Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Questions, Websites, and Bartimaeus

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.


KT said...

Ooh! I love Bartimaeus. I'm glad that you did too. I agree that the footnotes got a bit old - but I'll admit that I had to try real hard not to cheat and read them before I got there because they are almost always funny.

DesLily said...

wow! sounds fantastic that they are doing all of this for your book! But then I do think it will be a hit!

I love, love, love Bartimaeus!! Fantastic sense of humor.. really bad when you laugh out loud lol.. I wish he'd do another series using him!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh! That is an excellent series. You're sure the enjoy the next two.

Unlike yourself, I loved the footnotes. Maybe it's because I've already read a number of authors who use them to great and/or amusing effect. Jasper Fforde does that, and Garrison Keillor. In fact, Keillor wrote an entire chapter of "Lake Wobegon Days" in the footnote to another chapter. It stretched across dozens of pages!

Becky said...

I'm excited to see your website. Based on and, it's going to be great.

I also loved the Bartimaeus Trilogy. I think the first book was my favorite.

Crystal Liechty said...

I'll have to pick up Bartimaeus. Right after I finish Farworld, which I am currently neglecting my child for because I can't put it down.

Jaime Theler said...

The Bartimaeus trilogy is one of our family favorites! Check it out on CD, too. The actor who does it is incredible! Please tell me you've read Artemis Fowl. That's another classic.

Anonymous said...

Bartimaeus rules. And the footnotes were wonderful. He's for good readers. Many middle grade readers are able to read at his level. I think the ones who read well can read books like that and they just miss some of the stuff we older people enjoy. But the book is still enjoyable to them. That's my guess, anyway.


And young Artemis Fowl is also great.

About websites: I went to Obert Skye's the other day. Wow, I loved it. Loved, loved it! So I believe you when you say your guys are going to do good things for you. I can't wait to see yours. When will it be up?