Monday, October 12, 2009

Further Secrets Revealed

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.
Natalie asked: What are your ten favorite books (or ten books that you really like--it's hard to choose favorites)?
    That's a brutal question, you know that, right? Okay. Here we go. Ten books I really like.
  1. The Collected Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway
  2. The Cider House Rules by John Irving
  3. The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein
  4. How To Be Good by Nick Hornby
  5. Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan
  6. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  7. Lisey's Story by Stephen King
  8. La Chute (The Fall) by Albert Camus
  9. Noble House by James Clavell
  10. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
Caroline Starr Rose asked: Did the idea spring from your own unique name? I'd love to hear the story of your name. T. Anne also wanted to know more.
  • 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!
Julie asked: My question is if anyone ever recognizes you from your childhood movies?
  • As you already read in the comments... sometimes! And I still get around 6-10 fan emails a year, and they're usually lovely.
Sarah just dropped in to torment me.

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.
The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of Atheism
  • And I think I'd like to be this animal for a while. He looks comfy.
Jungle Mom asked: How many languages do you speak?
  • 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?
Sandy asked: Team Aniston or Team Jolie?
  • 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.
The Writing T asked: If you could go into any one story and completely change it what would that story be? And what would you do?
  • 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


  1. Kalimera Carrie, awesome answers. I could never ask my blog readers to ask me questions about myself because I fear I wouldn't get any questions, so kala for you for putting yourself out there! :)
    You know my novel is set in Greece, right?

  2. This was so fun. It's nice to get to know you better. (And you do have a fabulous name).

  3. What a fun couple of posts. It was great learning all about you. YAY JOLIE! She rocks.

  4. I love how cool your name is! Thank you for sharing all these wonderful things about yourself. LOL re; team Jolie!

  5. Such fun!

    I've been Team Jolie since Hackers.

  6. Foxfire for me. Bonus trivia: Foxfire also stars actress Jenny Lewis. My own family used to mistake her for me when we were young and both doing t.v. commercials. I wonder if her family did the same with me?

  7. Remember when you left a comment on Jody Hedlund's blog last month?

    You won a free copy of The Familiar Stranger!

    Send your mailing address to christina [at] christinaberry [dot] net and I'll get that puppy right off to you. :D

  8. Loved hearing about what CKHB stands for! How fascinating! Great questions and answers!

  9. How fun! I bet your advanced language skills are better than many who consider themselves fluent;)
    My husband is a life time student of Biblical Greek (koine), but it is quite different than modern Greek.
    Thanks for answering!

  10. Nah, not really. You know I love you. And the fact that you were sharp and kind enough at the tender age of eleven to pretend to be a fictional character so as not to destroy the fantasy of a six year old... well that just makes me love you more. :)