Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Break out the expensive chocolate! I am done at last! Yes, this afternoon I finished my edit of Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. I cracked open the Lindt Dark Chocolate Truffles I'd been saving, and let them melt in my mouth. Not all of them, just maybe half. I sent the manuscript to my editor, and let's all keep our fingers crossed that no more major work needs doing. There comes a point when you can no longer read a book, even a book as fabulous as Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. Round about the fifth read-through, your eyes start to glaze over, and no amount of highly caffeinated cola, Twizzlers, or dancing around the room to regain focus will work. So I read through it for a sixth time, and emailed it off. Then I put on my fancy dragon slippers, and headed on over to The King's English, where I discussed good ol' Dragon Slippers with a circle of lovely ladies at TKE's summer book club. Lots of fun, because I absolutely love to talk about books. I just hope that my answers to the little Q&A weren't too annoying. You see, Dragon Slippers sprang fully formed into my head, so when asked why did you make Creel such a strong character, or what are the rules of the magic in Feravel, I can't really answer. It just is. Creel is who she is, Feravel and its magic are just that way. And then came Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. . . . My husband claims that I was just as stressed during the editing of Dragon Slippers, but I don't believe him. Of course, chocolate heals all pains.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I was at a dinner this week for authors and editors at Brigham Young University. It was connected to their annual Writing for Young Readers conference, where I met my agent two years ago. (My lovely agent and I went together.) I was talking to some people, two of whom I knew (Dave Wolverton and his lovely wife Mary), and two I didn't although one of the latter looked terribly familiar. Finally someone said something about this familiar-looking person being a librarian, and I had it. "Did you work on the sixth floor of the library?" I asked. The sixth floor of the BYU library is Employees Only, and it's where all the cataloging and paperwork goes on. She said she did, and I told her that once, many moons ago, I had been a lowly cataloging minion, and that my desk had been jammed into a hallway near her office. She found this very amusing, because she had just been about to tell me (Jessica-the-up-and-coming-author, not Jessica-who-used-to-catalog-for-minimum-wage) that she was also a reviewer for VOYA. She had read and reviewed Dragon Slippers . . . and loved it! She had been nervous, reviewing a Utah author (what if it was terrible?!), but was thrilled to find that she loved it. It's always pleasing to hear the someone likes your book, and she REALLY liked it. Then she proceeded to tell me that my book had inspired a quilt! She was entering the Quilting Challenge at the state fair this summer. Apparently a few months in advance they give you a piece of fabric, printed with a pattern, and you have to come up with a pattern that reflects the theme of the fabric (ie-flowers, birds, etc.). This year's fabric was printed with little chocolate truffles, and she was at a loss what to do with it. Then she read Dragon Slippers. The quilt (it's really a 3x3 wall hanging) is going to be arranged in a pattern called Dragon Claw, and she's going to embroider little dragon heads at the corners. She's calling it The Perfect Hoard. Isn't that so cool? I love it! I'm demanding at least a picture, if I can't buy it from her when the fair is over. Did i ever mention that, along with being a dragon-o-phile, I'm also a chocoholic? It's not a quilt, it's a map of my personality!
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Wynne Jones, that is. I just finished reading "The Pinhoe Egg," Diana Wynne Jones' latest book, and the fifth "Chrestomanci" book. If you like Harry Potter, and haven't yet discovered Chrestomanci, you're really missing out. It's been years since I read the first four, and I'd forgotten how fun they are and how much I loved that world. And it made me start thinking about her other books. See, the first few books of hers that I read were all magnificent. Really, some of the best books I've ever read. And then I read a few that didn't give me quite the same thrills, and so I'd forgotten the magic of reading "Dogsbody". And "Archer's Goon". And "A Tale of Time City". "Howl's Moving Castle." "Deep Secret." Wonderful, wonderful books all. And now add to that "The Pinhoe Egg." You don't need to have read the other Chrestomanci books first, but it helps you know the characters a little better. And what fun characters! Really, if you haven't ever read Diana, you simply must. Go and find one, I guarantee your library or bookstore will have something of hers. "The Lives of Christopher Chant" is the first Chrestomanci book. If you like epic fantasy, try "Cart and Cwidder", or "Dark Lord of Derkholm", which is a spoof of Dungeons & Dragons-style fantasy. "Deep Secret" is great if you've ever been to a sci fi convention, and "Tale of Time City" IS science fiction. "Dogsbody" is a mystery, and a love story, and a fantasy, and science fiction all at once. It's quite simply my favorite, and I think everyone should read it. Enjoy!