September 25, 2010

Interview with Heather Brewer

 Hope you enjoy the interview with the fabulous author of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer.

Q: Isme - The Book Slooth

A: Heather Brewer

1. Did you write the supernatural elements in the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod as an allegory for the bewildering journey through high school?

I set out to write a story about a boy struggling with bullying and the usual rigors of school, who happened to have fangs and a thirst for blood. It surprised even me how well those things would match up.

2. Are the experiences of the characters drawn from memories, or observation?

I was bullied from the time I entered Kindergarten, all the way through school. It really shaped who I was and for many years, completely destroyed my sense of self-esteem. In fact, when I set out to write Vlad's story, I did so as a way to deal with the things that had happened to me during my childhood. I had no idea that writing could be so therapeutic.

3. The characters in the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod are very lifelike, are any of them directly influenced by people you know?

Absolutely. Bits of pieces of many people I know influenced the characters. Vlad is composed mostly of myself and my son, Jacob. Meredith's obsession with pink and overall girly-ness is due to my daughter , Alexandria. And Henry is the result of everything I've ever heard about my husband Paul's teenage years. Then there are the vampires: Otis is the teacher in me, D'Ablo is the villain in me, and Dorian is everything I've ever wanted to be.

4. Do you think that vampires are particularly relevant to kids today, or do you think that teenagers have always been fascinated with vampires?

Vampires are consistently popular, but we see spikes in that popularity every few years. I'm really enjoying this particular spike, simply because there are no rules to vampires in today's literature. They can be handsome and suave, ugly and evil, or just like the guy next door. And no matter the reason that teens seem to be drawn to reading about vampires, we should all celebrate the fact that they're reading. About anything that draws them in.

5. Does it excite you to know that even though your stories are set in America, they are reaching teenagers from all around the world because of the universal themes?

I couldn't be more thrilled! The very idea that my plans for world domination are working amazes me. And it's all thanks to my Minions around the globe! :)

6. When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?

When I was 12 years old, I finished reading Stephen King's CARRIE. I'd closed the book and for the first time ever, I said out loud, "That's what I want to be--I want to be an author." It was a very, very long road for me after that. After all, nothing--especially dreams--come true without a lot of hard work. But I'm living proof that anyone can do anything they set their hearts on. No goal is off limits for anyone. If I can do this and be successful at it, anyone can.

7. I have recently written a short story that I would like to pursue further. Is there any advice that you have acquired in your time writing that first time writers could keep in mind when attempting their first novel?

First off, congratulations! Not everyone can say that they've completed a story, so that in itself is an enormous accomplishment. After all, the hardest part of writing is following through to "the end". When writing a first novel, I think it's very important to get the story on the page as quickly as possible. Don't worry about typos or going back and making it perfect the first time out. I call this my "crap draft"--it's error-ridden and awful, but you can't fix a blank page. Sit down and use my full-proof formula to writing a book: butt + chair = writing. Finish it, then fix it. Also, give yourself a set word count for each day and then stick to it.

8.  I often hear that people declare their love for the main character (usually a vampire) in the vampire novels; did you develop any feelings for Vlad when you brought him to life?

I've been enormously attached to Vlad from the beginning, but only, I think, because he's an extension of myself. In many ways, Vlad is my voice of reason. I often tell people he lives in the back of my skull.

9. Do you think that YA Novels are a good way for teenagers to understand what they are going through? Did this influence the messages in your book?

I thinks books help us to better understand the world we live in. Plus, they help us understand that we're not the only person having gone through a particular situation. We're not alone. And somehow, we'll find a way out of the muck together.
I don't intentionally put messages in my books, mostly because I don't think that teenagers are reading books to learn a particular lesson. I think they're looking for escapism and enjoyment, pure and simple. The rest is really just gravy.

10. Humour plays a big part in your books, did the humour come from your characters, or you?

 I have a very quirky sense of humor and make my family laugh quite a bit. The funny parts of the books are all me. If Vlad gets the fangs, I can at least get the laughs, y'know?

Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil out now!


Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil 
By Derek Landy
Skulduggery Pleasant is back, and reunited with his original head. But all is not well in the magical world - for one thing, foreign powers are conspiring to take over the Irish Sanctuary, and for another thing, Valkyrie has discovered she might be the sorceress set to destroy the world. The problem is, she doesn′t feel she can tell Skulduggery what she′s learned... and that′s how all the trouble starts.
With Valkyrie on a quest of her own, to seal her name and prevent her evil destiny from coming to pass, Skulduggery and the gang are even more vulnerable. Which is a shame, because remember those thousands of remnants, imprisoned in the Midnight Hotel? Well, now they′re out. Not only that but they believe Valkyrie is their messiah. And that means thousands of wicked souls, desperate to get to Valkyrie, willing to kill anyone in their way... Oh, and because they can possess any body, they could be ANYONE.
Now Skulduggery, Valkyrie, Ghastly and Tanith can trust no one. Not even each other...

Grab a copy of Mortal Coil today

September 23, 2010

Exciting opportunity not to be missed! Lunch with author Kirsty Eagar and a tour of Penguin HQ!

Check out this amazing competition for a chance to visit the Penguin HQ and meet fabulous author Kirsty Eagar. 
(Open to Victoria, Australia Residents only)

Penguin is  offering one lucky BTL'er and a friend, the fantastic opportunity to meet and interview Penguin author, Kirsty Eagar!

Kirsty will be in Melbourne next week on Tuesday 28 September for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Dinner where the winners of the awards will be announced. Kirsty's novel, Raw Blue, has been shortlisted in the Young Adult Fiction category.  

If you love YA literature and can get yourself to Camberwell on Wednesday 29 September by 10 a.m. AND you'd love to tour Penguin HQ then interview Kirsty Eagar followed by a lunch with Kirsty and some 'Penguins', then all you need to do is send penguin an email with your details and tell us what ten questions you'd like to ask Kirsty at the interview. The lucky winner will get to enjoy all of the above and their interview with Kirsty will be posted on BTL! 

An opportunity not to be missed! 

Competition closes midnight AEST, Sunday 26th September, 2010.  

Competition is open to Victorian residents only. 
Full terms and conditions here

post taken from BTL  

September 16, 2010

A Bright Young Week

When I went to the launch of the book India Dark on Tuesday night at the Fremantle Children's Literature Centre, I enjoyed myself immensely.
Learning about the history behind the book was great and it was interesting to know that the whole book is based on a true story of a troupe of Child performers that went on strike one night after their show in Madras Podicherry, India. India Dark by Kirsty Murray is on the top of my list!

I also purchased a copy of Zarconi's Magic Flying Fish by Kirsty Murray 

Look out for their reviews soon!

I was excited to see a copy of Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen arrive in the mail from Penguin.
The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.
Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star. . . .
Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will.
The only person Cordelia can trust is ­Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.
Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the ­illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age. 

Look out for the review soon!

Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. Look out for the Interview with Heather Brewer, author of the Vlad Tod series to be posted Next Saturday!!

Glee: The Beginning by Sophia Lowell

Calling all Gleeks!
Get more of your favorite characters in this official Glee prequel!
All great performances deserve a warm-up! Enroll early at McKinley High--before New Directions was even a glimmer in Mr. Schuester's eye. When did Rachel first decide Finn was more than just a jock? When did Puck and Quinn start their secret romance? And how did the fledgling Glee Club function without a fearless leader? Hint: It wasn't exactly a perfect melody.
Break out the gold stars and refill the slushies: It's time to find out what happened to all your favorite characters before the show-mance began. 
blurb from back cover of book

Love Glee? 
Then this is the book for you!
learn all about what McKinley High was like for the members of Glee before it even existed), Learn some background to your favourite characters or even read it before you read the book.

Not having watched the show before, I found that I was curious about what was going to happen to the characters, what was going to become of Glee and if the Evil Cheerios had a heart.
Consequently, I found myself watching Glee! ( and Enjoying the book too!)

I recommend this book for Glee fans, probably girls aged 12 or 13 - 15.
Get your Glee fix today!  

September 10, 2010

The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith

This captivating series is now a hit T.V. Show, so, before you watch the show, or if you have enjoyed the show, read where it all began...

1.The Awakening
2. The Struggle
3. The Fury
4. Dark Reunion
5. The Return: Nightfall
6.The Return: Shadow Souls

Still recovering from the loss of her parents, Elena Gilbert meets the evasive Stefan Salvatore. 
But what she doesn't know about him and his past won't hurt her. Or will it?...
Without anybody knowing, vampires exist, and now that this one vampire has come to the town of Mystic Falls, will anything ever be the same.
When Stefan's brother comes to town, Elena finds herself drawn to the two vampire brothers.
Can Elena keep their secret and choose who her heart really belongs to without destroying her once quiet home town?...

When I first started reading the Vampire Diaries, I was immediately sucked in.
Contrary to popular belief that the Vampire Diaries is a copy of Twilight, the Vampire Diaries was actually published 14 years prior to Twilight, using some of the same ideas, but putting a spin on the characters, Vampire Lore and the history of the characters that Twilight lacks.

The books are compelling and will keep you on the edge, wanting more and more of the wonderful world that L.J. Smith has created.

If you are a fan of the show, then try reading the books. They deviate from the series, but they are still really entertaining.
If you are a fan of the books, then you will love the series, it captures the best of the characters and portrays the main story line of the series well.

September 09, 2010

Interview with Jenna Burtenshaw

Here's the interview with fabulous author of Wintercraft, Jenna Burtenshaw.

Q: What type of stories have influenced you?

A: I have always enjoyed many different kinds of stories, but the ones that influenced me most have always been on the dark side.  I love reading anything with a supernatural theme, post-apocalyptic books, or stories where society has broken or gone wrong.  Elements of those themes often squeeze their way into my own writing.

Q: What kind of stories do you like writing?

A: I enjoy writing about characters who are not always what they first appear to be and sending them into places and situations that are dark and mysterious.  The best part of writing is letting the characters find solutions to problems themselves and trusting them to find their own way, rather than forcing them into situations that they would never choose in real life.  They don’t always take the easy path, but that’s what makes it interesting!

Q: What fascinates you about death and the supernatural?

A: It has to be the mystery of it all.  Everyone has a theory, opinion or belief about what happens after death.  The magic of it - for me - is that no one can ever know who is right.  Death is the one thing that connects every single one of us and it is something we know absolutely nothing about.  The ‘not knowing’ intrigues me.  People’s rituals and beliefs surrounding death are often so different and interesting.  I find death and the different elements surrounding it, such as spirits and the existence of the soul, fascinating subjects to explore through fiction.     

Q: Because Kate communicates with the dead does that mean that you  want to have that power? If so, if you could talk to someone who has passed on who would it be?

A: That is a very difficult question!  I think being able to speak with the dead would be very interesting, but would come with its own drawbacks too.  If I did have the chance to speak to anyone, it would be one of the people who built Stonehenge.  I’d love to know why they built it and what it was originally used for.     

Q: What do you hope a reader will come away with after reading your book?

A: I hope they enjoy the book and see something within the characters that they like.  Friendship and trust are very important in the story.  I hope readers take away the idea that true friends can change each other’s lives and enemies may not always be what they seem to be.

Q:  Your descriptions are so vivid, do you have really clear mental images of the characters and settings, or have you drawn the places  from real cities, artworks, or movies?

A: When I think about a place within the book – Fume for example – I see it very clearly within my mind: the winding streets, the ancient buildings and carriages rattling along the roads.  Fume is a graveyard city and was inspired by the architecture and atmosphere you find in old Victorian graveyards with their statues, stonework and twisted trees.  I did not use any particular cities to create the places described in the book, they’re all pieced together from my own imagination and I enjoy spending time in them when I’m working on my books.    

Q: Were your characters inspired by any real or fictional people?

A: Not directly, but there are some similarities between Edgar and my brother.  Some elements of his personality definitely seeped into Edgar during writing.  All of the other characters feel very individual to me.  They all walked onto the page with their own quirks and problems.  Each one is a personality in their own right and I like them all for different reasons.
Q: What part of Wintercraft did you enjoy writing the most?

A: I definitely enjoyed writing the description of the Night Train.  It is such an ominous machine, patched together with gnarled metal taken from the remains of other old trains.  I was right there with Kate when the huge train pulled into Morvane’s station to carry the prisoners from her town away; a moving hulk of smoke and noise.  The thought of it still unnerves me a little when I read that chapter.

Q: Was the setting of Wintercraft influenced by where you grew up?

A: Elements of my local area have crept in to Wintercraft in small ways.  I grew up in a market town, just like Kate.  The underground sections of the story were inspired by a drift mine I visited when I was ten (a very scary experience!) and the idea for Fume grew from an abandoned chapel in an old cemetery I used to walk through every day on my way to school.  I still visit that cemetery sometimes.  It is a beautiful place to walk.    

Q: Do you foresee any sequels to Wintercraft?

A: Wintercraft is the first book in a trilogy.  I’ve finished the second book and I’m working on the third book in the series at the moment.  The second book is called Blackwatch and is due to be published in April next year.  There is a lot more of Kate and Silas’s story to tell.

September 04, 2010

Coming Soon...

Thanks to penguin, look out for these books being reviewed in the next few weeks...

By Nicole Pluss

Growing up in Victorian England, 15-year old Kit Lovell has not had an easy childhood. She never knew her father – a sea captain who went down with his ship, the Invincible, before she was born. And now her strict and protective mother, having relied on the charity of her sister, has made the radical decision to sail with Katherine to the new colony of Australia on the strength of an arranged marriage to a lighthouse keeper on the lonely and isolated Kangaroo Island. But the journey to that faraway land – with its melting pot of passengers and crew, and the terrible events that take place – will shape their lives forever.
A powerful and beautifully wrought work of historic fiction with fascinating characters and dramatic action that propels us through this fascinating coming-of-age journey.

By Emily Horner

Cass and her drama-crazy best friend, Julia, were planning a road trip to California. When Julia is killed in a car accident, Cass decides to follow the original plan anyway. Even if she has a bicycle instead of a driver's licence, and even if Julia's ashes are coming along in Tupperware.
This is a story about friendship. About Love. About traveling a thousand miles just to find yourself. And it's a story about the kookiest high school musical one quiet suburb has ever seen.

By Sarwat Chadda

Billi SanGreal is the first girl in the Knights Templar, and the most kick ass weapon-wielding heroine around. At fifteen, her life is a rigorous and brutal round of weapons practice, demon killing and occult lore – and a whole lot of bruises. But then, she didn’t have much choice. Her father, the Templar Master, forced her to take this path. There is no sacrifice Arthur will not make in his war against the Unholy. But Billi hates the Order, and she hates him too. Tempted by a chance to live a different kind of life and reject everything her father wants her to be, she learns to her horror that she may unwittingly have brought down the Tenth Plague upon humanity – the death of all first born. Faced with choosing her destiny, she must make sacrifices greater than she could have imagined.


3. Tenth Grade Bleeds

High school can be so draining when you're half-human, half-vampire

It's another sucky year at Bathory High for Vladimir Tod. The evil vampire D'Ablo is hunting for the ritual that could steal Vlad's powers. His best friend Henry doesn't want to be his drudge anymore. And as if all that weren't enough, it's getting harder for Vlad to resist feeding on the people around him. When months go by with no word from Uncle Otis and D'Ablo shows up demanding Vlad's father's journal, Vlad realizes that having a normal high school year is the least of his concerns. Vlad needs to act fast, and even his status as the Pravus won't save him this time...

4. Eleventh Grade Burns

The penultimate chapter in the thrilling vampire series!
Things have taken a darker turn for the half-human teenager with an appetite for blood.  Joss, a vampire slayer and Vlad’s former friend, has moved back to Bathory.  A mysterious and powerful new vampire, Dorian, appears with a shocking secret and an overwhelming desire to drink Vlad’s blood.  And Vlad’s arch enemy, D’Ablo, has a sinister plan to eliminate Vlad once and for all.  With death threatening from every angle, Vlad will have to use every ounce of his skill and training to survive, but nothing can prepare him for what awaits him in the end.

 end of spoiler alert :)

Melvin Burgess

When Nick's mother dies suddenly, the fourteen-year-old is sent straight into a boys' home, where he finds institutional intimidation and violence keep order. After countless fights and punishments, Nick thinks life can't get any worse - but the professionally respected deputy head, Mr Creal, who has been grooming him with sweets and solace, has something much more sinister in mind. The scarring, shaming experience he suffers at the hands of Mr Creal can never quite be suppressed, and when the old hatred surfaces, bloody murder and revenge lead to an unforgettable climax.

Eoin Colfer 

Artemis Fowl's criminal ways have finally got the better of him...

 Young Artemis has frequently used high-tech fairy magic to mastermind the most devious criminal activity of the new century. Now, at a conference in Iceland, Artemis has gathered the fairies to present his latest idea to save the world from global warming. But Artemis is behaving strangely – he seems different. Something terrible has happened to him . . .

 Artemis Fowl has become nice.

 The fairies diagnose Atlantis Complex – that's obsessive compulsive disorder to you and me – dabbling in magic has damaged his mind. Fairy ally Captain Holly Short doesn't know what to do. Because the subterranean volcanoes are under attack from vicious robots and Artemis cannot fight them. Can Holly get the real Artemis back ­­­before the robot probes destroy every human and life form.


September 02, 2010

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

I am Number Four is the first book in the  Lorien Legacies series by Pittacus Lore.

John Smith is not what meets the eye.
He looks like your average teenager, but what you don't know is that he is actually an alien from another planet called Lorien. 
Invaded by Mogadorians, the people of the planet Lorien are forced to flee to Earth. 
There Were Nine. The Mogadorians have killed three.
John Smith is Number Four.
Can he save his life and those of Paradise, Ohio, before it's too late?

 Filled with amusing situations, characters that are of the believable, (some of them, I think...), I am Number Four is sure to keep you entertained with its fast-past action, and twists and turns that will keep you guessing, I am Number Four is a great read.

As soon as I picked up I am Number Four, I knew that I wouldn't be able to put it down. The pages kept turning and turning until there was nothing left to read, and an unhappy Book Slooth!

Due out in theaters in February 2011, this action-packed flick also has an awesome cast–including Alex Pettyfer as Number Four/John Smith, Glee star Dianna Agron as Sarah, and Callan McAuliffe as Sam!

Look out for I am Number Four!

September 01, 2010

Winner of Ghostgirl: Lovesick Giveaway- throuthehaze

I placed all the contestants' names on a green piece of paper and drew them out of a bowl, not looking! :)

{ the competition is now closed :( }

Other Posts you might Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...