Archive for Rural Fantasy Week
Rural Fantasy Week was a smashing success. I had a record number of visitors to the blog, which I confess makes me preen a bit. I hope everyone had as wonderful a time as I did. Thanks are due to the participating authors and guest bloggers. In case you missed anything this week, here’s a run-down to help you play catch up.
Sunday: Rural Fantasy Week (henceforth, RFW) began with Nicole Peeler’s guest post: “Why a Rural Urban Fantasy?” There was also a giveaway contest for Nicole’s most recent release–Tempest’s Legacy. FYI: Today’s the last day to enter the giveaway!
Monday: The lovely Sara from Just Another Story stopped by to guest blog about her love of Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series. You have until 11:59 pm tomorrow to enter the giveaway for a copies of Shiver and Linger.
Tuesday: I posted my author interview with Stacey Jay. We chatted about the upcoming rural fantasy Dead on the Delta, as well as the highly anticipated Juliet Immortal. Stacey was also kind enough to offer up two copies of Dead on the Delta for two lucky winners. Enter by this Tuesday to win. I also gushed about my newest Book Boyfriend: Jacian Obregon from Cryer’s Cross.
Wednesday: I featured the rural fantasies I’m waiting on for this year. Small (from Small Review) stopped by to thrill–and bedazzle–us with her list of 5 Reasons to Love Rural Fantasy. In addition, there was my international giveaway of Cryer’s Cross–the book that proves Small’s Reason #1. You still can enter to win until this coming Wednesday.
Thursday: Debut author Leigh Fallon consented to appease my (our) curiosity about her upcoming book, Carrier of the Mark, in a fabulous interview.
Friday: I continued to make a fool of myself over the dreamy Jacian Obregon in my mini-review of Cryer’s Cross.
Saturday: Michele Bardsley (author of the Broken Heart series, and my new fav, the Wizards of Nevermore) helped us explore our love of rural fantasy with her guest blog: “There’s No Place Like Home…” Michele is also offering a spectacular giveaway of a Starbucks gift card, and a set of playing cards with the Never Again book cover on the back. You have until 5/14 to enter that one.
I want to say (again) a special thank you to all the authors, publicists, bloggers, and publishers who participated in Rural Fantasy week, and helped to make it possible. I also want to thank everyone who stopped by, especially those who took the time to comment. If you have a moment, I’d appreciate some feedback on the week’s events. Whatever you care to share about your experience or your thoughts, I’d love to hear. Unless it’s mean. Constructive I can handle. Mean? Nope.
Cheers everyone–and Happy Mother’s Day!
Michele Bardsley’s Never Again was one of the books that inspired me to plan Rural Fantasy Week in the first place. I was delighted when she agreed to whip up a guest post on the topic, as it’s one she’s something of an expert on the topic. Both her new Wizards of Nevermore series and the Broken Heart books and Rural Fantasies. I think her guest post is a wonderful way to end Rural Fantasy Week, and I hope you enjoy it, too.
There’s no place like home…
I love writing about paranormal characters, especially when I can layer those characters into the framework of our reality. I also like setting the stories in areas I’m familiar with, not only because it’s easier to describe the landscape, but also talk about the communities. Understanding how citizens act, believe, and communicate is important even when operating inside a fictionalized version of that community.
Writers often talk about world building, and maybe I’m … uh, lazy. I admire writers who can build whole worlds—heck, whole universes—that are rich in unique cultural details that are familiar enough so that we can identify with the characters, and yet also foreign enough to feel as though we are discovering something new and wonderful. So, the start-from-scratch world-building … holy crap, that’s a lot of work. I imagine there are charts and graphs and possibly reams of notebooks filled with all the information that author needs to remember just to write a scene. If I can’t remember one of my character’s names, I’ll get on Twitter and ask my fans. They usually know better than I do. (Note to self: Maybe you should consider being organized. Just a thought. Love, Me.)
In any case, I wrote the Broken Heart series set in Oklahoma because I’m an Okie. I grew up in a small town, and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if vampires and werewolves lived in rural Oklahoma?” (It’s totally cool.) Then I moved to Texas, and when I began to plot the first book in my new series, I set it in … er, Texas. Granted, the towns I write about don’t really exist. So, in a way, I do some town-building. Okay, okay, it’s not a whole universe, but at least I do it from scratch. So, while Broken Heart, Oklahoma and Nevermore, Texas don’t actually exist, you would still probably recognize the mores of small-town living.
I love putting the supernatural into our modern times, and humanizing paranormal beings. Vampire parents have the same child-raising problems as human parents. Magicals deal with the same emotional turmoil as their mundane counterparts. Zombie-making teenagers still have mondo crushes as those teens not gifted with the ability to raise the dead. Maybe things are a little weird, but then again, they’re also the same. There are small differences, of course. For example, you cut off some dude in bad traffic, he might get pissed and flip you off. Do that same insensitive thing to a werewolf, and he’ll chase you down and eat your face.
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 8, 2011
Status: Stand alone. Sadly.
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for review.
Genre: Teen, paranormal
Location: Cryer’s Cross, Montana
Other Info: Lisa McMann is the author of the Wake trilogy, which I have not read. Should I? Should I?
Description (from Goodreads):
It’s no secret that I loved this book. The male lead–Jacián–was, after all, My Book Boyfriend this week. However. Even the hottest male lead can’t carry a book all by himself. Though I’d be curious to know if anyone disagrees with me on that point. My enjoyment of this book came as a surprise to me. I’m generally wary of main characters who suffer from mental illness, and Cryer’s Cross helped me to figure out why. For Kendall, her OCD is a integral part of her character, but it’s not the whole of it. Compared to, Monk, whose character was entirely driven by his disorder, Kendall is practically normal. Of course, as Kendall herself states, OCD is different for everyone, and she’s lucky that she’s not a compulsive handwasher, like some. Kendall’s OCD is an important part of the story, and of her character development. At times it really sucks–it inhibits and restricts her life in ways she can’t control–it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have room left in her for others interests or emotions. Obviously, since there’s a Jacián. Yum.
The other thing I really admired about this book was the tense it was written in. I generally prefer first person narrative, and McMann uses third. I think she accomplished the immediacy, the connection that I enjoy with first person by writing in the present tense. It’s incredibly different to write as though you’re following events as it happens–although maybe that’s just me, I don’t know–and I was very impressed with the way that McMann pulled it off. It’s also completely the right choice for this book.
Finally, a word for Cryer’s Cross, the town. This is the second book I’ve read this year that has put real meaning to the words “small town.” I don’t know if I’d want to live in such a small community, but I definitely love reading about them. The world is so big these days, it’s nice to visit a place where everyone knows everyone else, where they have big, town-wide barbecues and form search parties for missing people. If you’ve recently read The Gathering and are in serious withdrawals, I highly recommend this book. It’s a wonderful example of what I love about Rural Fantasy.
The only reason that Carrier of the Mark didn’t make my WoW post yesterday was the fact that I knew I’d be featuring it today. I’m anticipating everything about Carrier. The cover, the setting, the story. The only thing about it that I don’t like is the publication date: October 4, 2011. Ugh. If you’ve never heard of Carrier of the Mark, here’s a little taste:
1. Okay, standard first question at Ruby’s Reads: Dark chocolate, milk chocolate or, gulp, white chocolate?
All chocolate (even white). (Ugh. I hate that answer.)
2. What can you tell us about Carrier of the Mark that isn’t in the back cover blurb?
It’s a spine-tingling romance weaved from ancient myths and Celtic Folklore.
3. I’ve seen a few excited remarks about Adam. Can you give us a little taste of him to whet our appetites?
Oh Adam *drool* he’s a seventeen year old twin who has ancient power within him. He’s a sporty type who does a lot of sailing, but is a bit aloof and puts distance between himself and his peers.
4. What about Megan? Did she pop into your head a fully-formed character, or did she come to you piece by piece.
Megan came fully formed, though certain aspects of her character strengthened as I wrote her. She became a little more self-assured and a smidge more mature than how she started out.
5. I’ve read that Carrier of the Mark is the first in a trilogy. Did you conceive the story in three volumes originally, or did it expand as you wrote it?
It was always a trilogy. As the story came to mind it had three separate and thrilling climaxes, you just couldn’t squish that much story and action into one book.
6. What’s Haunting Jenny?
7. Who were the first three people you told when you found out you were going to be published?
My mom, dad and sister. My husband was in the US and I couldn’t get hold of him at the time.
8. You’ve done a lot of traveling. What are the top three places you’ve loved visiting, but know you’d hate to live in?
9. I have to ask because we’re all bookhounds here: What upcoming titles are you excited about?
I’ve very excited about Amy Plum’s Die for Me, Amy Garvey’s Cold Kiss, and Veronica Roth’s Divergent.
10. Do you have an imaginary audience in your head when you write? If so, who’s in it?
Not really. I don’t write for an audience, I write for myself. It’s like transferring something I’ve seen onto paper to share with whoever is interested.
11. Why do you think a small town setting worked specifically for Carrier of the Mark?
With a story that is so tightly wrapped in Celtic myths, I needed a small town, where people are close and friendly, and have deep rooted history with that particular area. Where newcomers are welcomed with open arms, but are new and interesting and cause a bit of a stir. In a small town most people are linked in some way, which brings all the characters together, so the town itself becomes a character in the book, not just a setting.
12. I’m going to ask you to dig deep here: What’s your favorite fictional small town?
Dibley, as in ‘The Vicar of Dibley’. I love that town, with all its strange characters and funny goings on. Absolute classic British entertainment.
Sorry…were you talking, Small? I got a little…distracted. Oh, um, right. Your guest post. I really, really, really liked it. Thanks for joining us!
In honor of Small’s Number 1 Reason to love Rural Fantasy, I’m giving away a copy of Cryer’s Cross. Because, if we’re going to talk about hot guys in Rural Fantasies, I’m so bringing up My Book Boyfriend, Jacián.
- This contest is open internationally (to any country The Book Depository ships).
- To enter, leave a comment stating which of Small’s Five Reasons to Love Rural Fantasy you most agree with.
- Also leave your email so I can contact you if you’re the winner.
- This contest ends Thursday, May 12.