Posts tagged ‘Ted Dekker’

A to Z Bookish Survey

atozsurveyStole this from Jackie Lea Sommers, who took it from The Perpetual Page-Turner.  SO FUN! Do one and let me know what your answers are!

Author you’ve read the most books from:
Probably Ted Dekker. He just kicks them out so fast! Plus, I went through a phase when the Circle Trilogy, the Paradise series, and the Lost Books all came out, and I was in awe of how interconnected they were.

Best Sequel Ever:
Scarlet by Stephen Lawhead. Honestly, I didn’t think I could love the Robin Hood legend any more than I already did, and Lawhead always surprises me with the quality of his second books. Normally, those are the letdowns for me in a series, but not with his books.

Currently Reading:
Peter Pan by J.M. Barry and Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien. Finally,

Drink of Choice While Reading:
Hmm, coffee or tea. Depends on my mood, the weather, and the tone of the book.

Ereader or Physical Book?
PHYSICAL BOOK. E-readers don’t smell like wisdom and laughter and bitter-sweet silence.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
Oh gosh, really? Marco Alistair. Peter Pevensie. I’m sure there’s more, but those are the first two that come to mind.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
Peace like a River by Leif Enger. Honestly, I’m nervous about books that have titles that sound like Christianese cliches, but after meeting Enger in person, I knew that I had to read it. If he wrote anything like how he spoke, I knew I would be in awe the entire time. He didn’t disappoint.

Hidden Gem Book:
I’m sure there’s a more hidden book that I’ve read besides this one, but the one that comes to mind right now is Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. It’s probably one of the more underrated of her works, but it is so sarcastic and hilarious, making fun of society and romanticism and conspiracy theories with the impression that she’s keeping a straight face the entire time. You can be sure that I didn’t.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:
Probably when I read The Chronicles of Narnia for myself for the first time. My parents read them to me when I was a child, and so seeing them come alive for a second time was marvelous. Also, the time that I started reading a book so boring during a summer vacation that I decided writing my own would be more enjoyable. I can’t even remember the title of the book, only that it had something to do with people trying to steal some (Scottish?) stone used in coronation ceremonies. Anyway, that might be when I realized that I really liked and wanted to write.

Just Finished:
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Not the most lyrical writing I’ve ever seen, but I do give Rivers props for tackling a difficult story and portraying it in a realistic way. Not many Christian authors will get in your face and gritty about something as gut-wrenching as prostitution, and she makes Angel’s choices (as a reflection of Gomer in the book of Hosea) make sense.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
Paranormal romance. Those words should never go together.  And horror novels. I just don’t see the point. Anything along the lines of 50 Shades of Grey Also, I don’t think I could force myself through another Amish romance.

Longest Book You’ve Read:
Great Expectations or Bleak House, both by Charles Dickens. Not so much for number of pages as for number of yawns and ‘headdesks,’ and screeches of frustration and annoyance.  

Major book hangover because of:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Seriously could not believe that it ended. Not that it ended badly or suddenly, but perfectly, with a few unbound ends, so that I knew the story continued, but it just wasn’t written, as badly as I wanted her to keep going.

Number of Bookcases You Own:
I guess my books only take up two so far, but if my husband ever moves some of his books to an office, a different bookshelf, or boxes, you can be sure those shelves won’t stay empty for long.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge.

Preferred Place To Read:
The couch, outside, or in bed.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:
“Do you remember all of your audiences?” Marco asks.
“Not all of them,” Celia says. “but I remember the poeple who look at me the way you do.”
“What way might that be?”
“As though they cannot decide if they are afraid of me or they want to kiss me.”
“I am not afraid of you….” (AAAAAAAHHHHHHH! I love The Night Circus so much! This is a feels quote, if you didn’t catch that.)

Reading Regret:
The two paragraphs of Twilight I forced myself to read for a class assignment/exercise.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):
The Book of Mortals series by Ted Dekker. The sequel I finished a couple of weeks ago disappointed me a bit in its predictability, but I still want to see the adventure through. And Lord of the Rings, but those are currently in my possession.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Chronicles of Narnia by Jack Lewis (I don’t care if that’s cheating; I can’t pick), and–even though it’s REALLY hard to pick because I generally don’t have favorites–To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Unapologetic Fangirl For:
The Chronicles of Narnia. I have written fan fiction. Someday, I might apologize for that. But this is not that day.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
The third Hunger Games book. Mockingjay doesn’t exist.
And a book by a friend. Don’t know when that’s happening, but it’s just got to, because it’s absolutely brilliant.

Worst Bookish Habit:
Husband posits that I have a bad habit of not giving classics their due. I think I give them only what they deserve, and not much more than that. Although, I will admit to being nervous around them, because some of the ones that I have read really don’t deserve much at all.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
(My husband tried this one on his bookcase and ended up on one of Margaret Thatcher’s memoirs. Go figure.)

Your latest book purchase:
Peter Pan! Just got this today, and I’m so excited that I get to finally read and own this book.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
I haven’t let myself stay up late reading lately, just because I know I’d die at work the next day if I did, but I was probably home on break during college when I stayed up until at least 3:30 A.M. finishing Catching Fire (the second book in The Hunger Games series) by Susanne Collins.

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Would You Rather…

My husband posed an interesting question to me the other night:

Would you rather…

A.) be an author who has one “master work” that goes down in history (e.g., Lord of the Rings trilogy for Tolkien, or Ben Hur for Lew Wallace)

B.) be a writer who has a dozen or so decently good novels, but with a few that stand above the rest (Ted Dekker was cited here, with the Circle trilogy as his forte)

C.) be a novelist who writes one fantastically good book, but then people start to cringe when they see your other works (namely, Dan Brown? I wouldn’t actually know. I’ve never read his stuff)

Obviously, I didn’t opt for option C. I want people to enjoy what I write, and I definitely don’t want to put out work that I’ll be ashamed of later. So that left options A and B. I have trouble with this one. I’d love to think that I have some brilliant story brewing, and I just don’t know what it is yet. I’d also like to think that I could have more than one brilliant story hunkered inside me somewhere. But what if it had to be one way or the other? What if I could be a very good author, stacking my books alongside King and Dekker and other “good” writers, but nothing that would make the canon of “must-read” literature? Or, on the flip side, what if I could be an incredible author, but the only thing I’ll have to show for it would be one major life’s work? Would I be satisfied if it turned out to be only one of those options? Or neither?

The only consolation is this: I’m young, and I just can’t know. So I’ll write. I’ll try. I’ll fail, probably more than I’ll care to admit. But maybe I’ll be able to salvage something wild and beautiful and raw, something I won’t want to keep majorly editing after I know it’s finished. It’s a lot of dreams, and a lot of work, but I know that I’d shrivel inside if I didn’t try. Writing takes courage. The courage to fail and try again, to write something truly hideous and being able to look it in the face and spot the beauty beneath it all.

So no matter the outcome, whether I end up published or taking my stories alone with me to my grave, I’ll still write. I’ve got to try. So what would I rather do? I’d rather write, thank you very much.

What about you? What would you rather do? Never mind at this point what it would take to get there. If you had to choose, which would you pick?

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Also, thank you to my wonderful friends and family who helped me to realize how much writing means to me after over a year of hardly daring to put words on paper. You know who you are, and I love you so darn much.

Want to specifically know what got me started on the path back to writing? Check out Jackie Lea Sommers’ blog, Lights All Around . Check out her writing, her story, and her monthly meme “Opus on First.” It was a crappy first draft for that meme that got me thinking again. And beta-reading her novel, which I hope gets published soon, because I desperately want to own it.

Are You Awake?

The good news is, if you read my last post, I found a book that can hold my interest. Maybe even awes me a little. Forbidden by Ted Dekker is my latest binge, and I’m almost through it in two days of on and off reading. The bad news is, he stole a concept that I had played with about three years ago, just waiting until I had time to write again before it became anything more concrete and serious. Figures.

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“Pain is in the mind.” Says Inception… a movie about dreams. Hmm.
Snagged the photo from greenteamovie.blogspot.com

Anyway, now that the reading update is out of the way, I want to discuss another topic with you. After dinner this evening, my family launched into a discourse on weird things that humans do on a regular basis. We ended up on dreams, when my brother mentioned that he has felt pain before in his dreams. I have as well, and my dad, while my mom sat by and looked skeptical. She had never had anything like that happen before, and then we debated for a long time whether one had to experience a sort of physical stimulus in order for the brain to misinterpret it as pain, or if it could conjure the idea of pain in the mind, being felt in the dream, disappearing upon awaking. Needless to say, we came to no conclusion.

But that had me thinking: do you think we experience anything during our waking hours that is conjured by the mind? It may not be real at all. Maybe we’re dreaming already, waiting to wake up. Do you think we could experience things differently? Is what we feel, see, think, hear in dreams really so far removed from reality?

I’m not going to go into weird psychological stumblings about whether what we see or not is real. How do we really know what we think we really know, and such. But what if our brain did conjure some things? Oh look, I tied it back to Ted Dekker again. Maybe you all should just read Forbidden. Maybe this would make a little more sense. 

Do you think you’re really awake? Are our dreams as ethereal as we make them out to be? 

How about this: are you ever inspired to write because of dreams, no matter how dumb or uninteresting the initial dream might have been?

Dabbling in Grey

Portrait of Dorian Gray. Cute, I know. Photo from inthegoldroom.com

I would really like to discuss the idea of characters that are dabblers, hiding in the grey area between good and evil.  I think this type of character would be pretty self-seeking, focused mostly in personal gain or even just enjoyment.  He/she would almost have to retain no sense of loyalty, since their motivations may lead them to do something which halts the advance of the hero.  As a result, either that character would have to have to be completely amoral (i.e. not knowing the difference between good and evil) or they would live a life of complete regret and irrevocable guilt.  And yet they would need to have some sort of reward in order for this lifestyle to persist.  We have also heard of characters with the opposite effect, who seem to be mainly evil but feel remorse, or a loved one shows them the error of their ways.

So are characters of this sort possible?  The closest I’ve ever come to finding such a character is in Ted Dekker’s lesser known young adult series, the Lost Books.  In the last two novels, the reader is introduced to Shaeda, a very powerful and mysterious creature whose intentions are uncertain and her loyalties questionable.  While she does help the hero, Johnis, in some few regards, she also has him act against his character and will.  While this may seem like an evil character, yet she wants to ensure that power is not given to the Horde, a group of disgusting, diseased people and the main source of conflict within the series.  So while Shaeda does want to take power from the Horde, she also works to take people’s minds captive in order to fulfill that goal.  Is she entirely evil?  Debatable.  Is she entirely good?  I think not.  Is she at once intriguing and yet annoying?  Indubitably.  Do I want to write one?  You betcha.  Am I currently working on one? …Definitely possible.