Friday, October 31, 2008

NaNoWriMo

It's time for NaNoWriMo...

It's crazy. But hopefully I'll have something by the end of the month.

-Shane

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

CCSF Blog Tour Day Three: Beyond The Reflections Edge - Of Names and Doppelgängers.



So here we are on the third and final day of the Beyond the Reflection's Edge edition of the CSFF Blog Tour.

And part two of my thoughts (which again, may contain spoilers, proceed with caution):

My thoughts on names:

Kelly: While my interview with Mr. Davis on day one of the tour seems to indicate that Kelly's name was chosen for other reasons, I find it strangely ironic that the name means “brave”, given that Kelly really is the most courageous character in the book as far as I see it, the name fits her perfectly. It can also mean “warrior woman”, which also fits quite well.

Mictar and Patar: Interesting names for interesting characters. I can't help but think of Mictar and Pactar as being doppelgänger characters. One of them gives insight to the other and vice-versa. The other is the shadow-character of the one. Patar seems as good as Mictar is evil, They have a great deal in apparent common. Reading about Patar gives us a small look into Mictar, where as Mictar gives us insight into Patar. In regards to their names. I am reminded of malevolence with Mictar, and peace with Patar. I think it's the use of the “M” and the “P” as their starting letter, still it fits their respective personalities. I do not know why Mr. Davis chose their names but that's my thoughts on them.

Nathan: Again, my interview with Mr. Davis on day one indicates that Nathan was named after Nathan the prophet who spoke to King David, however, he is a person who lives up to his name's meaning: Giver. He does have a sacrificial tendency, and I couldn't help notice this nature whenever he threw himself between danger and Kelly or whoever else he was with at the time. Again, it's still a fitting name.

Mictar and Patar are not the only shadow characters, many of the characters have another set of themselves that show up at some point or other in the book. Often times I see another aspect to the character that the other version of the character wouldn't have revealed to me.

Speaking of names, I love the use of proper names for places such as “Wal-Mart” it's unbelievable how such a small little touch as that gives it a much more believable feel. I was surprised at how much more believable that little touch made the book.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series, with any luck, I'm hoping to receive Eternity's Edge, which is the second book in the trilogy, sometime within the next few days.

You can learn more about Bryan Davis and Beyond the Reflection's Edge at the following websites, or you can purchase the book from Amazon.com or from Bryan Davis's website. Check it out!

Beyond the Reflection's Edge on Amazon.com

Bryan Davis's Website

Bryan Davis’s Blog

Monday, October 20, 2008

CCSF Blog Tour Day Two: Beyond The Reflections Edge - A Few Thoughts



Today I'm writing about my personal thoughts concerning Beyond the Reflection's Edge.

This isn't so much a review as a blog post about my personal feelings and thoughts about the book and story. It may sound like a review, but that's not its primary purpose. Be aware that this post may contain some spoilers. As such, here are the links... I usually place them at the end of the post but in order to give the opportunity to avoid spoilers I am placing them here:

You can learn more about Bryan Davis and Beyond the Reflection's Edge at the following websites, or you can purchase the book from Amazon.com or from Bryan Davis's website. Check it out!

Beyond the Reflection's Edge on Amazon.com

Bryan Davis's Website

Bryan Davis’s Blog


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As for my thoughts, let's start with the characters:

I really like the main characters, Nathan and Kelly. They are both vastly different and yet there is something similar about them. I like that. They work together in a way that is pleasant. They have depth and personality that is unique to themselves. It's beautiful to watch them work together. Nathan is wonderfully considerate. (For a guy at any rate.) Kelly is a fascinating character in many ways, emotional, but not overly so, strong, but not ridiculously so, and she really is a good friend to Nathan even when he fails to think something through all the way or something of that nature. She's not overly dependent on him, something I appreciate.

And let's face it, villains are hard. Mictar is an exception. You do not know what he is going to do next. There is the true element of surprise. A lot of times villains can be rather predictable. Not Mictar. (At least I think that Mictar is the villain.) As far a villainous characters go, Mictar is an exceptional one. His henchmen are equally unpredictable. (Or are they really henchmen?)

Then there is Tony. His treatment of Kelly can be maddening and yet there is a funny aspect to him. He seems shallow on the surface, but I think there might be more there then meets the eye. Liver and Anchovies pizza and all.

Clara is another interesting character. Playing the mentor role in many ways, besides being Nathan's teacher, she guides Nathan and Kelly throughout the book. It'll be interesting to see what happens with her character as the series progresses.

And movie-quoting, fun-loving, super-intelligent, the rather spunky Daryl. She's hard to forget! Makes me want to start quoting movies all the time when I read those lines!

Besides the fascinating characters I love all the cross-dimensional aspects of it. In an earlier review I wrote I found it a bit bothersome, but perhaps I kind of missed the boat so to speak... I don't know whether I think of this work as a science-fiction piece or a fantasy one, it has elements of both genres. I kind of like seeing that mix of different kinds of storytelling. I don't suppose there really is a way to travel between various spaces and times or space-times or whatever via music, and light, etc. Thus it reminds me of fantasy, on the other hand, we don't know everything there is to know about science and maybe music does play a bigger role then we currently imagine, thus it reminds me of science-fiction. Whatever it is, it is brilliant. The whole cross-dimensional aspects of the book actually to tell you the truth, thrill me to the core. I love it! It's not like most of the other books I've read.

I do think I'm enjoying the book more upon the second reading. It makes more sense to me now. The plot is a rather complex one, which might be why.

And though this isn't supposed to be a review, I do highly recommend Beyond the Reflection's Edge by Bryan Davis.

I love it!

-Shane

Sunday, October 19, 2008

CCSF Blog Tour Day One: Beyond The Reflections Edge - An Interview with Bryan Davis.



Many thanks to Bryan Davis for letting me conduct an e-mail interview with him over the weekend.

-Shane

The Interview:

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Shane Deal: What inspired you to write Beyond the Reflection's Edge?


Bryan Davis: My second-born son gave me the idea. He envisioned a mirror that reflected a trunk, but in the mirror the trunk was open while in reality it was closed. We brainstormed the idea until we came up with the roots of the story.


Shane Deal: What was the inspiration for the main characters?


Bryan Davis: I wanted two diverse characters, one male and one female. I like representing both genders with strong characters in order to grab the interest of all readers, and I wanted to develop a pair who came from very different upbringings. Nathan comes from a very strict home. He is spiritually aware, though, in a way, somewhat naïve with regard to those with looser standards. Kelly is a girl who represents the “other side of the tracks” family, at least in Nathan’s eyes. Nathan becomes aware of Kelly’s past indiscretions and has to learn to deal with them, because they are thrown together as a team and have to work in harmony.


Shane Deal: Kind of a related question. Their names?


Bryan Davis: I chose Nathan because he was King David’s prophet, a rather bold fellow who didn’t mind telling like it is. My Nathan has some of that gumption, but he doesn’t always know how to use it. So his mouth becomes acquainted with his foot at times, if you know what I mean. I chose Kelly, because I wanted a gender-neutral name. Kelly’s father, an avid athlete, always wanted a boy, so the name is a constant reminder to Kelly that she wasn’t exactly what her daddy had in mind. That pain causes her to pursue athletics and shapes her character, for better and for worse.


Shane Deal: What are your hopes for this book, in what ways do you wish for it to impact your readers or yourself?


Bryan Davis: I hope my readers will remember to look deeper than what they see on the surface, to allow people to change, to show compassion toward those who are different without compromising their values. As readers progress in the series, I hope they will be impacted by the power of real forgiveness and the joy of true reconciliation.

For myself, I portrayed the hero, Nathan, as a strictly raised homeschooler, someone with a spiritual background much like my own children’s. As I watched him navigate a culture with which he is unfamiliar, it helped me examine what I teach my children. Are they ready to face the strange world out there? Can they cope with people who are so different and do so with resolve to stay pure while displaying compassion? How will they use what they have been taught when their teachers are absent?

These questions have led me to use Nathan’s adventure to query both my children and myself as I slowly open up their horizons to the world outside our home.


Shane Deal: Why did you choose music and light to open the dimensional portals?


Bryan Davis: Music allowed me to show symbols of harmony, both in the makeup of the universe and among people. Dissonance, or the lack of harmonious flow, was the constant enemy in the story, causing multi-dimensional cosmic meltdowns. Whenever Nathan and Kelly learned to work together, they were successful in bringing harmony to the created order. Although this aspect isn’t obvious in the story, I hope the parallels are clear to the astute reader.

Light has long been the symbol of truth and knowledge. Since light opens our eyes to truth in many situations, it made sense for light to be the final factor in opening portals to other worlds. When combined with the idea of musical harmony, I was trying to symbolize the balance between harmony and truth. Without truth, agreement among people is sometimes based on falsehood and will eventually crumble. Without harmony, truth can be harsh and lack compassion. I wanted both components present to symbolize how the two must be in balance.




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Thanks again Bryan! You can learn more about Bryan Davis and Beyond the Reflection's Edge at the following websites, or you can purchase the book from Amazon.com or from Bryan Davis's website. Check it out!

Beyond the Reflection's Edge on Amazon.com

Bryan Davis's Website

Bryan Davis’s Blog

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

CSFF: The Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour.

Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour .
The authors: Wayne Thomas Batson , Bryan Davis , Sharon Hinck , Christopher Hopper , L.B. Graham , Donita Paul , Eric Reinhold , and Jonathan Rogers .

This week is the remarkable and wonderfully entertaining to watch via live broadcast, Fantasy Fiction Tour 2008. You might just see something interesting such as Christopher Hopper totally rocking out or doing a dance in the background while L. B. Graham is speaking. (I'm not going to let him forget that little episode.) :-D Or you can chat with the other folks that are watching. Beware of coffee, marshmallow trolls, and flying orange juice.

I'm very excited about the whole thing, despite only able to attend it virtually, via the webcam. The author's websites are above. Well worth checking out.

I look forward to what tomorrow's webcast might bring us... Another sword fight perhaps? Or maybe another totally hilarious and unexpected random moment like the one described above.

Lot's of exciting things. Sometimes, the authors will even answer your questions via the live web-cam/chat.

If you happen to be in the area, of the tour (West Coast.) you might want to try seeing these folks... Besides doing funny things, they are all very talented and wonderful authors.

-Shane

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Watching Live.

Eight Fantasy authors are touring the west coast this week... I've been watching them live at:

The Fantasy Fiction Tour website.

-Shane

That is also what the little video player on my sidebar is for.