Archive for February, 2013

Generations of Readers

Posted February 10, 2013 By Jandy
 

My daughter’s birthday was yesterday. One of my presents to her was to keep my granddaughters overnight while she and her husband went out. The girls are now 7 and 5, old enough to be people but not near teen aged angst yet.

They know that Grandma’s house has books. They both love to read. There were a few times over night that the older girls read to her sister. I also read to her sister. Their dad (who is not a reader, but a loving dad) read to both of them. When they went to bed last night? Both girls were excited because I allowed them to take a book to bed with them. The younger one can’t read all the words, but she made up a close story to go with the pictures, then fell asleep quickly. The older one fell asleep. She read hers when she woke up.


My parents and in-laws are/were readers. They taught their children to enjoy reading. Those children passed it on to their (our) children. Now that generation (my children and cousins) are passing it on again. There’s satisfaction in knowing they have to tools to read all sorts of books and points of view and will be able to form their own opinions. Plus, I love to see them getting involved in a good story.

Winner of Myth-Quoted by Jody Lynn Nye

Posted February 6, 2013 By Jandy
 

Mike Holzman, congratulations.

Anne Staszalek from Authors on the Web has been working with me on this giveaway. Since I don’t have any contact information for you Mike, you need to contact her to have the book sent to you. Send her an email at:

anne@authorsontheweb.com

Enjoy the book!

Everybody who tried but couldn’t get in – I apologize. I don’t know what happened with my comment settings even though I changed them. I’ll change platforms before I try this again.

Read Your Own Challenge

Posted February 2, 2013 By Jandy
 

Last year Lazy Gal took a challenge to read books off Mt. Bookpile. She passed on the challenge and I accepted. She’s doing it again. So am I. Actually, I’ve been doing this unofficially for years. This helps me be accountable.

The rules – read books added to Mt. Bookpile (aka to-be-read) before 2012. The intent is to bring the pile down, of course. It doesn’t work, though, because I pick up as many as I read. Re-reads and books submitted by publicists for review don’t count.

The list at the left of this blog shows 44 books off my Mt. Bookpile in 2012. Actually there were 65, but I didn’t review all of them on the site. That sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Except…

I read 201 books in 2012. So Mt. Bookpile accounted for less than half. Why? There are three main reasons.

1. I read a lot from the library. I’ll see an interesting review of a book (like right now I’m reading Odd John because of a site I stumbled across) and request it from the library. Although the book may be an older one, it’s not on Mt. Bookpile, so doesn’t count in the challenge. Also, I like to listen to books in the car. Most of my Mt. Bookpile books are not available in audio from my library – I’ve checked. Then there are the new releases that I don’t buy but want to read, such as Carole Nelson Douglas’ Midnight Louie series.

2. I accept one or two advance review books a month on average. I’m then committed to those. I couldn’t count them even if I had received them in 2011. I’m picky about my books so I usually like them and then may want to follow up with more of the series.

3. I keep picking up new books. I’m one of Mysterious Galaxy’s A-list customers. When the new Jim Butcher, Margaret Maron, Jacqueline Winspear, Jasper Fforde, Ann Perry, Jayne Ann Krentz (in any guise), Nora Roberts, etc. etc. is released, I’m picking them up shortly after publishing date. They have authors doing signings in both stores all the time. I get to my share of those signings. (The last one was during Timothy Zahn’s visit, but I wasn’t there to pick up his book. My granddaughters loved all the visiting Star Wars characters.) Of the new books I bought there in 2012, about half of them are still on Mt. Bookpile, including a Connie Willis, a Lisa Lutz, a Janet Evanovich, a Nora Roberts, and more. That means I can count them this year when I finally get to them, doesn’t it?

But I finally read some great books that had been waiting for me. I finally read Ian McEwan’s Atonement and Louis Sachar’s Holes, both books that had been subtly calling my name. How long had Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead been waiting for me to pick it up? And wasn’t it about time I finally read Agatha Christie’s first Miss Marple novel, Murder at the Vicarage?

I put a good dent in my Nora Roberts collection. A few years ago I went on a mission to find all her old Silhouettes as well as her newer novels. I have almost all of her books now. While those are easy reads, they kept sitting there, along with Jayne Ann Krentz’ books. Those two have their own section, but it’s much smaller now.

A month into 2013, and I’m already reading as many non-Mt. Bookpile books than those that are. In January I read ten library books, re-reads, advance review, or brand new books. I’ve read ten from Mt. Bookpile.

Book-a-holic. Yep, that’s me.

I’m taking up the Read Your Own Challenge again. My goal this year is over 50, although the original challenge calls for 22 (an odd number – I wonder how that one was chosen?). You’ll see some of them over in the left hand column again. I want that list to be over 25.

Jody Lynn Nye Answers My Myth Questions

Posted February 1, 2013 By Jandy
 

As part of the Myth-Quoted give away I’ve had this week (winner to be announced Monday or Tuesday), I asked Jody Lynn Nye some questions about her involvement with Robert Asprin’s Myth World. Here’s her replies.

Q: How did you con or talk your way into joining Asprin and eventually being allowed to take over the Myth  World Series?
A:  I made Bob an offer he couldn’t refuse. No, but seriously, folks. 
I began to work with Bob while he was suffering from a bad bout of writer’s block. It can be fatal for a writer’s career to become stuck while also on deadline and with other contracts looming. (In fact, he had just found out he was on the New York Times Bestseller List for Phule’s Company.) My husband was one of Bob’s best friends and had worked with him on other business matters. Bill thought it would be a good thing for Bob to get away from his other series for a while and work with a collaborator on something new and unrelated. He chose me because I also write humor and Bob and I have gotten along famously since we met. The punning alone would have driven normal listeners mad. But to collaborate
We wrote about our first experience in the introduction to one of our books. First we circled one another nervously, yowling war cries. Claws were extended and hissing threats issued. Bob literally gave me the “I have a rep to protect” speech. I retorted that so did I have a rep to protect. 
Thereafter, we just settled in to the stimulating exercise of plotting out a book. The result was License Invoked, a contemporary fantasy set in New Orleans about spies, magic and rock’n’roll. We had such a good time that when Bob finished the original twelve-book Donning-Starblaze contract for the Myth-Adventures, he asked me to collaborate with him on new Myths. He felt that I understood the characters and the basic tenets of the universe. Plus, I could sling puns with the best of them. I have a gift for literary mimicry, so I was able to write in a style that so approximated Bob’s that it is difficult for readers to guess who wrote what. And I’ll never tell. He trusted me with his baby. I will always do my best to repay that trust.
We wrote six Myth novels and an anthology together before he passed away in 2008. The publisher approached me to continue the series. I felt I could do it. I wanted to do it. My husband was Bob’s literary executor, so there was no problem getting permission from the estate.
Q: How difficult is it to stay true to Myth and yet expand it to fit your vision?
A:  No trouble, really. I do respect the universe and the characters (who have since moved into my head. The scaly green guy is a particularly demanding tenant). Bob had always left plenty of scope for expansion. I have never and will never approach the edges of possibility. At the moment the characters are still working out their position in the newly revamped M.Y.T.H., Inc. since Skeeve rejoined it. That makes for some interesting conflict. Bob always wrote strong female characters, so I see plot lines involving Bunny, Tananda, Massha and others. Bob left several elements unresolved, such as Robin and the boys. There are many places I can go with future books. I’ve got two books fully plotted that will follow the one on which I am currently working, and many more ideas.
Q: Todd McCaffrey was allowed to create new time settings and characters for Pern. How difficult is it for you to keep with the characters created by Asprin?
A:  I find it a little difficult to get inside Guido’s head sometimes. Bob wrote him from the point of view of a guy who had been in the military. Bob did a stint in the infantry. I have never served. I know people I can ask for perspective, but it’s different than living it. I’m not as uninhibited as Tananda, but I will move outside my comfort zone to get her point of view. I don’t have a problem with the others.
Q: What character or aspect of Myth is the most fun for you to write?
A:  I enjoy throwing Skeeve into a situation that confuses him. His perspective, as the perpetual innocent who in spite of evidence to the contrary believes the best about others, is a great jumping-off point for playing on absurdity. He does have a good heart, and he believes in the win-win scenario. In the end, he always finds a solution that is true to him. I love looking for those twists.
Q: Do you have more Myth Manuscripts coming in the future?
A:  I’m working on one at the moment. It should be going in to the publisher soon.
Please visit my websites at www.jodynye.com and www.mythadventures.net for updates.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to say a few words! I really appreciate it. 
 
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Thank you, Jody! I’m looking forward to Myth-Quoted.