October 13th, 2009

Patrick Ness talks about The Chaos Walking trilogy

I was a big fan of The Knife of Never Letting Go [full disclosure: except for the death of a particular character and the book ending on a major cliffhanger.] Now I’m reading The Ask and the Answer. It is a flat-out page turner. It’s got some sci-fi elements (settlers coming to new planets) and some fantasy elements (ability to read others' thoughts) and some dystopian elements (things are pretty bad and get worse). And it’s also an amazingly fast read. Ness does a lot with single-sentence paragraphs, which I’m now thinking I should utilize more.

Publishers Weekly ran a long interview with the author, which you can read here. I like his thoughts about creating girl characters who aren’t stereotypical, and also his underlying message about the dangers of conformity.

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Maybe I’m not as safe as I thought

I recently gave a character breast cancer. At least a little part of me believes that I’m now immune myself. Because it would be too ironic.

Except it didn’t work that way for Gail Konop Baker. In an interview, she says, "I’d written a second novel about a woman who finds a lump in her breast and thinks she might have breast cancer and wonders if she’s lived a meaningful life.”

And then she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her breast cancer ending up leading her to a new agent, a new book, and a new lease on life.

Read this silver lining story here.

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Crap and a few other things - I lost a whole outline!

More than a year ago, I wrote a detailed two-page outline of a book I wanted to write someday.

Someday is now.

The outline has disappeared from my computer.

Timemachine does not go far enough back.

The longer I think about it, the more I'm sure that outline was dynamite.

I'm really mad, but don't know who or what to be mad at.

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How the new economy and the internet is affecting publicity for your book

The New Yorker has a spoof email from a publicist to a new author. Here's part of it:

"As re: personal appearances, to cut down on travel expenses we’re trying something new this season called RAP, or Readings by Author by Proxy. We’re asking authors in certain key areas of the country to stay “close to home” and give readings at local bookstores of both their own books and a few of our other new releases. We can send you a list of bookstores in your area once you fill out the My Local Bookstores list on your Author’s Questionnaire. You’ll be reading not only from your book but from “Code Blue Stat,” a new medical thriller we’re really excited about, and “Fifty Great Pan Sauces,” a cool new cookbook. Their authors, Dr. Steven Rosenthal and Gail Freenye, will stay in Chicago and Boston, respectively, and read from each other’s book and yours."

Read more here.

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