I don’t do many of these quizzes, but since I’m on vacation overseas and I feel the need to write and post something, here it goes. I learned about this through Hanna Givens in her Things Matter blog. Her blog talks about a whole bunch of stuff, whether it’s her own writing, comics, science fiction or whatever else. Check her blog out here.
- What is your favourite book?
That’s a loaded question for me. Generally I don’t think in favourites when it comes to pieces of entertainment, with video games being the sole exception. I generally think more in favourite characters. Some of my favourite characters include Garrus from Mass Effect, X-23 of the X-Men (Wolverine’s clone/daughter/genetic twin), Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) of the Avengers, Han Solo of Star Wars, Batman and Ellie from The Last of Us.
That said, my favourite novel series right now is Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series.
- What are your goals? For the year? For your life?
For this year, my main goal is to find a literary agent, which I’ve been working on since November and I plan to intensify my search once I return home. I also hope to find a full-time job, or at least move into a full-time position at work, and to lose a bit more weight (I weigh 30 less than I did at one point, but wouldn’t mind losing a bit more).
For long-term goals, I hope to get my novel series published. That’s the main one at this time.
- Are you a writer? If so, tell me about your work.
I’m mainly working on a series with the working title “Blood Rage”. It could be described as James Bond with vampires and werewolves, and the first book takes place during the First World War (1916 to be exact). The three main characters have to stop an all-out war between the vampires and werewolves that would take place in Transylvania, which at the time was about to be invaded by Romania. I’ve written at least the first draft of the first seven books, and am gearing up for book 8 (which I’ll probably write in July). The first book is about as ready to send to publishers as it could be (it’s been professionally evaluated and fixed up based on the editor’s feedback), and the second isn’t far behind.
I have plenty of other ideas in mind and will probably write one of them for Nanowrimo this fall after I write book 9 first. If I do, you’ll probably hear about that one when I do start writing it.
- If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Well, I’m currently on vacation in England and Scotland (I’m writing this very sentence in the highlands). I would say some of the parts we didn’t have time to see here, but that would be lazy. I’ve also been to Italy, several Caribbean countries, some of the north eastern states, Florida (mostly for Disney World or a couple days while waiting to go to the Caribbean), and much of Canada (including both coasts). Of the places I haven’t been, my top three choices are Germany, Transylvania and New York City (in no particular order).
- What was the last movie you saw in the theatre and was it worthwhile?
Avengers: Age of Ultron (in England before it released in North America). It was completely worth it, even with the unfavorable currency exchange rate.
- I’m curious, are there any books that you’ve tried to read and simply couldn’t finish? This is a no judgement zone.
Surprisingly, not yet (at least since I got back into reading books in 2013). I did start reading the Silmarillion at one point and stopped, but at the time I had problems in my life that made it difficult to enjoy anything. Don’t worry, it was just a slump and I’m feeling pretty good these days. I should start it over sometime and try to finish.
- Are you currently working on a new book/project right now? If it’s secret, you don’t have to tell me about it. If so, however, I hope it’s going well.
I’m sort-of in the planning stages to do the second draft of Blood Rage 3 (which was my second novel for Nanowrimo 2013). I’m both excited and nervous about revisiting this book, because it was experimental in a sense and there are a couple chapters I disliked even as I wrote them. There are also some big history-related changes I’ll have to incorporate into the plot (which could actually improve the book’s main themes if done right). I won’t describe how though; I’m not ready to discuss the plot for any sequel online yet.
- If you could live in any of your favourite books, which one would you choose?
The thing about both science fiction and fantasy universes is, while they’re often fascinating to read about, they’d be terrifying to live in. Take Star Wars for example – how likely would it be that you’d be a Jedi, or a famous member of the rebellion. You’d much more likely be a subject of the Empire. And if you were a Jedi, you’d either live a hard life in the order’s prime time, or you’d be hunted by the Empire. Neither of those sound like fun, and that universe would be one of the easier ones to live in.
The Marvel Universe is so full of buildings being destroyed, supervillains launching all sorts of deadly attacks and even superheroes who take their violence too far – it would be a pain. Being a superhero wouldn’t be much better, since most of them are disliked by the public. Gotham City in the DC Universe would be worse.
My favourite novel series, Kate Daniels, is basically a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by magic and filled with demonic creatures with snake beards and immortal rulers with all sorts of nasty ways to either control you or kill you. Being a were-hyena could be fun … unless you go loup (permanently feral) and the other shapeshifters are forced to kill you.
I would choose to remain here and continue enjoying my favourite fiction for now. That said, the world of Harry Potter would be alright when there’s no wizard war going on.
- Are there any book-to-movie adaptations that you think are just incredible? That you absolutely hated?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been really good so far, even with the hiccups of Thor: The Dark World and The Incredible Hulk. Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings is very good, even if Christopher Tolkien and some fans of the book strongly dislike it.
As for hated, the first thing that comes to mind is Man of Steel. Don’t get me wrong, I like Superman. I enjoyed Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman and his Action Comics run. I still enjoy the Christopher Reeve Superman Movies, even the 4th one in its silliness. Come on, Nuclear Man is so silly and hardcore he’s awesome.
Superman is supposed to be the prime example of what every superhero should aspire to be, and the same goes for us. I hated what Zack Snyder did to Superman as a character. Man of Steel Clark doesn’t seem to have any regard for the average person’s safety. In his first fight with Zod, he tells the civilians to go inside for safety, and then proceeds to throw Zod’s men into said buildings and even blows up a gas station. Later on, he’s destroying entire city blocks while dueling with Zod, and don’t even try to tell me the city was evacuated; do you have any idea how long it takes to evacuate a major city. For further evidence, there were people still in the train station. The worst scene for me is where Jonathan Kent died – everything about that scene is wrong. Everything from Jonathan needlessly throwing his life away, the contradictory lessons he gave Clark beforehand, to the fact that everyone else hid in the tunnel. Do you know what a tunnel does during a tornado? It creates a wind funnel, making it the worst place you can possibly be during a tornado. You would think those who live in tornado county would know that.
Anyway, I’m done ranting. I’m sort-of cheating with this since it’s a TV-show to movie adaptation, but The Last Avatar is also terrible, and both X-Men 3: The Last Stand and X-Men: Wolverine Origins are betrayals to the X-Men franchise. I disliked both of them before I started reading comics.
- What do you look for in a book that you want to read? What’s the first thing to capture your attention?
For novels, it depends. Sometimes I base it on recommendations from other bloggers, sometimes I google for specific kinds of books and read a few reviews to find a good one. The Incredible Hulks: Abominations was one I found in a flea market for $1 and being a comic-related book, and that was enough for me. And of course every now and then you have to read something famous, be it a classic like Frankenstein or a recent hit like the Harry Potter series.
- If you’re an author, what do you do when you first get an idea for a book?
Write it down when possible. I even have an app on my phone (Evernote) that automatically syncs to my computer should I come up with an idea away from home.
- How do you feel about different genres? Romance? YA? Sci-Fi? Poetry? Do you have any favorites? Any least-favourites?
I tend to read Sci-fi and fantasy more than anything else, but I can generally enjoy anything so long as it’s good. I’m saying this as a guy, but romance can genuinely move me if it’s well-written and not cliché-driven … like most romance books are. Same goes for movies, games and comics. I may own more action movies and comedies than anything else, but I can enjoy a well-made romance, a good drama and a thought provoking piece. I’m not ashamed to mention my sizable Disney DVD and Blu-ray collection.
- If you could meet any writer in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
I’ll answer with one living author and three dead ones because I’m indecisive. Living – Stan Lee, because he is the man in so many ways. Dead – then I’d choose Shakespeare, Bram Stoker or CS Lewis. Shakespeare because, well … he’s Shakespeare. Bram Stoker because he created Dracula, and as someone who is writing a story that takes a lot of influence from his book (even if the rules in my universe are different), I could learn a lot about his intentions by talking with him. CS Lewis because not only did he also create a rich fantasy world, but as a Christian who occasionally dabbles into apologetics I have a lot of respect for his religious related work. It would be killing two birds with one stone. By the way, I went to the pub where Tolkien and Lewis used to hang out with other writer friends. There will be pictures.
- Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
I like them both equally. I live and breathe fiction in general, but I also enjoy learning about the world whether it’s history, science or just random facts.
- Are there any characters that everyone loves that you can’t stand? Or vice versa?
The more I read with Wolverine in it, the less I like him, but that doesn’t really count since I don’t hate him. I don’t really like Iron Man, although I like Robert Downy Jr’s portrayal of him. Honestly I can’t think of anyone. There are plenty of loved characters that I’m indifferent towards, but most of the characters I don’t like are polarizing or relatively unknown.
- What do you like to do besides reading/writing?
I like working out, gaming, movies, working with computers and playing sports with friends.
- If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
- What is your favourite guilty pleasure book?
I don’t really have any guilty pleasure books. Instead of weaseling my way through this question though, I’ll admit to watching and enjoying all of the Land Before Time sequels. Yes, all 12 of them. 7 of them I watched for the first time in my adult life.
- Do you have a reading goal set for this year?
To read at least 2 books every month I’m not writing, with a cycle of 2 novels and 1 non-fiction. With those novels, I’ll read 1 Harry Potter book and 1 Kate Daniels book out of every 4 novels until I finish each series. Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix will be by far the longest book I’ve ever read when I get to it in the next few months.
- Tell me anything about yourself that I haven’t asked. Random fact. Weird human trick. Whatever.
My pet peeve at work is customers who ask what aisle they’re in.
Usually you’re supposed to tag a bunch of other bloggers with this, but since I’m on vacation and the internet in this hotel sucks, I’ll just say anyone who reads this and wants to answer these questions for yourself, consider yourself tagged.