It has been suggested to me that I change the name of my young hero from book two of FAERY REBELS (a.k.a. REBEL in the UK). I am told that for most British people, especially of the younger generation, the name "Timothy" is considered fairly radically uncool.

I don't mind Timothy's name being unpopular, because he was born to missionary parents and raised in Uganda, and him not fitting in with the cool kids in England is kind of the point. However, if it's going to make all my young readers in the UK gag and put the book down hastily the moment they see it (as I'd be tempted to do if the hero's name was, say, "Leslie") then I suppose I would be foolish not to take that into account.

So I'm doing a poll. The first question is specifically for UK readers, but for the second I'd be glad to hear from anybody.

[Poll #1398565]

If you're not on LiveJournal, you can still participate by leaving a comment as "Anonymous". Thanks for helping me out on this.


Jun. 3rd, 2008 12:44 pm
rj_anderson: (Books - Writing)
So I went to my local indie children's bookstore to pick up a special order, and... I may have gone a little nuts. And now I have this pile of stuff, all of which I've heard good things about and thought looked intriguing enough to take a risk on... but I don't know where to begin!

[Poll #1198659]
Endorsements for a book on the list that you particularly loved are welcomed in comments, but if you particularly hated any of these, please refrain. I like to make up my own mind about books, without being prejudiced by somebody else's dislike (even if it turns out they are right).

And speaking of shiny new books I have just read wot are fabulous -- if you have any interest in contemporary YA fantasy and particularly if you're into vampires (which I myself am not, so take that as evidence that this book is a great read), you need to check out [ profile] claudiagray's Evernight (HarperTeen, May 2008).

I already knew that Claudia was an excellent writer from reading some of her short stories, so I wasn't surprised that I enjoyed her rich and vivid but never overblown narrative style; I also expected the plot would be complex yet readily comprehensible and her main characters believable and sympathetic with flashes of wry humor, which proved true on all counts. But I thought myself very clever for anticipating where the plot was going and what was "really" up with some of the characters -- and I was wrong, wrong, WRONG. There's a twist about halfway through the story that made me literally drop the book and scream right out loud with the delicious shock of it -- and yet it didn't come out of left field, it was perfectly set up. I love books that play (or prey) on my expectations like that, so I have to give Claudia Gray big kudos for this one.

Evernight is the first in a series of four, and I can't wait to see how the next part of the story develops!

I also need to burble excitedly about Elizabeth E. Wein's Telemakos books sometime, but I want to read The Empty Kingdom (which is on back order at my local bookstore, WOE IS ME) first.
So let's say that you are writing a book set in some faraway and unfamiliar location, and you are seriously considering taking a trip over to said exotic locale for the purposes of research. You have approximately twelve months before the book is due in to your editor. (You also have three young children and a husband whose work has intensely busy seasons in April-May and September-October, but we'll try not to overcomplicate things.) At what point in the writing process would it be best to plan said trip? I put it to you in the form of a poll:

[Poll #1158658]
I would especially value the input of fellow authors who have recently done this kind of thing -- did you wish you'd gone earlier in the process? Later? Any other words of wisdom to impart about research trips and what to do or not do when embarking on one?

X-posted from [ profile] fangs_fur_fey.

ETA: [ profile] dichroic asked where this faraway, exotic location might be -- for my purposes I'd be looking at parts of Kent, London, and the Cardigan Bay area of Wales.
Remember how a few days ago in comments I was whining that I didn't feel like writing anything at all, that I couldn't even write fanfic because none of my fandoms were inspiring me? Well, apparently that was before I spent the last two days reading the two Dunnett novels I got off BookMooch.

[Poll #1158372]
Don't worry, though -- even if I do write it it won't be very long. Plus I probably won't even post the thing, because who else on my f-list even cares about Jay? Sigh.

Have no JJ icon. Must use Campion icon instead. Woe.
This week's House = best episode of the last two seasons. Also, my love for Kutner is so great it may explode my brain. SF geeks unite!

And now before I head off to NYC for the weekend, because nothing says love like a poll --

[Poll #1135153]

I am so excited about meeting [ profile] yahtzee63 tonight in person! Not to mention my editor. And my agent. And a bunch of other folks. I just hope I don't end up getting the same thing that kept my five-year-old up all last night, retching pathetically into a margarine tub. That would be... not good. (He's better now, though, so at least I can content myself that it's short-lived.)
Gone, gone, gone, gone, yes my book is gone,
Now my soul is free and in my heart's a song...

Except not really, because now that I have finished obsessively line-editing Knife and forced myself to mail it off, I can now look forward to spending the next few weeks/months chewing on my fingernails and wondering if the editor and the two agents who requested the full ms. of Knife are going to say "yay!" or "pphhllbbttt!"

To reward myself for rewriting a 104,000 word novel in five months, I am going to buy this book, which I hope will make writing my next book a lot easier. It was [ profile] superwench83's review that convinced me. However, I have determined to take a sanity break from writing for the rest of December, so I'll have to wait until January to find out if the book's system really works.

Things I must now do, the sooner the better:
  • Get my two younger children immunized against chicken pox, since my oldest has already succumbed. I do not want to be dealing with poxy children over Christmas if I can help it.

  • Go over my message for our church's Coffee Hour this Thursday.

  • Round up the choir for another couple of practices before the Christmas program on Sunday night.

  • Make Bible-type costumes for my two sons who are in said Christmas program. (Note to self: look for bathrobes at Goodwill. You will not find them since 1,000,000 other mothers with children in Christmas plays will be doing the same thing, but it will make you feel better that you tried.)

  • Shop for 16 nephews and nieces. (Fortunately, most of them like books. Even better, most of them like fantasy/SF. Win!)

  • Make Snickerdoodles (thank you, [ profile] kizmet_42), Alaskan shortbread, and Carrot Pudding. Possibly The Thing as well, if I feel up to it.

Also, I have a question of deep and abiding import:
[Poll #886973]

Thank you for participating in our survey. Your name has been automatically entered into our draw to win a no-prize!

Also, thanks to everyone for the virtual stocking gifts, many of which made me sporfle.
I need to change the name of a minor character in Knife, because her present name is depressingly common in fantasy literature, and it really isn't giving me any idea of what she's like. Since she's going to become a major character if I write a sequel, this is a potentially serious problem. And yet... since I don't really know what she's like at this point, I'm having difficulty choosing a new name for her.

Therefore I have decided to -- you guessed it -- take a poll.

Before you vote, here's all I know about this character:

- she's got medium brown, curly hair, and brown or hazel eyes;
- she is not particularly tall;
- she's a faery, of the small and winged variety;
- she's intelligent, thoughtful, and somewhat quiet (I think); and
- she's going to have to leave her home (reluctantly, I think) and strike out on a long, dangerous journey, to look for something her people need.

I won't tell you her present name, because those who've read Knife probably know it already, and those who haven't won't find it helpful, I'm sure.

[Poll #874744]
[ profile] lydaclunas is coming to visit me next Wednesday! All the way from Deep In The Heart Of, where the Yellow Roses bloom! And we're going to watch S2 Who together and squee like fangirls! Yay!

In other news, we now have a bunny, in addition to our two guinea pigs. The guinea pigs are called Boo and Strawberry, but the bunny is nameless. My children are uninspired, and the neighbourhood children are even more uninspired ("Brownie?" The bunny is grey, people.) Therefore I will take a poll.

[Poll #784016]

And thanks to [ profile] martoufmarty, who is making all my new icons these days.

ETA: The bunny is a boy, by the way.

Name Poll!

Oct. 7th, 2005 04:14 pm
rj_anderson: (Default)
Gacked from [ profile] jediowl and others:

Type "[Your name] needs" (with quotation marks) into Google, then turn the results into a poll.
[Poll #585480]
[Poll #193371]


rj_anderson: (Default)

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