Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying all of your questions. Quite a few of them have made me laugh out loud. And I’m learning new things—like the menu at the Space Needle and the ins and outs of Battleship. Also, I’d never really considered whether or not my pets had any odd quirks. Does my fish doing the backstroke count?
Also, can I just say for the thousandth time that Shadow Mountain is the coolest publisher ever? I met with Chris, Patrick (the web specialist), and their consultant, whose name I can’t remember right at the moment, but who was absolutely incredible, to go over the plans for the Farworld website.
In my years of marketing, I’ve found that there are three kinds of marketing people you meet. Those who can’t even do what you ask them, those who can do what you ask, and those that go beyond what you’ve imagined. Shadow Mountain definitely falls into the third category. In talking with Patrick, I let him know some of the things I’d like to do with the site. I really wanted to have it integrate up to date info from me along with community involvement.
I’d like to have a special section for teachers where they can order bookmarks and posters, download classroom aids, and schedule visits. I’d like to have forums and this blog integrated in. I’d like fun extras and info about Farworld and upcoming books. I'd like to have a place where people can upload their Farworld artwork. Essentially, lots of reasons to check in often. And I’d like to be able to update it without requiring a programmer for every change.
Not only were they on top of all my requests. By they went so much further. Imagine a screen where you see a beautiful green valley and as the sun rises, tiny purple flowers rise from the ground. (Sound familiar?) Imagine the Farworld map made interactive. Imagine a site that you actually leap into. Every time I suggested something, they would flip to another screen and say, “Like this?”
Let me just say it is going to be sooooooo cool. Thanks everyone at SM!
Finally, at the suggestions of several of you during our best fantasy series contest, I just read “Amulet of Samarkland,” the first book in the Bartimaeus Trilogy. Wow! It was so much better than I expected. Great story. Great world. Great sense of humor. I can’t wait to read the next book. Honestly the only two complaints I has—and they aren’t really complaints as much as comments—were that the footnotes got old after about the first ten, and this is a book with a twelve-year-old protagonist, but it clearly is not a middle grade book. As an adult I loved it. I think readers twelve and up will probably love it. But it’s pretty tough vocabulary for readers under twelve.
I highly recommend it.