Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Character Interview: Hope and Quill

Christina Daley: Hey everybody, welcome to the show! I'm your host Christina, and today we have a dynamic duo joining us. Let's welcome Hope the songbird and Quill the…the…I'm sorry, I still don't know what you are. Are you a chicken or a man?

Quill: Ba-clack!

CD: Oh dear. Ehm, did anyone find a translator for either of these two?

Hope: Coo?

CD: Is Rain or Domrey here? Shoot, even Coal can understand them better than I can…

Quill: Bac-bac-bac-bac-bac-ba-clack!

Hope: Coo.

*cricket chirp*

CD: Okay, I guess that's it then. I can't understand either of you. Thanks for joining us everyone! Until next time! [Memo to self, fire producer.]

Character Interview: Spirit from Seranfyll

Christina Daley: Welcome to the show everyone! I'm your host Christina, and my guest is about as excited about being here as I am having him. He's brought along a horse whisperer to help translate, so please give a warm welcome to Spirit!

Spirit: Hi! Oh, does your show reach Celestria? Hi Momma!

CD: Haha! Uh yeah, I think they can get it there if they have the Internet…

Spirit: …and Uncle Nnnhhiii! And Auntie Whheeee! And Cousin…!

CD: Oookay, I'm sure they're all listening to the livestream or podcast. Let's get on with the show, shall we? Tell us what it was like when Rain asked you to come live at Seranfyll Manor. You were quite young, weren't you?

Spirit: I was not too young! I was just slow to get to my growth spurt, that's all. It runs in my family. But I'm big now, enough for a proper saddle and everything.

CD: What about Rain? What do you think about her?

Spirit: I love Rain! Oh, I can't tell you how glad I am she chose me. There were lots of winged horses that wanted to go with her, but she chose me! I promised Valiance that I would behave myself and take good care of her. She told me humans can be a big responsibility and you have to watch out for them. But Rain is a really good human and we have so much fun together. And she brings me yummy things like apples and peaches!

CD: Haha! That's great to hear. But she has been a bit of a handful hasn't she? Or should I say, hoof-ful?

Spirit: Well, there were a couple times when she got into some trouble. Like during Christmas, there was this nasty bloke. But I made sure he didn't get near her. I was still small at the time, but I could be heavy if I landed hard enough on top of someone. But that wasn't her fault. She's a good human, even if the others aren't.

CD: What is it like living with the other horses?

Spirit: Valiance is great, a lot like my Momma. Except she isn't. (Don't tell her that she's old. Valiance, I mean, not my Momma. She doesn't like that.) But she knows a lot about humans, since she's been with Domrey for so long, and that's pretty handy knowledge. Humans can be a big responsibility, you know. And Sundance is pretty quiet. We don't talk much, but we're cool with each other. Bolt and the work horses, Ginger and Snap, are okay. But that puny pony Pumpkin is evil. Oh, I know everyone looks at him and is like, "Oh, what a cute pony with cute stubby legs and cute brown eyes and on and on and on." He makes me sick.

Pumpkin: Whatever, Spirit.

Spirit: Hey! What're you doing here? This is my interview!

Pumpkin: I figured you was gonna take my name in vain, so I tagged along.

CD: Awww, what a cute little pony…

Spirit: Don't let him fool you! He's evil, I tell you! Evil!

Pumpkin: He's just jealous 'cuz Rain fancies me, too.

Spirit: I am not!

Pumpkin: She sure does. Why, just the other day, I was taking her to town 'cuz you couldn't get your colors together. We went to the market and everything and had a grand ol' time.

Spirit: Why you...!

Pumpkin: Oh look! Apples!

Spirit: Apples? Where?

Pumpkin: Over there, on the highway.

Spirit: Apple! Apple! Apple!

CD: No wait, come back Spirit! Oh brother. Can someone go get him, please? Before he causes a pile-up on the freeway or something? Thank you.

Pumpkin: Hehehehe!

CD: You are a little evil, actually.

Pumpkin: What can I say? I'm old and gotta have what little fun happens my way. Especially if it's at the expense of that flyboy there.

CD: (sigh) Anyway, thanks everyone for joining our show today. Until next time!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

IT ALL ENDS. For Borders too.

So yes, I did see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 opening weekend. No, I didn't stand in line (morning early bird discount!). A fitting end to the era of Potter, and I was very pleased with it. (I dare say that I even liked the last two movies better than the books.)

But while the Harry Potter saga comes to a sweet end, a bitter one has to follow. I  got the email from Borders' CEO this evening about the closing of all their stores. I liked Borders very much. Several books in my personal library are from there. And I am a little sad to see it go. I'm even more sympathetic for all the employees who will be out of work.

But to be perfectly honest, I'm not surprised at all that it came to this. I recall talk from agents and editors at conferences just a few short years ago basically brushing off the e-book revolution and the Amazon model of doing business. They assured that they had plenty of time to sort those out. But then the economy crashed, the e-reader skyrocketed, and whole agencies and imprints were shuttered.

Amazon led the way with its ability to deliver new releases to customers' doors, often for free shipping, and cheap and free e-books with the advent of the Kindle. B&N followed with the Nook, and Apple solidified things with the iPad. Used bookstores dominated the backlist.

And Borders just got in the game too late with too little to offer.

It sucks. It really does. But as a reader, the economics of my wallet are sorta the determining factors as to whether I visit a new bookstore or a used one. I prefer print books, but since I now have a device on which I can read e-books, I can sample new authors for little to no money and without even getting in my car to drive to the store. Call me a miser, but it's either that or stop reading all together.

So, thanks and goodbye Borders. It was fun and I'm going to miss you a lot. And I pray that the people who lose their jobs will find new ones really soon.

(Images courtesy of Warner Bros. and Borders Group.)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Reading vs. writing

Now that I have a magical mobile device on which I can read ebooks, I've been loading up on freebies over at Smashwords.

(By the way, Seranfyll is part of Smashwords' July sale. If you or someone you know hasn't purchased a free e-copy yet, head over to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/60160.)

But I face a dilemma I haven't experienced before.

Seranfyll has been live for about three months now, and I'm pleasantly surprised at how well it's been received. Of the reviews that appear on Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads so far, only about three people actually know who I am (though, none of them had read any of my work before). The rest I wouldn't know from Adam. It's pretty encouraging :)

So, I've been making a bold semi-promise that Seranfyll's sequel should be ready by the end of the year. While deadlines are not a new thing for me, I feel a touch of added pressure for this one. I don't desire to put out something for the sake of saying, "Hey, I have a sequel." I personally don't like it when a sequel book or movie aren't as good or better than the first (*cough* Spiderman *cough*). So for me, at any rate, the next book will have to be better than Seranfyll. The stakes have to be higher. The humor has to be funnier. And gosh darnit, I'm going to work in the superstition my Nigerian friend told me about that says whenever it rains while the sun is shining, that means somewhere in the world a lion was just born. *cue The Lion King music*

I really want to write this book. And I really want the people I've semi-promised it to to read it when I promised it. But I also want to read all these new ebooks, and it doesn't help that I read rather slowly.

Oh well, I guess reading is just going to have to wait until Seranfyll part deux is released. Then maybe I can have another three months to goof off before I work on a (possible) part trois?

One thing's for sure, at least. I'll probably not blog for a while. Maybe a quick update when print books are available and some additions to the OMAKE. But other than that, this page will probably be silent for a while.

(Images courtesy of Smashwords and Disney.)