It’s day 2 of Dreamy December Days! Hooray~
If you haven’t signed up, there’s still time to do so. Just link us up:
Just a little update: Farzy @ Books Keep Me Sane decided to hold the first Twitter Chat on Tuesday, 10pm (EST). It will run for 3 hours. That’s on Wednesday at 9am in our country. Here’s a good Time Zone Converter to help you. I hope y’all can make it! See the Schedule Page for the other times and dates for the Chat. 😀 For today’s author feature, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview David Lomax who simply blew my mind with his book, Backward Glass. There’s an awesome GIVEAWAY too! Also, hop on to Books Keep Me Sane to read an excerpt from Rachel Harris, and join the giveaway~
Interview with David Lomax:
Hi David! Can I just say that your debut novel, Backward Glass, was just unbelievable, and I am so ecstatic to have you here today!
I know that you are an English teacher (please be kind with my English skills. Haha) and a dad. But please do tell us more about yourself. (It can be anything at all~)
- I have such trouble answering what should be easy questions. I never know what to tell about myself. Do I define myself by what I like (Doctor Who, kids, popcorn, other people’s dogs) or by what I believe in (everybody’s right to love, democracy, the rewards that come from hard work). On my blog, I refer to myself as a “geek from way back,” so maybe that’s the way to go. I was deeply nerdy in high school – interested in books, comic books, science fiction, Dungeons & Dragons, and very, very shy. Some wondrous transformation in culture has happened in the last few years (the success of superhero movies, the triumph of Joss Whedon, the coming-of-age of all sorts of people who got their first rush of creativity behind a dungeon master’s screen) so that there is, as they say, a kind of chic to geek these days. Not completely – the world of high school can still be an intimidating place to introverts with deep interests in imaginative pursuits – but kids are way more free these days to enjoy poetry, gaming of all kinds, and some seriously deep trivia about the X-Men. So when I fly my geek flag, I like to take a little credit for having waved that thing from around the time I saw the first Star Wars movie – the year it came out.
I know you love writing and reading, but do you do anything not related to those? What do you like doing?
- I’m not that thrilling of a person. Reading, writing and teaching takes up a lot of my time. Other than that – it’s all about family. A good week is when I get to play Lego with my six-year-old, joke around with my fifteen-year-old, wonder where my eighteen-year-old is with the car, go on a date with my wife, and eat a late Sunday breakfast at this great place around the corner. Eggs Benedict. Relax. Read a book. Get ready for the week that’s coming up.
I just love the geekiness/nerdiness in Backward Glass. How much of that translates into you? What are the geeky/nerdy things that you do?
- I love that term: geek. Whatever it has meant in the past, what it means to me these days is a person with deep, deep interests in something. My wife and I were out for a drive last weekend, and I noticed the clock was at 3:37. I said, “Hey, you’re always wondering if there’s anything you still don’t know about me. Did I ever tell you that I have a deeply geeky relationship with certain numbers?” The upshot of it is that anytime I see certain numbers, they make me think of key issues of the comic books I loved as a kid. For example, issue #337 of The Mighty Thor was the one where Walt Simonson took over as writer and artist, and introduced Beta Ray Bill, ushering in a new era of greatness and producing a whole heck of a lot of great stories. I’m the same way with 137 (the issue of The Uncanny X-Men in which Jean Gray died …for the first time), 191 (Frank Miller’s best issue of Daredevil) and so many more. I’m guessing that answers your “geek” question.
I think that it’s safe to say that David Lomax is definitely a geeky man. Oh, and he’s a family man too and I think that his students are lucky to have him as a teacher.
I know that your wife has been fully supporting you with your book, but have your children read Backward Glass and what do they think about it?
- My wife and I love to read to our kids. When Backward Glass was in its fourth draft (there were seven eventually) she convinced me that we should read it to the two older kids. So they know that version. My son is currently just finishing the published book, and my daughter (who is crazily busy in her first year of university) says she plans on reading it during the Christmas break. It sounds immodest to say, but I think they really enjoyed it. They were especially thrilled to find that I used their names towards the end of the book, and keep pestering me to start the sequel, in which they would like more significant roles.
I just read sequel~ Squee! How did your interest in writing start?
- This one I can completely pinpoint. I started school in Scotland, where I was born. In primary one (when you’re five years old) at parents’ night, my mom and dad came to meet my teacher, who showed them something I had written. It was a silly little thing about how if I were a dog I would get into all sorts of mischief. The only thing I remember was that I had said I would run inside the house after splashing in puddles and get muddy footprints on the furniture. I remember being thrilled at how funny my parents found this. The idea that I could put words on paper an then evoke a reaction from people was so much fun that I soon began telling people I wanted to be a writer someday.
For those who haven’t read Backward Glass, can you give us a short description of what it is about?
- Backward Glass is the story of teenage Kenny Maxwell, who moves with his family into an old house in the nineteen-seventies. He and his father discover the mummified body of a dead baby hidden in the wall for many years, and attached to the body, Kenny finds a note mentioning him by name and asking him for help. Soon after, a girl from the future appears and tells Kenny about a mirror in his house that picks one kid in each decade and allows them to travel through time. Meeting other kids through the mirror, Kenny and Luka learn about the local legend of Prince Harming, a frightening figure who smashes kids’ heads in and is supposed to have been around for many years. Though at first the mirror seems just like a fun gateway to adventure for some of the kids, Kenny feels that he must find a away to use it to answer that call for help, solve the mystery of Prince Harming, and save the baby from the wall.
I can personally say that Backward Glass was just amazing. What inspired you to write it?
- Another easy one. In the summer of 2007, just a few weeks after the birth of my youngest son, my wife and I were sitting on a Saturday morning reading the newspaper when she found and read to me the story of a renovator here in Toronto who had found the mummified corpse of a baby while tearing apart the wall of an old house. The story shook us both, coming so soon after our own son’s birth. Who had put that baby there? What horribly sad story had played out in that house so long ago? And the thing about being a long-time reader of imaginative fiction is that all kinds of real-life experiences make you go back that favourite question of science fiction writers: what if? Though I didn’t start on Backward Glass until a year later, the idea had formed in my head before I went to bed that night: what if you moved into a new house, made this gruesome discovery from long in the past, and then found the means perhaps to change that past?
Who has been your favorite character to write and why?
- Favorite to write? That’s a good one. My favorite character is Luka, Kenny’s friend from the future, about whom I would really like to write a whole other book someday, one that’s already half-planned in my head. And the one I would most like to meet would be John Wald, a time-traveling peasant from the seventeenth-century whose life was ruined by the backward glass and who is journeying into the future to find out where it came from. He’s the moral centre of Kenny’s journey into the past, a deeply, quietly just-plain-good man who sees it as his job to keep the lives of other “mirror kids” from being destroyed as his was. But my favourite to write? That would probably be Jimmy Hayes. Jimmy is the mirror-kid from the sixties, and he’s scared stiff by the idea of time travel. He’s not all that smart, and he’s easily led, but he’s got a good heart. I often found myself chuckling when I wrote Jimmy’s lines.
Luka and John Wald are my favorites too~ What are some of your writing habits?
- I write mostly in the summer when school is not in session. I start early in the morning, and set myself a goal (two thousand first-draft words, thirty pages revised, the third act planned – whatever needs to be done) and try to finish early enough in the afternoon that I can have lots of family time as well. I try to plan before I write, though that was very hard with Backward Glass – at my last count, there are something like ninety-seven instances of time-travel in that book, some just implied, some dramatized. I kept having to go back to my whiteboard and erase lines. The one I’m working on now has no time-travel whatsoever, and it’s much, much easier.
Ooo~ A new book? What is your favorite word and why?
- Floccinaucinihilipilification. It’s my favourite candidate for “longest real word in the English language” (pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is a trans-language medical term and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is spurious – another favourite word of mine). Why? Well, partially because I can spell it. When I was a kid, my dad and I used to play this game of trying to stump each other with words. When I found that one, I thought I really had him. Turned out he knew it – but I kept the word anyway.
Those are some big words. You have a lot to live up to (No pressure! Haha) What can we expect from you in the future? Are you starting a new book already?
- I have a very, very rough draft of a book called that I completed last summer. It’s so rough that I won’t even let my wife read it yet. It needs a lot of work. I’d very much like to continue the story of the backward glass someday. In my head, there are plans for two more books. The second would be about Luka. The third – well, even to tell you who the protagonist is would be a spoiler, so I won’t. But I’ve got big plans.
I’m definitely one to look forward to the fruition of those plans. What are your favorite books of all time?
- Even by age fifteen, I had too many favorites to be able to answer this question. I’ve decided from now on that every time I get this question, I’m going to use it as an opportunity to talk about a book that has had some great impact on me, a book that left an impression. You know the feeling I’m talking about? When you close the cover of a book, and you think, this isn’t over – this is going to stay with me for a long time. Matt Ruff’s Fool on the Hill was such a book for me. It’s a giant traveling-suitcase of a novel, written when the author was twenty-two, and brimming with the energy of youth. It’s got talking dogs, talking cats, a seductive sorceress, invisible sprites with Shakespearean names, Tolkien-quoting motorcyclists, true love, dragon-slaying and much, much more – all taking place on the campus of Cornell University. This is probably a book you have to read when you’re young – though talking about it now makes me want to pick it up again. I can’t think right now of any book that more exemplifies just plain awesome fun.
What is your favorite quote?
- I’m going traditional on this one. Shakespeare has Hamlet say, “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals!” I do like the human race, and the fact that William Shakespeare put these eloquent words into the mouth of one of his most insightful (albeit depressed) characters suggests that he did too.
Do you have any holiday traditions? If so, what are they? Or what do you usually do during this time?
- We gather as a family. On Christmas morning, my wife likes a little theatricality: The kids are allowed to get up, but nobody is permitted downstairs until I go first. I walk down to where the tree is, and start exclaiming in exaggerated surprise at all that Santa has brought for us. When Connor, the six-year-old is dying of anticipation, my wife finally lets them down, and we spend a few hours opening, thanking, phoning family, eating and playing – both with our toys and with each other. I don’t think anybody in the world could ask for more.
What place would you love to visit the most this holiday season?
- Please ask me this after you’ve read my next book. There’s someplace in there that I’d very much like to go to, but I don’t want to spoil it.
Are you saying I can disturb you again to come back soon? Haha! What do you love most about Christmas?
- I love watching my kids open presents. The two older ones are a little jaded, it’s true, but they still have fun, and there’s a lot of laughter and joking around the tree.
What’s on your Christmas Wishlist this year?
- It’s a little embarrassing to say (and it frustrates my wife to no end) but the truth is I have everything I want. I might prefer it if there weren’t always things breaking in my house, but apart from that, I have the life that my ten-year-old self could not have even dreamed of. To ask for more would seem downright greedy.
What makes you put on the holiday weight?
- Chocolate. Every time.
This is just for fun, but could you tell us a joke?
I love jokes, but most of my favourites are not mine and are probably a little too long anyway. So instead, I’ve made one up especially for you. Q: How is the water cycle as it pertains to continental erosion different from Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters? A: The water cycle thinks it’s okay to cross streams.
Any last words?
- Really? After that joke, you want more? It’s probably better if I just end it here with some thanks for these great questions. You really made me think.
And thank you so much for joining us. I personally enjoyed your answers and I hope the readers did too. Now let’s got to the GIVEAWAY~
David Lomax is giving away 2 Paperbacks of BACKWARD GLASS. This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY to EVERYONE, even non-participants of the read-a-thon!
For today’s participation post, we’d like to simply know how you’re doing~ You can tell us anything.
Me? For the first day of the read-a-thon, I’ve done NOTHING. Haha! Well, I haven’t picked up a book. I did read other bloggers’ posts though so that counts as reading. Plus I had to go out yesterday. It was family day. And I also caught up on sleep. But today, I plan to finally start reading and hopefully schedule the other posts for the read-a-thon so that I post them on time. XD
What about you? Leave us a link~ It will be counted in the drawing of the Grand Prize.
Today’s Daily Challenge is called Dreamy Destinations. It’s pretty simple, all you have to do is tell us which place/s you want to go for the holidays. It could be a real place or a fictional one (i.e. Hogwarts at Christmas). If it’s a fictional place be sure to add a little book reference. You can add pictures if you like.
Places I want to go to:
Europe (Go all across it. So many to see!)
Winter Wonderland (Basically a place covered in real snow. I live in a tropical island after all)
Hobbiton (I LOVE The Lord of the Rings Trilogy movies. I want to see the Shire. I’ll even play the music)
Hogwarts, I mean Harry Potter Studio (I think everyone who loved the Harry Potter franchise would want to go there)
Troy (I’ve been fascinated with the place, even though it’s just ruins now, ever since I took my Western History class years ago)
Those are my dream destinations. What are yours? 😀
As always, participating in at least one challenge will qualify you to join the Grand Prize giveaway at the end of the read-a-thon, and each challenge has one random winner so make sure to join. Link up on the Challenge linky below, each challenge linky will be open for two days to give everyone a chance to participate in the read-a-thon. Tweet your read-a-thon posts/progress using #DreamyDecDays.
Sponsored by: • L.M. Augustine, Erica Crouch, Tellulah Darling, Kate Evangelista, Nikki Godwin, Rachel Harris, Staci Hart, A.G. Howard, David Lomax, Angela McPherson, Lea Nolan, Kelly Oram, Lissa Price, Jennifer E. Smith, Laura Thalassa