Monday, November 30, 2009

Explorer X - Alpha Contest!

LM. Preston is graciously offering one (1) lucky winner to win her debut novel Explorer X - Alpha!
Summary: For most kids, a trip to space camp is a trip of a lifetime, for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. Lucky for him, he was engineered to survive, thrive, and dominate. Without realizing he is being trained to conquer worlds, and manipulated under the guise of a camp, he unfolds the plot too late for a change of fate. Aadi’s world is shaken upon the revelation that life before camp was not what it appeared. This solidifies his plan to save them all from the company that seeks to control him, only for his rescue to end abruptly due to a freak accident on a field trip to Mars. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. Holding onto his humanity, in the midst of turning into a god is Aadi's biggest battle yet. This turn of events causes him to put his childish thoughts away, forcing him to accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do, dominate it. In the midst his struggles with his changes, his power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides to save a life, or to save himself. A decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left.
To enter please fill out this FORM.
The deadline for this contest is 11:59 PM (central time), December 22.

Guest blogger: Author - LM PRESTON

I am pleased to welcome LM Preston to Wicked Good Books. She is the author of Explorer X - Alpha which is being released in February 2010. Since Christmas is around the corner, she will be blogging about the holiday.

A Christmas Gift To Remember

Christmas has always been a bitter sweet occasion for me. I love Christmas now because I have four active kids and a husband of which to create traditions. However, prior to getting married, Christmas would sadden me because it was around Christmas time that I lost my grandmother of whom I was extremely attached.

Now, life has a funny way of rejuvenating you and allowing you to grow up. Hence, I will share a Christmas memory that still touches my heart.

About five years ago, my husband and I decided to do something different for Christmas. We decided to take that time to travel with our family. Our most memorable trip was a trip we took to Vermont. This particular Christmas, we experienced the Christmas Spirit of goodwill towards men first hand.

After packing our car to the hilt with presents, snowboarding equipment, and luggage, we took off. We drove there from our home, and it was a long drive. We sang songs, played car games, and watched movies. Finally, we arrived at Smuggler’s Notch, a resort in Vermont that had tons of stuff to do onsite.. We had planned to never have to leave the resort.

Once we got settled into our three room condo, we realized that we needed to go to the grocery store. My husband took my older two kids with him to the store. After they left, I started putting all of our socks into sock bombs. My husband and I had planned to have a hide and go seek, sock bomb attack with the kids once they returned from the grocery store.

Several hours later, I started to get concerned. I got no call from my husband, because there was no cellphone reception in the area. All I could do is to wait.

A knock came on the door, and my husband and two kids stood there with this gentleman. The kids looked shaken and my husband hugged me. They had been in an accident, which my husband said could have been fatal. They were driving back from the store and drove over black ice, which slammed them into the guard rail of the bridge.

The angels that made my Christmas one of the most precious holidays ever, were the kind people I met in Vermont. The nice gentleman that was standing there with my husband was a mechanic who owned a local shop. He towed our car, and gave my husband a ride to our resort. He also helped us bring up our grocery. His wife came and picked me up several times to run errands, and the resort staff treated us at a local restaurant to dinner.

It ended up taking the mechanic several additional days to fix our car, and the resort allowed us to stay free of charge.

It’s times like these where I am just humbled by the kindness of people. This particular trip is looked upon fondly by all of us, since we had angels posing as humans that made our Christmas in Vermont one of the most inspiring holiday’s ever.

____________

Stay tuned for a chance to win Explorer X Alpha later on this week and in January for my review of the book and another entry by her!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

GLBT Challenge 2010

I just saw this challenge over at GLBT Reading Blog and thought it would be great! I love reading GLBT books, especially those that fall under YA category.
Rules/Guidelines:
The basic idea of this challenge is to read books about GLBT topics and/or by GLBT authors. The challenge runs year-round, and there will be three levels of participation:
  • Lambda Level: Read 4 books.
  • Pink Triangle Level: Read 8 books.
  • Rainbow Level: Read 12 or more books.
My goal is to read at least 8 for now, but hopefully I'll get to the Rainbow level. Please leave suggestions for (YA) GLBT books that I could read. I don't know very many. If you know of any GLBT books that are coming out this year, that are also debut books let me know!
4. David Inside Out by Lee Bantle
My list:
Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
Ash by Malinda Lo
The God Box by Alex Sanchez
Hero by Perry Moore
Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters
Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle
My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman
Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger
Sprout by Dale Peck
Mini challenges:
I found a really awesome list on goodreads that helped me to choose some books: Best YA Fiction with GLBTQQI theams/characters
Another EXCELLENT LIST!
To sign up for this challenge go HERE.

In My Mailbox (11)

Explorer X-Alpha by LM Preston
"For most kids, a trip to space camp is the trip of a lifetime for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. He realizes what is happening too late for a change of fate. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. This turn of events forces him to grow up quickly, accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do dominate it. His power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides a decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left."
I got this book for review!

Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick

"When Holly loses her virginity to Paul, a guy she barely knows, she assumes their encounter is a one-night stand. After all, Paul is too popular to even be speaking to Holly...and he happens to have a long-term girlfriend, Saskia. But ever since Holly's mom died six months ago, Holly has been numb to the world, and she's getting desperate to feel something, anything--so when Paul keeps pursuing her, Holly relents. Paul's kisses are a welcome diversion...and it's nice to feel like the kind of girl that a guy like Paul would choose. But things aren't so simple with Saskia around. Paul's real girlfriend is willowy and perfect... and nothing like Holly. To make matters worse, she and Holly are becoming friends. Suddenly the consequences of Holly's choices are all too real, and Holly stands to lose more than she ever realized she had."

I won this book from Fantastic Book Reviews! Thank you! PLUS, Lauren signed it for me. :)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by THE STORY SIREN.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

2010 Debut Author Challenge

I am wicked excited to join the 2010 Debut Author Challenge, which is my first book challenge! C:
This challenge is being hosted by Kristi from THE STORY SIREN.
INFO from Kristi:
What is the 2010 Debut Author Challenge?

  • The objective is to read a set number of YA (Young Adult) or MG (Middle Grade) novels from debut authors published this year.* I'm going to challenge everyone to read at least 12 debut novels! I’m hoping to read at least 30! You don’t have to list your choices right away, but if you do feel free to change them throughout the year. I will also be focusing on mostly Young Adult novels.
  • Anyone can join, you don’t need a blog to participate. If you don’t have a blog you can always share your views by posting a review on Amazon.com/BarnesandNoble.com/GoodReads/Shelfari, or any other bookish site.
  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2010- December 31, 2010. You can join at anytime!
Here are some of the books that I plan on reading. My goal is to read and review at least 20.
8th Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday Perkovich
13 To Life: A Werewolf's Tale by Shannon Delany
All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
Anna and the Boy Masterpiece (Anna and the French Kiss) by Stephanie Perkins
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy
The Deathday Letter by Shaun Hutchinson
Explorer X-Alpha by LM. Preston
Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White
Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
A Love Story: Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner
The Mark by Jen Nadol
A Match Made In High School by Kristin Walker
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
The Naughty List by Suzanne Young
Palace Beautiful by Sarah Dedford Williams
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter
The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz
Wish by Alexandra Bullen
*To sign up go HERE.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thank you, Katie!

Katie from Sophistikatied Reviews has made me a brand new layout, banner and blog button! I absolutely love it! Click the button below to go to her awesome book blog!
Sophistikatied Reviews

I am still putting things back into my site and updating a few things as well. Should all be done within a day.

Interview with Tish Cohen

Today I would like to welcome author Tish Cohen! I recently read her newest YA book, Little Black Lies and I really enjoyed it!

What is your inspiration for writing?

I am inspired by people. Especially eccentric people who exist on the fringe of society to some degree. I like to imagine the lives they forge for themselves.

Which character can you relate to most from Little Black Lies?

I think I relate most to Sara Black because I too was a child of divorce and because we moved frequently, I wound up being the new kid at school many times.

I loved how you had a trivial fact about ants at the start of each chapter. Did you always know you were going to incorporate that into the book?

I believe my brilliant editor thought up the idea, but I had great fun researching ants and relating ant facts to the storyline.

Was your high school anything like Anton High? What was your favorite part of HS?

My high school was not at all like Anton, which was inspired by New York’s Stuyvesant and Boston’s Boston Latin. I think my favorite part about high school was just hanging out with good friends. I went to Fullerton Union High School in California, and made friendships I treasure today.

What advice would you give to a new student at a completely different high school, like Sara Black?

Join in as quickly as you can. If you can join in a club, you’ll likely find friends there and making friends quickly will make those dreaded lonely lunch periods a thing of the past!

What is your typical writing day like?

I usually get the kids to school, take the dog out, then bring coffee (for me) and biscuits (for my dog) into my writing room and get started. Some days I work on and off all day. Other days I wind up doing interviews or other marketing events.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee, but I might try decaf.

Would you rather go to a movie theatre or live show?

Live show so I can feel and be inspired by the energy of the actors and the music. That inspires me.

Thanksgiving just passed. What was your favorite food you had?

Believe it or not, the turnips were my favorite. Oh, and my sister made homemade caramel ice cream—it was to die for.

What is your favorite word?

It changes constantly. Right now: mashup. Not even a real word and I got it from Glee. On Wednesday night I used it on live TV and the author with me (John Bemrose) told me it was a great word!

Thank you, Tish!
Here is my review of Little Black Lies.
To visit her website click HERE.

A little update.

Hello! I hope every who celebrates Thanksgiving had a great one! C:
Just some quick info for the readers of my blog...
• Katie at Sophistikatied reviews is working on making me a new blog header, layout, and blog button. From what I've seen so far, it looks amazing and so pretty!
• I haven't been updating as much as I've wanted to. But since I'm on Thanksgiving break (until Monday) I've been trying to complete all my school work + everything else I need to do and then catch up on a lot of reading. Here are some reviews you should expect within the next week or so: The Man of My Dreams, Random Magic, Something, Maybe, The Lovely Bones, and a few more. Also be expecting an interview with Tish Cohen (author of Little Black Lies)
• Will be hosting a contest for the month of December and be having my own coming up soon. Be watching the reviews, some of them will be used for extra entries. ;)

In the meantime, check out my latest reviews: FADE by Lisa McMann and FOURTH COMINGS by Megan McCafferty also check out my interview with Sasha Soren HERE.

I would also like to take this time to thank all the followers/subscribers of my blog. I've reached 130! C:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Review of Fade

Fade by Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse (February 10, 2009)
Hardcover: 256 pages
Reading Level: Young Adult
"SOME NIGHTMARES NEVER END.

For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They're just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.

Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody's talking. When Janie taps into a classmate's violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open -- but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie's in way over her head, and Cabe's shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability -- and it's bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what's to come is way darker than she'd feared...."

Review: I read the first book in the series last month and I liked it a lot and Fade does not disappoint. Fade is one of those books that keeps you turning page after page. I went through it so fast, I wished it was longer.

The characters are amazing. Lisa McMann writes Janie and Cabel so realistically, its makes it easy to relate to them. I absolutely adore Janie and Cabel's relationship in this installment. They're a lot closer in this book than the last and the relationship is so sweet and I love how Cabel becomes very protective of her as she approaches her "assignment."

In FADE readers find out more about the seriousness of Janie's dream catching ability. There is a bit of angst in this in the middle of the book -which I hated!- between Janie and Cabe, but they work it out. I liked the ending, but you know, if I didn't know that there was another book in this series, I would've thought that it ending there. It was a definite ending IMO, but I'm so glad that there is going to be another book. I can't wait to see where the relationship and Janie's ability end up.

Rating:
Characters: 9/10pts
Originality: 8/10pts
Ending: 8/10pts
Writing: 9/10pts
Voice: 9/10pts
Plot: 8/10pts
Favorite characters: Besides the two main characters, I really like the personality of the "Captain" who works with Janie and Cabel. The character is a nice addition to the story and I enjoy reading scenes with her in them.
Cover: A. The covers for this series are just plain awesome! Love it.
Overall: This book was fantastic!!! If you want a book that's fast paced, this is it! I want the last book, GONE, right now! :)

Fourth Comings Review

Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty Publisher: Crown (August 7, 2007)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Reading Level: Young Adult

"Jessica Darling, last seen in Charmed Thirds (2006), is finally a college graduate, but other than her brand-new degree, nothing has changed. She still overanalyzes everything, including her relationship with Marcus Flutie, her on-and-off-again love, who has finally settled down and is about to start school at Princeton. Jessica is just about to end their relationship when Marcus shocks her with a marriage proposal. Most of the novel covers Jessica's musings during the week she takes to decide whether or not to say yes. Like any recent graduate, she is struggling to make the rent, find a job that will pay the bills, and, basically, grow up. Charming and fitting as it was in McCafferty's earlier tales, when Jessica was in school, her protagonist's ponderous examination of her life, friendships, and relationship with Marcus is a bit tiresome this time around. Fans of the series will enjoy seeing Jessica and her friends coping with the real world, but here's hoping that if there is a fifth installment, Jessica will have matured. (Huntley, Kristine-Booklist)"

Review


After reading the last installment in the series, I was a bit worried that this one would be like it as well -not as good as the first two. However, this one was better than the third book.

Like the past three books in the series it was written in journal/notebook entries in the course of months. This time, however, she is writing in the journals to give to Marcus about her decision on his marriage proposal. It is crazy how that she writes all of stuff within two weeks. I'll admit, half the time I felt like some of the stuff was....receptive or just a lot of ramblings.

I did like seeing how her best friend, Hope, was her roommate in the Brooklyn apartment they lived in. Along with Manda and a character named Shea. There were some funny scenes in this book, some that even had me laughing out loud. I liked that Marcus had gotten accepted into Princeton University and I did enjoy the scenes with him and his roommate Natty.

Megan McCafferty still incorporated some emails, which I love. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the last page of the book. It's an email from Marcus and I love what he has to say to her. I don't want to give anything away, but I don't know, I thought it was a bittersweet moment.

*I have to say that this book and the third book in the series are for a more mature young adult audience, if not adult. There is a lot of cussing and sexual situations....

Review of Charmed Thirds

Rating:

Characters: 7/10pts
Originality: 7/10pts
Ending: 10/10pts
Writing: 9/10pts
Voice: 8/10pts
Plot: 7/10pts


Favorite characters: Marin, Jessica's young niece. I love her questions and answers, I liked the parts that had her in them. And as the story has progressed, I am really liking Bethany's character.
Cover: B. It's alright. The colors a pretty.
Overall: I thought it was good. Not the best in the series, but okay. 3.5 Stars

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Interview with Sasha Soren

A few months ago, Sasha Soren contacted me about a blog tour for her first book RANDOM MAGIC. I am so pleased to be one of the people on the tour. It's my firsts blog tour ever and I'm glad its for this book!
It has been such a BLAST chatting with Sasha Soren these past couple of months. She is truly unlike any other author I've met -in a totally good way! Sasha truly has an amazing interior. She is so genuine and kind hearted. I love that she loves the arts and music and she's wicked amazing! Here is the interview I had with her, which by the way is my first author interview for this site!

***In Random Magic, what character was your favorite to write and why?

They were all so interesting to write, for different reasons. Some outlandish, preposterous, very funny characters, so

me loopy ones, some scary ones, all kinds of really fascinating people.

Winnie was fun to write, and also spent the most time with her – well, for the entire journey.

Winnie is a favorite character for a lot of people, and I agree with them for all the same reasons that they name – that she’s feisty, brave, passionate, clever, fearless, stoic, calm, bright and resourceful, she has guts, she never gives up even when she’s up against overwhelming odds, she’s loyal and she’s a true, very good friend to Henry.

I like her for all of these reasons, and she was fun to write because she’s so abrupt, tough, a bit of a handful, but she also has a tender heart and will fight to the death to protect herself or anyone she cares about.

She’s a bit…much, but she’s true blue. Anyone would be very lucky to have a friend like Winnie on their side -- which probably makes up a lot for her impatience, abruptness, and tendency to be a bit of a wise ass.

***Did you listen to any specific song or band while writing this book?

Actually, no, I tend to think better in absolute silence, can hear the inner thoughts with far greater clarity and preci

sion. Otherwise, it’s sort of like trying to have a conversation at a very loud party, you miss important details. That’s an inefficient way to write a book, because you’re making more work for yourself.

Some writers do actually have a kind of ‘soundtrack’ they listen to for their book, or music they like to listen to while writing, but to me it’s just distracting, because I love music, and would probably start listening to the music instead of what’s going on inside my head.

Not really able to use ‘background’ music for anything, because I actually do pay attention to the lyrics and various changes in rhythm, the instruments used, the timbre of the voice, etc.

I just really appreciate a lot of different kinds of music, and try to give the artist the respect they deserve by paying attention to their work, not just relegating it to background static.

Which, of course, would mean that, if I’m listening to music, then I’m not focusing on hearing the characters, or looking around at the sights or listening for the sounds of some particular fictional world.

It’s interesting that you mentioned music, though, because in the book, there are several mentions of music or musicians.

One of the people Winnie and Henry meet along the way is, in fact, the Muse of Music – Efterpe, whose nickname in the book is Effie.

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven even personally appears in a chapter where Winnie and Henry are visiting the Nine Muses – in the book, he’s Effie’s houseguest, working on a new little ditty he’s been thinking about, in honor of a jolly lass he’s met, called Joy.

Which little ditty? Well, a symphony – including his completed Ode to Joy: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral"

And here’s how it came out:

***Describe your most ideal place to write.

A lighthouse, probably. Or maybe an island in the middle of nowhere. All that isolation and quiet, and nothing to hear but maybe the wind and the waves.

Or maybe some decrepit castle with no running water, but a roaring fireplace and big comfy chairs and a dusty library filled with delightful old books.

In daily life, have to compromise, but normally it’s somewhere quiet with very few distractions. You have to be able to hear your thoughts, or you lose the threads of the story.

***Where would you take your dream vacation and what would you do?

Well, I see vacations as -- not so much as party time, you know, like a weekend getaway, staying in a hotel, with the primary intention of having a rollicking good time -- but more as an opportunity to learn about the world and the people in it.

I try to stay for as long as possible, and to live as much like a local person as possible, because you just learn more that way. This world has some very interesting places.

I enjoy learning new things, and meeting interesting people, so it would also be very nice to travel somewhere with the intention of learning something totally new – maybe learning Swahili, or going on an archaeological expedition, or studying architecture and painting in Rome, and so forth.

I like to travel, but also like to learn and acquire new skills and experience new things, and challenge myself to try something I’ve never tried before. I might master the skill or not, but in any case, it’s just nice to learn something new every day of your life.

Having said that, it would also be fun to make a tour of the entire globe, by boat or biplane or submarine or hot air balloon or something equally as impractical. Not practical, but wouldn’t it be fun?

***What is your favorite painting?

I love art, so this is a difficult question to answer, because there are so many paintings that are just incredible, it’s impossible to choose just one favorite.

Quite like the work of Caravaggio; he was a brilliant painter, and also a bit of a character.

Also enjoy the work of the Pre-Raphaelites, because their visions of mythological, legendary figures are so vivid and evocative.

Actually, perhaps we might choose a Waterhouse work, “I Am Half-Sick of Shadows,” Said the Lady of Shalott, and Hunt’s portrait of the same subject, The Lady of Shalott.

The reason both these works might have special meaning to an artist or writer, dancer or other creative person, is because they’re both visual representations of a theme that every creative person will understand: the isolation and difficulty of creating any work of art, the sacrifices required of you, whether that work is music, or a book, or a poem, or a dance work, or a painting.

The ballad both portraits are based on is The Lady of Shalott, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Here is an excerpt:

On either side the river lie Long fields of barley and of rye, That clothe the wold and meet the sky; And thro' the field the road runs by To many-tower'd Camelot; And up and down the people go, Gazing where the lilies blow Round an island there below, The island of Shalott…

Four grey walls, and four grey towers, Overlook a space of flowers, And the silent isle imbowers The Lady of Shalott… But who hath seen her wave her hand? Or at the casement seen her stand? Or is she known in all the land, The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early, In among the bearded barley Hear a song that echoes cheerly From the river winding clearly; Down to tower'd Camelot; And by the moon the reaper weary, Piling sheaves in uplands airy, Listening, whispers, " 'Tis the fairy Lady of Shalott."

There she weaves by night and day A magic web with colours gay. She has heard a whisper say, A curse is on her if she stay To look down to Camelot. She knows not what the curse may be, And so she weaveth steadily, And little other care hath she, The Lady of Shalott.

And here is an interesting side-by-side post, which shows the choices Sir Alfred made, in revising the work in 1832-1833, then in 1842: http://www.pathguy.com/shalott.htm

He tells the story of a mysterious woman on an island, who’s forbidden by an unknown curse to look at the real world. Instead, she sees the world reflected in her mirror, and weaves all day long, creating various scenes of the bright bits of life she sees reflected in her mirror.

The poem is literally about a weaver, but it’s also representative of the dilemma that artists, writers or musicians face -- the question is whether or not you make the sacrifice of being slightly removed from the world, while creating beautiful works, or abandon your arduous work and simply go out and live in the world.

It’s a poignant story, and it would also be a very familiar theme to anyone creating a work of art. You have to be slightly removed, because creation requires reflection, thought, inventiveness, and stillness -- you can’t complete work on a wonderful book by going out to a party every night. It just won’t happen.

Or, you can’t create a mesmerizing, timeless portrait if you’re out having lunch or at a sports show or watching TV, no -- that time is needed to select the right pigments, or to refine the shadowing on the jawline of your subject, or just to select just the right subject, in the first place.

You can’t really do both, so you do have to choose. Yes, of course, you can be out and about in between, when you’re not actively working on creating something new and interesting, but while you’re hard at work on something, it’s a very small world you consign yourself to -- you and the page, you and the canvas, you and the strings of your violin.

So, that’s the dilemma. A creative person is of the world…but not quite. They’re slightly removed.

It’s like conjuration, alchemy, but you’re using your own spirit to weave the magic, or to spin gold. That’s what the process of creation demands of you, and you have to be willing to make that sacrifice, and temporarily remove yourself from the flow of life, in order to put something beautiful back into that same life, for others to enjoy. An interesting problem.

Anyone who’s lost themselves for weeks, or months, or years, in any complex, extremely difficult but totally fascinating creative project knows exactly what I’m talking about.

So, these portraits are a recognition of that, and they’re a tribute to all creative people, past, present and future, who experience the bliss -- but also the burden -- of the power and passion to create.

Now, in the poem, the Lady of Shalott weaves wonderful tapestries of life because she’s under a curse and imprisoned with her loom. Writing or painting or making music is not as dire as that, you know, you do get tea breaks…but at the same time, yes, a certain degree of isolation is necessary to create art.

Of course, Lord Tennyson experienced the same thing when he created the ballad, and so did Waterhouse and Hunt, when they stole time from their lives to create their own imaginative portraits of the Lady of Shalott.

They’re all long dead, but we can still enjoy the beauty they created; the hand that created the work is dust, but the work it lovingly created lives on for hundreds of years. Interesting, no?

***Are you working on any books right now? And if not, do you plan on writing another story in the future?

At the moment, very busy just letting folks know about Random Magic, which leaves no time to write, which is a pity.

But, yes, have floods of intriguing ideas, all the time, can’t shut them off. So, it’s likely there’ll be something unusual and involving coming up in the future.

Just a matter of having enough time and money to be able to write, which is never easy. You have to fight for it. But if you love something, you do.

Come to think of it, was badly short on time and money while writing Random Magic, and it’s not like that stopped me, either – and very glad, because folks love the story so much, it makes all the struggle and hard work worth it. Ça vaut la peine,” as Lady Witherspoon (Henry’s chic, whimsical, self-possessed and slightly unnerving mother) might say.

Thank you to everyone for all the wonderful things you’ve been saying about how much you enjoyed the story, so pleased you had fun escaping for a few hours into the odd, colorful, surreal and slightly madcap world of Random Magic. Actually, “slightly” madcap might be reckless understatement – yes, the world of Random Magic is a very strange world. But fun, though. Fun and a few other things…

For the next act, well, who knows? Might be a fun, frothy story, might be a profound, dark work, could be a comedy or a mystery or a bit of trippy philosophy, but either way will be unusual and cool, hopefully fun, and definitely interesting.

I try to write stories that I’d personally enjoy reading, and definitely do tend to appreciate things which are pleasantly unique, out of the ordinary. So, even if you have no idea just what to expect, would be reasonable to say you can definitely expect that, at least...

There might not even be something as sensible as a press release for fair warning about a new book, maybe just a virtual balloon onscreen at the official site (http://www.sashasoren.com), going: “Ta-da!”

Well, or not. Anyway, though, in the meantime: Thanks for stopping by to read a bit about the writing of Random Magic, and, well, writing in general -- and happy reading!

Stay tuned for my review of Random Magic and more! C: Hope you enjoyed the interview!
To find about more about Sasha Soren go HERE.
To find about more about the tour go HERE.