Thursday, August 21, 2008
Far World 1 Waterkeep review and a book giveaway.
Well school has been in for just a week and I finally have time this month to post about this really incredible book Far World By J. Scott Savage. I don't normally read YA but I was pulled in almost immediately by the first chapter. Wow I kept saying. We were out to dinner at Joes Valley Marina as a family. Great place,, a must do if you are in Emery County. Anyways I kept reading snippets to my 14 yo daughter. She kept trying to take the book from me.
The story revolves around Marcus a handicaped boy in a boys school in Arizona who has magic powers. And Kyja, a girl who has no magical powers living on Farworld a magical world where animals talk, fish fly and magic abounds. Kyja some how brings Marcus to farworld just in time and they are met and guided by Master Therapass an elderly teacher and wizzard. Dark forces combine to get Marcus and thay go on the run. I won't tell you anything else because then there would be no point in picking up the book and reading it.
My family and I were able to spend some time with Scott and talk about the book. We chose to hike Nine Mile Canyon a local tourist attraction just 30 minutes from my home. So we packed a lunch and took off to see the petroglyphs. my interview follows.
Here we are, in Nine Mile Canyon, just a hop skip and jump from my stomping grounds in Castle Dale. I should be a fantasy writer huh? Castles…dragons…. We are hiking to see the petroglyphs today and thought I'd bring J. Scott Savage along for the trek.
Oh, you definitely need to write a book about a place called Castle Dell. So are you actually hiking nine miles or is that more of a metaphorical kind of thing? Not that, you know, I have any problem hiking nine miles, or anything.
So are you ready? Pack? Food? Sunscreen? Bug repellant? Water? Hat—you need a hat the sun can be very hot here in south eastern Utah… Did you ever worry that Master Therapass would be compared to Dumbledore?
Yep. Got my Mickey shades, my Goofy hat and my Minnie Mouse sun screen. I’m a regular mountain man.
I think that everyone who writes a YA fantasy for the next twenty years is going to have to give at least some thought to whether or not their book is too much like some aspect of Harry Potter. But at the same time, if your story is good enough, people will stop making comparisons and just focus on the plot. With that being said, it’s human nature to compare a wizard in a story to other wizards from literature. Is he more Dumbledore or Gandalf or Merlin?
What is your writing process? Do you plot and outline everything or do you sit in a chair with a blank page and write? What was your process with this book? You seem like a think ahead prepared guy.
I’m a think ahead guy, but not a write ahead guy. My outlining is much more likely to have pictures and maps than detailed chapter notes. I do have some very detailed notes on the specifics of each type of elemental and their magic powers.
How long did the trail head say this hike would be? Did you have inspiration for your bad guys or is your head really that dark?
Don’t worry about me. I always gasp for breath like this. It’s a . . . um . . . relaxation technique. The sweating is intentional too. If you ask my wife, she’ll tell you I have a really warped imagination.
Hey kids quit throwing rocks! Oh Sorry. Were you bullied in school? Or were you the bully?
Heh, heh. Those little dickens. I’ll just patch up my head with my Donald Duck band-aids. I was definitely on the receiving end of the bullying. I think that had a big effect on my writing and on how much I read.
It's a a good thing that the petroglyphs aren't at the end of the nine miles. Who is your favorite character?
Oh, I was hoping they were at the end. I hike nine miles every morning. Well maybe not ninemiles. Maybe a little less. Okay, it’s more like nine minutes. With a break in between. It’s a little like having kids. I can’t pick a favorite. I like them all in different ways.
This looks like a great place to stop and have lunch. MMMMMM… Sandwiches, chips and pop, portable but not very nutritious, and we have rice crispy treats for desert, they don't melt as easily as chocolate chip cookies. How do you get into the head of a 13 year old girl?
Well first you have to drill a very small hole, then exhale and . . . Just kidding. Great sandwiches. Mind if I put some of my chips in the middle? I love that. Okay, the real answer is that you have to believe in your characters. If you try to get into their heads it doesn’t work. But once they become real to you it’s easy. It gets to the point where you know what kind of food they’d like, what kind of games they play, what they dream of.
Boy it is hot out here Probably A lot like your fire keep will be…, Do you know what, if any, element the fifth book will have?
It sure is. Guess I shouldn’t have put a Rice Crispy treat in my pocket huh? There are only four elementals. I think people are going to be really surprised by the fifth book.
Hey look! A lizard just like Rif Raff. Where did the idea for the story come from?
Good thing Riph Raph didn’t hear you call him a lizard.
It is hot. Water? Michelle grins at her stupid joke.
Either you are really funny or we are suffering for some serious heat stroke.
Well here we are at the petroglyphs, perfect timing for the last question, What advise do you have for the aspiring writer?
Wow. Very cool. Definitely worth the hike. It’s probably a cliché, but read, read, and read. Then when you write, write the kinds of stories that hook you. Don’t write a story that’s “good enough.” Write something that would make you sit up and take notice.
Thank you Scott, Hope you enjoy the senic drive back to civilization along Highway six.
Some links about Nine Mile Canyon are listed below.
Now for the contest. Use your surfing/research skills and look up Nine Mile Canyon and tell me in the commment section the name of one of the petroglyph pannels. I will draw a name from the correct answers in five days. The winner will get a personaly signed copy of Farworld Waterkeep before it is available in stores!