Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I have a confession. Sometimes I am scared to read a book, no make that terrified. There are a few things that will bring on this terror. I will see a book cover, read the dust jacket and buy it (or check it out) without consulting a review, talking to anyone who has read it, or doing any research. Or, I will get a recommendation from someone. Or I will buy something based on the hype (yes, books get hype too). In any of these circumstances, I will have every intention of reading the book, and possibly even get a little excited by the prospect of this new book. That’s when he shows up. That little voice in my head that will coax and cajole me. ‘What if it’s no good?’ I start to listen to him. If it’s a bad book I have: 1. Wasted my time. 2. I will have to disappoint the person who recommended it. 3. I will forever distrust The Hype and never buy another book. I begin to think that ‘The Promise’ of the book will be better than the actual reading of the book. I let the book sit there, while I am paralyzed with fear.
‘The Magicians’ by Lev Grossman was one of those books. I saw it in my bookstore when it was released and it looked interesting. I did a little bit of research and found that Lev was the twin brother of Austin Grossman, who wrote ‘Soon I Will Be Invincible,’ one of my favorite reads. I purchased a copy and had every intention of reading it. I was talking to a book selling colleague of mine and he told me I would love this book because it was ‘Harry Potter for Adults.’ That’s when the first warning bell went off.
If you have ever worked in a bookstore, you know that one of the things that makes hand selling difficult is that customers want to know if the book you are selling them is ‘like’ another book that they have read. I did it all the time, all the while seething under my breath.
‘Sure, if you like ‘Twilight’ you’ll love ‘The Passage,’ they both have vampires.’
In reality, no book is ‘like’ any other book. You want to be able to sell a book on it’s own merits (especially if it is a book you love) and not because it sounds just like a book the customer is familiar with. It’s a necessary evil, we all do it. But when you start comparing books to Harry Potter, you can turn as many people off as you catch. Potter is a high expectation to set with any book (plus I hate it when people say ‘Harry Potter for Adults.’ Harry Potter may have been written for children, but it is as much for adults as anyone).
So ‘The Magicians’ sat and sat, waiting for me to come to my senses and read it. I even bought the sequel ‘The Magician King’ before I had read ‘The Magicians.’
After finishing ‘The Night Circus’ I needed to read something else. I was at the beginning of a Reading Frenzy and I needed something else. ‘The Magicians’ time had come.
Lev Grossman is a fan of Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, Star Wars, Comic Books, The Lord of the Rings and all my other nerd G-Spots. He peppers the book with references and quotes only a nerd like me would get. It’s not a ripoff, and it’s not necessarily an homage either. Rather than shy away from comparisons to Potter and Narnia, Grossman relishes in them, dropping playful (but respectful) allusions and comparisons throughout the book. It gives the book a certain confidence: ‘I know you Potter-philes are going to be reading this, so let’s have some fun with it.’
Quentin Coldwater is his own literary creation. Quentin is a slacker high school student. Much brighter than his classmates, but way more interested in being miserable and lonely that actually applying his gifts to his studies. Through a few chance encounters and some manipulation, Quentin finds himself admitted to Brakebills, a college for magicians in upstate New York. This is where the similarities to Harry Potter ended for me. ‘The Magicians’ is a much faster paced book. The 4 years of college whirl by in the first half of the book. Quentin’s story surges forward, keeping me interested and intrigued. Just as I began to get comfortable in the surroundings of Brakebills, Quentin graduates. In the world Grossman created, gifted mages don’t have a Gringotts or a Ministry of Magic to work for. The use their abilities in the real world. That was unexpected and refreshing.
Grossman was also very adept at showing us just enough of his world to entice us. There was not a lot of exposition with made up words for spells and special languages and labels for magical devices. It was like the nuts and bolts of magical ability were always bubbling just under the surface. I got to see ‘what’ the magic was, not ‘how’ it worked. I liked that a lot. It let me imagine so much on my own, and isn’t that what good writing is supposed to do?
Quentin drinks, does drugs, and cheats on his girlfriend. In other words, he’s just like many recent college graduates. Having magic doesn’t change the core of who he is. If anything, it just gives him another set of Circumstances to deal with. Even with the fast pace of the book, the characters are well thought out and easy to identify with. Quentin isn’t the anti-Harry Potter, he’s just another kid who does magic.
Throughout the book, there are references to a fabled land called Fillory, from a series of children’s books. Quentin and all of his friends have read them, but assumed they were just fiction. When one of Quentin’s old classmates turns up with a way to get to Fillory, Quentin and his compatriots jump at the chance.
Because learning magic didn’t change who Quentin was, he believed going on a quest to Fillory would. It’s really that same feeling all of us have felt at one time or another: ‘This life I’m living is not me. If I could just do/be ‘X’ I would be happier and all my problems would go away.’ Quentin learns the hard way that is not the case.
As in life, ‘The Magicians’ doesn’t just neatly tie up all the loose ends. Many things are left unanswered and unlearned. I liked that. Nothing so neat and tidy, but messy as it should be. There is a nice Fillorian set up for the next book, however. After a few days of savoring this book, I’ll be going back to Fillory with ‘The Magician King.’ I won’t make Quentin wait for me again.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
I don’t even know how to begin to describe my experience in reading The Night Circus, because that’s what it was, an experience. The book had been in the periphery of my life since before publication, I’d heard several of my book industry colleagues discuss it. I filed those conversations away.
When it came time to leave for Taos for my Christmas holiday, I knew I needed a book to take along. Circumstances dictated I was unable to get the book before I left town, what a fortuitous turn of events. I procured my copy at Moby Dickens the day I arrived. Moby Dickens is a very special shop in the middle of Old Taos. Much to my delight, it was brimming over with customers. (Who says Independent Bookstores are passe?)
As soon as I got back to the hotel I opened up the book, and fell right in to the story. I don’t want to give too much away, because I want everyone to experience the book on their own, without the lens of my perspective.
This was the first book I had read since leaving my post as a bookstore manager for the field of librarian that made me regret my decision, even for a moment. I wanted to have read an Advanced Reader’s Copy so I could have planned a huge release party in my store. I wanted to walk up to every single customer, regardless of what they were buying and tell them about Night Circus. I wanted to wear black and white everyday, with a different red accent, just to see who would notice. I could have sold the crap out of that book, and I knew whoever it was who was in my old post now would not have given the book a second thought. I felt bad for all my old customers, and hoped that the book would find itself into their life another way.
I know some people will read this book on an e-reader, but this magical book demands to be read on paper. The dust jacket, the interior art, the striped inlay, heck, even the font are all part of the enchantment of the story. An e-reader would just lessen the experience. There are literary elements to the story that conjure up musty old libraries and bookshops.
I have been a voracious reader and bibliophile for such a long time, that my imagination runs rampant with the details of a story. When I read, I see everything: faces, furniture, places, objects. I can construct the entire story in my mind, using only the author’s words, and my imagination. With The Night Circus, t didn’t work that way. I could see the general outline of things, get an impression, but the details were always hazy. I have an idea of what Celia Bowen looks like, but I could never attempt to describe her to anyone. I can just feel how she looks. The same goes for the Circus itself, it is more of a general feeling and atmosphere than it is a description. The other funny thing about that was that as soon as I left a character or a place, I would totally forget how they looked. I would have to reconstruct the circus in my mind every time I went back there. It was as if I was viewing everything through a mist or haze.
That is why it is so hard to write about this book. I can only tell you how I felt while reading it. As I was reading it, I felt magical, and I was so happy to be away from home, it helped me feel transported. The other thing that I abandoned in the reading was my discipline. I usually force myself to read slowly, so that I can savor each chapter, and live with each character for a long time. I like to walk around, thinking about what would happen next, and what the characters might be thinking. I wanted to do that with The Night Circus too, but each time I put the book down, an incredible melancholy crept over me. I felt listless and alone. I had to get back to the circus. I did most of the reading at night (happy coincidence, or fate?) in the old library of the hotel.
Too soon (actually, on time, the night before we left) I finished the book. I was beyond sad. I was not ready for the story to end. I was not ready to leave the circus. I wanted to email Bailey and tell him how marvelous his circus was. I didn’t want to let go, it hurt too much. I was sad that I would bot be selling the book. I was sad that I had no one to talk to about the book. I was sad because I knew there should be no sequels or other journeys with the circus. It was the perfect story and did not need an adaptation for the screen. It does not need a sequel. It just needs to exist and find it’s way into the hands of other readers.
I started looking on the web and found the author’s website, facebook page, and pages for the book itself. There is a community out there, reveurs, like in the book itself. That both comforted me and irritated me. On one hand, having a community to discuss the book with would be lovely. On the other hand, I still feel like this is MY book, and I wanted to keep it that way for a little while longer. I wasn’t ready to share this experience. I knew I would be writing a review of this book, how could I not? But even that frightened me. What if, in the process or writing it, I deconstructed it to the point it was no longer magical? Unlike Celia in her quest to control the circus, I did not wan to know how Marco’s magic worked. It was better left a mystery.
That night, I dreamt of trains, passenger trains, everything was in shades of grey, save for a pair of bright red boots worn by a woman whose face I could not see. When I woke, I realized that, although I was done with the book for now, the book was not done with me.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
That being said, I did find it a little strange at how quickly Andrew so quickly believed his cousin, Charles, about the adventure he had taken thanks to Mr. Murray. A man bent on committing suicide, Andrew was more eager than I think a man in his position would be to accept such a far-fetched notion. But, perhaps that's part of the charm of the text, suspending belief on our part as well as Andrew's.
And I love the idea of Eternal. We'll see how this character plays a role in the unfolding scheme, unwinding threads from a temporal skein.
Mr. Ham, anything to add? I'm starting Chapter 8 as soon as click "Publish Post," so I await your thoughts.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Monday, March 15, 2010
As many of you know, I am a bookseller in a mid sized city in Texas. The store I work in is the only bookstore in town. As a result, I see many GLBT people come in and browse the very small GLBT section I am allowed to carry.
Some months ago, I saw a shy young man looking over the section and trying very hard not to be noticed. I walked over and struck up a conversation with him, suggesting several books. Over the next few weeks he would come in just to talk about books and about gay life in general. We struck up a great friendship. He is 16, and living at home with his Jehovah’s Witness parents. For a long time, he struggled with trying to reconcile his sexuality and his religion. However, in the months that I have known him, I have seen him grow more confident and proud of whom he is, no matter what adversity he has faced at home. It makes me very proud to know him. His 17th birthday is coming up, and I wanted to do something very special for him. As we talk about books so much, and there are so many authors he has yet to be exposed to, I emailed Perry Moore, author of ‘Hero’ to see if he would sign a book for my friend. Not only did he agree, but offered to do a Q&A for this blog.
Although the characters in 'Hero' are originals, was there inspiration from existing comic book characters? If there was, can you match the inspiration to the character?
WHAT AN INTERESTING QUESTION—YOU GET RIGHT TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER. ALL THE OLDER HEROES IN THE LEAGUE ARE EXACTLY WHO YOU THINK THEY’RE BASED UPON.
TRANSVISION VAMP CAME FROM A ONE-HIT WONDER ALTERNA-BAND
I GUESS YOU COULD SAY A LITTLE BIT OF GORAN CAME FROM MY LONGTIME CHILDHOOD CRUSH ON COLOSSUS.
BUT EVERYONE ON THOM’S TEAM, ALL THE PRIMARY CHARACTERS ARE BASED ON REAL PEOPLE.
FOR INSTANCE, HAL IS MY DAD (a decorated Vietnam Vet who was so damaged internally by that war without anyone to speak to about it (sort of like me, we were both seeking to find our places in the universe, but for very different reasons)), MUCH MORE THAN HE IS BATMAN OR CAPTAIN AMERICA.
I DID THINK WOLVERINE—THE MOST BORING, OVERUSED CHARACTER IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE—DESERVED A GOOD SMACKDOWN FOR KILLING NORTHSTAR IN HIS BOOK (DURING A MONTH WHERE MARVEL KILLED NORTHSTAR AT LEAST THREE TIMES IN ONE MONTH.). SO I HAD DARK HERO KICK SNAGGLETOOTH (THE LAMEST VERSION OF WOLVERINE YOU CAN IMAGINE) ON THE BUS DURING THE FIRST ACTION SCENE OF THE BOOK.
SCARLETT IS 100% BASED ON THE VOICE OF MY BEST FRIEND OF THIRTY YEARS, BRETTA ZIMMER LEWIS, OF VIRGINIA BEACH VIRGINIA.
In talking to other people who have read 'Hero' there is a lot of affinity for Ruth. Why do you think this character is so popular with your readers?
RUTH IS AN AMALGAM OF A FEW OF THE OLDER SOUTHERN FEMALE RELATIVES. THE BEST PARTS COME FROM MY MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER, MAMMAW, (FROM HILLSBOROUGH, NC), AND MY GODMOTHER, JUANITA.THESE WERE STRONG-ASS WOMEN WHO DID NOT MINCE WORDS. THEY HAD PASTS THAT MADE THEM THE STRONG WOMEN THAT I GREW UP KNOWING AND LOVING. LOVING THIS BREED OF SOUTHERN WOMEN WAS ALWAYS…INTERESTING. OH, THE THINGS THAT CAME OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS.
I HOPE I CAPTURED EVEN A HINT OF THE GREATNESS THAT WAS THESE OLDER WOMEN.
HER MOVIE EQUIVALENT WOULD BE GENA ROWLANDS IN “GLORIA.” ‘CEPT FOR SHE WASN’T SOUTHERN, WHICH IS A PART OF ME, AND THEREFORE AN INEXTRICABLE PART OF RUTH.
YOU KNOW THE ONLY SCENE I WROTE OUT OF SEQUENCE EVEN IN THE OUTLINING PROCESS, I ALWAYS RESISTED THE URGE TO WRITE AN ENTIRE SCENE OUT OF CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER BECAUSE I WANTED THE BOOK TO HAVE A LIFE OF ITS OWN, TO WRITE IN ORDER THAT THE CHARACTERS AND THEIR ACTIONS WOULD BE GIVEN VOICES AND THEREFORE THEY WOULD TAKE OVER AND AT THAT POINT I WAS JUST CHANNELING THEIR ACTIONS BY MOVING MY FINGERS ACROSS THE COMPUTER.
THE MINUTE THEY TOOK OVER THE STORY, HERO TRULY CAME TO LIFE. THANK GOD, FOR LETTING ME CHANNEL THESE INCREDIBLE CHARACTERS.
BUT I COULDN’T HELP IT WITH RUTH. THE MORE I THOUGHT ABOUT HER, THE MORE I HAD TO HOLD BACK… UNTIL ONE NIGHT. WE WERE CASTING THE KIDS FOR MAYBE THE THIRD TIME IN LONDON WITH NARNIA DIRECTOR ANDREW ADAMSON, CASTING DIRECTORS PIPPA HALL AND GAIL STEVENS, AND PRODUCER MARK JOHNSON. WE RARELY HAD A MOMENT TO OURSELVES. IT WAS WORKSHOPPING WITH THE CHILD ACTORS ALL DAY LONG UNTI WE HAD OUR FINAL FOUR, AND I REMEMBER WE WERE GIVEN SOMETHING LIKE TWO HOURS BEFORE OUR DINNER WITH TILDA SWINTON, TO CONFIRM SHE’D BE PLAYING THE WHITE WITCH. WELL, I WAS EBULLIENT BECAUSE I’D BEEN PUSHING FOR TILDA FOR TWO YEARS, AND I FELT, WOW, ANDREW’S FINALLY GOING TO SEAL THE DEAL.
OUT OF THAT HAPPINESS, I GUESS I FELT CONFIDENT, SO I STARTED WRITING IN THE HOTEL ROOM. THE SCENE I WROTE? WHERE THOM CONFRONTS RUTH AFTER THEIR FIRST PROBATIONARY TEAM MEETING. THE ONE WHERE HE ASKS IF SHE CAN SEE HIS FUTURE, THE ONE WHERE SHE PATS HIM ON THE HEAD…BECAUSE SHE KNOWS HE HAS SUCH A LONG ROAD AHEAD OF HIM.
SO I DON’T KNOW WHY SHE’S SO POPULAR WITH READERS. MAYBE BECAUSE I MYSELF LOVED HER SO MUCH. ALTHOUGH I LOVED THE REST OF THEM, TOO, SO I DON’T REALLY KNOW.
MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE SINCE SHE’S A FORESEER, SHE’S THE ONE WE ALL WISH WE KNEW IN HIGH SCHOOL WHO COULD HAVE SAID, “HEY, ALL THIS ANGST YOU’RE GOING THROUGH IS SUCH BULLSHIT, GET OVER IT. BECAUSE IF YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING THROUGH NOW IS HARD, THEN YOU’RE REALLY IN FOR IT, BECAUSE LIFE IS ABOUT TO GET A WHOLE LOT MORE COMPLICATED. EVERYTHING THAT YOU’RE DOING NOW, WELL, YOU BETTER STOP BITCHING ABOUT IT AND START DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THE THINGS YOU DON’T LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF AND LIVING THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE, BECAUSE YOUR TIME ON THIS EARTH IS SO BRIEF WHEN YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT IT. MAYBE THAT’S THE KEY.
I HAD A HUNCH SHE’D STEAL ALL HER SCENES, BUT I DIDN’T KNOW UNTIL THE BOOK CAME OUT AND PEOPLE STARTED TO WRITE ME. I ALWAYS LIKED HOW SHE TELLS THE TRUTH. SHE MAY WITHHOLD SOME THINGS SHE SEES (LIKE THE DAY OF HER ULTIMATE FATE), BUT SHE NEVER LIES. NO ONE LIKES TO BE LIED TO.
For years now, there have been people trying to censor what kids can read in libraries, schools and bookstores across the country. Most of the time, it is 'concerned' citizens trying to pull LGBT books off the shelves. Yet, 'Hero' has been embraced by school systems and libraries. To what do you attribute this acceptance?
I WROTE IT FOR EVERYONE. I TRIED TO TAKE EVERY Cliché I’D EVER SEEN ABOUT THE MULTIPLE – SOMETIMES WELL MEANING – PORTRAYALS OF GAY CHARACTERS IN MEDIA. BUT I AIMED FOR SOMETHING SO MUCH HIGHER.
A CHARACTER THAT LEARNS TO BE A HERO, HE HAS REAL STRUGGLES THAT ARE UNIVERSAL (WANTING ACCEPTANCE FROM A HARD FATHER, LOVE FROM A MOTHER WHO’S LEFT THEM, AND A CRUSH ON TWO GUYS (UBERMAN AT FIRST, THEN GORAN), WHOM HE THINKS COULD NEVER POSSIBLY LOVE HIM BACK. HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE GENDER OF THE CHARACTERS HE LIKES. THOM IS A YOUNG ADULT STRUGGLING TO FIND HIS PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE. EVERYONE RELATES TO THAT. IS HIS STORY MORE COMPLICATED BY THE FACT THAT HE LIKES GUYS MORE THAN GIRLS? SURE, BUT THAT’S HARDLY THE BEGINNING AND END OF HIS STORY.
HONESTLY, I SET OUT TO WRITE A STORY THAT DIDN’T EXIST – AND IT WAS A STORY THAT SO DESPERATELY NEEDED TO BE TOLD.
SO HERO QUITE FRANKLY BURNED A HOLE RIGHT OUT OF ME.
IN SCHOOL, WE ALWAYS READ STORIES ABOUT CHARACTERS WHO ARE DIFFERENT FROM US. AND THE POINT I WANTED TO MAKE WAS THAT WHETHER YOU’RE BLACK, WHITE, GAY, STRAIGHT, OLD, YOUNG, BIG OR SMALL, ONCE YOU EMBRACE THAT WHICH MAKES YOU DIFFERENT CAN EMPOWER YOU IN WAYS YOU’VE NEVER IMAGINED. AS THOM EMBRACES WHO HE IS, THE MORE POWERFUL HE BECOMES AS A HERO.
ESSENTIALLY, THOM IS NOT DEFINED BY HIS SEXUALITY, AND I THINK THAT’S THE KEY TO THE BOOK’S POWER, AND WHY TEACHERS AND PARENTS AND FRIENDS OF GAY PEOPLE WRITE TO ME – IN ADDITION TO THE YOUNG ADULTS WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH THEIR OWN SEXUALITY AND THANKING ME FOR GIVING THEM A COMPANION THAT SAYS, HEY, IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY – I THINK THAT’S WHY PEOPLE DIG IT.
Do you still read comics? What do you read?
ANYTHING BY ALLAN HEINBERG. HE’S ONE OF MY COMIC BOOK HEROES BECAUSE OF WHAT HE DID WITH YOUNG AVENGERS. HE TOOK A POTENTIALLY LAME IDEA AND NOT ONLY MADE IT WORK—HE LEFT US WANTING MORE. ALWAYS.
I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE HIS NEXT MAXI-SERIES WITH THE YOUNG AVENGERS. THAT WOULD BE ONE OF THE FEW COMICS I WOULD CONSIDER DOING IN BETWEEN ALAN’S PRIMARY STINTS WITH THE BOOK (IF HE ASKS ME TO* *hint, hint, wink, nudge…Allan, call me!)
I FEEL THE SAME WAY ABOUT GAIL SIMONE’S WORK, ESPECIALLY WITH SECRET SIX.
Let's talk about 'The List.' It's an incredible resource. As I read it, I became aware of many LBGT characters out there that I had never heard of (admittedly, I only read DC Comics, so I am at a handicap). It's widely reported that Northstar's death at the hands of Wolverine prompted the creation of the list. Looking on comics now, has there been any progression in the treatment and/or visibility of LGBT characters in your opinion?
I THINK THINGS HAVE FORTUNATELY GOTTEN BETTER, INCREMENTALLY. I MODELED THE LIST AFTER GAIL SIMONE’S, WOMEN IN REFRIGERATORS PIECE. YOU KNOW, I REALLY COMPILED THAT LIST ONLY AS A COMPANION PIECE TO THE BOOK. I THOUGHT IT WOULD STOKE SOME INTEREST IN THE BOOK. UNFORTUNATELY, SOME COMIC FANS WOULD ONLY READ THE LIST AND, GOD BLESS COMIC BOOK FANS, THEY’D LOVE TO NITPICK THE ERRORS. BUT I WROTE IT TO INVITE THAT VERY DISCUSSION.
I PROBABLY JUST SHOULD HAVE LEFT IT AT TWO CHARACTERS:
NORTHSTAR AND FREEDOM RING. IF YOU HAVEN’T, DO YOURSELF A FAVOR A LOOK UP “FREEDOM RING.” THEN YOU’LL UNDERSTAND WHY I WROTE THAT LIST.
Ok, I don't quite know how to put this into the form of a question, so I am just going to write this out and you let me know if you have a response. Looking over the characters on The List who have been killed off: I wonder how many of them were actually killed because of their sexual orientation. I mean, some of them were probably killed off just to service the plot, or as collateral damage. If we are going to have a larger LGBT presence in comics, then it stands to reason some of these characters are going to be maimed, killed, banished to another dimension, de-powered or something. I think the retconning of sexual orientation is deplorable, and so is the gratuitous killing because of sexual orientation, but I do think that we should have LGBT villians, heroes who suffer and death. It further integrates the LGBT experience into comics. Of course it would help if some of the gay characters got laid and/or had relationships too.
I HAVE A LONG E-MAIL EXCHANGE WITH ROBERT KIRKMAN WHERE I WROTE HIM – WE’D BEEN WRITING BACK AND FORTH WHILE I WAS DOING NARNIA, BECAUSE I REALLY WANTED TO PRODUCE THE WALKING DEAD (I DIDN’T GET TO). AFTER READING MY E-MAILS HE WROTE BACK AND ADMITTED THAT THE WHOLE FREEDOM RING THING WAS PROBABLY THE BIGGEST MISTAKE HE’D MADE. AND THAT HE UNDERSTOOD THAT WHEN THERE ARE ONLY FIVE OPENLY GAY MALE CHARACTERS IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, AND YOU KILL ONE (WITH A BUNCH OF SPIKES, ONE THROUGH HIS ANUS), YOU HAVE JUST KILLED 20% OF THAT WORLD’S GAY CHARACTERS. AND WE WERE TALKING ABOUT BACK OF THE BUS CHARACTERS.
I LOVE APOLLO AND MIDNIGHTER, BUT THEY’RE MEMBERS OF A TEAM. SAME WITH RICTOR AND SHATTERSTAR, AND THE BOYFRIENDS IN YOUNG AVENGERS.
I WOULD LOVE TO DO IN COMICS WHAT I DID I YOUNG ADULT FICTION: CREATE THE FIRST PROTAGONIST WHO IS GAY, OUT, MALE, EMPOWERED, AND UNAFRAID—HE DOESN’T SIT IN THE BACK OF THE BUS, AND HE DOESN’T NEED TO BE SAVED BY A STRAIGHT CHARACTER IN CASE OF ATTACK (SEE TERRY BERG IN GREEN LANTERN FOR MORE ON THAT ONE.)
BUT MY PRIMARY GOAL WAS TO DELIGHT AND INSPIRE AND HAVE EVERYONE WHO’S EVER FELT A LITTLE DIFFERENT BELIEVE HE OR SHE COULD BE A HERO.
BECAUSE THERE IS A HERO IN ALL OF US. BELIEVE!
Talk about your writing process a little. Do you write everyday? Is there a routine?
WHEN I DON”T HAVE TO WORK ON SOMETHING ELSE, I HAVE SACRED “WRITING HOURS”EVERY MORNING, USUALLY STARTING AT SEVEN AM AND GOING AS LONG AS I CAN BEFORE THE RESPONSIBLITIES OF THE REAL WORLD INTRUDE.
Have we seen the last of Thom Creed? Sequels?
OH BOY, THE SEQUEL IS GOING TO BE BIG. I MAPPED IT OUT BEFORE I WROTE MY LAST NOVEL. IT WILL BE BIG. THE SEQUEL WILL TEST THOM AND GORAN AND THEIR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER IN WAYS YOU CAN’T IMAGINE. AND YOU’LL CONTINUE TO LEARN SO MUCH MORE ABOUT THESE CHARACTERS. AND IT’S FULL OF SURPRISES GALORE! SOME OF WHICH – AND I HAVE TO BE CAREFUL NOT TO GIVE ANY AWAY – WILL REALLY PLEASE THE FANS.
IT’S A WHOPPER OF A SEQUEL. THINGS GET BUMPED UP TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL. BUT THE BASIC CHARACTER-DRIVEN APPROACH IS STILL THE SAME.
Are you working on anything new? Can you tell me about it?
MY NEW BOOK, AN EPIC NOVEL I JUST TURNED IN TO MY WONDERFUL PUBLISHERS AT HYPERION. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. THERE WILL BE AT LEAST FOUR BOOKS IN THAT SERIES, WHEN YOU READ IT YOU’LL UNDERSTAND WHY. AND IT’S SO CINEMATIC, AND YET PERSONAL. IF I LEARNED ANYTHING FROM MY WORKING WITH YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE AND WITH MOVIES, IT’S THIS: NEVER TALK DOWN TO THE AUDIENCE, DOESN’T MATTER WHAT AGE WE’RE TALKING ABOUT.
NEVER. TALK. DOWN. TO. ANYONE. YOU WOULDN’T WANT ANYONE TO TALK TO YOU.
(Note: Mr. Moore gave me a little more info on the book, but asked me not to go into it just yet. I can say that from the tidbits he shared, it sounds like a very good read)
How has it been working with Stan Lee?
SIMPLY A DREAM. WHEN HE CALLED FOR THE FIRST TIME, I DIDN’T EVEN BELIEVE IT WAS REALLY HIM. BUT IT WAS. THE STAN LEE! AND I ASKED HIM TO COME TO THE GREAT LGBT PANEL AT COMICON IN SAN DIEGO….AND HE CAME! THE CROWD CHEERED, APPLAUDED, CRIED. SUCH AN AMAZING AFFIRMATION.
NOW WE JUST NEED A NETWORK… OR A STUDIO… TO BELIEVE IN HERO THE SAME WAY WE DO.
OR BETTER YET A STAR, LIKE SOME I’D ALWAYS ENVISIONED.
GEORGE CLOONEY (THE PERFECT HAL, HELL, HE EVEN PLAYED BATMAN ONCE…), PLEASE WRITE IN OR CALL. YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!
SAME WITH BRAD PITT, WHO WAS MY IDEAL FOR UBERMAN! YOU GUYS HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.
USE THOSE POWERS. PLEASE! HELP!
THAT MUCH I’VE LEARNED, TOO. IT TOOK FIFTY YEARS FOR HOLLYWOOD TO TAKE NARNIA SERIOUSLY. WHAT KIND OF SHOT DO I HAVE WITHOUT TALENT LIKE STAN LEE OR GEORGE CLOONEY OR BRAD PITT.
PLEASE, ALL FANS, LET’S GET TOGETHER AND LOBBY TO GET THEM INVOLVED.
YOU CAN WRITE ME—IN FACT, PLEASE WRITE ME, I WILL MOST DEFINITELY RESPOND – AT perrymoorestories.com
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Wow, has it really been 6 months since we posted anything? Bad bloggers...BAD bloggers!!!
While David and I decide what to read in 2010, I thought I might give a shout out to a couple of books I read over the holidays on my own.
1. Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon. This is, without a doubt, the best book I read in 2009. A collection of 3 distinct and separate stories, Reply is a study of the meaning of identity, disguised as a thriller. The novel begins with a severed hand and a frantic rush to the hospital and doesn't let up until the dizzying last 50 pages. I was so amazed at the way Chaon's climax tied the three stories together ( one concerning a man's quest for his missing twin, a second following the life of a college dropout who is reunited with his birth father, and a third tale of a high school graduate fleeing her small town with the History teacher), that I ended up re-reading the book to try and pick out the clues Chaon drops throughout the book. It is in hardcover right now, but if price is an issue, the trade paperback will be out in June, just in time for some beach reading.
2. Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon. As I was telling Dave just this morning, I forget how much I like Michael Chabon until I read one of his books, and then I fall in love all over again. Chabon LOVES language and his works are peppered with very lovingly crafted sentences, supported by extravagant words. Sometimes that can get in the way of a good story, but not with Wonder Boys. I had seen the film not too long ago. I remember enjoying it. My friend (we'll call him James Leer) is a Robert Downey Jr. fanatic, so he had seen the film, but had no idea it was based on a book. We decided to read it together. I was surprised at how well the film had followed the book, with one notable exclusion (Grady Tripp's passover dinner with estranged in-laws). Although I could not help but picture Toby Maguire in the James Leer role, all of the other characters took on a life and appearance quite different than their screen counterparts. I attribute this to Chabon's descriptive writing and a healthy dose of my overactive imagination. 2 days after finishing this book, Netflix delivered The Mysteries of Pittsburgh to my doorstep. Another film adaptation of a Chabon book, Mysteries reaffirmed the love for Chabon's work that will always live in my soul.