Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Notes From A Book-Signing

Last night I had the fortune of being able to visit the FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock for the premiere party for my friend James R. Tuck's new book Blood and Silver, in which monster-hunter Deacon Chalk gets involved in a civil war in the lycanthropic community.  The event also hosted readings from friends Kalayna Price, Delilah S. Dawson, Janice Hardy, Annabel Joseph, and Alex Hughes.

(Warning: Annabel Joseph's writing is *extremely* risque.)

Also attending was Carol Malcolm, chief moderator of the Horror and Dark Fantasy track at Dragoncon.  When the readings were done, she asked questions.

I was exercising that afternoon and cleaning up took longer than I planned, so I arrived in the middle of Kalayna's reading.  When she finished, it was James' turn.

"Have you all read the first chapter, the sample that was in book one?" he asked.

He decided to pick a chapter at random from Blood and Silver, Ch. 16.  Before he started reading, he explained that although the most common lycanthropes are predators like werewolves, in real life, prey animals grossly outnumber predators.  Thus, you're more likely to encounter a were-possum or were-squirrel or even a were-zebra than a werewolf or were-lion.  He then read from Ch. 16, which is the aftermath of a battle in which Deacon suffers a head injury.

Afterward, Malcolm began her questions.  Here are some of the things I learned from the answers:

*James read an urban fantasy he was told was dark and gritty and was very disappointed.

"I put the book down and said, 'I can write better shit than that,'" he said.  This is how his first novel, Blood and Bullets, came to be.

His favorite authors are Robert E. Howard, author of the Conan stories, and Don Pendleton, who created the character Mack Bolan.  If the Deacon Chalk stories were made into movies, he would like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to play Deacon and hoped Robert De Niro could play Father Mulcahey, a Catholic priest who drinks, smokes, and is apparently some kind of Special Forces veteran.  Kevin Bacon could play Larson, a wannabe vampire hunter who becomes a scientist (for Deacon) and wizard (which great upsets Deacon).

*As a child, Delilah's favorite books were Watership Down by Richard Adams and Pet Semetary by Stephen King.  When she read Outlander by Diane Gabaldon, she realized romantic fiction can have really good plots.  She emphasized her novel Wicked As They Come started out as an adventure novel, with the romantic plot added later.  It's a real story--not just people talking. When asked what a film adaptation of her book would look like, she said it would be something directed by Tim Burton.  Someone suggested Johnny Depp play the lead, provoking general laughter.

*Alex first got involved in speculative fiction at 13, when her grandfather gave her one of the Pern books.  When asked about adapting her novel Clean (which comes out September 7) into a film, she suggested Benedict Cumberbatch could play protagonist Adam, if he toned it down a little first.  James suggested Adrian Brody could play Adam as well.

This provoked an intervention from Delilah:

"I spent the whole Predator movie waiting for someone to kill him," she said.  "He was that annoying."

(I actually have Adrian Brody as an actor to play anti-hero Patrick Rassam in my Vasharia novels, along with Oded Fehr.)

*Annabel started writing her fiction for fellow moms-with-kids and it eventually accumulated to the point she had a book.  Given her subject matter, that's a bit shocking.  However, given how popular 50 Shades of Grey is, I really shouldn't be.

*I didn't really get a whole lot from Kaylana.  Sorry.  :)

I also learned about a website called Wordle, in which you can plug in text and see how often a word is used.  It expresses this in the form of a graphic, with words used many times represented by large circles and words used few times represented using small circles.  My friend Nick expressed concerns about the amount of use words like "reckon" and "arroyo" got in Battle for the Wastelands, so I will put Battle and Son of Grendel in the site sometime soon to see if there are any problems.  James said if he put his novels in there, the f-word would predominate.

No comments:

Post a Comment