Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Another Interview

Hey all!

Quick post today. I was interviewed over at
the blog of author Auria Cortes. If you feel so inclined, please have a quick peek, and if you feel even more so inclined, maybe post a comment or two over at her blog!

Thank you so much for the lovely interview Auria, your questions were very interesting, and good fun to answer!

Monday, January 28, 2008

My Place Card

Okay, some of you have already pointed out that Timothy is up on Amazon (and thank you my fab readers for doing so, because if it weren't for you I wouldn't have known!) .

So I thought I might as well share the cover of the book with you, seeing as you can see it easily there. However, you should know that this isn't the finished cover, more of a place card while my publishers and the artist do some more stuff to it. To be honest I have no idea if the final cover will look like this, or in a completely different style.

Nonetheless, it is kind of interesting to see the evolution of a cover. And normally I wouldn't post a first version because I consider creating visual art just as personal a process as creating any other kind of art, and I know as an author I wouldn't want my rough draft posted for the world to see. But because Amazon has posted this version of the cover, it gives us the chance to see how a cover will change and stuff. Which I think is pretty cool.

So for all and sundry . . . here is the totally gorgeous current incarnation of the cover for Timothy and the Dragon's Gate (made fabulous as ever by the amazing John Rocco - who just won the 2007 Original Voices award for picture books I hasten to add):

Friday, January 25, 2008

What Are Your Intentions

So okay, there haven't been tons of questions (darn you all for not doing my work for me! You should feel deeply ashamed!), but at least I have two assignments now.

The first is to share with you all my intentions with the Alex series.

And the second is to write poetry based on my favourite moment in Canadian history. (JMM, I never said I wouldn't do a Shakespearean sonnet. In fact I said I WOULD do a Shakespearean sonnet on any topic of your choosing, so I will write my fav Canadian moment as a sonnet, if you approve).

So, to the first question!

I don't know.


Sorry sorry . . .

But it's kind of true. I know I have plans for more books, but I don't know how many or in what direction they will take me. I wish I could be as amazing as JK Rowling and have a very complex plan, and introduce clues in book one that will matter in book six etc (man I always loved that about her). But for me, I've always been a sort of, "Let's see where this is going to take me" kind of girl.

As to how the books will work - I've mentioned it before, but it is now buried deep in the archives, that my series is a bit different. The next book for example, Timothy and the Dragon's Gate, starts off by introducing a new character, Timothy Freshwater. We then follow his adventure until two thirds of the way through the book when he meets up with the end of Alex's adventure. Like he meets her the day after her adventure has just concluded, and then the two of them complete Timothy's adventure together.

Basically this makes the book standalone, in that if you haven't read Alex, you can still read Timothy because the adventure is totally new and different. At the same time, there are certain inside jokes, and a certain depth to characters, that you can enjoy had you read Alex first.

I hope this all makes sense.

So that's the plan for now! I hope this answered your question Anonymous 4:37, thanks so much for asking!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger has died.

There will be a myriad of blog posts and articles discussing the event. Mine will be probably one of the least enlightening entries as I have no idea what happened and only knew him through his films. I never knew him as a person.

But I felt a need to post nonetheless.

You see, I'm very very sad.

And I am not exactly sure why.

Yes he was an amazing young actor, with an amazing future and he had a small child. And yes that makes the whole thing really horrible. But I don't know. What I'm feeling is so visceral, so not putting thoughts together like his daughter will never know her father. Just deep, hollow. Emptiness like when someone you know dies. Just . . . sadness.

And I guess it's like that sometimes. I was very little when Jim Henson died, but it struck me quite profoundly and in very much the same way. I know it might sound odd, but there was something about him that made me think he was an uncle or some relative of mine. Someone I had a personal connection with.

Heath Ledger was not even my movie star crush. But he was someone I would talk about often. I think he just impressed me so much in Brokeback, and I hadn't expected such a performance from him, that he just sort of stayed with me. The whole his playing the Joker thing I have talked about with so many people I could write a treatise on the subject.

It's silly. But I can't help how I feel. I didn't know him. I didn't even know much about his background (I only stalk my crushes). But . . . I cared about him.

Anyway, just wanted to post my feelings. I don't typically use this blog as therapy, so please forgive me this one time. I needed to get it out. And of course in this day and age "getting it out" means sharing it with the entire world as if my one opinion on this subject really is that interesting.

But, it does make me feel a bit better having shared it with you guys.

Again . . . silly.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Any Questions?

So I decided to revisit that blog post where I asked you all what you would be interested in having me write about to try to come up with something to write about, and I realised I had really basically answered those questions already.

(Although JMM, I still have yet to write a Shakespearean Sonnet, so if you have a good topic suggestion I will definitely indulge you.)

Anyway, I thought it was about time I got you guys to do the work for me again, and since some time has passed since I last asked for your help, I thought there could be some new interesting thoughts/questions that had developed!

So yes, ask me anything! Be it about acting or writing! Feel free to ask about both techniques within creating either art, and the industry surrounding them!

With any deeply personal questions, I reserve the right to ignore them. Or to turn a dark shade of maroon. Or both.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Some More New York Pictures

Hey all!

I know I haven't been living up to my usual blogging standard as of late. I think it's because I'm trying to figure out the best schedule for myself for this year of 2008. But I miss you guys, and feel bad not updating regularly (aside from which I also really just enjoy blogging), so I'll try to post at least twice a week like I used to from now on. I promise.

Today's blog post though is the lazy man's blog post, but also the show off's blog post. I wanted to share some of the pictures from my trip to New York that I took this past weekend. As ever it was brilliant, and as ever it was with my dear friend Lesley Livingston (in honour of her birthday!)!

So I just wanted to post some of my artsier shots, just cause, you know, I likes them! I promise my next blog entry will be very profound and controversial. Well . . . how about simply: my next blog post will be.

At the MET

The Huron Hotel where we went for drinks - just fabulous!

The view of Manhattan from Williamsburg Brooklyn (where I was staying)

A giant eagle statue in Battery Park

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A New Year

In case you hadn't noticed, it is now 2008. A new year. What does that mean? Not much really, the breakdown of years is quite arbitrary. After all the Chinese New Year is in February, the Jewish New Year in the early fall, and I have always truly believed the the year turned over at the start of the new term at school.

But for all intents and purposes, we are facing a new year. And as I posted around this time last year, I think there is something really lovely in the idea that we can start afresh, really try to make some lasting resolutions. In that way, a new year is vital. It helps us keep the hope going. I really really like that.

This new year though I would like to reflect on the one that has just passed. I mean, I am looking forward as well, I have set several goals for myself and I have high hopes for the months ahead. But this year has been quite an important one to me, so I think I should take a second and think about it.

Things have happened this year. Things tend to happen during years, but this may be one of the first that I've taken stock of them.

Acting wise, the biggest thing was getting an agent. And not just an agent, but someone who is incredibly supportive and loves Shakespeare as much as I do. I also produced and directed a show for a theatre festival. When I think of how much work that was, I am shocked I managed it actually. I went on several auditions, to the point where I can't keep track of how many they were (which may not sound like much, but trust me just getting an audition is special), and of course I had a total blast reviving the Third Witch in the fall in Macbeth.

And all of this would be considered rather impressive on its own. But I am neglecting that other part of my life, the path that I was surprisingly and pleasantly thrown down around three years ago.

That would be the writing part of course.

And this year . . . well this year . . .

I became a published author.

I started it entrenched in edits and feeling slightly lost, and ended it by being accustomed to seeing my book on a shelf in a bookstore. I saw my cover for the first time, I learned what an ARC was, I saw the fonts my book would be published in and I saw it in a completely different language. I flew to cities I'd never seen before, learned how to order room service like a pro, and discovered that, despite my fears, I can be reliably funny in front of a large crowd.

I have made some wonderful friends in the writing world, in person and in the blogosphere. People without whose support would have made this journey far less pleasant.

I have also written a second book.

Now, I will always feel slightly in awe that my life ever considered going down this path. I know I have talked about it before, so I won't go on about it now, but my life has changed so drastically from what I ever expected it would be. I can't imagine where I would be, what I would be doing, how my social circle would be different, had I not decided, just for fun, to start writing a children's novel while spending a weekend in Bath. The smallest of choices. I guess that's why we have movies like that one with Gwyneth Paltrow, "Sliding Doors", about how one small decision can make all the difference. It's really crazy to speculate.

Anyway, it's been a good year. And I am very grateful for that. I hope that 2008 proves just as exciting. Well whatever it turns out to be like, I will always feel pretty darn lucky to have had a 2007 like I did.

So what about the rest of you? I hope you all had a lovely year, what were the highlights do you think? And what do you hope for next year?