Last week, I posted the two book trailers that Penguin created for Gayle Forman‘s debut novel, If I Stay. The first one was nearly one minute long, and was filled with a lot of superscript words from start to finish, and it was created to promote the hardcover edition of the novel. Having already read the novel, this trailer appealed to me as it pulled at my heart strings and offered a somewhat nostalgic look at the novel. However, when I asked my readers to compare it to the second version created to promote the paperback version, all but one person said that they preferred the second one. Mind you, the remaining one person didn’t say they liked the first one more, they just said they liked them both, but even they admitted that the second one was more attention getting.
After letting my readers have at If I Stay‘s trailers, it made me interested in seeing what advice and suggestions you can offer authors and publishing companies about the videos they create to market their books. This test might not stand up against pure statistical analysis (then again, who am I to say either way), but at the very least, if my readers can give their opinions on the subject, it could way for publishers, publicists and authors to do a market test while they simultaneously get additional publicity for their books. If you’re interested in having your book trailer featured on an upcoming Tuesday, just email me!
This week, I have the book trailer of an upcoming novel that is unlike nothing else I’ve ever read and reviewed for YABookShelf.com. Arctic Thunder features a 14-year-old boy named Mike, who lives in St. Albert, Alberta and his lacrosse team has just won the Albert Provincial championships. As he is still getting over the euphoric feeling, his dad tells him that they’ll be moving to Inuvik, Northwest Territories in Northern Canada, which is devastating because they’ve never even heard of his favorite sport. Now you may not be a lacrosse fan, but in my opinion, the energy and drama that the ArcticThunder trailer packs into a short time definitely grabbed my attention. Let me know what you think of it!
Robert Feagan‘s third novel, Arctic Thunder will be in stores across North America on September 26, 2010, so if this trailer appeals to you (or seems like something that a male teen reader you know would like), then look for it then.
Recently, I had my first theme week on YA Book Shelf in which I featured reviews, interviews, contests and commentary about werewolf novels (and occasionally movies). Not only did I have a blast reading Sisters Red and Linger to prepare for the week, but also I loved getting the chance to get new ideas from you, my readers, about the books and movies that should be on my werewolf week radar.
I haven’t had the chance to check out any of your novel suggestions, but I did watch Ginger Snaps a couple of weekends ago as promised. And all I can say is wow!?! After my disappointment with The Wolfman, I wasn’t sure if I should expect a lot from werewolf cinema, but I have to admit that Kathleen’s recommendation was dead on. Thanks sooo much!
Now, everything except the winner of my Linger giveaway has been announced, so werewolf week (though officially over two weeks ago) now feels really over. You see, all I have left is to say that Alicia Argenti is the winner, and now that I have, I have to *sniff sniff* say adios to all things werewolf weekish. Alicia will have 48 hours to send me her mailing address before I need to pick a new winner. Congratulations!
I might cry a little, but you don’t have to because I’m definitely going to make werewolf week at least an annual occurrence on YABookShelf.com. Why? Well, I loved it, many of you loved it, and it was the most successful week on my site so far. I’m also going to take the time to invent new theme weeks or possibly even theme months for my site, so there’s no need for you to cry – promise!
Today, I’m happy to be hosting Emma Michael‘s blog tour for the soon to be released novel, The Thirteenth Chime. On Friday, August, 13th, 2010, you’ll be able to find this YA Gothic novel all over the Internet. In the meantime, you can check out my interview with the novel’s main character, David. This is my first character interview, so feel free to let me know what you like, what you didn’t like, and everything in between.
YA Book Shelf: At the beginning of The Thirteenth Chime, your partner seems really concerned about the dangerous decisions you’ve been making lately. What else have you done over the last six months to cause concern?
David: My partner, Andrew Lake, has been pointing that one out to me for sometime. Destiny and I broke up just before my graduation. Right at that time, I also received back my professor’s thoughts on my thesis about ‘Sense,’ which was less than encouraging. As I was heading straight into a graduate program, everything made me question my interest in psychology. I threw myself into my work, and although I was working out and caring for myself physically, I think I really did forget to care about myself mentally, which is unforgivable considering my education. I had farr too many close calls because I felt rather than thought through situations. If it hadn’t been for Lake, well…. Let’s just say I’m glad the past six months are behind me.
YABookShelf: As an EMT, you get called to the “scene” when people are at their worst moments. How do you deal with the difficult situations that are always in front of you (or do you)?
David: The thing with being in EMS (Emergency Medical Services) is that you never know what kind of call you are going to get. You might get called out to something simple, like an elderly woman who is lonely and just wants to see a friendly face and hear a human voice reach out to her through the void of a depressing life. Other calls are worse. You might get called out to a situation like I did in The Thirteenth Chime, and as some of those situations go, especially with the past year, it could be far, far worse.
I remember this one call I had that was similar to the one in the book, only in this case, it was a mother and her child facing off against an intoxicated man with a gun who didn’t even know them. The courage that mother displayed while she kept herself between the gunman and her child is something I’ll never forget. Lake and I were wearing body armor, so even if we had bee shot, chances are it wouldn’t have done much damage. But the mother had on only shorts and a tanktop. Cops were all around us and the gunman, who wasn’t truly a bad sort just had made bad decisions, was getting ready to start firing.
It wasn’t Lake and I nor even the cops that interceded that stopped the man – it was the mother. She didn’t challenge him, she didn’t yell or cry hysterically. She just looked at the man and said, “This is my daughter. She is five years old. She is going to a birthday party tonight for her father. She made him a kite so that he can fly it with her this weekend.” Maybe it was divine intervention, the mother reaching him or a combination of all of the above and the seven officers around him, but the guy lowered his gun. I’ll never forget that woman and I hope one day to show I can be just as brave. So how do I deal with difficult situations? The best way I can…and we’ll never know just what we’ll do until we’re in those situations, but we’ll never give up, just like she never gave up.
YABookShelf: How did you first meet Destiny and why do you continue to go out of your way to help her after she hurt you so much? What’s in it for you?
David: Oh goodness…I often think back to that day and why even now I’d go to her side if she needed me. The day I met her, I didn’t know what to expect. She had responded to a message I had put up on the school board about a psychology experiment we were doing with a small number of students. To be honest, I can’t even remember what the experiment was about after I first saw her. We hit it off right away, but it wasn’t until we had a class together that we began dating.
I suppose after getting so close to her for the time I did, it became hard to pull my heart away fully. I decided the best thing I could do was pull back completely. But completely was a lie. I think when a heart embraces another heart, it never fully loses the bond between them. So I suppose I go out of my way to help her as much as I do because my heart calls for it. As to what is in it for me, I’m true to my heart. Which in the end, I think that is what is most important.
YABookShelf: What is “sense” and how did you first come up with your theory about it? Is there a connection between it and any of your other decisions?
David: Sense is a true theory that is even now being studied, albeit under a slightly different name. Human beings make decisions based on the stimulus they receive, which is in turn based on the surroundings that form the stimuli. A simple analogy is the following – you step out into the bright sun, you automatically shade your eyes. Or, if you touch something hot, you automatically yank your hand away. If you smell something bad, you wrinkle your nose and turn away from it. These are basic stimulus responses.
The not so basic stimuli are the ones that feed the instincts within us. The ‘Fight or Flight’ instinct, for instance. If you encounter any given stimuli that makes you panic or jump, your heart gets a shot of adrenaline, your senses are heightened, and the stimuli is turned into a bio-electric sensory perception that is in turn interpreted by your mind. If you see someone coming towards you with a gun, your body is going to freeze, shoot forth adrenaline, and your conscious and unconscious mind are going to go into overdrive to decipher the scene before you and decide on a course of action. Sounds logical (and a bit boring), right? But what about the senses we don’t completely understand? Or rather, the ones we haven’t realized yet?
I don’t mean metaphysical. Think does and cats, for a moment. They deliberately leave trace scents behind that science has determined changes based on where and why they are leaving the scent. If it is a good sniffing area? They leave a message. If it is a dangerous area with cars? They leave a warning. They bark or meow to one another? They are talking. This is proven to be fact. All animals do this. So why not humans? What if when we undergo a certain situation we leave a trace scent behind that our senses can pick up on? Some say they can actually smell fear – what if they truly can? Maybe it is not just through our mouths and hands we leave messages behind, but through powerful traces that leave memories within them.
I think we have gotten so wrapped up in our mundane lives we have forgotten the way our bodies communicate. We take the simplest things for granted and we only pause when something out of the ordinary happens, like when we are in a dark room all alone and something makes us jump. What if someone with unusually sharp senses can go into that exact same room at a later date and somehow sense the emotion and though left behind. I think one day the science will back “sense” up as fact, and I am also sure that as a thinking, rational human being that there is a connection between it and all of my decisions. We just don’t realize how much it affects us because we have forgotten to be aware of it.
YABookShelf: Though you do believe in mysterious events, you seem to assume that they have a logical reason before jumping to conclusions. Does this “scientific” look at the unexplainable stem from your desire to prove your theories about “sense” in the long run?
David: Probably. I mean, as we grow up, we define the world around us based on what we come to believe. The world is round because we believe it is, even though we have never proven it for ourselves – we just logically assume it is based on evidence we present ourselves. I’m often told I’m too logical, yet Destiny finds me too emotional. Perhaps it is when my mind and heart go in separate directions that the logic and emotions follow suit. I’m a rational thinker, so I tend to want to define things logically because if it is logical, it has a reason and therefore can be defined.
If it is mysterious, then it might have no reason, like Destiny’s breakup with me. Not understanding why threw me into turmoil. So I’m sure I do have a strong desire to prove “sense,” not just because of my thesis, but because maybe if I can understand how “sense” works, I can finally understand her choice.
YABookShelf: What was it abour Carline that first drew you to her and her mother’s antique shop?
David: It’s hard to describe…. There were so many powerful emotions and thoughts swirling inside my head, and yet there was something about that young girl and the shop that afforded clarity, as if it were the parting of clouds on a dark day to reveal the sun. I just knew that something I needed to know was there, and I had no idea just how much I was going to learn and not even realized it until the very end. I think the answers I were given will not be fully realized until much later when I least expect it.
YABookShelf: It seems like you would do anything for someone you care about and their friends, even if you don’t know them well. Is there anything that would be a deal breaker for you?
David: I think that yes, I would do almost anything for someone I care about. Maybe that is why I became an EMT. As a deal breaker, I think I would stop short of doing something that would end up hurting someone in the long run. For instance, part of me wanted to keep trying and fix whatever happened with my and Destiny’s relationship to try and help, but in the end it wouldn’t have helped and only have hurt us both more.
YABookShelf: At the conclusion of Emma Michael’s story about you, it seems like you still have a lot of unfinished business. Will you and Emma work together again to share the rest of your story? Is there anything you can share with my readers about what will happen next?
David: I’m grateful to Emma for the chance to share the events in Steilacoom with others. I feel as if a new door has opened and I have only begun to step through, with a whole world waiting for me. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I have a mystery that needs solving and the only clues I have on hand is what I’ve been given.
YABookShelf: If you knew for certain that there wasn’t any chance of getting together with Destiny, is there anyone else you’d consider dating? Or are you looking to solve some of your own issues before you think about dating any other women again?
David: I think if there is one thing I learned from my time with Stephanie is that I’ve got too much on my plate right now to even consider a relationship with Destiny of with anyone else. Actually, I’m grateful to Stephanie because she reminded me I do have a life worth living. As to the future, I’m guessing from where the mystery I have before me is going to take me next, that I might not have too much of a say in things, especially if a certain and very stubborn person from my past has anything to say about it. I guess I’ll find out what is going to happen next when everyone else does!
YABookShelf: In The Thirteenth Chime, you didn’t really have much time to sit down and relax with all the craziness going on around you. What is your idea of a good time?
David: Are you kidding me!? You remember what happened to me! I need a vacation…. Maybe some place warm – no water. Hmm…Destiny did suggest a desert. I mean, it’s not like I could get into any trouble in a desert, right?
Thanks so much for stopping by to answer all my questions David! Maybe we can do this again some time in the future.
As for all my readers, please let me know what you think about my first ever character interview. In general, do you appreciate character interviews? Or do you prefer having an inside look in the mind of the author? Let me know as your opinions will make all the difference.