contest conversations, continued…

As JT explained, we’re sorta having a half-way-ish hiatus, a week of traveling for many of us and being swarmed with family for some of us. We’re having a contest and here’s what she posted yesterday:

14 books from 14 authors.

Now that’s a deal.

Here’s what we want to know:

(answer as many as you wish, but only one answer is necessary to be included in the contest.)

 What are you doing for the holidays?

What are you reading?

What topics would you like us to cover in the New Year?

What questions do you have for any or all of us?

 

And then in the comments section, Sylvia asked some questions and I’ll attempt some answers and add some questions of my own at the bottom:

1. Boxers, briefs, thongs, bikinis, hipsters or none? 

I always flunk these tests. Let’s just say I like variety. And sexy comfort.

2. What would you like for your last meal?

I’d never be able to pick, so I’d probably stretch that out to my last day of meals. Like Crawfish etouffee, or my husband’s amazing Shrimp and Corn soup, or maybe ripe strawberries and whipped cream and champagne or… hmm. I’d need at least a week to fit everything in. But the upside, I’d be dead, so I wouldn’t have to worry about calories. 

 

3. What was your first pet and his or her name?

A german shepherd named Kraut that my mom and dad had as a puppy when I was born. I used to ride him around like a pony. He would never let my brother ride. I loved that dog.

 

4. What is the worst lie your parents ever told you?

Well, the one that they didn’t mean to tell was that Kraut was going to go live with my maw maw, because he needed to. (There were vague reasons why that I never fully understood, and I knew that I was being manipulated into confusion on purpose.) I was extremely angry at her for taking my dog, and then when we went back to visit and he was gone, I thought she’d lost him or given him away, instead of giving him back to me. I pretty much hated her for years for that. (He was dying, and my parents thought it would spare me the trauma if I didn’t have to see him die. I can’t say that they were wrong, though–I think seeing him suffer would have been traumatic at that very young age, and if he’d been put down, I’d have blamed them for it and hated them. There was never going to be an easy answer for that one.)

 

5. What’s your favorite curse word?

Fuck fuck fuckity fuck and fucktard and fuckwad and fuckshit. (I am southern. We don’t stop at just one of anything.) (Take that any way you want.)

 

6. What animal do you fear the most? (Must have experience and not just fantasy)

Water moccasins. I have stumbled across them and had them strike at me and I’ve been in a boat with them dangling from limbs above me and let’s just say that snakes are pretty high on my ‘the only good ___ is a dead ____’ list.

 

7. Does it piss you off to see your book in a clearance bin?

Nah, like others said in the comments yesterday, it’s a way for maybe more people to afford to try out my writing and then, possibly, be interested in the next thing. Plus, it’s just a natural cycle of business–very few things last forever.

 

8. What is your definition of hell on earth?

I have to agree with Alex: child molestation.

 

9. As an author, what question are you asked the most that you refuse to answer or deflect the answer?

Agreeing with Zoë, being asked how much money I make. Or the sneakier equivalent, what was my print run.

 

10. What 10 questions do you most want to know about your readers, or us, the commenters? I’ll just add five, since we have some great ones above and in the previous comments.

[Feel free to answer JT’s above, or any combination of these or the ones posted in the comments yesterday. This is a free-for-all rolling conversation.]

1) Who’s your hero?

2) What was the very best day of your life? (Aside from significant others/ marriages and births of children.)

3) If you could go anywhere, right now, obligation-free, without stress, etc., where would you go?

4) Which two characters would you love to see meet up for a road trip? (can be anyone in literature… anyone at all) 

5) If you could pick the traits of a favorite character to adapt in your own life, which character and traits would those be, and why?

I know there are more entries sporadically through the week — and remember, all comments all week long make you eligible for the contest. 

19 thoughts on “contest conversations, continued…

  1. Karen in Ohio

    This is fun.

    1. Jimmy Carter is one of my heroes. He could have stayed out of the public eye when he left office and done nothing much, but instead he built houses for poor people, and has been an ambassador and an advocate for free voting for the last 30 some years. He’s awesome, as is his wife, who has enthusiastically accompanied him in his pursuits. Some thought he was a terrible President, but I think he got a bad rap from the press. Your mileage may vary. πŸ˜‰

    2. Two "best days": The first time I went to Paris, when I was 50 years old, really my first trip out of the US. I cried. The second best day was a year and a half ago when, after more than a year of lessons, I rode with a group in a trail ride up a mountain in Wyoming. I’d never been on a horse in my life until I was 55.

    3. Istanbul, most definitely, and from there a tour of Greece, Italy, and Germany. Most of Europe, really, as long as there are no financial constraints. Sigh. A girl can dream.

    4. Hmm, how about Mr. Macabre and Grandma Mazur? Neither would understand the other, but it would be wild fun.

    5. Anne of Green Gables, for her pluckiness and optimism.

    Reply
  2. Karen in Ohio

    And I have a question for you all, as well: What do you think of fan fiction? Have any of you experienced this phenomenon, and does it anger you or flatter you?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Sylvia

    Yay for questions πŸ™‚

    1) Who’s your hero?
    I don’t know if I have a hero per se. I have great admiration for a few people and most of them you never heard of (nor have I) – anyone working tireless on drugs to cure a childhood disease or cancer. As for people I can name, Carol Sing and if the story doesn’t captivate you then I don’t know what would.

    2) What was the very best day of your life? (Aside from significant others/ marriages and births of children.) This will sound shallow but any day I get on the scale and I was at my ideal weight. OK, I’m still waiting for that day so I’ll go with the day I forgave my mother and instead decided to be grateful for my life.

    3) If you could go anywhere, right now, obligation-free, without stress, etc., where would you go?
    Belgium, to meet my half-brother who has been searching for me his entire life and whom I’ve never met or had a conversation with since he doesn’t speak English and my french is quite bad. I’d need to take my 9 year-old daughter with me to translate. (Since this is a fantasy question I’m assuming I can take a guest with no additional fees)

    4) Which two characters would you love to see meet up for a road trip? (can be anyone in literature… anyone at all) Josephine March meets Madeline Dare. C’mon, that has to make you laugh!

    5) If you could pick the traits of a favorite character to adapt in your own life, which character and traits would those be, and why? Harry Potter – always going forward, wiser from experience.

    Reply
  4. karen from mentor

    I received Atomic Lobster by Tim Dorsey from a friend for Christmas.
    I started laughing while reading the prologue and have NOT stopped.

    Thank you Murderati for sharing so much wit and wisdom in 2009. Looking forward to spending time with you in 2010.

    I wish you all healthy happy holidays!

    Karen :0)

    Reply
  5. Rae

    Oh, boy, more fun πŸ˜‰

    1) Who’s your hero? I have two: my stepfather, and my friend Betsy. They both displayed the quiet, every day sort of courage that I admire the most. They just got on with life, rather than whining about their misfortunes (and very few people, including me, would’ve blamed them for whining – they were dealt bad hands by life).

    2) What was the very best day of your life? (Aside from significant others/ marriages and births of children.) There was a particular day in Paris – I didn’t do anything special, just rambled around, shopped a bit, hung out in cafes. I remember very clearly telling myself to remember it for its utter perfection.

    3) If you could go anywhere, right now, obligation-free, without stress, etc., where would you go? Paris.

    4) Which two characters would you love to see meet up for a road trip? (can be anyone in literature… anyone at all) It would be kinda fun to see how long Joe Pike might last with Stephanie Plum – or vice versa πŸ˜‰

    5) If you could pick the traits of a favorite character to adapt in your own life, which character and traits would those be, and why? It’s a trait that many of my favorite literary characters share – the absolute determination to do the right thing in spite of the consequences to themselves, and in the face of apparently insurmountable difficulties.

    Reply
  6. Allison Brennan

    To Sylvia’s questions:

    1. Boxers, briefs, thongs, bikinis, hipsters or none?
    Depends on what I’m wearing over it . . .

    2. What would you like for your last meal?
    I think I’ll fast. I know too much about what happens at the moment of death . . .

    3. What was your first pet and his or her name?
    A sheltie named Schatzi

    4. What is the worst lie your parents ever told you?
    My mom never lied to me so much as withheld information. I didn’t know until I was an older teen that the dad I didn’t have in my life gave her money for an abortion because he didn’t want another child (he had one from his first marriage), then left the country to avoid paying child support to both of us. Then, when I met my father when I was 19 after I tracked him down, he flat out lied to me when he said my mom never told him about me. His best friend back then, who is my Godmother’s ex-husband, told me he’d always ask how my mom and "the baby" were doing.

    5. What’s your favorite curse word?
    Shit. It covers a lot of ground.

    6. What animal do you fear the most? (Must have experience and not just fantasy)
    Mountain lion. It was 5 months old in a cage and my BIL brought it overnight. When it roared it scared the living shit (see #5) out of me. They are not cute.

    7. Does it piss you off to see your book in a clearance bin?
    No. It only pisses me off to see my books available for illegal downloads. (But mass markets don’t go in clearance bins. They get stripped. That’s not fun.)

    8. What is your definition of hell on earth?
    No comment on the grounds it might incriminate me. JT knows, though πŸ™‚

    9. As an author, what question are you asked the most that you refuse to answer or defect the answer?
    How much money do I make.

    10. What 10 questions do you most want to know about your readers, or us, the commenters?

    Ten? Don’t know that I can think of ten right now . . . but let me try for a few:

    1) Favorite book by a non-murderati author and why

    2) Blended genres (supernatural thrillers, romantic suspense, etc) — yeah, nay, depends

    3) Do you like supernatural stories at all? What does it take for you to suspend disbelief?

    4) What makes you stop reading and never pick up the book again?

    5) On average, how many books do you read a month?

    Apologies if they’ve been asked already . . .

    Reply
  7. Louise Ure

    Happy post-Christmas, ‘Rati! I’m so enjoying these questions/conversations.

    I’ll only answer one today: The worst lie my mother ever told me was "It’s not real until you say it out loud." Sometimes Real comes up and smacks you on the back of the head just when you were sipping that chocolate/peppermint milkshake and didn’t even hear it whisper.

    Reply
  8. Darlene Ryan

    What are you doing for the holidays?

    Cooking, eating, reading.

    What are you reading?

    A cookbook and Unbound (an anthology)

    What topics would you like us to cover in the New Year?

    I’d love to hear more about how you all plot and plan a story.

    What questions do you have for any or all of us?

    What would you do if you if you weren’t a writer?
    What genre do you secretly want to try writing?
    What’s your secret trashy, must-watch TV show?

    Reply
  9. Eika

    Well, let’s see. These are answered in very random order, and the ‘author’ questions not at all (unpublished) but I think I answered most of them.

    Who’s my hero? I hate to say it, but my mom. I’m nineteen, I’m supposed to be past that by this point, but honestly, I can see her as superwoman. Put herself through college by working one full-time and one part-time job (and one part-time job during the school year) and still managed to get grades good enough that she had a free ride her senior year. AND she was a music education major- I don’t know how those people BREATHE. She went to Europe on her own money in High School, got her first job in Canada right out of college, and has constantly had students sending her gifts and writing thank-you notes and visiting to say how awesome she was, even while she’s constantly fighting with the administration to let her do what she does.

    My last meal? Homemade Chicken Wing Soup. Family recipe. *drools*

    My first pet was Tonky. She was a white lab/german shepherd mix. We got her when I was three; her mom, the German Shepherd, was kicked off the police force for being too nice. In her thirteen years of doggyhood, she never bit, never nipped… biggest offense was stealing my toys (when she was a puppy) and stepping on toes. I miss her.

    If I could go anywhere, right now, obligation and stress-free? Most years, it would be Disney World, and I’d bring a few friends. Now, though, I’d go to an army base in Ohio and cheer up my best friend. And if I was asked in a few months, I’d go to whatever medical center in Afghanistan she’s working at.

    Favorite curse? I don’t really swear, but I do say ‘crud’. And a zillion variations on it. "Crazy creepy crudmuffins!" seems to be my exclamation of choice… I don’t know why.

    Animal that I fear? Spider. They. Bite. HARD.

    Hell on Earth is being terrified and helpless. Whatever situation qualifies.

    I would love to see George Cooper and Kit Rodriguez go on a road trip. One is the former king of thieves turned REAL King’s spymaster; the other is a young wizard who can’t lie and can talk to inanimate objects. That would be HILARIOUS.

    I’d like to be more assertive, like Keladry of Mindelan.

    Best Day of my Life? Summer after third grade, some day in July, it was over 100 degrees out and we’d just gotten a pool. Swimming all day with a close friend, then her sleeping over and we spent the whole night awake, eating popsicles made by putting juice in ice cube trays and sticking in toothpicks.

    Reply
  10. Pete

    1) If you could go anywhere, right now, obligation-free, without stress, etc., where would you go?
    Greece and sit in a little theatre at the base of the acropolis.

    2) What makes you stop reading and never pick up the book again?
    Sloppy writing. I can forgive something that may not be well written as long as it has a great plot. But if it’s poorly written, with gaping plot holes, it get’s tossed.

    3) What would you like for your last meal?
    Some good bread, good cheese, olives and a slice of cheesecake.

    4) What are you doing for the holidays?
    Eating and sleeping in.

    Here are a few more questions:

    Do you have any hidden talents?
    Have you ever had a bad encounter with a fan?
    What is the worst gift you’ve ever gotten?

    Reply
  11. B.G. Ritts

    What are you doing for the holidays?
    Staying home for first time in years. My sister is visiting.

    What are you reading?
    From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

    What would you like for your last meal?
    Roast of lamb, baked potato w/sour cream, mixed salad w/honey mustard dressing, chocolate mousse

    What was your first pet and his or her name?
    A barn cat (kitten): Alley

    What is the worst lie your parents ever told you?
    Too old to remember back that far

    What’s your favorite curse word?
    Shit, or bastard-ass

    What animal do you fear the most?
    Paper wasps

    What is your definition of hell on earth?
    child molestation

    Who’s your hero?
    Stephen Hawking

    If you could go anywhere, right now, obligation-free, without stress, etc., where would you go?
    Tie: Iceland and New Zealand, for a waterfalls tour; Europe for a stained glass windows tour

    Merry after and happy before, ‘Ratis

    Reply
  12. Fran

    I read this post this morning before I toddled off to work, and I realized that my answer to the hero question was going to be too long to fit in over here, much less the rest, so I’m afraid I nicked those five questions, Toni, and I used them over at my blog for today’s entry. They’re just great!

    And who knows. I may take Sylvia’s question (with a substitution about the remainered books, obvioiusly, as well as skipping numbers 9 and 10) for tomorrow’s blog.

    Heh. I get to take a week off from blogging and still blog! Youse guys are pretty darned spiffy, helpin’ a gal out that way!

    Reply
  13. Barbie

    I’ll answer all of them because I love surveys! πŸ˜€

    What are you doing for the holidays?
    Time with family.

    What are you reading?
    "Beware a Scot’s Revenge", by Sabrina Jeffries.

    What topics would you like us to cover in the New Year?
    I don’t know. Funny stuff πŸ™‚

    What questions do you have for any or all of us?
    Umm.. Ask Tess Gerritsen what’s her favorite book she wrote, if there’s one that she feels "That’s my best".

    1. Boxers, briefs, thongs, bikinis, hipsters or none?
    None! ;-P

    2. What would you like for your last meal?
    EVERYTHING I can think of!

    3. What was your first pet and his or her name?
    It was a mare. I don’t remember her name.

    4. What is the worst lie your parents ever told you?
    My dad has a daughter he never acknowledged.

    5. What’s your favorite curse word?
    In English? Damn! In Portuguese: "puta que pariu" πŸ™‚

    6. What animal do you fear the most? (Must have experience and not just fantasy)
    Roaches. They’re evil, you know?

    7. Does it piss you off to see your book in a clearance bin?
    I don’t have a book, but I don’t imagine it would.

    8. What is your definition of hell on earth?
    I’ll agree with Toni and Alex: child molestation. It is hell. Believe me, I know!

    1) Who’s your hero?
    I don’t have one, actually. I know lots of people who’ve done lots of amazing things. But a hero? I don’t have one.

    2) What was the very best day of your life? (Aside from significant others/ marriages and births of children.)
    January 4th 2007. It was just a fun, fun, fun carefree day!

    3) If you could go anywhere, right now, obligation-free, without stress, etc., where would you go?
    That’s a hard question. Maybe England?

    4) Which two characters would you love to see meet up for a road trip? (can be anyone in literature… anyone at all)
    Karen Rose’s Kristen Mayhew and Karin Slaughter’s Sara Linton.

    5) If you could pick the traits of a favorite character to adapt in your own life, which character and traits would those be, and why?
    I have NO idea! I’d really love a photographic memory, though.

    1) Favorite book by a non-murderati author and why?
    Karen Rose’s "I’m Watching You" because it’s the book I’ve identified the most in my life, characters are perfectly written — both main and secondary.

    2) Blended genres (supernatural thrillers, romantic suspense, etc) — yeah, nay, depends
    Yay! I’m ALL for romantic suspense!

    3) Do you like supernatural stories at all? What does it take for you to suspend disbelief?
    I like them sometimes.

    4) What makes you stop reading and never pick up the book again?
    When the writing just doesn’t flow.

    5) On average, how many books do you read a month?
    It REALLY depends on the month. It can vary from none to 20 books. It really depends! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  14. Allison Brennan

    Great questions Darlene!

    What would you do if you if you weren’t a writer?
    — Be miserable still working in the Capitol.

    What genre do you secretly want to try writing?
    — Hmm, that’s hard because I’m writing what I want to write with the supernatural thriller series. I do have an idea of a historical suspense novel set in San Francisco/Sacramento in the late 1800s taking a couple historical events from different time periods and setting them in the only area that I’d feel at all comfortable writing historically. When you’re raised in California, California history is pummeled into your head, and having five kids who all have to go through 4th grade California history helps πŸ™‚

    What’s your secret trashy, must-watch TV show?
    Hmm. I don’t have any secret shows, but my guilty pleasure is CASTLE.

    Reply
  15. Catherine Shipton

    #1
    Growing up, I always had a bit of a thing for Ghandi. The type of purposeful tenacity he displayed stands out to me. Then I found myself laughing like a fiend the other night as a new to Australia episode of Supernatural came on and Ghandi comes flying out of nowhere in a very non-pacifist way. The ensuing fruitarian commentary just added another layer to my awe. Mmm blending an actual hero mixed with an irreverent take by the Supernatural writer’s and actors. Heroes.

    #2
    I remember a snippet of a day as my best day, but it was actually more the distilled moment from a good day where I felt giddy with freedom. I was floating in the Gulf of Mexico and realised that my kids were safe and happy on the other side of the world…all my bills were paid, I had nothing else to do but float on my back in the sea, and occasionally take notice of the very handsome man with me.

    #3
    This question has seriously done my head in a bit since I read it yesterday. It made me realise how much I interfere with being able to go anywhere without stress, without worry. It’s amazingly scary how many conditions I place on myself to get things in order before enjoying myself…although I can do it as evidenced by the above answer.

    #4
    If I could blink and be there I would love to go to Germany and see if I have a similar genetic memory thing happen like I did in the town where I was, um conceived…I’m adopted and had a strange recognition to a place hundreds of miles away from where I grew up when I was about 9. It was like my soul went meerkat and just sat up and went um whoa, these are your people…

    #5
    I would love Tess of the d’Urbervilles to have a good sit down and chat throughout a road trip with Taylor Jackson and then get a do over.

    #6
    Sometimes in my quest clean organised house through yet another stint of more uncluttering, I’d like to be a little more like Reacher and travel light through life.

    #7
    I’m stopping at this many. I read easily a book a day. Sometimes more. I speed read. Can’t help it…just is what it is. I read across genres and sometimes see ‘literature’ as its on genre so to be fair I go there too. I’m an equal opportunity reader. I read like I wear perfume. I make choices based on mood. So if I’m in the mood to suspend belief yeah I’ll fully engage in a supernatural book. Demons, vampires, ghosts, sexy ghosts, scary arse ghosts…et al.

    I am repelled however, by the hyper marketing of the Twilight series. Conceptually I also do have issues with rainbow freaking vampires…I may be the only one that does though.

    Reply
  16. Catherine Shipton

    I lie.

    #8
    Courtesy of Mr K Bruen I learnt to love the word ‘focker’. It punctuated almost every city traffic encounter I had last year. I felt it had more impact if it just rolled off my tongue in a non-confronting manner…just calling it as I saw it ya focker. Thanks Mr Bruen.

    Reply
  17. Dana King

    Geez, I step away for a few days and a lot of stuff happens. I’ll try to catch up by combining several answers here.

    What am I reading?
    Finished James Lee Burke’s SWAN PEAK on Christmas Day. Started Charlie Stella’s SHAKEDOWN this morning.

    Best day of my life.
    Hard to pick one, but the day spent at Yellowstone Park with my daughter in 2008 is tough to beat.

    Last Meal?
    Porterhouse steak with mashed potatoes and peas covered in white cream sauce. Mello Yello to drink, if any can be found.

    Favorite curse word
    Cocksucker, for all the hard consonant sounds.There’s no way to say it without sounding like you mean it. Runner-up: Jagoff. Sounds disdainful no matter how, or when, it’s expressed.

    What should the Murderati write about in 2010?
    Keep up with the diversity. I like not knowing quite what to expect every time IU come in here.

    Happy New Year to all.

    Reply
  18. Jill

    What are you doing for the holidays? I stayed home and unfortunately ended up helping with a couple of memorial services.

    What are you reading? U is for… by Sue Grafton. I always like to read something reliable during the Christmas/New Year week.

    What topics would you like us to cover in the New Year? What, if anything, is off-limits in your writing? (Hurt kids, dead pets, etc.)

    What questions do you have for any or all of us? Does blogging help or hurt your novel writing? Not thinking of sales here (I’m an example of blogging helping your sales, since I try to support the authors whose blogs I enjoy by buying their books) but more of the actual novel writing itself. Do you feel like coming up with regular blogs has an impact on it?

    Reply

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