Tuesday, December 31, 2013

55 Reading Questions

- 1. Favorite childhood book? Hmm... I loved any books from the Magic Tree House series, or the Bailey School Kids series. I also went through a phase where I read children's Scooby-Doo chapter books, despite having never seen the show. That was what I read in my single digits for the most part. When I was around ten, my all-time favorite book was The Indiana Jones Handbook: The Complete Adventurer's Guide. I loved me some Indiana Jones. 

- 2. What are you reading right now? A Mighty Fortress (Hymns of the West), by Faith Blum; as well as The Doctor Who Character Encyclopedia.

- 3. What books do you have on request at the library? I have The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression, by Angela Ackerman on hold. I usually have a lot more, but with college classes and such, I haven't had a lot of time to read, so I've had to cut back on how many books I place a hold on. *pouts*

- 4.
Bad book habit? Hoarding. I get books from the library, read them, and then hoard them for as long as I possibly can because 'what if I want to re-read it?'. Or I hoard them and tell myself, 'I'll have time to read this soon'.

- 5. What do you currently have checked out at the library? Hehehe... lots and lots of stuff. Among them are Living and Working in Britain (David Hampshire); Cultures of the World: Great Britain; Feed The Children First: Irish Memories of the Great Hunger (Mary E. Lyons); Focus on the United Kingdom; Being Irish (Paddy Logue); Living and Working in Ireland (Joe Laredo); and The Magician's Nephew (C.S. Lewis). Yes... you can see my obsession with the United Kingdom quite clearly, I'm sure.

- 6. Do you have an e-reader? Sort of; I have a Kindle app downloaded onto my laptop.

- 7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? I usually read several at one time; I always have. I don't know why.

- 8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? No, I don't think so.

- 9. Least favourite book you have read this year (so far)? That would have to be The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals, which I was required to read for school. Bleh. :P

- 10.
Favourite book you have read this year? Come on, let me choose the top three, people! Angel Fall (Coleman Luck), Firmament Radialloy (J. Grace Pennington), and Unlikely Loves: 43 Heartwarming True Stories From The Animal Kingdom (Jennifer S. Holland).

- 11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? I read some more sci-fi this year than I usually do; but I don't often read out of my comfort zone. I should fix that.

- 12. What is your reading comfort zone? I tend to avoid romance, though lately I've been changing that. My only real requirement is that a book is always rated PG. I will not tolerate explicit violence, gore, romance, language, etc.

- 13. Can you read in the car? Yepyep! I prefer to listen to music and daydream though; then I get new story ideas. :D

- 14. Favorite place to read? Hm... I tend to read anywhere and everywhere (usually on the floor), but lately I've very much enjoyed reading on our new sofa.

- 15. What is your policy on book lending? I trust probably 97% of my friends to borrow a book from me and return it in good shape, so I'm totally willing to lend books to them; I'm only a little wary if they have younger siblings or animals that might possibly pose a threat to said books, but I'll still lend it to them, trusting them to keep it safe.

- 16.
Do you ever dog-ear books? *coughs* Heh... yes. I'm really lazy and rarely use bookmarks, except in very special books or my Bible. And when you're keeping track of, say, lots of recipes, or several writing prompts, it's easier to dog-ear than to stick over a dozen bookmarks or slips of paper into the book.

- 17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books? Never. Well, there was that one time when I was a kid, and I scrawled stuff in the margins of my Calvin and Hobbes book... but I was a kid then.

- 18. Not even with textbooks? I haven't written in the margins of a textbook yet... okay, I take that back, I doodled in the margins of my co-op's writing textbooks when I was ten. Other than that, I haven't though. *grins*

- 19. What is your favourite language to read in? English. XD

- 20. What makes you love a book? Third-dimensional characters that I can relate to or look up to; realistic emotion, and lots of it; an engaging writing style that doesn't sound too formal or old-fashioned; and I also love a book with some humour and/or situations I can relate to.

- 21. What will inspire you to recommend a book? If it's a book one of my friends wrote (and all books written by all of my friends are good, so it's totally acceptable!), I'll always recommend it. I'll also recommend a book if I know it's something a person will be interested in, or if I think it will help them in some way. It honestly depends more on the person instead of the book, when it comes to choosing to recommend a book.

- 22. Favourite genre? Ack! Um... poetry, fantasy, sci-fi (sci-fi that isn't too technological; if I can't understand the terms or concepts used, I lose interest in a book, unless the characters are phenomenal), fiction set in certain historical eras, I've recently begun to get interested in romance... anything good, really. *laughs*

- 23.
Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)? Sci-fi. I love a good sci-fi book, but I can rarely find one that captures my attention. I can probably count on one and a half hands the sci-fi books I've read and actually enjoyed.

- 24. Favourite biography? *ponders* I've not read many in my lifetime... if I had to say, probably the one on Steve Irwin I first read as a nine-year-old, and re-read many times throughout the years. Steve Irwin has always been one of my role models; I wish he had lived longer.

- 25. Have you ever read a self-help book? Erm... what's that? I've read 'how to write novels/poetry/fiction/etc.' books, I've read books intended to help me learn how to make my panic attacks go away (it didn't work)...

- 26.
Favourite cookbook? Any cookbook that tells me how to cook things from a book or a show. A Middle-Earth cookbook, or a Narnia cookbook... or a Doctor Who cookbook if I could find a decent one... 

- 27. Most inspirational book you've read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? I've read a few. One is Firmament Radialloy by J. Grace Pennington. Another is A Mighty Fortress by Faith Blum. Do Hard Things by the Harris brothers. Angel Fall by Coleman Luck. Annnd a book two wonderful adoptive family members of mine are writing but haven't finished yet. So I shall keep the title a secret. ;)

- 28.
Favourite reading snack? Something that won't make a mess; cheese crisps I can use a spoon to eat are nice, though very rare. I love to drink tea while reading or writing as well... or while I watch things, such as Doctor Who.

- 29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience. Probably... The Hunger Games. Everyone was going on about how amazing it was, but when I read it, I didn't understand why people like it so much - it's violent, and most of the characters annoyed me in some or other way.

- 30. How often do you agree with critics about a book? I haven't the slightest idea.

- 31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? I don't like it, but I try my hardest to be honest, while at the same time, finding the good things about the book as well. I'm very laid-back in my reading, so I don't often have a totally negative review - in fact, most of the time, the only problems with a book are minor things going against my moral views, and various grammar/spelling/punctuation problems.

- 32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose? Gaelic or Welsh! Both are such lovely languages.

- 33.
Most intimidating book you've ever read? Hmm... probably The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom, which I read for school in 7th grade. I should probably hunt that book down and re-read it.

- 34. Most intimidating book you're too nervous to begin? Um... George Orwell's 1984 is the first one to come to mind.

- 35. Favourite poet? Ophelia-Marie Flowers, Juliet L., and Elizabeth K. *grins* But other favourites include Robert Frost and Robert Burns, though I like others as well.

- 36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time? Oh... it used to be around twenty-five. Since school got harder, though, it's more like ten or so.

- 37. How often have you returned books to the library unread? Many times, but mostly recently - it's not my fault, college plus my mom's insistence on a specific (and rather early) bedtime make it hard for me to finish or sometimes even start books.

- 38. Favourite fictional character? Not fair! Um, Dustfinger from the Inkheart series... Boromir from the Lord of the Rings series... Jed from A Mighty Fortress... the talking cats from the Books of Elsewhere series (especially Harvey)... Alex and Amanda from Angel Fall (along with every single other character)... Crash from Firmament Radialloy... oh! And Scarl from The Farwalker Trilogy. So many favourite characters!

- 39.
Favourite fictional villain? Hmm... I have no idea... Murtagh from the Inheritance Cycle. Because I don't and never will consider him a villain, but others seem to think he is. : P

- 40. Books I'm most likely to bring on vacation? It all depends. I haven't been on vacation in eleven years; this November was the first time. I brought my Bible and Aubrey Hansen's Peter's Angel. I know that whenever I go on vacation from here on out, I'm definitely always bringing a Bible.

- 41. The longest I've gone without reading. Hmm... probably about a week. But that's only if you don't count reading textbooks. If that counts, I've probably never gone longer than a day or two.

- 42. Name a book that you could/would not finish. I never managed to finish Brisingr by Christopher Paolini; it just wasn't as enjoyable as the first two books. Nothing else is coming to mind at the moment, though I'm sure there are more.

- 43. What distracts you easily when you're reading? Loud and/or obnoxious noises. I hate it when people are vacuuming while I'm trying to read, or when my brother is doing something annoying (such as bouncing a hard plastic ball against the wall, producing a loud clacking sound, repeatedly), or a loud television in the background (it's even worse when the movie/show that's playing is something I don't like).

- 44.
Favourite film adaptation of a novel? Hmm... Inkheart... and Eragon. And How To Train Your Dragon... I like almost all film adaptations of books.

- 45. Most disappointing film adaptation? I... can't really think of one at the moment.

- 46. The most money I've ever spent in a bookstore at one time? I rarely get to go to bookstores. I went to Barnes & Noble once though, and spent about fifteen dollars on a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories; but I spent the money using a gift card.

- 47. How often do you skim a book before reading it? Quite often. I don't know entirely why; maybe to get a feel of the book to see if I'd enjoy it. If it's nonfiction, I skim from section to section depending on what I want to read about first (like with the 'living and working in' books I mentioned earlier, I tend to skip around to avoid the stuff about finances because I don't understand that stuff at this time in my life, XD).

- 48.
What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through? Bad language, excessive gore, or something or other that might give me nightmares. Or explicit romance. No, nope, nopity-nope.

- 49.
Do you like to keep your books organised? Yes. But somehow they always get disorganised again. XD

- 50.
Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you've read them? It depends. I tend to only get rid of books by giving them to friends as gifts, or if I've grown out of them.

- 51. Are there any books you've been avoiding? Not that I know of...

- 52. Name a book that made you angry. The Miller Brothers' book Hunter Brown and the Consuming Fire, in which a favorite character of mine died. At the same time, I loved the book, because it introduced one of my favorite characters - Stoney. I was also angry when Christopher Paolini killed off Brom, and made Murtagh 'turn evil'.

- 53.
A book you didn't expect to like but did? Hmm... I tried reading Inkheart when I was about ten, but didn't like it. Then I saw the movie, realised which book it was, tried the book again... and loved it. Also, the Books of Elsewhere series. 

- 54. A book that you expected to like but didn't? The Hunger Games.

- 55. Favourite guilt-free, pleasure reading? ... which means...?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Author Interview With - J. Grace Pennington!

And, introducing Miss J. Grace Pennington! It was a joy to get the chance to interview her.

1.      So, tell us about your latest book.

My latest book is called Firmament: In His Image, and is the second book in my Firmament sci-fi series.  The logline is: After accidentally running awry of the laws of a civilization that scientifically shouldn't exist, a stranded away team must figure out what?s going on and find a way to escape before they are all executed.

More information can be found at http://firmamentseries.com/in-his-image/

2.      How long have you been writing?

Since I was about five years old.  I was always a storyteller, and one afternoon while my mom was napping, it occurred to me that I could write a book, so I did.  It only had six pages, but it was a book nonetheless, and I haven't stopped writing since!

3.      What is your favorite genre(s) to write in?

Science-fiction, hands down.  I enjoy exploring ideas to their furthest potential and creating fascinating new worlds and problems, but still leaving a semblance of reality.  I think sci-fi is a great genre for Christians, because they can address a lot of issues very strongly.

4.      Where do you get inspiration?

Everywhere!  Dreams, life, books, movies, imagination.  A lot of times I'll start off with a list of different things I want to include (a specific relationship, a setting, a premise, even an object) and try to build a story that includes all of them.

5.      What is a typical schedule for you?

Schedule?  What's that? ;)  I suppose loosely I get up between seven and eight, do chores for my family, then after lunch I try to do writing-related stuff.  But I often will write none at all for days and then thousands of words in one afternoon.  It's sadly erratic.  I must remedy this.

6.      Do you have a favorite food or drink to snack on while you write?

Tea and homemade granola is good.  Preferably black tea.  But milk and brownies or cookies will do.  So will M&Ms and water.  But tea is a favorite.

7.      What is one tip you would give to other writers?

My secret?  Writer's block doesn't exist.  Keep writing and don't stop, not even when you have no ideas.  Like genius, writing is about one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.  Hard work and perseverance is what gets books written.  Press forward even if it's junk, because you can edit anything but a blank page!

Thanks for the interview!