Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Bit More About River Secrets Author Shannon Hale

Recently I came across this article about the tour that Shannon Hale is currently on to promote the release of her newest book, Book of a Thousand Days. It is a joint tour with author Libba Bray. They sound like a fun pair. A few excerpts from the article:

. . . A defining feature of the tour, by all reports, was the entirely unscripted nature of the authors’ interactive presentations. Both have backgrounds in theater and Hale has done improv, so it stands to reason that booksellers refer to their school and store appearances as “performances.” The two regularly shot questions at each other, ranging from “Why are you so foxy?” to “When did you know you wanted to become a writer?” Hale says she prefers to be spontaneous while addressing young readers and “once I met Libba I suspected that she’d be game for it, which was terrific. We weren’t afraid of making utter fools of ourselves, so that helped. We mixed it up each time. Our goal was to keep each other laughing and that kept everything fresh. . . . ”

Part of their act—another ad lib component—includes singing, or as Bray explains, “a loose interpretation of singing” in which words and notes can easily get lost. The songsters’ debut was at a San Francisco school, when they found themselves with a piano and microphones and, Bray says, “We began fooling around and making complete idiots of ourselves. For some unknown reason, we suddenly began singing ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart.’ ” Off-key or not, their rendition was a hit and became their signature signoff at events, sometimes with kids from the audience joining in as backup dancers. . . .

Libba Bray, by the way, has also written some excellent books. I'm currently listening to the audiobook of the third title in her trilogy: A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing. They're set in a Victorian era boarding school in England, so they're not traditional swords and sorcery fantasy, but I can't put them down. Highly recommended.

Hale's website

Bray's website

Bring a Date to Gryphons & Dragons

In planning to have our monthly gathering on the second Thursday of each month, I missed that we'll be meeting this month on Valentine's Day. I understand if that's an issue for some of you and we wish you the best in your romantic endeavors. We'll see you in March, I hope. For those of you who can make it, perhaps we'll have some special treats to celebrate our independence from attachments.

We'll be discussing Shannon Hale's River Secrets. A brief description from Hale's website:

Razo--short, funny and not a great soldier--is sure it's out of pity that his captain asks him to join an elite mission--escorting the ambassador into Tira, Bayern's great enemy.

But when the Bayern arrive in the strange southern country, it’s Razo who discovers the first dead body. He’s the only Bayern able to befriend both the high and low born, people who can provide information about the ever-increasing murders. And he’s the one who must embrace his own talents in order to get the Bayern soldiers home again, alive.

This is her third book set in Bayern (and all have gotten excellent reviews). Goose Girl is about princess/queen-to-be Anidori (Isi) and Enna Burning is about her good friend Enna. Razo is another in their circle of friends. I haven't read these others, but just started River Secrets last night and am enjoying it.