Sunday, August 22, 2010

With Apologies

Our internet has been futzing with us the past week or so.  I promise to get back to the Back to School interview series as soon as I can.

(typed in haste using the internet connection at work....)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

H is for Holly


In 2002, Holly Kennedy attended Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Writers Workshop in Belize with a short story she'd written called "The Tin Box." The story became the first novel she ever wrote, and the first she published. Since its debut, The Tin Box, has been published in six languages.

Her second novel, The Penny Tree, released in 2007, has also been published in multiple languages, and her third, The Silver Compass, was published in April 2008.

Holly is married, has two young sons, and is a stepmother to another son and daughter. She resides in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada, and is currently at work on a new novel.

<== And here's where Holly is at work on that new novel. In my opinion, this is one of the best offices ever.









About Holly's most recent novel, The Silver Compass:


Fifteen years ago, Ellis Williams was seventeen, pregnant, abandoned by her father, and scared to death when she jumped off a Montana bridge. Then along came Louie, who saved her from shame with a beautiful lie. He changed several lives on that day. Now, recently widowed and with a troubled teenage daughter of her own, Ellis has returned to her childhood home, where life will catch her by surprise-and point her in new directions.



Step #1
LIGHTNING ROUND
  • music or gym class? Gym class
  • high school or college?  College
  • school lunch or sack lunch? sack lunch
  • crayons or markers? markers
  • first crush:  grade 5, boy named Shane
  • favorite subject: English
  • favorite teacher: English teacher
Step #2
TELL US about any of your weird writing habits or idiosyncracies. (ie, What’s one “thing” you need to write, the thing without which the creative juices would cease to flow?)
  • Bose headphones (to block out the noise from my family)
  • My morning espresso – CANNOT write a word without my double shot
  • Each morning before I start writing I *fiddle* with a tiny piece of the Berlin Wall as I check my email. A friend of mine was there when the wall was knocked down and he brought it back for me. To me it signifies (of course) freedom, but also the breaking down of any walls that may hinder creativity.
Step #3
TEACH US one or two of your favorite vocabulary words.

this often changes, though right now I seem to be stuck on these words -- cusp, fragmented, catatonic

Step #4
BOOK BLANKS
  • The last book I finished reading was The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.
  • I gave it 4 stars.
  • One word to describe it is absorbing.

Step #5
QUESTION: What's your favorite school-age memory?

Having my grade eight English teacher (a tough cookie who rarely smiled or complimented anyone) tell the entire class that my annual short story was ‘stunning’ and ‘well beyond my years.’

Step #6
QUESTION:What effect did school (elementary through college/grad school) have on your writing?

For me, the evolution of relationships/friendships (some that still exist today) proved inspiring. Even now, years later, I still draw on things that happened during my school years when it comes to my writing. I also learned I wasn’t a conformist, hated rules (still do), and excelled when I was allowed the freedom to be creative with my stories.

Step #7
GIVE US THE SCOOP. Tell us something about yourself that’s exclusive to In Search of Giants (ie, has never been publicized in print or podcast interviews.)

I finished high school when I was seventeen and my first job was a long distance operator.

In addition to that, when I was twelve I knocked myself out with a hammer. I was building a bird house, happily pounding away outside, when a HUGE spruce beetle landed on my forehead. I instinctively tried to swat it off with my right hand but was holding a hammer at the time and… WHOMP! …hit myself square between the eyes. It wasn’t funny THEN, but seems funny now, so much so that I made sure to build that scene into my debut novel, The Tin Box.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

G is for Genella

My next guest is another friend-of-a-friend recommendation, but one word as to why I immediately connected with her:
By day, Genella deGrey is an executive assistant at a major motion picture studio, by night she is a romance author. She’s had stories rattling around in her head since high school, and has been writing off and on ever since. In her spare time (what spare time?) Genella enjoys reading historical romance, collecting healing crystal and stone jewelry, live music and participating in historical reenactments.


In addition, she is a makeup artist for independent films and does occasional set dressing. Her favorite set dressing gig was with the Resort Enhancement Team where she refurbished, created, and displayed Christmas decorations for the Walt Disney Resort. She has worked for the resort in many capacities, both back stage and on stage, and for her, Disneyland will never lose its magic.

Genella also has a keen interest in the spiritual. She loves wandering around in graveyards and haunted places, the older the better. New Orleans is one of her favorite haunts, as is Tombstone, AZ.



Step #1
LIGHTNING ROUND
  • music or gym class? Music – I took choir for seven years, which was fun. But in my junior year I took archery. It came in handy for Ren Faire later. :)
  • high school or college? College. And someday I'll attend. ;)
  • school lunch or sack lunch? Sack
  • crayons or markers? Oooo, tough choice. Crayons if I'm drawing with my son, markers if it's just me.
  • first crush:  Peter Pan. Yes, the cartoon. Seems I'm still falling for the same kind of men as an adult - LOL
  • favorite subject: Probably Drama class then, now I'd take history in a heartbeat.
  • favorite teacher: Mrs. McCarthy – World Lit. She treated us respectfully and I learned about amazing artists in that class: Escher, Shakespeare, Dickens, to name a few.
Step #2
TELL US about any of your weird writing habits or idiosyncracies. (ie, What’s one “thing” you need to write, the thing without which the creative juices would cease to flow?)

I know this is odd and may be TMI, but honestly great sex fires-up my muse.

Step #3
TEACH US one or two of your favorite vocabulary words.

Superfluous - Exceeding what is sufficient, not needed, unnecessary extravagant.

Step #4
BOOK BLANKS
OK, here's the sad thing about this, I haven't been able to read lately – I've been in apartment search hell for a couple of months and my son is about to start kindergarten – all this on top of my 9 to 5. Yeah, I've been a bit busy lately.
  • The last book I finished reading was  by
  • I gave it stars.
  • One word to describe it is .
Step #5
QUESTION: What's your favorite school-age memory?

Performing at Disneyland with either Choir or Tall Flags.

Step #6
QUESTION:What effect did school (elementary through college/grad school) have on your writing?

None whatsoever. Everything I've learned thus far has been from life-after-school experiences.

Step #7
GIVE US THE SCOOP. Tell us something about yourself that’s exclusive to In Search of Giants (ie, has never been publicized in print or podcast interviews.)

I've been single for six months . . . ? Seriously, there's not much going on here that doesn't have to do with major life-altering change. Luckily, I embrace change. :)



TOMORROW: H is for Holly

Monday, August 16, 2010

F is for Farrah

I'm grateful to Shauna Roberts (S is for Shauna, coming soon) for introducing me to Farrah Rochon. I don't have any cute personal anecdotes to share about Farrah, since I've just met her myself. I will tell you, however, that I share her deep dark secret (see Step #7).

Farrah Rochon, award-winning author of the popular Holmes Brothers series, hails from a small town just west of New Orleans. Currently residing in Austin, Texas, Farrah writes contemporary romance. She was named Shades of Romance Magazine's Best New Author of 2007, and her debut novel, Deliver Me, claimed the prize for Best Multicultural Romance Debut.

Her latest novel, Huddle With Me Tonight, marks Farrah's debut with Harlequin's African American imprint, Kimani Romance. Huddle With Me Tonight is the first in her brand new series, which centers around the fictional New York Sabers football team. The second in the series, I'll Catch You, is a March 2011 release.

D'you see any similarities between the cover of Huddle (white towel, killer six pack) and, oh, another of my favorite celebrity icons (white towel, killer six pack)?


I'm just sayin'.



Step #1
LIGHTNING ROUND
  • music or gym class? Music
  • high school or college? High School
  • school lunch or sack lunch? Sack Lunch
  • crayons or markers? Markers
  • first crush:  Patrick Swayze as Orry Main in North and South (I was going to marry him)
  • favorite subject:
  • favorite teacher: Brenda Mitchell (sorry Mom)
Step #2
TELL US about any of your weird writing habits or idiosyncracies. (ie, What’s one “thing” you need to write, the thing without which the creative juices would cease to flow?)

Coffee!!! Yes, I know I probably can write without it, but I’m too afraid not to. At night, when I’m thinking of the scene I will write the next day, I actually imagine the first taste of coffee hitting my tongue. It’s as if my imagination cannot function without it.

Step #3
TEACH US one or two of your favorite vocabulary words.

Sluice (the verb form) - It means to flow or pour out of.
I didn’t realize this was a favorite word until my sister, who is currently doing a beta read of my latest book, called to tell me I must really like this word because I use it over and over and over. Did I mention that my sister can be very harsh?

Step #4
BOOK BLANKS
  • The last book I finished reading was Operation Prince Charming by Phyllis Bourne.
  • I gave it 5 stars.
  • One word to describe it is enchanting.

Step #5
QUESTION: What's your favorite school-age memory?

When my sister (yes, the same one who has a mean streak) surprised me by having a flower bouquet and the newest John Grisham novel (The Client) delivered for my birthday. Many of my classmates didn’t understand why I was so happy, but getting that book on the release day was like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. It was so special.

Step #6
QUESTION:What effect did school (elementary through college/grad school) have on your writing?

Throughout my high school and college years, my English teachers encouraged my writing. From winning the top prize in my ninth grade English class, to having a former professor choose a poem I wrote about my grandmother for publication in the department’s academic journal, my former teachers were my biggest champions.

Step #7
GIVE US THE SCOOP. Tell us something about yourself that’s exclusive to In Search of Giants (ie, has never been publicized in print or podcast interviews.)

Since I am all over the web, it’s hard to think of something that others don’t know about me. However, I’ll share a deep dark secret…I have neither read nor seen Gone With The Wind. I know, it is a travesty of the highest order to ignore such a classic. I’ll get to it eventually.


TOMORROW: G is for Genella

Saturday, August 14, 2010

WEEKEND FEATURE: A is for Adam

Although Adam Slade is a newly published author (yadda yadda), he's more importantly a new fiance and proud papa of two gorgeous dogs.

two gorgeous couples (L: Adam, Rhaina; R: Dream the Ladypooch and her pup, Poppy)

Oh, all right, you want to know about Adam's book.  Sheesh, you're so pushy. For one thing, you can check out Adam's Facebook Author Page Here's the info on A Reaper's Tale (Lyrical Press, 2010).

Even Grim Reapers have bad days on the job.

Mal has managed to stay out of the afterlife for 31 years, despite having been dead for the last three. He's a Grim Reaper, and while he may not be the most enthusiastic, he enjoys his "life" too much to give it up to death. But he's got a problem. A troubled young woman's soul becomes bonded to his, and a vicious demon is hired to retrieve it.

If Mal can't get her soul free in a hurry, he's doomed to share her destination, whether it be heaven or hell.



Step #1
LIGHTNING ROUND
  • music or gym class? Music (though I was terrible in both)
  • high school or college? High school! (I lasted a month in college.)
  • school lunch or sack lunch? School lunch!
  • crayons or markers? Crayons!!! Woooooo! (I used to eat them.)
  • first crush:  Claire Deacon, I think... The first truly memorable one was Jennifer Heal.
  • favorite subject: Science!
  • favorite teacher:  Mr. Counter (our head), or Mr. Parker (Geography).
Step #2
TELL US about any of your weird writing habits or idiosyncracies. (ie, What’s one “thing” you need to write, the thing without which the creative juices would cease to flow?)

I like to have a large cup of tea at my side when I start. Other than that, I’m not sure that I have any. Dull answer, huh? ;)

Step #3
TEACH US one or two of your favorite vocabulary words.

Mellifluous - “Having a smooth rich flow.” If only I could get my writing to conform to this more often...

Step #4
BOOK BLANKS
  • The last book I finished reading was Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
  • I gave it 4.763 stars. (Out of 5.2)
  • One word to describe it is AWOOOOOOO!!!.

Step #5
QUESTION: What's your favorite school-age memory?

Hot summer afternoons, laying on the grass and talking to my friends. Also, in the last year we got to go to a local indoor climbing wall. I don’t have the best head for heights, but hanging around with my friends in the bouldering sections was great fun (pun intended).

Step #6
QUESTION:What effect did school (elementary through college/grad school) have on your writing?

None whatsoever. I started writing at around 23 years of age, and it was in no way related to any sort of education, and was all down to the amount I read.
While I enjoyed English lessons, I was never any good at it. I sat toward the back with the... less attentive kids. ;)

Step #7
GIVE US THE SCOOP. Tell us something about yourself that’s exclusive to In Search of Giants (ie, has never been publicized in print or podcast interviews.)

I’ve told people so much, through blog awards and Facebook notes, that there isn’t much left.
I can dislocate my left thumb, and for years I had to do everything symmetrically. Ie, if I did something with my left hand, I’d have to do with my right. Other than dislocating thumbs. That was a lefty exclusive.



MONDAY: F is for Farrah

Friday, August 13, 2010

E is for Erica

You might recognize the picture on the right from our Book Drive for Merry.  I spent nearly two years in awe of my next 7ss author, Erica Orloff, before realizing she's accessible, kind, and that the only person funnier is her elementary age son.

After publishing 20 novels for adults, including Freudian Slip, nominated for best contemporary romance of 2009 by Romantic Times, Erica Orloff took to her Russian ancestry to write the middle grade children’s fantasy series, The Magickeepers, under the pen name Erica Kirov.

Although I've not yet read either of The Magickeepers, I have read Freudian Slip, which involves characters that might seem familiar to persons from a Christian tradition. Angels, demons.  People-who-have-yet-to-cross-over.  The story in Freudian Slip is fine - enjoyable, well-written, solid characters, blah, blah.  It's the theology that blows me away.  This has to be the most intelligent contemporary romance since...ever.

A native New Yorker, Erica is a rapid Yankees fan in baseball season, which is really just the warm-up for football and the NY Giants. A mother of four (not to mention the three dogs, cat, hedgehog, python, and parrot), she balances writing with motherhood, with varying degrees of success and a large amount of chaos.

She maintains a writing blog at her website: www.ericaorloff.com.


Step #1
LIGHTNING ROUND
  • music or gym class? Music
  • high school or college?  College
  • school lunch or sack lunch?  Sack
  • crayons or markers? Markers
  • first crush: 
  • favorite subject: English
  • favorite teacher: Hmm, tough one. So many. Ray Wingrove—a class on Dying, Death, and Grief in college . . . and one of my dear friends today
Step #2
TELL US about any of your weird writing habits or idiosyncracies. (ie, What’s one “thing” you need to write, the thing without which the creative juices would cease to flow?)

I have four kids. I write in chaos. I long ago learned not to NEED anything to write (oh, like quiet, long stretches of time, SLEEP). I have a lucky bathrobe for when I am at my most desperate hour on a deadline. And I do drink a lot of coffee. And the idiosyncratic thing about that? I brew a whole pot. I only drink MAYBE two cups all day, but it SEEMS like a lot because I am always dumping and refilling all day long.

Step #3
TEACH US one or two of your favorite vocabulary words.

My favorite word in the English language is Fata Morgana, which is a very complicated sort of mirage, having to do with thermal inversion. But of course that it is tied to Morgan le Fay—just love it.

I also like Schadenfreude . . . deriving pleasure from other’s misfortunes. Not that I LIKE that, but it’s such a weird phenomenon in our culture right now. Something I loathe actually . . . the word is perfect for American society right now.

Step #4
BOOK BLANKS
  • The last book I finished reading was The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
  • I gave it 3stars.
  • One word to describe it is dark.
Step #5
QUESTION: What's your favorite school-age memory?

It’s a sound actually. My grandparents owned a little cottage in upstate New York, and they were early risers, and so was I. There was nothing like the sound of their spoons hitting the sides of their tea cups, like this little bell sound, almost, and then I would know I could jump out of bed and go see them and the day would begin.

Step #6
QUESTION:What effect did school (elementary through college/grad school) have on your writing?

I think it helped me know I was a writer. Writing came so easily to me. Term papers. All of it. When other kids had to struggle with those essays (you know, write an essay of 500 or more words . . . where kids would pad them with adjectives just to make the 500-word mark) . . . I could write for pages and pages. Words just came to me all the time.

Step #7
GIVE US THE SCOOP. Tell us something about yourself that’s exclusive to In Search of Giants (ie, has never been publicized in print or podcast interviews.)

Hmmmm . . . . My father likes to steal things from restaurants and hotels. Silverware. Plates. Anything. And if we pass the chambermaid’s cart, he’s taking almost everything on it—like 50 washcloths. I furnished much of my college apartment from the Hyatt hotel chain. And from the most expensive Hyatt restaurant, Hugo’s, my father wanted to take the silver sugar caddies. I told him I didn’t (at the time) drink coffee, and I had no use for the sugar caddies. Nonetheless, he stole four of them for me. And I used them for the feeding bowls for my gerbils. I had very classy gerbils.


WEEKEND FEATURE: Adam Slade

Thursday, August 12, 2010

D is for Daniel (plus a contest!)

Daniel is the one on the left
I'm a little beside myself to introduce the next Back to School interviewee, Daniel Jenewein. (Too many Germans on my blog? Nah.)

Daniel grew up in a small secluded forest in the Rheingau, a wine-producing region in Germany. He studied Graphic Design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Currently, he works as a freelance illustrator in Frankfurt, Germany. In 2010, his first children’s picture book, Is your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? was published by Balzer+Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins.

from Publisher's Weekly:
“Some people say kindergarten is no place for a buffalo. How crazy is that?” So begins this humorous story about standing out in order to fit in. A buffalo doesn’t look, eat, or act like anyone else, but it’s his differences that make him so lovable (“who can resist that furry face?”). This story’s simple lesson about individuality is cleverly expressed through Vernick’s gentle wit and Jennewein’s crayon-outlined kindergartners--most of all, the furry and ungainly reader surrogate with whom kids will readily relate, even if “he may the only one who eats grass, then throws it up in his mouth and eats it again. Remember: Everyone’s special in his or her own way.” Ages 4-8. (July)
Daniel lives with his wife, popular book blogger Lenore* of Presenting Lenore, and Emmy, a bratty Birman kitty who is a star of Lenore's blog.

* This interview is about Daniel, not Lenore. However, Lenore is a blogging celebrity and my heart is still fluttery that I get to interview her husband.

Contest Information below the Interview



Step #1
LIGHTNING ROUND
  • music or gym class? Gym Class
  • high school or college?  College
  • school lunch or sack lunch? school lunch
  • crayons or markers? crayons
  • first crush: The daughter of the owners of the first Chinese restaurant in Wiesbaden
  • favorite subject: art
  • favorite teacher: My kindergarten teacher

Step #2
TELL US about any of your weird drawing habits or idiosyncracies. (ie, What’s one “thing” you need to create, the thing without which the creative juices would cease to flow?)

I’m very extroverted in my process, so I like to have a sounding board - someone to go over my ideas with.

Step #3
TEACH US one or two of your favorite vocabulary words.

I’m German, and in our language we like to create huge compound words. So I think something like Krankenversicherungsbeitragsentlastungsgesetz (lawful reduction of health insurance fees) is really fun. I also like Neugier (curiosity) because it’s so logical. Literally it means greed for new things.

Step #4
BOOK BLANKS
  • The last book I finished reading was Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
  • I gave it 4 stars.
  • One word to describe it is tragic.
Step #5
QUESTION: What's your favorite school-age memory?

The day it was finally over

Step #6
QUESTION:What effect did school (elementary through college/grad school) have on your drawing?

Art classes in school were never taken seriously. Teachers and parents stressed science or history, subjects that weren’t my favorites. Art Classes, like Music or PE, were more seen as recreation classes. It didn’t matter much if you were good or bad. That was a little frustrating for me since drawing was the one area I really excelled in. The teacher did not push you and gave everyone good grades anyway. College was a little different. I studied Graphic Design and learned some basics and techniques. It also helps to have a design sense as an illustrator. Still I believe you don’t need to go to college to do good drawings.

Step #7
GIVE US THE SCOOP. Tell us something about yourself that’s exclusive to In Search of Giants (ie, has never been publicized in print or podcast interviews.)

My mother claims I was the most difficult of her 3 sons when I was small. She has a video of me where I am throwing a very dramatic tantrum, and she likes to show to it to people who mistakenly believe I am easy going.


TOMORROW: E is for Erica
(I hope)

CONTEST INFORMATION
(with thanks to HarperCollins)

One winner gets a copy of the book. 
Giveaway is open to US Residents only.

To enter, leave a comment on any Back to School Interview this week (the week of August 9).
One entry per interview, so a possible total of five entries.
Winner will be announced Monday, August 16.

Exciting News! The winner of the copy of Is My Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? will also be entered (along with blog owner) into a larger contest to win a personalized book bag! There are also extra chances to win with the more entrants we get here, so make sure to tell your friends!

Details: The winning team (blogger and blogger contest winner) each get to choose a personalized pose for the buffalo which Daniel will illustrate and then print onto a book bag for each.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

C is for Charles

If the picture of Charles Gramlich frightens you as much as it frightened me when I first encountered him over at Clarity of Night...don't worry.  I don't know him well enough to say he's really a teddy bear instead of a badass, but I can say he's a hell of a writer, has a dry sense of humor, and is a warm and congenial Facebook/blogging buddy.

Charles Gramlich grew up on a farm in Arkansas but moved to the New Orleans area in 1986 to teach psychology at a local university. Charles likes to write in many different genres but all of his fiction work is known for its intense action and strong visuals.

Charles, who blogs at Razored Zen,  has written several books (fiction and non-), over 75 short stories, and been published oodles of places elsewhere.  You should check out his impressive bibliography.  In the meantime, here's a tiny amuse bouche to whet your appetite.

Abruptly transported from Earth to Talera, Ruenn Maclang must slash his way through a world of alien warriors and deadly beasts, where every move can result in death. To stay alive and find his missing brother, Ruenn must quickly learn the discipline of sword and spear, and experience the bitter stench of battle. And he must uncover the many hidden secrets of Talera, a weird and wonderful world very different from our own. 




As of Tuesday August 10 Blogger has not been allowing me to insert images, so I apologize for the forthcoming image-less interview.



Step #1
LIGHTNING ROUND
  • music or gym class? gym class
  • high school or college? college
  • school lunch or sack lunch? school lunch
  • crayons or markers? crayons
  • first crush: Her name was Deborah. A much older woman
  • favorite subject: Biopsychology
  • favorite teacher: Jeff Stripling
Step #2
TELL US about any of your weird writing habits or idiosyncracies. (ie, What’s one “thing” you need to write, the thing without which the creative juices would cease to flow?)

For idiosyncrasies, here are two. First, I don’t right justify my paragraphs but I hate for the right side to be too ragged so I’ll go through verbal gymnastics to get the right side of my paragraphs to be ‘roughly’ even. Second, once my story is done, I often go back through and play a little game with myself to see if I can cut one line out of each paragraph, thus turning 6 line paragraphs into 5 lines and so on. I do this somewhat less these days because the trend has been toward shorter and shorter paragraphs anyway.

As for something I “need” to write, the primary thing I need is “relative” quiet. I never play music or let the TV play while I work, and I have a very hard time if there is a lot of ambient noise, like lawnmowers or loud chatter. Generally, traffic noise does not bother me, however.

Step #3
TEACH US one or two of your favorite vocabulary words.

I love all the weird names for “wind” in the world. Here are two I particularly like and use all the time:

Harmattan: a hot, dry, parching wind carrying dust.
Mistral: a cold, dry northern wind.

Step #4
BOOK BLANKS
  • The last book I finished reading was Crossroad Blues by Steve Malley.
  • I gave it 5 stars.
  • One word to describe it is intense.
Step #5
QUESTION: What's your favorite school-age memory?

Perhaps it was a prank a friend and I pulled as sophomores in high school. We’d gone to eat pizza and on the way back to our small town we stopped at a place in the country where people liked to party. We picked up a bunch of empty beer cans and stuck them in the car. When we got back to town we pulled up in the parking lot where a bunch of our buddies were and I pretended to fall out of the car with a beer in my hand while kicking a couple of other empties onto the concrete. We both acted like we were drunk, although we hadn’t touched a drop. The next day it was all over school about how wasted we’d been. My friend and I laughed over that for a long time.

Step #6
QUESTION:What effect did school (elementary through college/grad school) have on your writing?

Because I loved reading so much, I might have been a writer even if I hadn’t gone on to college and graduate school, but I doubt I’d have written the same kind of material or been as successful. Graduate school, in particular, gave me the specialized education that I needed to write much of the nonfiction that I’ve written, as well as a career that encourages me to write nonfiction and provides me with many opportunities for it, as well as periods of time off to work on fiction. Grad school also taught me the discipline that I think is absolutely critical for writers.

Step #7
GIVE US THE SCOOP. Tell us something about yourself that’s exclusive to In Search of Giants (ie, has never been publicized in print or podcast interviews.)

I collected a lot of things as a kid, rocks, bugs, leaves, stamps, etc. But my favorite collection was my spark plug collection. I had tractor plugs, motorcycle plugs, lawnmower plugs, motorboat plugs, and a giant plug that came out of a military tank. Somewhere along the line I lost that collection and it’s the only one I miss. I sure wish I still had it.



TOMORROW: D for Daniel

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

B is for Beth

Beth Revis is a soon-to-be published author and my second guest for the special edition 7-SS series, Back to School A-Z.


POP QUIZ!

The thing I like most about Beth is

a) she teaches high school
b) she's a Mac fanatic
c) she lives in one of my favorite states
d) she's hilarious
e) she has excellent taste in books
f) her author blog
g) her blog about writing
h) all of the above.

(If y'all guessed anything except h, you're fired.)

Beth's debut novel, Across the Universe, will be released in spring of 2011.
In the novel, set in the near future, a teenager is cryogenically frozen only to thaw too soon, before arriving at the new planet that's her destination. Set to wake 300 years in the future, She rouses 50 years too early, still on a spaceship in transit.


Step #1
LIGHTNING ROUND
  • music or gym class? Music! Specifically, piano
  • high school or college? College. SO much more fun than high school, which was just drama and stress
  • school lunch or sack lunch?  Sack. Although my people called it a bag lunch
  • crayons or markers? Sharpies
  • first crush: Is way too embarrassing to talk of.
  • favorite subject: literature and history
  • favorite teacher: Mrs. Washburn, tenth grade English teacher
Step #2
TELL US about any of your weird writing habits or idiosyncracies. (ie, What’s one “thing” you need to write, the thing without which the creative juices would cease to flow?)

Don’t really have any idiosyncracies if the writing is going well…but if I get stuck, going on a long drive usually helps.

Step #3
TEACH US one or two of your favorite vocabulary words.

“Apropos” which means “appropriate,” but sounds cool. As in: Ninja-kicking the old man in the face was certainly not apropos.

Step #4
BOOK BLANKS
  • The last book I finished reading was Paranormalcy byKiersten White
  • I gave ita bazillion stars.
  • One word to describe it is kickass.
Step #5
QUESTION: What's your favorite school-age memory?

My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Pearson, read a story I wrote about a unicorn to the whole class—I felt so special, and it made me think my writing was worthwhile.

Step #6
QUESTION:What effect did school (elementary through college/grad school) have on your writing?

Elementary school taught me that I loved stories—reading and writing them.

High school taught me that while I loved stories—reading and writing them—I probably would never be able to make a living at it, and I should get a degree in something sensible so I could get a decent day job.

College taught me that I didn’t care that I’d need a decent day job, I wanted to write anyway.

Step #7
GIVE US THE SCOOP. Tell us something about yourself that’s exclusive to In Search of Giants (ie, has never been publicized in print or podcast interviews.)

Hmmm… Jordan was my favorite New Kid on the Block.



TOMORROW: Charles Gramlich

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