend on the way. I wish we could have been there for everything though, there was a Harry Potter spelling bee, and the Great Snape Debate, and a raffle too.

So we show up and it takes us about 10 minutes to figure out what's going on and where we need to be. Half of our group had green wristbands, and Jess and I had silver ones. Half way through the store was where you got the books and they had just started on green, so Jess and I got to skip right to the book table. We made a lot of people mad, but we were like "waited a long time this morning for this wristband, we're even." I refused to open the book in line because I knew I'd go crazy if I had to stop in the middle of a page or chapter or something when it came time to pay for it. I had to cover my eyes when Jess flipped to the last page to check how many pages there were because I know myself: I can't not read something on a page I flip to. 758 pages by the way. The line went really fast and I paid and all that, and got a free poster too! It'll be going on my wall once I find somewhere to put it, I think I'm going to need to move things around a bit.

I got a lot of compliments and questions on my dress (and mask too, my friend Chris brought materials for us to make house color masks) and I saw so many great costumes. There were a lot of girls with pink hair as Tonks, they were easy to spot. And one of the cashiers was Mad-Eye Moody. Some people dressed as Hogwarts students, and some in house colors. The best costume I saw though was one of the Borders employees as Dolores Umbridge. I swear, she could have been Umbridge in the movie. I talked with her for a few minutes and she explained to me that she could have done better if she could have worn her pink heels, but she couldn't for some reason (I forget what) and went with pink trainers instead. It still worked really well, and was honestly the best costume I've seen so far either in real life or from pictures of other release parties.

I had an awful lot of fun that night, and I wish Borders had midnight releases for other series too because I would definately go. And this time I'd show up for all the activities.

Sad that this is the last one, but I think it was ended very well. I won't spoil you though.

P.s. did I mention last week that I met the Phelps twins (movie Weasley twins) when I went to see Order of the Phoenix? So much cuter in person!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Change in Plans

Sorry folks, no review of 13 Little Blue Envelopes from me tonight. I had a small stomach ache when I typed up that post, and it's only gotten worse. I'm calling in sick and heading to bed (which I guess any normal person would do at the time of 1 AM), I'll get to the review when I feel better.

In the meantime, go read the book for yourself, after the first chapter you won't need me to tell you how great it is.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tell an Author You Care Day

Happy Tell an Author You Care Day! (I'm late by 13 minutes, but we'll pretend that's not true by backdating the entry)

Okay, here's how it's going to go, I'm going to give a few shout-outs to authors first, and then I'll go into what I had planned (even when I didn't know what day it was) to post today.

Scott Westerfeld: I love your YA books. So Yesterday is my favorite, but the Midnighters series kept me up all night because I couldn't put them down. And I'm sure you know by now that everyone who has ever read the Uglies series has fallen in love with it. I personally love the langauge, and have taken on a few phrases ("bubbly" "nervous-making" etc) and my friend and I think you should write your own dictionary. Plus, I'm absolutely on pins & needles waiting for Extras. That first chapter you posted? Genius. Pure evil genius. I say evil because it's cruel to tease us and make us wait.

Justine Larbalestier: In the past week I have gotten my sister and my friend to read your Magic or Madness series because I raved about it so much. I love it to pieces. I think what I liked best about it was the way you combined two different countries in a very realistic way, and mostly because it was magic that wasn't all about saving the entire world. Sorry, Harry, but I can't believe that the entire universe lays in the hands of a single teen. Justine, you're amazing and I'm addicted to your blog (and thanks for emailing me back).

Stephenie Meyer: First off, I'm coming to see you at the book kick-off in Naperville on the 7th. The 7th of August just so happens to be my birthday and I know this one is going to be amazing and one of my best because I get a new book, get to go to this party, and get to meet you. Now that I've said that, I love how you've managed to encapture so many teens (though mostly girls I have to admit) with your fantastic writing and brilliant suspense/romance story! Your characters are what I like best about your stories, I mean, barely into the first book and I was in love with Edward. And now I'm having a hard time choosing which I like better: Edward or Jacob (though Edward's still my choice for Bella). And Bella is a great character, very realistic, even in a fantasy novel.

Norm Cowie: I think it's pretty cool that I know a twice-published author in person. Glad we were able to meet at the author fair. Okay, I love your book (I say this because I've yet to get a copy of the sequel), it is by far the funniest book I've ever read. You're hilarious and I love the plot and the characters. I love how the characters interact with each other in the plot. I hope to see you at this year's author fair too!

Maureen Johnson: Maureen, you are the lucky person who really gets cared about today. See, the post I was going to write was all about you and your books. Today I went to Barnes & Noble and bought 13 Little Blue Envelopes because I thought it was one of the best books I've read this year, and I was so close to buying the splash-proof edition of The Bermudez Triangle (next time, for sure). Then I went across the street to see if Borders had Key to the Golden Firebird, and they did, so I quickly bought it! I've said it before "Even if she [being you] wrote the most horrendous pile of sludge plot ever, I would still read it because I love Maureen Johnson and her writing" Your style is fantastic, I'm absolutely in love with it. And your characters are superb! I have to say, out of all the books of your's I've read so far (all except Devilish, that's next) I've always fallen in love with one of the guys, even if the girl didn't. You write great people.

The part I was going to do next (after telling Maureen how much I love her books & that I bought 2 today, to give me a total of 3 MJ titles) I was going to write a review of 13 Little Blue Envelopes. I'm going to make that a seperate post.

All authors, everwhere, I thank you for what you've done for me and every other reader. We appreciate you very much and more importantly, we care. Thank you!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Odd Fact & Question

Just two more things, then I swear I'll stop bombarding you with lots of posts all at once. I just get into a posting mood and have a hard time stopping, sorry about that.

Odd Fact: Humans cannot sneeze while sleeping. I was wondering about this a few nights ago and looked it up and it turns out you can cough, snore, and talk while asleep, but you can't sneeze. Weird, eh? Just wanted to let you know that in case you ever wondered, or maybe to stop you from wondering.

Question: what makes one a secret identity and the other just an identity? Can someone have two secret identities? More?

I am prepared for one argument, I like to be complicated like that.
Karina: The one that is secret is the one that you assumed second. If you assume more than one identity, then, yes, you can have two. Or more.
Jez: But doesn't Superman keep Clark Kent a secret, just like Clark Kent keeps Superman a secret? Wouldn't that make them both secret identities?

Harry Potter pre-book hype

psst, there's HP spoilers here, that fan and anti-fan alike need to read.

Where to Write: Making It Your's

So, wherever you write, be it your office, your room, or your bathtub, you need to make it a good place to write, because there are really some bad places.

First off, you need a door, not just any door, a door you can shut. Actually, this is what writer Stephen King recommends too. In order to write you need to be able to shut out the rest of the world in order to create new ones. You need to be able to cut out distractions, because, let's face it, writers are easily distracted. Another great thing about doors is that they don't just keep people out, they keep you in. And it's bad if you leave your writing space because you're going to get distracted, and you won't write anything. So, step 1, close your door, it's no use to you writing if you leave it open.

Now, get comfortable, you want to spend a lot of time in this place, right? This is another clever ploy to keep you from leaving, but it also makes you more at ease to write. So, make sure your chair is comfortable, and if you're not in your chair (in your closet?) maybe bring a pillow or a few blankets. Write in your pjs if you have to*. And bring snacks, something to munch on while you chew on new ideas, and keep something to drink on hand of coarse too. Something that will help you write, most writers suggest tea, but I'm nothing without a Coke (I'm a serious caffine addict).

Make the environment a writing environment (so not too comfy). Keep paper and all different kinds and colors of writing utensils on hand because sometimes things are easier to figure out on paper than on screen. Keep sticky notes nearby--making notes is never a bad thing. Make reminders for yourself that will make you want to write, or can help you encourage you to write when you get stuck**.

Keep it your writing space. Don't make it the same as your goof-off space.

Finally, to make it wholly your writing space: go write there. Now's a good time, isn't it?

*Some writers will not write in their PJs because it inclines them to want to sleep or goof off. Some actually get up, shower, eat breakfast, dress for work, just like they would any other job, except that they go into the next room instead of some big building downtown. It helps put them in the mood to write because they then feel like they need to work. Try this is the comfy approach doesn't work well.
**I have things like pictures of my characters, notes of encouragement (the whole series of Pamela Johnson advice posts from Anita Loughrey's blog, notes, and even a family tree to remind me how different characters are related. And notes like "make a map!" and "act it out!" help when I get stuck.

Question for Authors

If any authors out there wouldn't mind taking a minute out of their day, could you please answer these quick questions for me?

Who is your favorite character from your book(s)? Why?
Who was your favorite character to write? Why
If these are different, why do you think that is?

I hope to get a good amount of feedback, so for those of you who are not authors, look for the answers soon here on Typeset World (within the next two weeks, that should be a fair amount of time for authors to get back in touch).

Thank you!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

May/June 2007 Reading List

I didn't post the reading list for May because I really hadn't read that much, and admittedly I didn't read much more in April. I guess that's what happens when you work two jobs and volunteer and such. Hopefully the library's summer reading program will continue to keep me on track.

The Bermudez Triange, Maureen Johnson, 384 pages, library
X-Factor #19, Peter David, 32 pages, own
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #19, 32 pages, own
The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger, 560 pages, 7 May-2 June, loan/library
Girl at Sea, Maureen Johnson, 323 pages, 1 June-9 June, own
The Key to the Golden Firebird, Maureen Johnson, 304 pages, 27 June-28 June, library
X-Factor #20, Peter David, 32 pages, 27 June, own
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #20, Peter David, 32 pages, 27 June, own

8 books by 3 authors with a total of 1699 pages, which is fairly pathetic.

Right now I'm in the middle of The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke and I'm really liking it. I'm also working my way through The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien, and I have 13 Little Blue Envelopes and Vampire Beach on hold at the library. If I finish all these soon I'll finish my required amount for the library's summer reading program.

A Guy Who Deserves Some Free Advertising

I just received word from author Norm Cowie that the sequel to The Adventures of Guy, The Next Adventures of Guy is now in publication!

Places you can find this sure to be hilarious book:
His publisher's site:
Empire Books in Frankfort, IL which will soon have autographed copies
And of coarse Amazon and other bookstores

I highly suggest you check out this brand-new (and I mean, really new) book by Norm Cowie, and The Adventures of Guy if you haven't read that yet--they're garaunteed to make you laugh!


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