Thanks to fellow blogger Cheyenne van Legenvelde for tagging me to answer these questions! Cheyenne is a Christian musician and writer, and a wonderful friend, and you can find her as The Dancing Bardess on Wordpress.
Now, let’s have a look at these questions.
Oh wait... there’s rules?
Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog. Done that.
Include the Book-Lover Blog Tag graphic and rules in your post. I don’t seem to have the graphic, hm. Sorry, folks.
Answer the questions. That was... the general plan.
Nominate at least five new bloggers to do the tag. I do not know five bloggers well enough to attempt this, so nope! But if any bloggers reading this want to try it out, feel free to do so. ;)
And it’s on to question one!
1. What is your favorite thing about reading?
I love the immersive experience of entering and learning to understand a different world — whether it be the setting that’s different, or just the characters. But especially I love to see and feel and live vicariously through the characters.
Good, juicy world-building in fantasy stories particularly tickles my sweet spot.
2. Which male character is your favorite?
*shriek* FAVORITE? Are you trying to torture me? Everyone knows that “favorite” is taboo where books are concerned!
I will select for you a (note the indefinite article, a) favorite character.
And the choice is... Marcus Flavius Aquila from Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff.
I almost went with Phaedrus the gladiator from another book by the same author, but Marcus is more of a perennial favorite. Phaedrus, whom I met just a year ago, will have to stand the test of time a little while longer.
I love Marcus because he’s so young but has to deal with so much. His soldier’s upbringing and Roman heritage play importantly into his behavior and character, and are inextricably entwined with them, yet he is more than that; he’s a fantastically developed character who never gets old to read about, and every time I read him he’s fresh and ready to rediscover.
Plus, he is so cute with Cottia.
3. Which female character is your favorite?
Ahem, I’m pretty sure we went over this... no favorites! For this one, I’ll go with a more recent love: Rémy Brunel from The Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling. Rémy’s blend of survival outlook and youthful appeal is impossible not to root for, and captivated my skeptical eye from the first.
4. Who is your favorite villain of all time?
I always come back to Saruman from The Lord of the Rings. He’s fascinating, believable, and chillingly human. A great example of the corrosive lure of power.
5. Who is your least favorite character of all time?
I would say someone from The Great Gatsby, but the truth is that all those characters blended together into one general mash of dislike in my head, and I can’t say I actively hate any of them.
I genuinely dislike Eragon, the titular character of the same series, but something’s holding him back from least favorite.
Aha! I’ve got it!
Alice Tuckfield, A Murder for Her Majesty. Not only is that entire book a disgrace to the name of historical fiction, Alice is the most whiny, unsympathetic protagonist I have ever read. She behaves like an indulged brat and not the self-reliant nobleman’s daughter she’s evidently supposed to be. Her temper is disgusting, and... okay, I’ll spare you the rant.
6. Which book do you think has the strongest plot?
I’m not a big plot critic. Unless the holes are really glaring, or I already hate the book, I’m willing to go the “explain-the-hole-away” route. I do love to see mystery done well in any book. The feeling of all the threads coming together at the summit is glorious. One book that does this marvelously is On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, the first book in the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson. So much blinding wonder all at one go, eeeek.
7. What gets on your nerves most in a story?
Poorly researched historical fiction. “Strong female characters” that do nothing but complain about their lot in life under their patriarchical society, sass people, and whack the world with swords to show how strong they are. Forced character development.
8. Which book you own has the best cover?
I don’t actually own that many books. Most of them are family property. Of those I do own, I wouldn’t even know where to start. Books are pretty. Most book covers are aesthetically pleasing in one way or another, and each one is suited to its own story. Do I judge the cover of a middle-grade Christian fiction by the same merits as an epic fantasy novel?
Here, have a picture of some of the books I own. Y’all can judge for yourselves.
9. Do you let people borrow your books?
I do, because siblings are hard to say no to. That doesn’t mean the state the books return in is always happy.
10. If a movie could be based on any book, what would it be?
How about mine? Ehehe...
Truthfully, movie adaptations are usually the last thing on my mind when I think about any book. Plus, I have a solid distrust for them — I’ve yet to see a movie better than the book. (The Princess Bride is the sole exception to the rule.) And finally, a lot of the books that come to mind already have adaptations! So I’m going to fall back on yet unpublished books that I’ve read — books by talented, hardworking authors who deserve to get in the spotlight as much as any of the mainstream people — and say The Fourth Piper. I know the author as Brianna D. or Tweeter109, and The Fourth Piper is a masterpiece of visuals that I can see and sense so plainly, they ought to be on film. The drama and mystery of the story would adapt beautifully to a movie script, and the unforgettable characters would be able to come to life as vividly as they speak on the page.
*sighs dreamily thinking about it* Whew! Only two questions to go.
11. Which author has inspired you the most?
Hard questions, precious, hard questions they ask us! It’s really unfair to list just one. I have a great trio that has stood in the backdrop of my mind for years now: J.R.R. Tolkien, Rosemary Sutcliff, and Agatha Christie.
I seek to imitate Tolkien’s dedication to his depth of world, especially in languages, and to write with his simplicity that conveys so much more than it says on the surface.
Christie taught me how to paint unforgettable characters, even with broad strokes, how to tell a gripping story, and all the potential in dialogue.
Sutcliff has inspired me in countless ways. I think in Sutcliff-isms when writing, which is really impossible to explain without taking an essay to do it. If Christie taught me how to stick a character in someone’s head, Sutcliff taught me how to root them there. I learned from her what to pass over and what to pay attention to in the narrative. How to make something matter without dwelling on it for long, and vice versa. And most of all, how to make the story beautiful without softening the reality.
12. What single book would you be unable to live without?
I am quite certain that I would not cease my life functions if deprived of books. But then, are we talking memory erasure? Obliteration of the book from existence? There are far too many variables in this equation to give a solid answer with the information provided.
And with that dose of salt, I bid you all a good day! I hope you enjoyed this look at my taste in literature. Tune in next Tuesday for some fun… Q&A with characters from The Journey!