Saturday, March 31, 2012
#2: Anna Staniszewski's MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE is reviewed in the May issue of Discovery Girls Magazine. They call it: "A funny, fast-paced novel of magical mayhem."
Also, the sequel, MY WAY TOO FAIRY TALE LIFE, has a tentative release date! The book is scheduled for a March 2013. WOO HOO!!!!
#3: Cindy Pon is contributing to DIVERSE ENERGIES, a multicultural YA dystopian anthology that boasts, among others, Ursula Le Guin! Look for it Fall 2012 from Tu Books!!!!
Friday, March 30, 2012
We’re so excited to have a chance to discuss the first book in Jennifer Nielsen’s Ascendance Trilogy. Jennifer is a member of the Enchanted Inkpot, and we are thrilled about this wonderful new series written by one of our own!
THE FALSE PRINCE is a fascinating mix of impersonations and machinations. Could you tell us a little bit about the journey from the inspiration for THE ASCENDANCE TRILOGY to the actually writing it?
Without giving away any spoilers, what was the one thing that surprised you most while you writing THE FALSE PRINCE? (Did Sage behave?!)
Did you decide to categorize THE FALSE PRINCE as a young adult novel at the beginning stages of working on it? Why do you think YA fantasy is so popular with both young adults and old adults?
The story tumbled out of me so quickly that I didn’t really make a choice for how to categorize it. Some people see THE FALSE PRINCE as a YA, and others as a middle grade. I think it’s really wonderful that people feel it might cross over to either genre.
I love the readers – the teens and tweens who are internet savvy enough to find ways to connect with me there, or who want to talk with me about the plots and their favorite characters. I love the younger kids who draw scenes from my books, or enthusiastically raise their hands at school visits to tell me about the story they’re writing. Writing can be a very solitary business, but when I hear from readers who love my books, I begin to feel connected with people everywhere.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Do you have a particular approach to your writing? For example, some authors will only write in the early morning, others prefer writing in long hand and then transcribing it to the computer.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Here's part 1 of a roundup of what we've been reading, how we came to pick it up, and what format we're reading in! Look for part 2 here at the Inkpot on April 16!
The second is THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater. I had it on my to-read shelf in hardcover and my YA book club was reading any Printz nominee. It has it all--bloodthirsty, flesh-eating horses, strong female lead, high stakes and hot horse-whisperer type character. Up next: RED GLOVE by Holly Black. All of these are in print form because my to-read shelf is groaning.
DEVA FAGAN: I was shocked to discover upon looking at my Goodreads list that I haven't read *any *fantasy since mid-December, when I read the fantastic YA fantasy LIAR'S MOON, by Elizabeth C. Bunce, which I bought at my local bookstore because I'd so enjoyed the first in this series (STARCROSSED) about clever, pragmatic Digger and her plot-twisty, thiefly adventures. I'm making up for my fantasy hiatus now with two delectable ARCs I received for authors who will be joining us here on the Inkpot for interviews next month. First is Stephanie Burgis's MG historical fantasy RENEGADE MAGIC, which has already made me laugh with delight in the first three pages. It's so fun to read more about the delightful characters introduced in the first in this series (KAT, INCORRIGIBLE)! After that I have Zoe Marriott's YA fantasy SHADOWS ON THE MOON which I am excited for both because I've loved her other books, and because I've seen it described as a re-telling of Cinderella in a fairy tale version of ancient Japan.
PIPPA BAYLISS: I just finished GOLIATH by Scott Westerfeld which is steampunk (don't ask me if it's fantasy or sci-fi - it's FANTASTICAL so it counts imo). I had to finish Westerfeld's LEVIATHAN trilogy and this didn't disappoint in the least. It was a great conclusion to a great trilogy and since I was in such a hurry to read it, I got it in e-book form for my Kindle.
My latest read was by Ellen Booraem, whose first book, THE UNNAMEABLES made me a fan of hers. SMALL PERSONS WITH WINGS is wonderful - I love the humor, her MC, Mellie, all the characters and everything about it. A great fantasy story at my reading level. I love, love, loved it. ... Oh, and I'm going to lurk here to make a list of 'what to read next' :)
DAWN METCALF: I just finished re-reading the Parasol Protectorate series, getting ready to read the final book, TIMELESS by Gail Carriger. It's a paperback series I have in my personal library. I first heard about the series from a friend--word of mouth--who knew how much I loved steampunk and other cultures and Victoriana and mythic monsters and a big dose of humor. I came for the recommendation and stayed for the charismatic characters and witty voice. PS: I'm reading a *phenomenal* WIP from one of my crit partners that I can't talk about yet, but I can't wait to see it snapped up by readers!
Inkies William Alexander and Keely Parrack have been reading short stories!
CAROLINE HOOTON: Probably the best fantasy book I've read recently was THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern. It's not specifically YA but I think that the characters and the setting would appeal to a teenage audience. It's about a boy and a girl who are brought up by different magicians who pledge them to fight a magical duel even though neither of them knows the rules. It's set during the turn of the last century and I found that the writing and the descriptions were just incredible and they keep lingering in my mind.
Next up on my list is OLIVER TWISTED by J. D. Sharpe, which is a YA dark fantasy/horror mash up of OLIVER TWIST by Charles Dickens. I've literally just started it and almost missed my bus stop because I couldn't stop turning the pages and was snickering at the dark humour. I picked up a copy at its book launch and will be interviewing the author for The Inkpot in May.
Cinda Williams Chima is the author of the Seven Realms and Heir Chronicles teen fantasy series. Her next novel, The Crimson Crown, releases October 23, 2012. Learn more about her here.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
thanks to all for becoming new inkies and also
participating in the giveaway and expressing your
love for cashore's books!
Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck's reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle--disguised and alone--to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.
Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn't yet identified, holds a key to her heart.
cindy: hi kristin, it is so wonderful to have you back at the enchanted inkpot! thank you so much for taking the time from your very busy schedule with Bitterblue tour and promotions to be with us! i thoroughly loved this third novel in your series! (as i knew i would.)
thanks again kristin for stopping by and giving such interesting insight into Bitterblue and your creative process! now, i'd like to give away my own Bitterblue ARC! (it's a little well loved, but perfectly readable! =)
1. simply leave a comment in this post with your email (+1).
2. to increase your chances (+1) please twitter, fb status, blog (etc) and link to this interview and tell about the Bitterblue giveaway. make sure to comment with that link in this post.
3. to increase your chances (+1) please follow us at The Enchanted Inkpot! make sure to comment that you have become a follower.
giveaway runs through friday, 3/30 when i'll choose a winner by random. this contest is open INTERNATIONALLY. good luck!
cindy on twitter
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
This month I was so excited to get hold of an Advanced Reader's Copy of TRAITOR'S SON by our own Inkie - Hilari Bell! And even more to swipe the job of interviewing her about it! (Okay, it wasn't a swipe, more of a beg!)
TRAITOR'S SON is the second of THE RAVEN DUET books.
It's a great fast paced unputa-downable (yes, that's a real word), read, and it also stands alone, though you might want to rush out and read the first one afterwards! - I was busting with questions as soon as I finished it, so here goes...
Questions in bold - Answers in italics!
- TRAITOR'S SON has such a vivid sense of setting, it totally made me want to visit Alaska! I know you went to Alaska to research so I wonder...how long were you there? Did your trip change the plot in any way, or add things you'd never have imagined? I know I'm cheating here and pretending this is one question!
Alaska is amazing, and if you can do it you really should go! I was talking to my editor, who has also been there, and she said the first time she and her husband went there they were “stunned silent” by it’s beauty. If I had to pick two words to describe it, the first would be grandeur and the second unearthly. And because I was going for novel research (it’s good to be a writer!) I got to be in Alaska about 40 days—and we took about 12 days to get there, and the same back.
I actually planned the trip for research (and because I’d always wanted to go) but plotting Trickster’s Girl and Traitor’s Son as I traveled was one of the most fabulous writing experiences I’ve ever had. I knew roughly what would happen in the novels, but I’d drive around a curve and realize that this was where Kelsa would heal the lake ley, and Whittier, with it’s looming abandoned towers was where Jase’s final battle had to take place. And Musk Oxen worked their way into the story, and tree frogs, and the taiga wasn’t at all what I’d expected, and, and, and....
To drive the same roads, and visit the places where my story was taking place made it come alive for me in a way that SF and fantasy usually doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love making up magical and alien worlds—but this experience was very different.
- Thanks Hilari, it definitely made me want to go to Alaska!
Of course I have to ask you about that amazing car - a Tesla no less! The details and the relationship between boy and car were so real, how did you do that?
Do you own a Tesla? Are you a secret girl racer? Did you collect toy cars as a kid? (like me?)
Photo, copyright The Tesla Society
Own a Tesla? Clearly you think writers make more money than they do! And I’m not independently wealthy, either. Nor am I a car fan, particularly. But the Tesla was the sexiest electric car I’d heard of, and I knew almost from the start of his character that Jase was a huge car fan—it’s part of him being a city kid, and so very divorced from his cultural heritage. I mentioned that it’s good to be a writer? There’s a Tesla dealership in Boulder, only about 50 miles from my house. My brother bet me they wouldn’t take a mere writer for a test ride—but I figured the worst they could do was say no, so I sent them an “I’m writing a book, and my protagonist drives...” email. They not only gave me a test ride, they answered weird writer questions like “What kind of magical spell could you cast on this car that would keep it from starting?” with a straight face. As for the ride itself...I may not be a secret girl racer, but the Tesla is a seriously cool car!
I might just have to write a character with a taste for classic Astin Martins next!
- I love the complexity of the story being set in the future but dealing with heredity, cultural expectations, breaking with that tradition and the consequences of those choices, especially as unusually you place the main character, Jason in-between an inter-generational row.
Did you always have that idea as the plot cornerstone, or did it creep up on you?
That idea, in a way, was the core of the novel right from the start. I’d seen the movie Eragon, and I have to confess I didn’t care for it—and maybe the book, which I haven’t read, is better. But in the movie the only character that really interested me was the son of the bad guy, who is himself a good guy and has a hard time convincing the other good guys that he won’t betray them. That was a wonderful conflict—so why not give it to a protagonist? The idea of a hero who was a villain’s son hung around in my head for a long time, till I started wondering what the core of my second Raven book could be—and it worked so perfectly, it made the whole story just fall into place.
- This is such a solid stand alone book, yet it is part of The Raven Duet. When you were working on TRICKSTER'S GIRL did you already know where the next book was headed? How much do you outline ahead?
As you may have gathered from some of my other comments, I’m a big outliner. Before I ever set off for Alaska, I knew that the museum break-in would happen in the Salt Lake City area, that the first ley healing would be in Craters of the Moon, that the bikers would start stalking Kelsa somewhere along the road, and that the climax would be her throwing the medicine pouch over the border. I also knew most of the bones of Traitor’s Son, that the core of the story would be the rift in his family, and that the final battle would take place in—and out—of the spirit world. That kind of thing.
- The dreamworld felt so real and compelling, I was truly worried Jason would get stuck! It reminded me so much of Aborigine dreamtime legend, it made me wonder where did you get your inspiration from, for such a richly dark alter-world? (I hope you noticed that was actually one question!)
The spirit world is loosely based on the dream/spirit worlds that appear in many, if not most, native cultures. It arose more from the Inuit myths than the Aborigine, but they’re all somewhat similar. And most of the details simply came from my own imagination. I have no idea, for instance, why Jase’s cell phone turned into a beetle and bit him before it flew off. In truth, I generally dislike dream worlds in stories, because there are no real consequences for what happens there—which to my mind pretty much kills suspense. So in my story’s spirit world, whatever happens to Jase there happens to his body back in the real world. If you’re hurt in the spirit world, those wounds are on your body when you wake up, and they heal in the normal way at normal speed. If you die there...you won’t be waking up. Ever.
- It seems to me that mentors play an important role in this novel, particularly Jason's relationship with his father, grandfather, and grandmother. Where there any mentors that made a big impact in your life, either as a writer or in your childhood?
Not mentors per se. But I did have a good creative writing teacher back in middle school. When I came by at the end of the year to pick up my final story, he asked me if I’d ever considered becoming a writer. I said, “Are you kidding? Writers starve in garrets and get paid peanuts.” He laughed, and said I should consider it. And as you can tell, that conversation stuck with me. I sent him a copy of my first book—and tracking him down was interesting too. The school secretary asked me, “And what was his first name?” “I was in Junior High. His first name was Mister.”
- Finally, what are you reading right now?
Right this minute I’m re-reading an adult alternate history novel—Fortune’s Stroke, number four in the Belisarius series by Eric Flint and David Drake. But the best YA fantasy I’ve read recently—in fact, the best I’ve read in a long time—is Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I know I’m not the first to say it, but it’s a stunningly gorgeous novel. The writing just blows me away.
Thanks so much for hanging out with us, Hilari!
For those of you hoping to write your own brilliant YA novel - Hilari has a heap of really great tips and writing advice on her website, here, WRITING TIPS. I'm going there right now!