Author Interviews?

Posted on February 8, 2011. Filed under: Authors, Musings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Does anyone know if authors do interviews with lowly bloggers?

I ask because I want to pick up my rusty journalism skills and start practicing again and was thinking it would be fun to be able to interview some of my favorite authors. Of course, that requires some clout, or I’m assuming it does.

I know there are bloggers out there who are well known to the publishing and writing industry. These are the bloggers who get to read the ARCs and review them for publishers. They have a highly rated blog simply by dent of having hundreds of followers, all of whom want to know about the books these people read.

I, clearly, am not one of those people. But it would be nice to find out if authors are willing to interview with a lowly blogger like myself.

Now, it’s also clear that I’m not a journalist. I studied journalism in college for a while, thinking I would double major in business and journalism and find a better job that way. But I dropped journalism shortly after starting the major, perhaps a year into it, due to personal circumstances.

However, my passion for writing has never changed, and since I can’t get a job in a newspaper or magazine at the moment, it would serve me well to keep up my skills by writing for myself and my readers. I merely thought it would be fun if that writing was about established authors and could get me noticed by a few more people in the process.

So far, I’ve contacted my favorite author twice and received one response from her. It was a personal response instead of a form letter, but as Lauren Willig has become ridiculously popular, I’m not sure I could get an interview with her, even one through email.

Other authors I’d like to interview? Ted Dekker, for one. Despite not being happy with the tacked-on ending (or beginning) to his Circle Trilogy (series?), I am curious about how that man’s mind works. His characters are so vivid that I wonder if they’re not people he knows in real life. Not to mention the worlds and situations he creates.

Off-hand, I’d also like to interview one of my earliest “adult” authors: Lori Wick. I started reading her books when I was a child, but those were the books that introduced me to the world of “adult” fiction, or rather, the world of fiction that technically should have been above my reading level. Lori Wick was always one of my favorites growing up, even though I sometimes feel she’s lost some of her touch (though part of that is due to the overwhelming amount of Christian romance fiction that permeates [read: saturates] the market today).

Aside from those three authors, I wouldn’t mind interviewing Orson Scott Card as I find his ability to make me like science fiction fascinating. Francis Chan would be awesome to interview as would Diana Gabaldon.

There are so many authors who I’d love to interview simply to understand their minds and where their inspiration comes from. The unfortunate thing is that many of the authors I’d really like to interview are already dead.

What would it be like to interview C.S. Lewis or JRR Tolkien? To sit down with William Shakespeare for a cup of tea and a chat? To walk along a field with Jane Austen, pumping her for information about Mr. Darcy? Or, if you’re like me, to watch an opera with Baroness Orczy and then stay up late at night with her, sipping whiskey (or whatever alcoholic beverage was her preference) over rousing tales of Sir Percy Blakeney?

Clearly that won’t happen. But I’d like to think that some authors out there are willing to be interviewed by poor bloggers like myself. Does that happen? I’m not entirely sure and haven’t done enough research to see if it does or not.

Who would you interview if you could? And why?

Rae

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Something Old, Something New…

Posted on February 7, 2011. Filed under: Books, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance | Tags: , , , , , , , |

No, I’m not getting married. Phew! That’s a relief, right? And to finish, there is something borrowed but not something blue. Something Green, yes, but blue? No.

So let’s do the run-through. Of late, I’ve been trying to read as many books as possible before I travel back to China. It’s going to be interesting to see if I can finish the one I’m reading now, given that it’s more than 800 pages long, but I’m trucking along. I’ve been reading it while doing the free step exercise on Wii Fit Plus.

As far as the something Green goes, you probably already guessed that I finally read Ted Dekker’s book, Green, from his original Circle Trilogy. Granted, that has now become four books, and there’s no cool name for four books, so we’ll call it a series.

After reading it, though, I was completely lost and confused, mostly cause it’s been so long since I read the original three books. So I had to go back and start rereading the series from Black. I got halfway through Red before moving on to another book. So I suppose that also answers my something old question as well.

I loved Thomas Hunter’s story. The way Dekker wove the history of earth with the history of Hunter’s dream-world-turned-reality was amazing, and the fact that the two worlds were colliding through one man and his connection to both blew me away when I read it originally. Dekker’s originality and creativity made me really appreciate his series.

However, I think I’m with the people who have critiqued the latest release. Instead of answering questions, it left me with more questions. Instead of wrapping up what was already a phenomenal trilogy, it gave me another book with plot twists that only got more and more confusing and led to a cliffhanger that was unsatisfactory. In short, it left me feeling disappointed, and it definitely fell flat in my opinion.

So what else? Oh, yes, that leaves me with my something new. And that would be a book totally outside my normal authors and genres. Actually, I’m not sure where this book would fit. It’s a romance, to be sure, but it’s kind of a fantasy mixed with historical fiction as well. I haven’t looked at the official classification, but I assume it typically falls under romance.

I picked it up because so many people in the NaNoWriMo forums are always recommending this author as one of the greats. I wanted to read some things that I’ve heard people talk about as I tend to read authors who are either less well-known or more obscure (which is really the same thing, I suppose) than the many readers on the NaNo forums. I often find myself feeling as if I’m not well-read at all when I peruse the forums, so I decided to do something about it by choosing a few authors and books that sounded interesting and reading them this year.

The result? I picked up Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, an 800+ behemoth that is the first in a series of at least seven books.

Boy, was I stupid.

Now, before you start thinking that I say that because I was hoodwinked into picking up what is the first in a series of huge books instead of just some one-off, stop. That’s not what I meant. My problem is that I have, so far, really enjoyed the story Gabaldon weaves. It’s actually somewhat plausible to me, and given her protagonist, I can see how the woman’s placement in the time period she’s in would give her opportunities to use her knowledge of history for good while simultaneously avoiding being singled out as a witch and killed.

That said, I don’t have the money to buy the rest of the books in the series. I’m a little sad about that.

But the great thing is that I’ve never read anything by Diana Gabaldon before, and so far, she’s really impressed me. I’m loving the story, even though I’m not even halfway through the behemoth, and I can’t wait to see what other twists and turns it takes before it reaches its end.

So now I’ll end this by asking if you’ve done the same: taken someone’s suggestion of a book or author only to come across someone you really enjoy. Got any other suggestions for me? I don’t read many mainstream books because I tend to gravitate towards others, but I’m always open to suggestions, especially if I’m going to read 50 books this year.

I’ll update you on my progress towards 50 soon, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Rae

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House – By Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker

Posted on March 1, 2010. Filed under: Books, Suspense | Tags: , , , |

Well, it’s the first day of March and a Monday, so with no further ado, I’d like to introduce my new series: A Few Of My Favorite Things! I’ll be attempting to add to this every Monday for the month of March, so we’ll see what fun things I can come up with to write about.

The purpose of My Favorite Things is to let you know a little more about my reading style. I’ll be featuring posts on favorite authors and books and maybe even a little randomness on the side. I’m still debating about the randomness. However, for today, I have picked out an appropriate book that I think you’ll enjoy.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Today I’d like to introduce the book House by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker, not to be confused with the TV show of the same name. I mentioned this book in a post a few weeks ago, and now I’m breaking it back out because it’s a fabulous read. According to the back of the book, it’s classified as general or suspense fiction.

For those who don’t know, Ted Dekker is a Christian author whose focus is on twisting your perceptions. His series of novels have thrilled and excited and horrified readers ever since he started writing, and his ability to completely leave any trace of Christianity out of his writing and yet still get his point across is fascinating.

Frank Peretti is a more established Christian author who’s been published longer than Dekker. Peretti’s specialty is writing spiritually charged novels that use a lot of metaphor and even allegory in order to serve his message. His books are fascinating in ways that make you think and wonder about the world around you.

Together, the two are the perfect authors for this book.

House is the story of two couples, brought together by a killer in the middle of the night. Both have been run off the road in the middle of nowhere on their way home, and they somehow wind up outside of a house-turned-inn. With no cell phone service and no other means of leaving due to slashed tires, both couples find their way into the quaint home where they are greeted by the family that runs the inn.

Meet Jack and Stephanie Singleton, a married couple whose relationship is on the rocks, especially after Stephanie took her wedding band off last month. Jack, of course, was devastated by the loss of intimacy and love that they shared, and Stephanie’s fear drives her moves now.

Alone in the Alabama hotel, the two meet Randy and Leslie, a couple who call themselves “long time associates” but are much closer than mere work partners. Randy and Leslie have also found themselves without tires on the gravel backroad and are looking for the owners of the inn.

When the odd, inbred family finally appears, the chess pieces are all in place for a killer’s deadly game. Betty, the wife and hostess, shows a hostility towards her guests that’s almost palpable as she tells them how stupid they are for coming when the murderer known as the Tin Man is on the loose.

Starting with a power failure and escalating to threats via bricks tossed down the chimney, boards nailed against all possible exits, and a truck rammed through the front door, the foursome finds themselves the pawns in this game. And there are only three rules to the Tin Man’s game:

“Welcome to my house.

House rules:

1. God came to my house, and I killed him.

2. I will kill anyone who comes to my house as I killed God.

3. Give me one dead body, and I might let rule two slide.

Game over at dawn.”

Thus begins Tin Man’s game. Driven by fear and adrenaline, the two couples band together in a fight for their lives as they discover their hosts’ secrets. But their mistake, the one that could potentially lead to their deaths, is going into the basement.

Once all four of them have entered the basement, Tin Man seals them inside, keeping them trapped in a maze unlike any they’ve experienced before. Changing rooms, shifting shadows, circus mirrors that don’t reflect human reflections all lead them down the road to insanity as Jack, Stephanie, Randy, and Leslie while away the hours until dawn.

But this house isn’t normal by any stretch of the word, and its owners are just as dangerous as the Tin Man. When Jack discovers a young girl hiding in the basements named Susan, her appearance seems suspicious: just how did she get down there in the first place? And why does she insist that Jack isn’t really hearing her?

The book follows the game, pacing each chapter by the time of the night. As the couples weather attacking inbreds, they try to figure out just what supernatural forces are taking part in their captivity. But the game ends at dawn no matter what, and for them to survive, someone must die.

It’s an adrenaline-laced adventure for the two couples as they try to survive long enough to get back up to ground level. But once they do, more mysteries and a killer awaits them. And the ending is shocking enough that you probably won’t be expecting it.

It’s one of my favorite books because the psychological thriller has a fabulous plot, well-developed characters, and a powerful, underlying message. It left me on the edge of my seat and kept me reading late in the night as I was too afraid to turn off the lights without knowing how the book would conclude.

In short, I’d argue that this book is just as intriguing, fascinating, and alluring as any on the shelves produced in the general market. The timing is perfect, and the turns of phrase are fabulous.

So, there you have it, one of my favorite things. I’ve read this book through twice and picked through it at random intervals to remember the plot. It’s definitely a book I’ll be keeping on my bookshelves for years to come.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Let me know!

-Rae-

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