Sunday, August 31, 2008

Farworld: Waterkeep -- Win Your Own Copy!

I am most enthusiastic about this new fantasy series written by J. Scott Savage. Even though it is written for the age 9-12 audience, it carries intense interest for this 57-yr-old reader.

I fell in love with young Marcus - "Other people may see thirteen-year-old Marcus Kanenas as an outcast and a nobody, but he sees himself as a survivor and a dreamer. In fact, his favorite dream is of a world far away, a world where magic is as common as air, where animals tell jokes and trees beg people to pick their fruit. He even has a name for this place- Farworld." (book blurb)

And Kyja, who lives in the world that Marcus dreams of, is the only one who can't do magic. She works and works at doing a simple magic act and can't succeed. She feels like such a failure. Both Kyja and Marcus are characters that anyone from 9 to 99 can identify with. I look forward to book two so I can reconnect with them and their quest.

The two meet and build a great friendship, but they are faced with horrendous challenges as they discover who they are and what their roles are.

Savage provides a provactive, engossing story filled with clever and creative new fantasy characters. Kyja's horse, Chance, is delightful with his jokes and her pet scythe, Riph Raph, who develops a jealous dislike for Marcus. And then there's the bad guys - pure evil. Think of Disney's Maleficent. The Thrathkin S'Bae had the same effect on me.

Win a Copy!

***Farworld: Water Keep*** will be out in hardcover on Sep. 12, but you can get an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in paperback, signed by the author and in your hands days before that.
* Leave a comment telling about a literary character that you identified strongly with and/or felt a great attachment for.
** I will draw a winning name on Sep 1.

Author Interview
I was able to interview J. Scott Savage via email. I must say from the emails, he seems like a very likable guy - the type you'd like to invite over for a rousing game of Farkle, Killer Bunnies, or Mormon Bridge (otherwise known as Oh, Heck, Darn It and various other more colorful names!) Of course, I'd hope he would bring his wife and some refreshments! JK - Candleman and I could whip up some green jello salad and funeral potatoes!*
And of course, my whole family would be invited so we'd have to have a high, low, and several medium tables.

Anyway, to the interview... The blue stuff is my questions and comments and the red are Scott's.
1. Start off by telling us a little bit about yourself. What are 3 words that describe you, in addition to writer and author? Where do you live?What's your occupation or do you write full time? Do you have children?
Three words huh? How about goofy, dopey, and sleepy. (Which one does not fit with the other two for extra credit?) (Are you related to Ken Jennings of Jeopardy! fame?) I live in a little town at the mouth of a big canyon. It's called Spanish Fork. I'm a manager of software sale people until I can write fulltime. I have four children ages, 20, 18, 10,and 8.
(I think you'll be writing full time very, very soon. Farworld is going to take off like fire in a haystack!)

2. I've read one of your earlier mystery novels, which I thoroughly enjoyed What led you to change direction and write a fantasy series?
I honestly don't know. This story just refused to not be written. Itwouldn't let me go to sleep until I started it.

3. Where did the idea(s) for Farworld originate? Is there a combination ofbooks, movies, etc. that inspired its conception?
Not really. People have mentioned elements of LOTR, HP, The Talisman, etc. But I wasn't trying to emulate any particular style. Just putting on paperwhat I saw in my head.

4. Can you provide us with a brief description of the first book in the Farworld series: Water Keep?
Basically it's about a boy and a girl from different worlds who find thatthey have a link between them and can briefly travel to each other's worlds. He uses a wheelchair and she is immune to magic in a world where magic is
used for just about everything. They are really unlikely heroes, but thefates of their worlds depend on them. Oh, and there are lots of cool creatures, magic, battles, and elementals.

5. I want to throw a book across the room when I read "copy-cat" names orplaces. Names that have a familiar ring to Lord of the Rings or HarryPotter, for example, drive me crazy. Your places, creatures, etc. are your
own. How difficult was it to come up with names for the different creaturesand places? Did you have input from family and friends?
Not too bad. I love coming up with creatures and names that are my own. I got lots of help from the family.

6. Your descriptions are so vivid. Did you major in English or take other writing classes?
I did take a couple of writing classes. I think I always had the talent formaking up stories, but mostly I learned by doing and studying books I admired. (You also have a talent for writing.)

7. You must have a vivid imagination. I mean, the idea of a place likeWater Keep blows my mind. Do you have any funny stories to tell about when your imagination got you into deep trouble, other than relating to the
fairer sex?
What? You don't think my imagination made me a babe magnet? Yeah. I got intons of trouble as a kid. Once I put wax crayons in my teachers filled coffee pot to see what would happen. That didn't go over so well. I was also nearly arrested in a search for the elusive golden banana. (I thought it was probably your good looks that made you a babe magnet! We want to hear more about that elusive golden banana. Maybe you could tell us that story in more detail for one of your blog posts?) Scott's blog: Find Your Magic

8. Farworld is the traditional story of good versus evil told in a creative fresh way. Do you personally believe in God and Satan, the ultimateexamples of good versus evil? I have to say that your descriptions of Bonesplitter and the ThrathkinS'Bae sound like creatures from Hell. I was shaking in my boots!
I definitely believe in good and evil. I don't know how you could look at the world around us and not. There are things so beautiful and perfect, youjust know there is a creator. And then you see or hear about things that you
wish had never entered your mind. I think that's why kids love fantasy somuch. It mirrors a lot of what they see and hear in a non-threatening way.

9. Did you have an outline of all five books in the series before you wrotethe first book?
Not when I started. But by the time I was done, I had learned a lot about the next four books in the series. Book two is going to be really powerful, and the end of book four will blow people away. If I do book five right, it
should be unlike anything I've ever read or hear about.

Hey, what happened to number ten? Do you have something against ten? Hmmmm. (I used to leave out numbers on my tests and worksheets when I was a teacher, too. Good grief! Nothing against the number 10.

11. Another personal question: What are some of your favorite books and who are some of your favorite authors?
Honestly that list changes by the day. I love reading and I'm always discovering new books. But lets go with:
Bag of Bones by Stephen King
Shadowlands by Peter Straub
Enchantment by Scott Card (I loved Enchantment)
Life Expectancy by Den Koontz (Koontz is one of my favorite authors)
And Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck

12. Along the same lines as question 11 - Do you read during the same time frame as when you are writing or do you find that distracting? And if you do read, do you read within the fantasy genre or anything else but fantasy?
Yes and yes. I find it inspiring to read great books in the genre I am writing.

13. What types of things do you like to do when you are not writing?
One of my favorite things is to go on long drives with my wife. We both like to discover out of the way places.

14. If pushed to come up with five places you would like to visit - past, present or future - what would list?
Well, first of all, I'd say, "Hey. Stop pushing!" But then I might pick
The Sermon on the Mount
The moon
New York City when the end of WWII was announced
And the day Tolkien finished writing LOTR.
Or I might not.

15. I am an anxious fan and want to know WHEN will the book two be released?
September of 2009, but hopefully I can send out more ARCs before that.

Didn't I tell you that Scott sounds like a nice guy? Want to join us for some games?

Be sure to comment so you'll have a chance to win an ARC. Also, Tasses has a terrific interview with Mr. Savage posted on her blog AND she is giving away an ARC, too.


Anonymous said...

This sounds like something my daughter and son would enjoy.

A literary character I identify with? I have to go back to my childhood favorites: Anne-with-an-e from Green Gables, and Jo March in Little Women.

nnjmom at yahoo dot com

jenclair said...

You know I love fantasy! Your enthusiasm makes me want this one, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

jenclair said...

Oh, a literary character I identify with...I like Carrie's choices and Elizabeth Bennett. There are so many characters that have qualities I love and aspire to.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to win this for my daughter!
A literary character I identify with? Ummm.....The book "Teacher's Pet" had a full-figured character named Susan Shaw. I will say her.
digicat AT

J.L. Danger said...

A character that I relate with...I cant remember her name (but I related with her?!) but the main charcter from Cherry Holler Creek. She was pretty average, worked, family, wife, mother, and was open about all of the normal thought processes that women tend to have. Aside from the extravagant trip she takes to sort through her thoughts- oh and the near affair- I really felt connected to her.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

He does seem like a nice guy, and his book is definitely peaking my interest. I've heard great things so far!

A literary character I identify with though? I always loved Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series. She's a bit odd, but a great friend and I just felt like I'd love being her friend if I knew her...I can be quite kooky myself. :)


theduckthief said...

One character I feel great attachment for is Jon Snow from George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire Series.

He's the illegitimate son of Eddard Stark and lives with his half brothers and sisters in the north. Throughout the series he comes into his own and survives despite the evil and corruption surrounding him. What can I say? He's a likable guy.

KY Warrior Librarian said...

I love fantasy and scifi and this book sounds really interesting. One literary character I really identified with was the lady in "Lady" by Thomas Tyron (from 1974...I know, I'm really showing my age now)--but I loved the character and really related to her.

hellomelissa said...

it sounds like something my little guy would like, but i'm afraid his tbr stack is getting to be almost as high as mine! :)

Anonymous said...

For some reason I identify with Persephone Leland of Bewitching Season (very good YA book). It must be the interest in books and education in the face of a society that cares too much about looks, class, etc. Or it could be the shyness...

teabird said...

The literary character I've always identified with is Franny Glass from Franny and Zooey. I was too smart for my age, and I'm still a seeker. I never had a wise/wiseass brother like Zooey, alas --


Anonymous said...

I have been attached to Sir Tobin of The Goblin Wood, by Hilari Bell. He is so funny and considerate. (I wish he was a real person.)