THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP

Lookit me, meme-ing… And yes, I totes copied and pasted, because I am technically out of town right now (it’s complicated), and net access is limited. Meh. 🙂

 

There are the books everyone has heard about: Twilight, Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Gray. But there are soooo many more books out there just waiting to be discovered. And that’s what this blog hop is all about.

This blog hop is like a game of tag. One author posts and tags a few other authors who link back to their website the next week and tag five new authors. If you follow the blog hop long enough, you’re bound to find some books you’ll love! Maybe you’ll even discover a book that ends up being the next big thing.

 

1: What is the title of your book? The one I am working on at the moment – one that I actually hope to make available by the end of the year – is Marked.

2: Where did the idea come from for the book? A lot of my favourite works-in-progress have stemmed from dreams, but Marked is a notable exception. It started with a phrase – the hunter and the hunted (which was originally the title) – and a concept – tigers as gods of the people. I think, reading the original notes document, that it was possibly also a documentary that I watched about tigers.

3: What genre does your book fall under? Fantasy, I suppose. The characters are sentient tigers, and there is a little magic involved 🙂

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? …Any who were furry and orange and striped? O:) This would probably have to be CGI if it were made into a film 😉

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A tiger guard is driven by starvation to defy his religion’s greatest commandment and eat a human, sparking war between the species and driving him into a destructive spiral of guilt.

6: Who is your publisher? Unpublished as yet.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Sept ’09 to Feb ’10, off and on. This is possibly the point to mention that it’s a novella, about 25,000 words, not a novel 😉

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? …You know, I honestly don’t know of anything else like this! If anyone does, I’d love to hear about it 🙂

9: Who or What inspired you to write this book? Oddly enough, the main character. Once I had the idea of a tiger who was charged by his god with guarding humanity, driven by hunger to eat a human, I knew I had to write the story for his sake. It sounds silly, I know, but poor Avinash is so broken over the resulting war and the destruction of his tribe, I wanted to write the story to show him that no one is beyond redemption – no matter what great evil we may do, there is always hope if we want it.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Tigers! Magic! Interspecies relationships! Telepathy! Death in stone jungle temples! Guilt! Despair! More death and fighting! MORE TIGERS! Crazy twisted, deeply disturbed characters (well, one at least)! A happy ending! Marked: coming soon to an estore near you 😀

 

And now I’m supposed to nominate someone to pass this on to, but I’m not really into tagging people with memes, so instead, leave a link in the comments if you decide to complete the meme! 🙂

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Happy = Unrealistic

In response to Michelle’s fabulous post here.

Actually, I reject the notion that endings can be divided into ‘happy’ and ‘more realistic’. This is a topic of frequent debate at work (i.e. in the English faculty), because there are certainly those in the faculty who despite any kind of popular or populist fiction as ‘trashy’, those of use who take a more midline approach, and those of us who would be more than happy to teach Twilight for its literary merit. I am refraining from commenting on that one, because we are all entitled to our own opinions, but suffice to say I am in the midline group.

One of the most interesting characteristics that delineate the approximately two groups (teach only highbrow lit fic, and teach more accessible texts that have equal merit too) is that it more or less ends up being a discussion about teaching sad endings versus teaching happy endings. Many of the classics are quite bleak, and it is entirely possible to get through several years of schooling and not read a single happy ending.

Personally, I protest. WHY are sad, bleak or depressing endings more valuable than happy ones? One argument is that they are ‘more realistic’, but that entirely depends on whose reality you are living. I have ups and downs in my life, as we all do, but honestly, on balance, my endings are happy. I have a great job, a wonderful family, a lovely home… I am privileged and (by global comparison) wealthy. My endings are happy. A bleak book does NOT reflect my reality, not at all.

I’ve talked about this before – why I don’t believe in depressing fiction.

I’m not saying that we should abstain from sad, depressing endings. I’m not saying that endings should be saccharine. Personally, I find the most satisfying endings are the ones that are bittersweet, or the ones that are happy, but where the happy ending was hard-won. No, I’m pretty sure most people don’t have saccharine endings. No, I’m pretty sure that for most of the world, things do not just appear out of the blue to give you a happily ever after. Some people like those books, and that’s great – whether because the books are wish fulfilment, or because for a small minority they really truly do reflect their reality, it doesn’t matter. Some people like sad, bleak and depressing endings too, and while I’m pretty sure that’s not wish fulfilment, and I acknowledge that it’s the reality for a much larger percentage of the global population, it’s still not the norm for the average voracious western reader, which, let’s face it, is the target market for a ridiculously high percentage of these books.

Ultimately, I couldn’t care less which kind of ending you prefer. I am free to teach ‘happy books’ in my classes, and my colleagues are free to teach bleak fiction in theirs, and you as a reader are free to prefer whichever the heck kind of books you want to. But please: can we all stop pretending that happy endings are less realistic than bleak ones? Because for the majority of readers, that’s just not true.
Thanks.

What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank…

…is the highly awesome title of a highly awesome book by a highly awesome person, aka Krista Ball, which was just released yesterday. Ish. Time zones confuse me. Anyway, here’s the blurbage:

Equal parts writer’s guide, comedy, and historical cookbook, fantasy author Krista D. Ball takes readers on a journey into the depths of epic fantasy’s obsession with rabbit stew and teaches them how to catch the blasted creatures, how to move armies across enemy territories without anyone starving to death, and what a medieval pantry should look like when your heroine is seducing the hero.
 
Learn how long to cook a salted cow tongue, how best to serve salt fish, what a “brewis” is (hint: it isn’t beer), how an airship captain would make breakfast, how to preserve just about anything, and why those dairy maids all have ample hips.What Kings Ate will give writers of historical and fantastical genres the tools to create new conflicts in their stories, as well as add authenticity to their worlds, all the while giving food history lovers a taste of the past with original recipes and historical notes.

And isn’t the cover so pretty-shiny?!?!

What Kings Ate

I’m really excited for the release of this book. I had the privilege of reading it before it was released, and you guys, it is seriously awesome. Don’t be dissuaded by the fact that this is notionally pegged at writers: I promise you, ANYONE with an interest in food history will get a kick out of this shiny, shiny book. Krista writes with a casual, easy-to-read style, and the book is informative, comprehensively researched, and very entertaining, with lots of quirky tidbits and personal anecdotes.

Congrats, Krista, on a really fabulous release :o) YAY!

Book links: Amazon, the publisher’s website, news about the paperbacks, list of other venues where it will be available in lots of other formats soon :o)

Krista was born and raised in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, where she learned how to use a chainsaw, chop wood,and make raspberry jam. After obtaining a B.A. in British History from Mount Allison University, Krista moved to Edmonton, AB where she currently lives. Somehow, she’s picked up an engineer, two kids, six cats, and a very understanding corgi off ebay. Her credit card has been since taken away. Like any good writer, Krista has had an eclectic array of jobs throughout her life, including strawberry picker, pub bathroom cleaner, oil spill cleaner upper and soup-kitchen coordinator. You can find her causing trouble at http://kristadball.com.