Things have been slow on DLFwriting these days, so when word of a Shine On award came through recently, I couldn’t have been happier. I’m sending a heart-felt thank you to Marcia of Bookin’ It for nominating me for the award! Much blog love goes to her! Her site, Bookin’ It, is a great place to visit if you’re interested in thoughtful reviews of Urban Fantasy works. Don’t miss it. We’ve already discussed the merits of Harry Dresden‘s scribe, Jim Butcher, and I know we’ll have plenty more to discuss going forward.
Shine On Award
The Shine On Award Rules:
- Link back to and thank the blogger who nominated you.
- Post the badge on your blog.
- Answer the questions posed to you.
- Nominate five bloggers who shine a little light in your day and notify them.
- Ask five questions for your nominees.
Marcia’s Five Questions for Me
1. If you could spend an afternoon picking the brain of any writer, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
- I’ll give you two answers here. While there are a number of living writers I’d love to spend an afternoon with, I’d most like to sit and talk with Neil Gaiman. I don’t know if there’s a better world-builder out there these days. His vivid depiction of those story-worlds really bring them to life in such a seamless fashion. In my opinion, he’s better at that than anyone going these days. My other answer (I know I’m cheating here, but bear with me.) is a deceased writer. I’m going back across the Pond for this one, too. I’d love to spend an afternoon with Shakespeare, because no one–ever–has created more human characters.
2. Are you now, or have you ever been, a person who reads the ending of a book before the rest of the book? Do you look ahead, even a little bit? Why?
- Nope. I’ll flip to the back to see what page the story ends on, but I’ll try not to look at anything at the end. In those moments where I saw something at the end, or someone spoiled something upcoming for me, that information gets locked in my mind and taints the reading. I end up preoccupied with whatever it is I saw or heard, and I lose a bit of focus. I only look ahead to see how many pages remain, so I can get a sense of the pacing–if that makes any sense.
3. If you had to choose between writing a hugely popular, best selling novel as opposed to one with weighty significance and great insight into the human condition, but that would never gain a big audience, which would you choose? In other words, something probably important but not necessarily popular, versus something that made thousands of people laugh or cry, but likely has no lasting significance?
- At the moment, I’d take either, as long as it was traditionally published. I think I’d rather have the former, to choose between the two options. My goal as a writer is to entertain. I’m not sure if I’m capable of crafting some sort of lasting work at turns the mirror inward on the human condition. I’m not that deep. So give me the wide success. I’d love it if my work entertained the masses.
4. How long do you give a book to really pull you into the story before you pitch it onto the “Wasted My Money On That One” pile?
- This is a tough one. I’m normally one who really tries to give the writer the benefit of the doubt, but if I’m bored after 50 or so pages, I’ll probably start skimming ahead. If I’m still bored after another 50 or so, it bye-bye book. I don’t like to do it, but I will put a book down. It happened recently with Max Brook’s “World War Z“. I never got into it. I think it had something to do with the narrative-style. It was presented as a series of interviews with different “survivors” of the zombie war, but the fragmented nature of the narrative never drew me in.
5. Name three books made into films where the casting (or PART of the casting) was so appallingly bad you could barely watch the movie. How about three that actually got it right? (OK, that’s probably two questions, but they’re related, so I’m going for it.)
- Man, this is a tough one. this might be cheating since it’s technically not a “book”, but I hated the casting for the X-Men film franchise. I thought James Mardsen as Cyclops, Famke Jansen as Jean Grey and Anna Paquin as Rogue were terrible. I thought Demi Moore as Hester Prynne was offensive, and Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s mother was nauseating.
- I know I bashed the casting of X-Men, but they nailed it with Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. I thought Jack Nicholson as R.P. McMurphy was perfect, and Daniel Radcliffe will forever be Harry Potter.
The five bloggers that really shine a light on my day are as follows:
- Cremideas– A great blog broadcasting the idiosyncrasies or perhaps just the idiocy of Miami.
- Legends of Windemere– Charles has found some success with his book, Beginnings of a Hero, and his site really delves not only into the world of his novels, but into his writing process as well.
- Making his Mark– Mark develops his posts with a great Voice.
- Nancy’s Notes from Florida– Nancy J. Cohen is an award-winning author who writes romance and mysteries. She’s gives great insights to the writing process. Don’t miss her work!
- The Ranting Papizilla– I can’t say enough about the Papizilla. He’s work is hilarious, and now, he’s developed a site for poets to share their work.
My Questions for the Nominees
- Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?
- When you’re in a rut, where do you go for inspiration?
- What writer, living or deceased, would you liken your work to the most?
- What is your story writing process?
- What is your blog writing process?