Thursday, 20 November 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week

As it is free week I've decided to have some fun and share with whoever is reading my posts my old attempt at writing a-Rita-Skeeter-type of article about Ginny in Witch Weekly Magazine, under the section 'Fashion Flops'. Here it goes:

Miss Ginevra Weasley, 19, shocked the gathered witches and wizards as she struck a pose at the Ministry of Magic Annual Charity Ball in  an offensively extravagant gown and a matchless Pygmy Puff-style clutch. "It looked like she made it herself," said one of the guests of honour, outraged by such a ghastly display.

Many of you, of course, remember her as the girl who captured Harry Potter's heart, breaking hundreds of other hopeful and, undoubtedly, more deserving hearts in the process. And, by the looks of it, she isn't going to stop there, if her recent fashion antics are anything to go by.

"I don't know who she's fooling," said Pansy Parkinson, who was also in attendance, "but if she was going for class, then she shouldn't have purchased what looked like a multicoloured knitted rag from a Muggle second-hand shop. But then again, the Weasleys have always been notoriously poor and I sincerely hope that she'll benefit from this ball. After all, its purpose is charity."

Meanwhile, the staff of our magazine wonders what Harry Potter himself thinks of his girlfriend's abysmal lack of style and is deeply concerned whether it will not damage his public image. We believe and we are sure that our readers and fervent admirers of Mr. Potter will agree that he deserves a more suitable candidate for his heart than a flighty Quidditch player.

So what do you, guys, think? I mean to say, I'm pretty sure that wizarding newspapers and magazines wouldn't pass up a chance to write some scathing articles about Ginny.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Rejection №3

Alas, another rejection!

Dear Farida,


Many thanks for your patience in waiting to hear from us. We have read this with great interest. We are however sorry to say that after careful consideration we are not able to offer you representation for your work. Due to the high volume of work that we are receiving we are having to be extremely selective about the work that we choose to represent, and we are only able to take on very few authors at this time. We apologise for the disappointing response and as this is such a subjective industry we would strongly recommend that you send your work to as many other agencies as possible. We are sure that you will find the right home for this and we wish you every success in doing so.


Best wishes

I didn't have the chance to post Rejection №2, because I never got it in written form, which is in accord with the agency's policy regarding manuscripts they don't want.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Курс "Як видати книгу" у Львові


На минулих вихідних (1-2 листопада) я відвідала курс «Як видати книгу», що проходив у Львові від організації Центр літературної освіти. Незважаючи на те, що я пишу переважно англійською мовою, іноді мені кортить написати щось рідною - українською - мовою. Мені здається, що українська мова якнайкраще підходить для чарівних, магічних, феєричних, загадкових та казкових жанрів літератури — тобто, саме для таких жанрів, яким я надаю перевагу у своїх мріях, творах, казках та (майбутніх) романах. 

Звісно ж, мені було дуже цікаво дізнатися якомога більше про те, як видаються книжки в Україні, як працюють видавництва, як контактувати з видавцями, як проходить процес книговидання, промоутингу, і таке інше. Для мене було несподіванкою дізнатися, що в нашій країні існує хоча б один літературний агент, бо до цього часу я й гадки не мала, що вони в нас взагалі є. Чомусь ніхто ніколи про них нічого не каже і навіть не згадує. Як з'ясувалося, вони все ж таки є, але їх дуже і дуже небагато. Крім того, я дізналася, що видавництва надають перевагу роботі напряму з автором, без посередників (мовляв, таким чином видавництвам легше маніпулювати авторами). 

На відміну від європейської та американської системи книговидання, у нашій країні автор може звертатися безпосередньо до видавництва та видавця, і я вважаю, що в цьому є свої плюси. Але, з іншого боку, я так зрозуміла, що в нашій країні існує зовсім невелика кількість дійсно активних видавництв, які, окрім власного прибутку, також орієнтовані на просування авторів. Але, разом з тим, я зробила для себе декілька чарівних відкриттів. Наприклад, в нас є такі видавництва як «Видавництво Старого Лева» та «Смолоскип». Які гарні назви! 

Мені дуже сподобалось слухати різних спікерів, серед яких були автори, видавці, головні редактори та навіть літературний агент, бо кожен представляв якусь окрему ланку книжкової справи, що надало можливість подивитися на цю 'кухню' з різних боків та дізнатися деякі таємниці різних видавництв. 

Також я познайомилася із авторкою, яка вже надрукувала свою першу книгу (роман-фентезі) і яка планує надрукувати цілу серію книжок. Все, що я почула і побачила, підштовхнуло мене нарешті зважитись та зробити те, про що я дозволяла собі тільки мріяти як про щось примарне та недосяжне — я вирішила почати писати українською мовою. Наразі я вже почала перекладати одну свою невеличку казочку з англійської на українську мову із метою спробувати видати її в Україні. Що ж, побачимо, що з цього вийде!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week

Where would you live as a witch/wizard?

I think that being a witch it would make sense to live among wizards or at least as far away from muggles and their sharp eyes as possible. I just can't imagine what it would be like to be cautious all the time, to watch my every move and conceal my magic so as not to break the Statute of Secrecy or bring about something worse. I mean, what about taking my Crup for a walk or having a couple of Nifflers around? Growing pumpkins the size of a garden shed? Playing an occasional game of Quidditch with my friends?

The Burrow

Luna's house


Shell Cottage
At the same time, I've noticed that most of the wizarding houses that we've encountered throughout the series - The Burrow, Shell Cottage, Luna's house, Grimmauld Place, Malfoy Manor - stand in seclusion and isolation from the wizarding community; some of them not far away from muggle villages or else smack in between muggle houses. Of course, in terms of distance from work and other wizarding dwellings and places it doesn't matter, because there are different means of transportation that will get you anywhere you want in a blink of an eye, but I think it would be extremely lonesome in any of such places unless your family was as large as the Weasleys or you had an imagination as rich and vibrant as Luna's. But even Luna is starved for friends!


Malfoy Manor

So, taking it all into consideration, I think I would prefer to live in a wizarding village like Godric's Hollow or Hogsmeade or, at the very least, not far away from one of them, where I wouldn't have to hide my magic and be near other witches and wizards.

Happy Birthday to me))


+
warm slippers and a bath-towel))

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week

Quibbler or Daily Prophet?

I have to say Daily Prophet. After all, it is the major wizarding newspaper in England and "it's good to keep up with what's going on in the wizarding world" (Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter One - Owl Post), even if the source of information can be often biased. But isn't it the case with newspapers and other news sources in general, whether it comes from muggle or wizarding world? It did print true stuff when it wasn't under pressure from the Ministry of Magic to keep things quiet and, thankfully, Rita Skeeter is not the only correspondent working there. Ginny Potter worked there as a Quidditch Correspondent and I greatly enjoyed following her reports on Quidditch World Cup that took place this summer in Patagonian desert - just check out Pottermore - it was great. So, on the whole, I believe I would enjoy getting and reading it. I can't find the quote but I think it was Dumbledore who said something along the lines that Daily Prophet is bound to get something right once in a while. Besides, I just can't imagine taking Quibbler seriously and as much as I love Luna I'm so not into Crumple-Horned Snorkacks. However, I would consider it as an alternative source of information (that it actually became for a while) if Daily Prophet continued to print false reports and turn a blind eye on something as important and life-threatening as the return of You-Know-Who.

Monday, 6 October 2014

How do you go about naming seasons and months in a fantasy novel?

This is something that has been on my mind for as long as I have been working on my fantasy novel and I still haven't figured it out. I'm quite sure that I'm far from being original when I say that I want to go with 'moons' instead of 'months'. I understand (or am I wrong in my assumption?) that a lot of authors who write High Fantasy prefer to go with 'moons' and no wonder. I think that 'moon' sounds much more poetic and mysterious than 'month' and, therefore, serves the purpose of furnishing the fantasy world much better. But there are other questions to consider... Should I have four seasons or two seasons? Should I use the established names for them (winter, spring, summer, autumn) or come up with my own? And what about the names of the months? It doesn't matter as far as my novel goes – my characters don't talk about seasons and months - and I think I make it clear that it's set in spring through description. However, as an author I feel it my duty and obligation to know such things.

Many years ago I actually came up with the list of names of the months/moons for the fantasy book I was working on back then - gradually, after years and years of countless drafts and revision, it transformed into the book I'm currently trying to find an agent for. Also, I've recently discovered the list of names of the months given in Farmers' Almanac I hadn't heard/known about before. How come I hadn't, though?! It was established in 1818! That's my favourite time period as far as novel-writing goes - well, as long as the action doesn't take place in the fantasy world of my own creation, of course! Anyway, it turned out that some of them sound kind of similar to mine, which, I suppose, is hardly surprising, considering that I based my names on certain distinctive characteristics of each month and season. So the question is: should I use the established names or my own? The established ones offer a much broader vision and bigger choice than my own, however, I could work on that. In any case, here are both lists:

Month
Farmers' Almanac
(one version)

The name I came up with
JANUARY
Wolf Moon, Old Moon

White Moon
FEBRUARY
Snow Moon, Hunger Moon

Stormy Moon
MARCH
Worm Moon, Crow Moon, Sap Moon, Lenten Moon
Floods on the Run Moon
APRIL
Seed Moon, Pink Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, Fish Moon
Sunny Moon
MAY
Milk Moon, Flower Moon, Corn Planting Moon
Buds in Bloom Moon
JUNE
Mead Moon, Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon, Thunder Moon
Flower Moon
JULY
Hay Moon, Buck Moon, Thunder Moon
Shower Moon
AUGUST
Corn Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Red Moon, Green Corn Moon, Grain Moon
Harvest Moon
SEPTEMBER
Harvest Moon, Full Corn Moon
Yellow Moon
OCTOBER
Hunter's Moon, Blood Moon, Sanguine Moon
Misty Moon
NOVEMBER
Beaver Moon, Frosty Moon

Rainy Moon
DECEMBER
Oak Moon Cold Moon, Long Nights Moon
Cold Moon


I mean, look at all these lovely names! There's enough to choose from without coming up with your own stuff - unless you want to, that is. Then, of course, there is another possibility: to name the moons of the year in honour of female rulers in that fantasy world of mine. But I think I actually tried doing that once and I had to give up in the end, because I found that it was extremely difficult to transform most proper names into the names of the months without them sounding completely ridiculous or awkward.

So what do you do, fellow authors? If you write fantasy that requires name change for seasons and months, how do you go about naming them? Does it even matter in the long run (for readers) what seasons and months are called?