Monday, March 09, 2009

Where I send you off on a scavenger hunt through the internet

In my last post, I pushed you right out the door to read someone else's blog, and today I must do the same. It might be considered lazy blogging, and it might even be considered rude ("thanks for coming, now move along!"), but really there are just things one must see and read, things not by me. Maybe it's better we think of this as a scavenger hunt! Ooh, fun. Okay, meet back here in 20 minutes with: some Dave McKean awe, some Joni Sensel advice, and some sniggering behind your hand at me and my marketing *skills.* Ready? Now . . . scatter!

First, Jules and Eisha at 7-Imp, who always put up the most amazing illustrator interviews complete with art (writer interviews too), have completely outdone themselves this time with their awesome Dave McKean interview. Dave McKean. Sigh. You might know him from his Neil Gaiman collaborations (like the Sandman covers, The Graveyard Book cover and illustrations, picture books like The Wolves in the Walls, and the gorgeous film Mirrormask, among other things). You may be of the comic-book-nerd persuasion and know him as the God he is in that sphere. But even if you know all that stuff, there is So. Much. More. This is what I think of Dave McKean: there is talent fountain in the place where souls are minted, and most souls are allowed only a sip--if any at all. But Dave McKean's soul snuck in after hours when the night watchman was snoozing, and he drank and drank and drank and drank some more. All night he drank. Talent tastes pretty good, after all, and he was thirsty. Seriously, check it out. Dave McKean makes my head explode, and if all the art isn't enough, he has to go and be all clever and nice, too! GREAT post, Eisha & Jules! (The above McKean image, though, I just pulled off Google Images.)

Next, some terrific advice from author Joni Sensel (pronounced "Johnny") on revising, specifically: cutting out the boring. All of it. And then some that isn't boring too. When Joni was at work on her just-released The Farwalker's Quest, she planned it as two volumes, as the manuscript came in at 120,000 words or so. However, her editor wanted it to be just one book, and her editor said, "Get a'cuttin'." (Okay, I'm paraphrasing.) How is an author to cut 30,000 words from a manuscript??? That's, like, a whole BOOK! Well, Joni has some ideas for ways to get the trimming started, and they are very clever! Since I am currently tussling with enjoying every moment of a w.i.p. that has delusions of trilogy-ness, I found this Very Helpful.

It's a post from a few weeks ago; I missed it when it was "fresh" and then I wanted to wait until I finished reading The Farwalker's Quest which I did last night, so I can now recommend it! It's a middle-grade fantasy adventure set in a vaguely post-apocalyptic world, some time after the Blind War changed the face of civilization. Humanity has shunned the technology that led them to such cataclysm, and folks live simple, pastoral lives. The thing that saw them through the terrible times after the war was the existence of people with simple magical gifts: healing, tree-speaking, wind-talking, and the like.

Now, when children are 13 they must take their apprenticeship tests, and those few who have inherited these magical gifts try for those positions; others become fishers or reapers. Young Ariel and Zeke are both nervous on the eve of their Naming, Zeke because the tree that has always spoken to him has suddenly stopped, at this worst of all possible times, and Ariel because of a vague unease that she may not actually be a healer like her mother. Then, the very day before the ceremony, they discover something with profound consequences: embedded in Zeke's tree, a "telling dart," a magical dart used in olden times to send important messages over great distances. The problem is, no one knows how to send them anymore, much less read them. so, where did it come from? And then, hard on its trail come two not-so-nice men with the gift of Finding, and nothing is ever going to be the same again . . .

Joni sets up a great mystery right away, and puts her characters on a dangerous quest. It's a thoroughly enjoyable story which, as you might guess from the drastic trimming she did on it, moves along at a terrific pace.

Last link of the day, writer/marketing guru Shelli at "Faeriality" has an interview with . . . ME! It's about my, erm, um, marketing prowess. Ahem. While struggling to answer the questions, I discovered that perhaps marketing is not a natural strength of mine. Heh heh. Seeing as how it's a big year for me, with several books coming out in various forms, I need to be working some marketing wizardry, but alas, what I really want to be doing is writing the next book!!! Writing's hard enough, and then comes the part where you have to, you know, persuade people to read what you have written. And not just read it, but hopefully even buy it. Some writers have natural-born marketing juice in their veins--maybe there's a "marketing" fountain next to the talent one in that mystical soul-mint, and some people drink of both (like Shelli?), but most only one or the other? Anyway, without further ado, HERE are the tales of my, ahem, marketing genius. Thank you, Shelli!!!

5 comments:

Dee said...

Speaking of scavenger hunting... 100 Scope just created a meme on creating your own Fantasy Novel Cover! (http://tinyurl.com/dbs4yp) It's pretty fun, and now he's putting together a gallery.

Hardygirl said...

What a great list of delicious blogs. Thanks! sf

Shelli said...

you are so silly. Your fab blog is marketing in itself. Your kidlit conference, your trips to LA, your speaking engagements. YOu just dont realize you are doing marketing. That's the best kind. :)

Vivian said...

I'm going over right now!

Stephanie Perkins said...

Yes yes yes. I agree with everyone in your interview comments. You are WAY too modest. Your blog is the BEST. Seriously. Best. And a great marketing tool.

And YAY!! The Dave McKean interview! All of those beautiful images...