Showing posts with label Larry Rosler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Larry Rosler. Show all posts

Friday, September 6, 2013

Oh, Hello Again...

     Blogger tells me I haven't posted here since late June. Ooops. In my defense, I've been very busy, which will soon be explained. 
     Meanwhile, I'm back to blogging because my friend, Tracy Barrett--author of the wonderful Dark of the Moon and King of Ithaka, among many other great reads--invited me to participate in a "Blog Tag," wherein you have to answer the questions below and tag three other authors. She tagged me and I'm tagging, Elizabeth O. Dulemba, Cathy C. Hall, and Dorainne Bennet. Go forth and share, friends!
     Thanks for the push, Tracy! 
Hot boy, smart girl and a volcano--what could go wrong?
1.  What are you working on right now?
     This summer, I was heavily into revising and editing my upcoming young adult novel, Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii, set to release in June (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic).  My brilliant editor, Cheryl Klein, was as always, fierce about pulling out the best story from me that I could manage. 

     Curses and Smoke is told from two points of view--Lucia, the daughter of the owner of a struggling gladiatorial school; and Tag, the medical slave trained to treat gladiators at the school. Scholastic wanted a "Titanic in Pompeii" type of story and I've done my best to deliver that, along with (I hope) interesting details about Roman religion and the belief in "curse tablets," the power of dark magic to curse your enemies.
Anubis loves the gross bits...
     At the same time, I was also working on editing Anubis Speaks: A Guide to the Afterlife by the Egyptian God of the Dead, which releases in October, and writing the next one in the series, Hades Speaks: A Guide to the Underworld by the Greek God of the Dead. The series is published by Boyds Mill Press and is edited by the wonderful Larry Rosler.
 2. How does it differ from other works in the genre?      Anubis Speaks differs from other mythology books in a number of ways. First, it is narrated by Anubis himself and he speaks directly to the reader. He is written with a snarky voice (he's a bit irritated that the world no longer bows down to him) and glories in the grosser facts about ancient Egyptian death practices. I was very excited to learn that School Library Journal really liked the book, calling Anubis a "wickedly funny tour guide...[and that] His narration, plus the incredible wealth of interesting detail, could make this book a hit in any library." 
     From your lips to god's ears, School Library Journal! The challenge in writing the Hades
I'm not grouchy, I'm just irritated w/my little brother, Zeus...
book was finding a different voice for the Greek god. I ended up imaging that Hades was mightily put out with his little brother, Zeus, because 1) he was the first-born male, yet the youngest brother (Zeus) got all the good bits of the world, and 2) Zeus's son's and othe heroes were constantly invading his realm on stupid quests. And don't get him started on that meat-head, Herakles, who once even stole Cerberus right from under his nose.
     The next one in the series is Thor Speaks, for which I just started the research. I'm a little overwhelmed because I know so darn little about Norse mythology. At least with the other two books, I had a fair grounding of knowledge. So, I'm doing a lot of reading about the Vikings right now.
3.  Why do you write what you do?
     Because I never outgrew my fascination with ancient Egypt and the cultures of Greece and Rome! Writing about these worlds allows me to escape to other times in my mind. How fun is that?
4. What is the hardest part about writing?  
What a bad review can sometimes feel like...
      I've been staring at this question for a while, because there are so many parts of it that I find hard! I think getting that first draft down is brutal. Revising, to me, is more fun, even if I have to throw away chunks of writing and kill my darlings. The hardest part, though, isn't so much about the writing, but the vulnerability of sending it out into the world. Not everyone is going to like your baby. Not everyone is going to like your voice. To manage that reality, I keep telling myself, "It's JUST a story. That's all." But that is, as we all know, easier said than done!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

When Anubis Speaks, Y'all Better Listen!

From Antoine Revoy's book, Haunted Houses.
I've got two projects in the works right now. One is a YA novel (edited by the fabulous Cheryl Klein and set to release in 2014) and the other is a midgrade creative nonfiction book called, Anubis Speaks! A Personal Tour of the Egyptian Dark Lands (edited by the fabulous Larry Rosler and due out in 2013).

Anubis Speaks! is being illustrated by the uber-talented Antoine Revoy. I cannot wait to see how he interprets Anubis's dark and snarky voice!

I often get asked what I mean by "creative nonfiction." In this case, the nonfiction part refers to all of the facts about ancient Egyptian death practices and their beliefs about the land of the dead. None are made up. The information is based on primary and secondary source research.

The "creative" part is that these facts are "explained" by Anubis, Egyptian God of Mummification, who "speaks" directly to the reader. The jackal-headed god is a bit miffed about having been ignored for thousands of years and is baffled by his own people's fascination with cats ("I'm more of a dog person," he explains).

He warns readers to "Go back to coloring rainbows and unicorns," if they don't think they can handle the frightening boat-ride journey through the twelve hours of darkness. "There will be blood. And snakes. And decapitations. And monsters who like to gobble up hearts," he gleefully cautions.

Anubis is probably my favorite god in the Egyptian pantheon (followed closely by Isis).  I've had a lot of fun writing in his voice. I can't wait to share him with the world.