And we have more questions!
Jen Chandler asked: If you could get pulled into any book, unable to come back to your world until the end of the story, which one would you choose and why? Bonus question: What would you do while you were there?
- My first thought was that I needed to pick a book that only lasted a day, so that I could come home to my daughter… but that ruins some of the fun, so I'll assume that this is the kind of magic where even though I feel like I’ve been gone for the length of the book, in real life it’s only been seconds.
- Then I figured I shouldn’t waste the opportunity on some contemporary novel when I could go into a totally mystical realm. After all, I spent a decent amount of my early teenage years making up stories where I inserted myself into the Xanth and Dragonlance worlds. (Don’t ask me how I ended up writing chick lit. I grew up immersed in sci-fi/fantasy/horror, but for whatever reason, my love of reading it has not translated into a desire to write it.)
- Still, I feel that I’ve spent as much time as I need to in Middle Earth and Xanth and some of the more classic realms. The authors gave us multiple books, told the best stories, and I think I’m pretty well satisfied.
- So, I’m going to go with Felix Gilman’s Thunderer. The story is set in an “unmappable” city, enormous and ever-changing, and full of gods. The story is a blast, but part of the point of the novel is that there is so much going on, it can’t all ever be told. In lots of books, the best part of entering the world would be to follow your favorite character around, right? Well, in this book, the city IS a character. I would wander the streets, and in particular I would try to collect information on as many of the city’s religions as I could. If you read it, you’ll know why.
- That's a brutal question, you know that, right? Okay. Here we go. Ten books I really like.
- The Collected Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway
- The Cider House Rules by John Irving
- The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein
- How To Be Good by Nick Hornby
- Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan
- The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
- Lisey's Story by Stephen King
- La Chute (The Fall) by Albert Camus
- Noble House by James Clavell
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
- Growing up with a Japanese middle name definitely played a role in creating this novel; I've always been so proud of it, and I've always found names to be fascinating.
- My first name was picked because my parents just liked it. They were briefly worried that "Carrie" (rather than Caroline) was too much of a nickname, but then decided that if it was a serious enough full name for a historical figure like Carrie Nation, I'd be fine. All through my childhood, though, I was constantly asked what it was "short for."
- My middle name honors my birthplace, Tokyo, and my maternal grandmother, Kay (short for Katherine). My parents chose the pronunciation first ("Kei" is pronounced the same as "Kay") and then found out there were dozens of different kanji with the same sound, all with different meanings. They chose the one that means joy and congratulations, and it can be seen in my profile pic.
- I have a two-word unhyphenated last name. Heim is my family name (German), and Binas is my husband's family name (Greek). Yasou!
- As you already read in the comments... sometimes! And I still get around 6-10 fan emails a year, and they're usually lovely.
Baby Power Dyke asked: What is your favourite question to ask when meeting new people? What is your favourite letter? If you had to choose an animal to be, which animal would you choose?
- Drat. I obviously need to be stepping up my social game, because apparently discussing the weather with new people is not going to cut it. Okay, here's the question I'm going to START asking people: "Vampires or zombies?"
- I'm fond of several letters, actually.
- And I think I'd like to be this animal for a while. He looks comfy.
- Fluently? Just the one. I also have advanced French, advanced-beginner Japanese, and introductory Greek... but school-taught language is never the same as when you live in the country for an extended period of time or have native family, you know?
- Angelina Jolie. You could put pretty much anyone on the other side of that equation, and I'd pick Team Jolie. I mean... come ON.
- This is a tough question because, if I love a story, I don’t want to change it, because even if a beloved character dies, it’s well-written and RIGHT and the way it’s supposed to be. And if I don’t like a story, then I don’t usually spend that much time thinking about how to fix it, I just move on. As much as I love editing, I’d rather write something of my own from scratch than try to repair something hideously flawed written by someone else.
- Okay, here’s one. I hate the children’s book Eloise. I think she’s a vile brat and that nothing nice should ever happen to her. I would rewrite that book to make Eloise a terrifying cautionary tale. Edward Gorey, anyone?
Tomorrow: closure on our October poll