February 8th, 2007

Three questions

Three questions
In the first two pages of any book, Orson Scott Card says you need to answer three questions:
1. So What? Why should I care? Why shouldn't I go downstairs and watch TV? I've seen this kind of thing a thousand times before.
2. Oh Yeah? Come on. I don't believe anyone would do that. That's not how things work. That was pretty convenient, wasn’t it? Give me a break.
3. Huh? What's happening? This doesn't make any sense. How dumb does the author think I am?

He's right. I see these kind of problems in unpublished manuscripts a lot.



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Harry Potter Slept Here

Well, Harry's creator, anyway. Publishers Weekly reports that "Last month, J.K. Rowling spent time putting the finishing touches on Deathly Hallows at the Balmoral Hotel, a five-star establishment in her hometown of Edinburgh. And, as befitting a writer, she marked the occasion—and the spot—with a writing implement. Rowling penned the words: "J.K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room on 11 Jan 2007" on an antique-style statue at the hotel. Though defacing hotel property is a no-no, a hotel spokeswoman told the Associated Press they were willing to let it slide. "Obviously this is quite a unique case," she said. "We're honored and flattered she chose the Balmoral as surroundings to do her writing.""

What do you bet it gets included on some kind of Potter tour?

Ian Rankin once told me that JK Rowling is very nice. They live in the same neighborhood.



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David Lubar and other Spring Booksense Picks for Teens

CUPID: A Tale of Love and Desire, by Julius Lester "Love, especially immortal love, has never run smoothly, and Lester's retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche emphasizes that, above all else. Complete with meddling by Psyche's sisters and Cupid's mother, Aphrodite, the couple struggles to fall in love. Along the way, Lester makes mythology accessible and entertaining to a whole new audience." --Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

CURES FOR HEARTBREAK, by Margo Rabb "At first glance, this is another teenage girl's coming-of-age story. But by setting it against the backdrop of Mia's mother's sudden death and her father's subsequent heart attack, Margo Rabb gives the story depth, purpose, and a beautiful poignancy." --Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

FLORA SEGUNDA: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog, by Ysabeau S. Wilce "A great story about choosing your own destiny in a world where tradition is the rule. A story of friendship, magic, and self-discovery." --Kendra Scott, Booksmart, Morgan Hill, CA

HARLEM SUMMER, by Walter Dean Myers "Myers plunks you onto the steamy hot streets of a 1925 Harlem summer. A job at The Crisis, an African-American magazine, introduces 16-year-old Mark Purvis to the worlds of Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Ethel Waters, but when he decided to try and earn some fast cash he finds his life on the line with city gangsters. Humorous and full of real-life characters, Myers' engaging tale both entertains and instructs." --Jane Morck, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

HOW TO GET SUSPENDED AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE, by Adam Selzer ( "For his class project, eighth-grader Leon decides to make a film that tackles the topic of sex-ed. Inspired by Fellini, he titles his film La Dolce Pubert and infuriates his teacher, who censors the film. Soon he is drawn into a community debate on censorship and the issue of who can decide how far is too far?" --Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

THE OPPOSITE OF MUSIC, by Janet Ruth Young "In crisp, poetic, and memorable prose, Janet Ruth Young tells the story of how 15-year-old Billy and his family work to help his father, who is suffering from severe depression. This intelligently written first novel deals realistically with a very timely and serious subject." --Amanda MacNaughton, Paulina Springs Book Company, Sisters, OR

THE STONE LIGHT: The Dark Reflections Trilogy, Book Two, by Kai Meyer "The long-awaited sequel to The Water Mirror is equally bizarre and engrossing. As Serafin, master thief, tries to guard Venice from the Pharaoh's men and mummy-warriors, Merle finds herself on the back of a flying obsidian lion headed toward the entrance of the underworld. The separated friends must live by their wits and courage to save the ones they love." --Shawn Wathen, Chapter One Book Store, Hamilton, MT

TRUE TALENTS, by David Lubar "Quite simply, I loved True Talents, David Lubar's latest about Eddie 'Trash' Thalmeyer and his friends from Edgeview Alternative School, who all have special 'hidden' talents. Part thriller, part fantasy, the story is fresh and smart, and it does a remarkable job of capturing the many facets of teenage life, while constantly raising the stakes to keep readers on edge." --Sarah Todd, Children's Book World, Haverford, PA

WILDWOOD DANCING, by Juliet Marillier "Juliet Marillier takes threads of many different folktales and weaves them together to create something wholly original. Fans of Libba Bray will adore this story of headstrong girls, mysterious realms, vampires, fairies, and true love." --Jennifer Laughran, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

Plus these were in the top 10 and look like teen books:
TAMAR: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal, by Mal Peet "Upon her grandfather's death, a teenage girl finds a box he left for her filled with clues and secret codes about his life of espionage during WWII. A thoughtful account of the lives of those in Holland who clandestinely fought the Nazis' overwhelming presence and power, this is a tragic story of love, betrayal, and the madness of war." --Diane Capriola, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, GA

LEMONADE MOUTH, by Mark Peter Hughes "Here's your chance to hear straight from the members of the hit band Lemonade Mouth how the group got its start in high school detention one afternoon. Can a pickup band full of misfits make a difference and save their favorite lemonade vending machine? You may think you're tired of high school transformation books, but Mark Peter Hughes fills this story with creativity and humor." --Rose & Betsy Keith, Troubadour Books, Boulder, CO



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