What DON’T you want to find lying on the ground in front of a rickety ride that’s currently whirling your kid around and around at 30 miles an hour?
In other news, Liz at Cleverly Inked is celebrating her birthday with a truly outstanding giveaway contest: books (53 of ‘em) and swag (including and Falling, Fly tattoos) from 50 authors! If you’re gonna enter one contest this month, make it this one.
“Continue living fettered by their assorted curses or dare to surmount them even if it means painful loss? Are they indeed cursed as they believe or are they living a delusion? That’s the tantalizing conundrum White presents with her words as they blend mellifluously into scenes ripe with irreconcilable decadence, sex, and mythologically-based–and sanctioned–angst over what may or may not be real.”
And Skye is number 17 in the list of ‘10 New Urban Fantasy Authors to Read’ at Reflections of an Emo Mom (sounds like my kinda girl … :
“and last, but not least…
17. Skyler White – “And Falling, Fly”. I honestly loved this book. I have to say there were points I got mad because it felt too philosophical & I felt like I was being lectured or talked down to. But I could NOT put it down. If you like Clive Barker type stories, this is probably one you’ll enjoy. I’ll definitely read the sequel.”
Where will she be this summer and fall? Here’s the latest:
- July 28-August 1: RWA National Conference, Gaylord Opryland Hotel, Nashville, TN
- August 27-29: ArmadilloCon 32, Renaissance Hotel, Austin, TX
- September 3-6: Dragon*Con, various downtown hotels, Atlanta, GA
- October 7-10: Sirens women’s literature conference, Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, Vail, CO
The mansion is quiet; m’lady and her heirs still slumber, as does the foreign dignitary in the back room, giving Poor Thrall an opportunity to waken from dreams of Dragon*Con to creep the corridors and, for a short time, determine his own fate. After booking travel to Dragon*Con, I peruse the day’s press coverage.
Between nibbles of a moldy bread crust and sips of thin coffee, I enjoy the beautifully titled “Blood, Sex and Absinthe: Why Skyler White’s Soul-Rending Debut is Cutting Edge Paranormal Fantasy” by Barnes & Noble sci-fi/fantasy guru Paul Goat Allen at Explorations: The BN SciFi and Fantasy Blog:
“Intensely passionate, sublimely poetic … reads like dark ethereal poetry … I’ll remember this book for the rest of my life. I found myself immersed in the cool, hypnotic narrative and deeply affected by White’s subtle (and not-so-subtle!) symbolism and social allegory. Skyler White’s extraordinary debut is so much more than a paranormal fantasy – it’s literary fiction, it’s otherworldly poetry, it’s dark philosophy that will change the way you see the world if you let it.
“[Dominic and Olivia] are drawn to an underground asylum in Ireland – the Hotel of the Damned – where they literally enter a myth-laden underworld populated by a shocking diversity of inhabitants. But in this insane, wondrous, nightmarish place, Olivia and Dominic finally understand that which could set them free could also damn them both forever …”
Lord Allen also conducted an interview wherein m’lady explains why writing sex scenes “feels like tipping that first brick after you’ve spent hours lining up the Dominos.”
Did I mention I can’t wait to go to Dragon*Con?
A stirring below — I must close (and clear my cache) …
In the summer of 1995, bookmaker Johnny Carrera of Quercus Press found a tattered Webster’s 1898 International Dictionary under his grandfather’s favorite chair. He was fascinated with the thousands of engravings and spent the next decade of his life remaking the book using a Linotype machine.
From Neatorama. Trust me, you’ll be amazed at this video — another reminder of the amazing age in which we live.
“White’s debut features some refreshing new plotlines to keep the poetic storytelling interesting … a more challenging read then most paranormal tales but readers are sure to enjoy the passion and twisted sense of reality that prevails throughout. The search for love and redemption are a universal drive and topics White handles with deft touch.”
More reviews! A 9 out of 10 at Taliesin Meets the Vampires:
“Let me just say wow … one of the best crafted debuts that I have had the pleasure of coming across … a gothic landscape perhaps with a tint of Tanith Lee … opens a philosophical vein with a scalpel of eroticism that was shaded with an edge of Milan Kundera … a book that should be in all vampire genre fans collections, as well as readers of damn good, thought provoking prose.”
And over at Paperback Dolls:
“and Falling, Fly was not even close to what I was expecting after seeing it featured, along with it’s author, on another bloggers website. Skyler White, with her long dreads and funky wardrobe, writing about Rock Stars, vampires, angels, demons and desires, sounds suspiciously like the makings of a paranormal romance, but I was intrigued. After reading the first page, though I knew I was mistaken and this book would be so much more.”
Here’s a short outtake from Skye’s interview with video magazine Austin Artists, in which Skye discusses desire and the creation of Olivia:
Finally, you’ll find a new contest over at Zombo’s Closet of Horror, so be sure to swing by and enter.
Bitter hugs & happy weekending,
Without a doubt, the highlight of our weekend trip to Houston’s Comicpalooza – moreso than a hysterical QA with Bruce Campbell, or passing the breathtakingly tall Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) in the hallway — was the amazing time we spent with prolific fantasy art legend Larry Elmore. If you’ve ever picked up a D&D book or Dragon Magazine, read a Dragonlance novel or the inimitable Snarfquest, or seen the cover of the Everquest MMO, you’ve seen Elmore’s work.
A thoroughly charming southern gentleman, Mr. Elmore not only signed our son’s classic copy of Snarfquest, but shared a beautiful robot poster with him (which will be framed on his wall within a week), and then spent time answering his highly technical question of how to draw a feather mask, complete with sample sketch. What an amazing encounter!
Visit Mr. Elmore on the web: http://www.larryelmore.com
And here’s a remarkable list of his illustration credits. Enjoy!
Let’s start out today’s news roundup with an extremely easy-to-win contest over at Borders True Romance, where Skye’s giving away three prints of the ‘modified angel’ archival prints signed by herself and artist Mo Hayden! There’s only a few entrants thus far, and a couple of those are spam-bots, so you stand a pretty good chance of winning!
In the wide world of interviews, VampFanGirl at Lovin’ Me Some Romance asked Skye some of the toughest and most interesting interview questions yet:
“During the first chapter, my initial impression of Olivia was that she had a self-deprecating humor when in fact, as the story progressed, she evolved upon the pages into an increasingly dark and disturbing character … My thought – which may be totally wrong – is that you’re attempting to convey modern human nature via this vampire character. What did you ultimately hope to represent to the reader with Olivia? Is she the result of a society drunk on lust and sex with the absence of love and forgiveness?”
Does Skye have any guilty pleasures? I don’t know, she won’t tell me; but you might find out if you read the new interview at Ramblings of a Bibliophile.
In other news, don’t miss a juicy new review at Vampires.com:
“It’s one of those rare books where you have to drink down every word, sip them slowly and taste each bloody drop.”
“Greek mythology, angel mythology, the Garden of Eden are all stories she used to twist into a interesting work of fiction. She also takes scientific philosophy to use as a counterpoint and basis for discussion … I recommend this book for those who love a dark story with a lot of philosophy [and] those looking for a different vampire story.”
Hope to see some of you this weekend at Houston’s Comicpalooza, where Skye will visit with fans alongside Chewbacca, Darth Maul and the inimitable Bruce Campbell.
Bitter hugs –
Thrall is neither very educated nor smart to begin with, so he of course thought ‘Heathcliff and Cathy’ in a new review of and Falling, Fly by Novel Talk referred to the Sunday-morning cartoon characters, causing his lady’s laughter to ring cruelly through the mansion:
“The angst of these characters would give Heathcliff and Cathy a run for their money. Beware, this is a thinker’s book. No light fluff here, she has given us a very interesting take on vampire genre and twisted science into the mix. The addition of theological questions for today’s society are nicely wrapped into a mix of mythology all stirred to keep you reading and trying to see what will she do with her story next. Be sure to pick this book up to have on a long weekend and enjoy with a good cup of some warmth of your choice. I will be looking to see what she brings us next.”
In new interview at VampirePhile, Skye explains how Olivia helped her reconcile the differences between wanting and being wanted.
“For me, it was about getting in touch with the un-lady-like hungers, with being able to say “I want” rather than “He wants me” … Which is hard. Because wanting is a kind of pain. It’s an awareness of lack. You want what you don’t have.”
Skye talks neuroscience (and tattoos) at Sara’s Urban Fantasy Blog:
“I’m asking folks to engage with me on some very complex terrain. The neuroscience, at least, exists elsewhere. But yes, of course I worry. I worry because it’s a very fine line between asking enough of readers that they engage with their whole self, mind and emotion, and asking so much that you exclude people you want to reach.”
Don’t forget about the interview and contest at Star Shadow Creative Mishaps:
“I’d rather learn about someone at a cocktail party by hearing about the book they want to write than where they grew up or what they do for a living. Half the folks I’ve met are either writing a book or have one they want to start. And they’ll tell me about it. It’s like getting this immediate insight into people’s secret selves.”
You can check out some of the cool projects Skye’s agent, Holly Root, is working on at Mother. Write. (Repeat.). And Cindy Hwang, executive editor of Skye’s publisher, Berkley Books, stopped by Dear Author to tout highlights from Berkley’s spring 2010 lineup, including and Falling Fly. The thread generated almost 300 counts at last count, with more than 100 requesting one of the two copies of and Falling, Fly Cindy was offering!
I must close, for my lady hath spied the Tax-Man a’cometh-ing and has ordered me to intercept him.
Poor Thrall is disallowed from eating his daily bowl of mealy gruel until he has parsed the day’s and Falling, Fly reviews, courtesy of Google Alerts. In so doing, he has noticed common threads among many of the reviews. Here’s snippets from eight of them:
“Leaves the reader’s brain buzzing … so many ideas into this book that it is bursting at the seams … extremely rewarding once you reach its end … a wild ride full of riddles, love, desire and read-between-the-lines meaning … rocked my imagination … not an easy read, but well worth the experience … a heady undertaking, and masterfully done … a definite reading requirement for those who like a book that makes them think and remain in their thoughts long after it’s put down.”
In all seriousness, Skye and I have both been impressed with the degree to which the story seems to be sticking with many readers and even opening up layers of meaning which transcend what she intended to capture when putting pen to paper. We see this in basic mechanical interpretive differences like “the story dragged in the middle” to “it flew by and left me panting at the end” to deeper understandings of the core conflict (is it sanity vs. insanity? myth vs. medicine? body vs. mind?) to the openness with which people were inspired to share their personal demons during the book’s virtual launch party at Bitten by Books.
Maryse’s Blog recently published a review that summarizes much of this:
“While I have come away with my own understanding of the story, I wonder if it even remotely comes close to what the author was trying to convey … Honestly, after examining my own perception of the story, I realize that is not even the most important part. There is much more to explore, and really, perhaps a formal “discussion” of this book would unearth much more, through the contributions of each reader’s perspective. Yes…a book club situation would be great for this … It was beautiful, complicated, deep and perplexing. I almost felt as if the author had perhaps “tapped” into one of those monumental life awakening moments (you know, perhaps in a dream, she had an epiphany, and it just “clicked” for her), and was trying to convey it to us through this narration. This one will require your complete focus and dedication but will reward you with intricately written tale of self doubt, self discovery and the most profound of powers; love.”
Which leads me to my question: Now that many of you have read the book, what did and Falling, Fly mean to you? If the book stuck with you, if it made you think, please consider visiting one (or more) of the sites below and leaving a review of your own or even commenting on existing reviews:
… at Barnes & Noble
… at Amazon
… at Goodreads
… at Borders
Skye, of course, always welcomes hearing from her readers directly. As she says, her words are only half the conversation.
Back to sniveling and begging –