Sunday, September 20, 2009

Attention Winners!

Hi Gang,

Back after a brief hiatus. We'll be starting interviews again next week -- yeah! But for now...some unfinished business. We've got some winners who are missing their prizes!

Make sure to check back to see if you have been a winner of a contest in the past few months. Some of the winners haven't sent in their addresses, and without your addresses, we can't send you off the books. Maurice may be a genius, but he's not psychic...

So, hollering out to a few winners here. If your name is on the list below, send your address by email to my scribe:   kcdyer[at]telus[dot]net.

And your prize will be winging its way to your door.

Right now we're looking for:

Bunny B and Llehn -- for THE RUNAWAY DRAGON by Kate Coombs


Beautyxinsanity [also tweeting as @tegan19] -- for Kelley Armstrong's THE SUMMONING.

We'll give you a couple of weeks and if we haven't heard back, we'll do a re-draw from the remaining list of entrants. So check in soon!

~Darby [and an impatient Maurice, paw tapping....]

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Winnahs -- Lightning Strikes!

My scribe kc dyer is posting from Toronto tonight. She's had a busy week with her job as contest coordinator at the Surrey International Writers' Confererence, so this post is going to be a brief one.

Our comments were low for this contest, so Maurice and I are breaking with tradition and giving a book to all the commenters. Take that those who forgot to read and enter this week! Lucky lightning strikes for the winners!

So congrats to both Bunny B and Llehn! Send an email to my scribe HERE and your prizes will be off to you before you know it!

And stay tuned for a special Labour Day re-drawing for our Kelley Armstrong book.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Darby Speaks...with Meg

And we celebrate together! Today is the launch day for THE RUNAWAY DRAGON, the second in a rocking funky-fairy tale series of stories by Kate Coombs. I was lucky enough to be able to pin main character Princess Meg down for a moment on her busy day, and get her to answer a few questions.

That's Meg in the picture to the left, riding her magic carpet beside the ferocious Laddy the Dragon!

Here's our interview:

Darby C: Hey Meg -- You are some rocking princess! With your busy life, have you ever considered taking up skateboarding?

Princess Meg: We don't skateboard much because the castle has too many stairs, plus the stone floors are kind of bumpy. And the cobblestones in Crown are bumpy. So are the dirt roads in the countryside, and then in the enchanted forest, you have to watch out for tree roots. I think maybe a dirt bike would work better. I'll have to ask my friend Lex if he can make up a spell for a dirt bike!

DC: Hey, a dirt bike would be really cool! Now, my story [A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW] is all about how different people came to live in Canada. Tell me a little about where you grew up and where you live now.

Meg: I'm the only daughter of the king and queen of Greeve. I was born in the castle, and I've lived there ever since. But it's not as boring as it sounds because there's a forest nearby with a witch living in it. Her name is Gorba and she's very good at turning princes into frogs. Then on my quest to get Laddy back, I came across an even better forest. It's enchanted, and it's full of surprises. You have to be careful about drinking from the streams, though, or you might end up craving acorns and living in a tree.

DC: What is your family like? Besides Laddy, do you have any pets or siblings?

My parents worry too much about me getting into trouble, just because of the bandits and that one prince last year. I think my mother is a little smarter than my father, but he's in charge of everything. I sort of have a pet. Well, not anymore. I had a pet dragon named Laddy, but he grew up a little and got mad at me, so he flew off. First he scared everybody in the castle, which upset my father. (I secretly thought it was kind of funny!) I just got back from a quest to find Laddy.

DC: Cool -- a quest! Now, I've read your story THE RUNAWAY PRINCESS, and you certainly have a lot going on in your life. What has been the scariest thing you have ever faced so far?

Meg: It was scary when I thought Prince Evilness was going to hurt my parents, but that was last year. This year, I went looking for Laddy and ran into a real giant, also a teenage sorceress with black fingernail polish and a vile castle where she kept a lot of people prisoner. The giant wasn't as scary as Malison. There was this time when everything was really, really bad. But it turned out okay. No thanks to Bain!

DC: Grrr. I remember that Bain! So can you tell me what has been your most favourite, greatest adventure?

Meg: I finally got to go on a quest! The boring part is that my parents sent all these guardsmen with me to keep me safe. But they drank the water in the enchanted forest, and then Lex and I got lost, so that changed things. I LOVED going on a quest! Even if Malison kept trying to conquer everybody.

DC: Okay, so apart from questing, do you have a special skill or talent you’d like to share? Especially if it's secret -- spill the beans!

Meg: Ha! Ask my friends if I'm any good at magic! Well, what I'm best at is statesmanship, but it doesn't work every single time. I'm really kind of bad at magic, but sometimes bad is good, you know? Secretly? Oh. I can do that thing where you make armpit farts. Cam taught me how.

DC: Hey, I can do those, too! Aside from Cam, who would you say is YOUR favourite fictional character?

Meg: My mom used to tell me stories, and there was this one about a prince who was trying to kill a humongous dragon so he could rescue a girl, the kind who flutters her eyelashes a lot. But I liked the dragon best. I have a soft spot for dragons, even though everyone I meet tells me their favorite food is princesses.

DC: I've heard that THE RUNAWAY DRAGON is the second in a series of novels written by Kate Coombs. Can you tell me something about her?

Meg: Kate Coombs? She writes stories and poems, and sometimes she writes book reviews in a notebook she calls Blog. Kate likes fairy tales, so she keeps making them into books. When she's not writing, she goes off and teaches sick kids. But the classes she teaches aren't like mine. No swordplay, not even dancing and statesmanship! (Let's not talk about etiquette lessons. Blech.)

DC: She sounds pretty interesting, actually. After THE RUNAWAY DRAGON ...can you tell me a bit about what's next?

Meg: I wouldn't mind going on another quest. I could go east instead of south! But I'd find a way to go without taking any guards. Just my friends this time, definitely. Only first I have to wait for Kate to finish the new book she's writing. It has a witch, too, but the witch is young, not like Gorba. And she's not nice. (Gorba is very nice, unless you're a prince.)

DC: Okay, so now I really want to read the new witch book! If I want to learn more about you (or Kate Coombs) on-line, where can I look?

Meg: Kate's always talking about a magical place called the Internet, is that what you mean? She says her address is, but personally, I think that just sounds like her name. Maybe it's a spell for opening the magic Internet door. Kate says tell you to read a story called "Half the Kingdom," it's really funny. She put it in her Internet house.

DC: Awesome. I'll go look for it right away. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me on your busy launch day, Meg!

And to celebrate Meg's new novel, I think it's time for a contest. If you'd like to win a signed copy of her latest novel, THE RUNAWAY DRAGON, leave your name in the comment section. This time -- how 'bout telling me which you'd rather be -- a Funky Princess like Meg or a Wild Dragon like Laddy...or maybe you like one of the other characters best. Tell me why and you'll be in the draw to win a prize!

As usual, if you tweet or blog about our contest, your name will go in an extra time. Because this interview went up on a Tuesday instead of the usual Monday, Maurice and I will give you an extra day to enter. So deadline will be this Saturday night. We'll draw the prize winner and announce it on Sunday. Until then...keep reading!


Saturday, August 22, 2009


Yipes -- busy day. Will have to type fast to get this posted before midnight!

Maurice dipped his paw in the hat, and...

The winner of the first Caitlin Decter book, aka WAKE, by Robert. J. Sawyer, as well as a copy of A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW is....

Lou Prosperi!

Congratulations, Lou!

Email my minion: kc dyer at telus dot net and claim your prize! (It'll help if you include your mailing address...)

Thanks to all for playing along! And a huge thank you to Caitlin and her own minion of choice, Robert J. Sawyer, for their collective good sportsmanship.

We'll have a teaser up tomorrow for this week's interview and contest -- be sure to check in and see who's up to chat with me next!



Author kc dyer is off to read my story today at Summer Dream Literary Arts Festival in Vancouver's Stanley Park today. [She'll be reading at 4:30 if you are able to swing by...!].

Read more about it on her blog HERE.

And when she returns -- Maurice and I will announce the winner of the Robert J. Sawyer / kc dyer prize package!

See you tonight.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Darby Speaks...with Caitlin

Did you guess?

This cryptic hint comes from the cover of the Very Cool Story...

WAKE, by Robert J. Sawyer.

Now, I interviewed Mr. Sawyer himself earlier this year, and I have to say that the accompanying contest was one of the more popular ones here at Darby Speaks. So, just for fun, we're going to run another one!

This time, I'll be interviewing Caitlin Decter, the main character in WAKE. And if you want to win this week's prize pack, consisting of a signed copy of WAKE, and a signed copy of A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, just leave a comment below.

Caitlin's creator is one of the most prolific Science Fiction writers in Canada, so to win a prize, leave a comment with the name of your favourite Robert J. Sawyer character.

Contest closes this Friday, August 21, 2009 at midnight. On Saturday, Maurice and I will throw all the names in a hat and draw the lucky winner.

Want to double your chances? Link to the spot where you've tweeted or blogged about this contest.

And now...let's welcome Caitlin Decter!

Darby Christopher: Hey, Caitlin - You grew up with a challenge out of most people's worst nightmares -- you've been blind since birth. But reading your story, it seems there's nothing you can't do. Have you ever considered taking up skateboarding?

Caitlin Decter: Hah! Maybe I will now. I do feel like I can do just about anything. I've never liked the word "handicapped." I may be blind, but I'm not going to let that, or anything else, stand in my way.

Darby: Go you! If you ever need an expert helper, I am SO there. Now, my story, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, is all about how different people came to live in Canada. Tell me a little about where you grew up and where you live now.

Caitlin: My dad is a theoretical physicist. He used to teach at the University of Texas in Austin, but then he got offered a job at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It was his dream job, and he has a hard time being happy, so it made sense for us to move here. I miss hearing people speak Spanish, I miss really hot water, and I miss my old friends at the Texas School for the Blind -- but I'm looking forward to seeing snow!

Darby: If you end up in Waterloo, I bet you'll have all the snow you could ask for! Can you tell us a bit about what your family is like? Do you have any pets or siblings?

Caitlin: My parents only had one kid -- me! I guess the figured that be no way to top that, hah hah. I do have a cat, though: his name is Schrodinger, 'cause the physicist Erwin Schrodinger had a famous thought experiment about a cat. I like having a cat -- he likes to be petted, and I like the way he feels.

Darby: I bet you Schrodinger and Maurice would really get along. Or maybe not -- you can never tell with cats, eh? Now, I've read your story WAKE, and you certainly have a lot going on in your life. What has been the scariest thing you have ever faced so far?

Caitlin: Honestly, I think it was the school dance. Boys! They can be SUCH jerks. :) But I'm getting used to handling them -- just so long as they don't try to handle me! I sometimes think my friend Bashira has it easier than me, 'cause her parents won't let her date.

Darby: Yeah, I know my fair share of weird boys, too. But some of them are okay, I guess. So in all your experiences, what has been your most favorite, greatest adventure?

Caitlin: Going to Japan! OMG, that was amazing. I couldn't see it, of course, but I could hear it and smell it and taste it, and it was wonderful. So many people! I've never been anywhere that crowded in my life! But I'd love to go back. I miss it, and I miss my friend Dr. Kuroda, who lives in Tokyo.

Darby: I've never been to Japan, but I've heard it's awesome. But when you're back home, do you have a special skill or talent you'd like to tell us about? Especially if it's secret -- spill the beans!

Caitlin: Um, well, I haven't told anyone this -- not even Bashira! -- but, actually, I can see the World Wide Web. Something went wrong when Dr. Kuroda wired up the implant he put behind my retina, in hopes of curing my blindness, and instead it shows me this view of webspace, of what all the interconnections look like. It's awesome! And it makes me happy being the only one who can see it -- it's like it's my special place.

Darby: Holy crow, Caitlin -- that is SO cool! I wish I could see it, too. Listen, I know you sometimes read with talking books or braille. Who is YOUR favourite fictional character?

Caitlin: Sherlock Holmes! I love reading about him, and his ability to solve mysteries. He's so intelligent! I wish he'd use more math, but he's still really cool. But, you know, truth is stranger than fiction, and my favorite book is THE STORY OF MY LIFE by Helen Keller -- she's my hero!

Darby: So you like fiction AND non-fiction, eh? Speaking of fiction, I've heard that WAKE is just the first in a series of novels written by Robert J. Sawyer. Can you tell me something about him?

Caitlin: Rob is awesome! He's pretty old, but he really seems to understand what it's like to be a teenage girl -- and I hear he was blind for six days when he was a kid, so maybe that's helped him understand me a bit. I wish he'd lay off the corny puns, though. Puh-leeze!

Darby: After WAKE ...can you tell me a bit about what's next? What plans have you and Rob been hatching?

Caitlin: After WAKE, it's WATCH -- featuring more of the adventures of yours truly, Caitlin Decter, aka Calculass! And after WATCH, there's WONDER, which Rob is supposed to be working hard on right now *looks at Rob*. I'm in all three, but so is Dr. Kuroda, my mom and dad, and Hobo -- who is amazing! He's an ape who paints pictures of people. I can't wait to meet him!

Darby: If I want to learn more about you (or Robert J. Sawyer) on-line, where can I look?

Caitlin: Rob's all over the place: Facebook, Twitter (as RobertJSawyer), the web (, his blog (, and there's a good entry on him on Wikipedia, too. Me, I'm on Facebook and LiveJournals (as Calculass) -- friend me there! Oh, and check out for some cool stuff about me!

Darby: Wow -- that's amazing, Caitlin. I can't wait until the new WATCH book arrives and I can read more about your adventures. Thanks for chatting with me today!

Well, Caitlin fans....there you have it. All the secrets you never thought you'd know about Caitlin and Rob Sawyer, too! So now it's your turn. Spread the word -- blog and tweet about this contest, and enter yourself, by leaving the name of your favourite Robert J. Sawyer character in the comments below. Contest closes Friday night -- ready, set....GO!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Wee Teaser....

I've got a new interviewee all lined up for tomorrow's blog...

ho in the World Will it be?

Heh heh.

See you tomorrow!


Saturday, August 15, 2009


Here is the beaming, enthusiastic face of Maurice, my Nan's cat.

[Neither beaming, nor enthusiastic, actually. More like brooding and mysterious.]

Nevertheless, Maurice is prepared to announce a winnah of the Linda Gerber /Aphra Connolly summer six=pack prize package!

And the winner is... A Flight of Minds!


Congratulations, Flight. Send my staff [aka kc dyer] an email with your mailing address, and the prize will be on its way to you, asap.

You can reach her here: kc dyer @ telus . net. Just take out the spaces and there you have it!

You can read kc's blog HERE, if you're interested.

Many, many thanks to Aphra Connolly and HER staff writer Linda Gerber for granting us the interview and donating a book to our draw.

Stay tuned for another interview and contest, coming on Monday! We're getting into the rhythm of a contest a week here at Darby Speaks -- so if you didn't win this week -- try, try again. And remember, your name goes in the draw a second time if you blog or tweet about our contests.

See you Monday -- and congrats again to A Flight of Minds!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Contest Closes at Midnight tonight!

Which gives you one more hour to enter your comment to win a Linda Gerber novel -- DEATH BY BIKINI. Check out my interview with the Amazing Aphra!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Darby Speaks...with Aphra

Hey, hey hey -- it's interview day!

I'm actually posting at a reasonable hour, too -- before midnight, dontchaknow. So after announcing our amazing contest last night, I am all ready to sit down and have a heart to heart with Aphra Connolly. Aphra is the star of a series of novels by Linda Gerber: Death by...Bikini, Latte and Denim. These adventures have taken Aphra all over the world, and I'm anxious to hear all about it.

So without further ado...welcome Aphra!

Darby Christopher: Hey Aphra -- You grew up on a tropical island, and lately it seems you are on the run a LOT. Have you ever considered taking up skateboarding?

Aphra Connolly: Someday. Might come in handy for a fast getaway. I've never tried a skateboard yet, but I have surfed. Same general concept, right? (Ha!)

Darby: Yeah, well I've never ridden a surfboard, so I guess we're even. aphra, my story, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, is all about how different people came to live in Canada. Tell me a little about where you grew up and where you live now.

AC: For a while I lived in South Carolina, before my dad and I moved to a private island resort where I lived for four years. I'm not allowed to say where I'm living now. Not good for the whole undercover thing...

Darby: Oh, yeah -- we can't have you blowing your cover! But can you tell us a little bit about what your family is like? Do you have any pets or siblings?

AC: It's just my mom, my dad and I. Not always together, though.

Darby: Yeah -- that's got to be hard for you. I've read your stories and you certainly have a lot going on in your life. What has been the scariest thing you have ever faced so far?

AC: Probably being shot at by an on our island. Or, wait. The plane crash. That was pretty intense. But so was being chased by double agents. And... well, I can't tell you the rest.

Darby: Yikes! What has been your most favourite, greatest adventure?

Looking back, it was probably being stuck in the cave with Seth. I know, it doesn't sound like much fun - especially the crawling through bat guano part - but that's where I really knew I liked Seth, and that he liked me, so looking back, I wouldn't give up a second of that night.

Darby: Even with the bat guano it was pretty romantic, I have to admit. Do you have a special skill or talent you’d like to share? Especially if it's secret -- spill the beans!

AC: I don't know about talent, but I do speak a lot of languages. The Finns have a name for someone who can learn languages quickly; they call that person a kielipaa. It means language head, and it's considered a special skill, so I guess it could qualify.

Darby: A language-head, eh? Maybe you could help me with my French homework... By the way, who is YOUR favourite fictional character?

AC: There are too many to choose from! I can relate to Cami Morgan from the Gallagher Girls series, so I'll go with her, although I really have a lot of other faves.

Darby: Hey, I like Cami, too! Now, Aphra, I've heard all of your 'Death by...' books are written by Linda Gerber. Can you tell me something about her?

AC: She's a kind of frazzled mom-type who lives in Ohio. I don't see her much recently, mostly in spurts because she's got, like, four kids and a dog and she does a lot of traveling around. I like the traveling part because then she can give me some really interesting locations to hang out in.

Darby: After Bikinis, Lattes and Denim ...can you tell me a bit of an idea about what's next?

AC: For me? I'm taking a breather (except that all three books will be making the rounds of the Scholastic Book Fairs this year.) Linda's working on another project before she can spend more time with me (*pout*). It's a paranormal YA called TRANCE and it's about a couple of sisters who reluctantly receive premonitions through trance writing, and what goes wrong when one of them misses a message. It comes out next spring.

Darby: Whoa -- the TRANCE book sounds pretty cool! If I want to learn more about you on-line, where can I look?

AC: You can check out Linda's website at You can also find Linda's blog: or follow her on facebook: or on twitter:

Thanks so much, Aphra. It's been great getting to know you a little better!

And for those readers out there who'd like to find out about Aphra's latest adventures, now's your chance. The contest is officially open! Just enter your suggestion for another of Aphra's DEATH BY.... adventures, and maybe give us a little plot description. If you tweet or blog about the contest let us know and we'll throw your name into the draw an extra time -- more chances to win.

The prize pack consists of a signed copy of DEATH BY DENIM, a signed copy of A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW and a summer cooler for a six pack of your favourite root beer. Who can resist a summer prize pack like that?

Maurice the cat and I will do the draw next Friday night after midnight [his favourite time of the day....]. We'll announce a winner on Saturday, August 15th.



CONTEST! Win a Linda Gerber novel!

Time slipped away from me today, a little, and I'm posting in the wee hours of Tuesday morning...but let's all just pretend it's still Monday night, shall we?

Because Monday is the day to announce our next contest! This one's a summer six-pack special.

No, no -- not THAT kind of six pack!

This week I'll be interviewing Aphra Connolly, star of DEATH BY BIKINI, DEATH BY LATTE and DEATH BY DENIM. This girl's got a lot of death in her life!

To celebrate the interview which will take place right HERE tomorrow (!) let's do something a little different. You may have read some of Aphra's adventures already...or you may have been waiting for this very opportunity to win one of her books. For the purposes of our contest, it doesn't matter a bit.

In order to win, all you have to do is suggest a title for Aphra's next adventure. If you feel like it...give us an idea of what you think she should get up to.

Maybe...DEATH BY TWITTER, where Aphra gets sucked into the evil world of 140-character messages. Or perhaps DEATH BY CHOPSTICKS, where Aphra and her mom solve a mystery in San Francisco's Chinatown.

You pick the title, enter it in the comment section of this posting, or the post of the actual Aphra interview and you'll be entered to win! The prize package this week? A summer six-pack cooler (perfect for toting that Diet Coke down to the beach), a copy of Aphra's latest adventure DEATH BY DENIM , and a copy of my own latest book, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW.

As usual, if you blog or tweet a link to the contest post, we'll put your name in the draw an extra time. More chances to win!

Okay -- I'd better get off to bed so I can be fresh as a daisy for interviewing Aphra tomorrow. And YOU need to be thinking up book titles. Ready? Go!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

From Aphra!

Great week last week, first having a chance to chat with Chloe Saunders, and then watch the fun of vying for Chloe's first book THE SUMMONING [plus my latest book, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, too].

Congratulations again to the winner!

And now, onto this week's interview. Tomorrow, Aphra Connolly will be in the house! Those of you who are fans of Linda Gerber's DEATH BY... series are in for a treat!

Of course, they'll be a contest as well. Sit tight and we'll see you right here tomorrow night!


Saturday, August 8, 2009

We have a Winnah!

This is Maurice. Remember him? He's my lucky cat, and he's someone else's lucky cat, tonight, too, because...

we have a winner of the Kelley Armstrong/kcdyer book package!

Maurice carefully numbered all the entries, giving a double chance to those who tweeted or blogged about the contest, and after many hours of hard labour, his paw was pointing at...

beautyxinsainty (who also tweets as Tegan19)


Now, if you send kc dyer an email here: [kcdyer at telus dot com], and include your address, she'll make sure that SIGNED copies of the books are winging your way sooner than soonish.

Huge thanks again to Chloe Saunders for the fantastic interview and to Kelley Armstrong for letting Chloe come out to play, AND donating a signed book to our prize package.

And spread the word -- we'll have a new interview and contest up on Monday! See you then.


Check out kc dyer's blog HERE. She also tweets sweetly @kcdyer

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Darby Speaks with...Chloe Saunders

Chloe Saunders has a problem. She sees dead people. And they see her back.

So when I had a chance to interview this amazing character from Kelley Armstrong's DARKEST POWERS series...I jumped at it! I mean, come ON! This girl knows her way around a zombie!

Before I introduce Chloe, a reminder that if you leave a comment on today's post, you'll be eligible to win our grand prize package -- a copy of Chloe's first book THE SUMMONING, and a copy of my latest story A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW. You can read all about the (very few and easy) rules of the contest HERE. And don't forget to tweet or blog about it for an extra chance to win!

And now, without further ado...please welcome the amazing Chloe!

Darby Christopher: Hey Chloe -- I know you are trying like mad to fit in as a regular high school kid. Have you ever considered taking up skateboarding?

Chloe Saunders: Rae is the skateboarder in our group. I tried it once at one of my new schools, and fell flat on my face. Really didn't help me fit in.

DC: Well, it does take practice, that's for sure. So, my story, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, is all about how different people came to live in Canada. Tell me a little about where you live.

CS: I live in Buffalo, New York. That's where I was born and I've never left. Never stayed in one neighborhood long either, though--Dad likes to keep moving. I like Buffalo well enough, I guess. It's kind of rundown in parts, but people passing through always see just those parts, and it has some really cool spots too.

DC: Hey -- Buffalo, NY is just across Lake Ontario from Toronto, where I live! Cool. So, aside from moving around a lot, what's your family like? Do you have any pets or siblings?

CS: No pets or siblings. I'd like a pet. Not so sure about brothers and sisters. It's just me and my dad, and he's not around that much. His job takes him all over the world, so I'm stuck home with the housekeeper.

DC: That's got to be a bit lonely for you. But I guess you've got other things on your mind! I've read your story and you certainly have a lot going on in your life. What has been the scariest thing you have ever faced so far?

CS: The scariest thing I've faced? Definitely waking up with a zombie crawling over me. I knew I could raise the dead if I was summoning close to a body, but this time I was just dreaming about summoning! Now I'm afraid to go asleep, in case there are any dead animals nearby. Not a power I ever wanted, that's for sure.

DC: Holy crow -- that's amazing! Other than the whole zombie thing, what has been your most favourite, greatest adventure?

CS: Most of my adventures involve narrowly escaping being killed or captured for a science experiment, so they weren't exactly fun. But while it's my greatest adventure, one of my favorites was escaping the lapdog from hell. We were hiding from the Edison Group, and there was this little dog nearby. It smelled Derek--he's a werewolf--and went nuts, and we were afraid it was going to give us away, so I had Liz go in the backyard and toss a stick for the dog. The thing is, Liz is a ghost--a poltergeist. So all Derek could see was this flying stick with the dog chasing it. You should have seen the look on his face! It kept the dog quiet until we could get away, though.

DC: Really, Chloe -- you have the most INTERESTING friends! Do you have a special skill or talent you’d like to share? Especially if it's secret -- spill the beans!

CS: Does a not-so-secret talent for getting into trouble count? My greatest talent is screen-writing. I want to be an action movie writer/director when I grow up. Well, that was my greatest talent, until the whole talk-to-the-dead and raise-the-dead thing started...definitely not talents I want. I'd much rather be writing scary movies than living them!

DC: Me, too. Sometimes my life feels like a scary movie, so I agree with you completely. Who is your favourite fictional character?

CS: In books, it's Hermione from Harry Potter. I'm not that bossy, but I loved the way she could take care of herself (and take care of her friends).

DC: I like Hermione, too. That character was written by J.K. Rowling. I've heard both of your books were written by Kelley Armstrong. Can you tell me something about her?

CS: Kelley is Canadian and much older than me. Things we have in common? We both love to write, though she likes books more than screenplays. And we both stutter, which meant she knew how to write that part about me and how I feel about it. And the high school she went to was called Saunders, which explains my last name!

DC: Kelley's an incredible writer. I've heard she writes for adults and kids -- THAT takes talent! I know you've explored your Darkest Powers in THE SUMMONING and THE AWAKENING. Can you tell me a bit about what's next?

CS: Up next is the last book in the trilogy, THE RECKONING, coming out May 2010, where my story will wrap up (for now) and I'll get a bit of a break. Then Kelley's switching to a new supernatural teen for book 4, which will be about another Edison Group experiment--yep, those guys are into a lot of stuff...none of it good.

DC: Oh, I can't wait to read the next one! If I want to learn more about you on-line, where can I look?

CS: I have my own website I also have a MySpace page ( and a LiveJournal page ( ) though right now my blog has been taken over by Derek, who's telling his story.

DC: Awesome! Lots of places to find you on-line. Thanks for joining me today, Chloe. It's been great to get to know you!

Now, all you Chloe fans out there, don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win! Tell us the name of your favourite character in a Kelley Armstrong book. It can be any book, Chloe's included. Who would you most like to meet -- or be most afraid to run into in a dark alley?

Comments accepted until midnight this Friday, August 7th. Winner to be announced by the faithful Maurice the cat on Saturday!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

CONTEST! Win a Kelley Armstrong novel!

Here's your chance to win a copy of THE SUMMONING, the first in the Darkest Powers Trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

Kelley's star character, Chloe Saunders, will be interviewed right HERE in this very blog tomorrow, Sunday, August 2, 2009.

To celebrate this interview, and Chloe's new book THE AWAKENING, here's your chance to win. In the comments section of today's post (or tomorrow's, if you'd rather) leave a message indicating who your favourite Kelley Armstrong character is, and why. If you'd like to do a little research, you'll find Kelley's site right HERE. Chloe has her own site, too -- right HERE.

You can get yourself a second chance to win by tweeting or blogging about the contest. Just make sure to link back to this blog so I can see you've helped spread the word, and an extra shot at winning will be yours!

Contest closes next Friday, August 7, 2009, and the winner will be announced Saturday. the winning entry (name picked at random by Maurice, the random cat) will recieve a copy of THE SUMMONING by Kelley Armstrong, AND a copy of A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, by kc dyer.

So check out the interview with Chloe tomorrow, right here. And get your name into the contest -- before time runs out...


Friday, July 31, 2009

Hola!!! Darby's Back.

Well, well, well. Took a bit of an extended blog vacation there, but I'm back, skaters. Got a whole pile of interesting things on the go.

For tonight, though -- here's a link to a bunch of cool skate parks in the Seattle area. There are FIFTY ONE sites listed here -- amazing resource for those living, visiting and skating in the Pacific Northwest.

This list was compiled by Belva Lane, and for her efforts, we send her a round of karmic applause. Thanks, Belva!

Keep your eyes on this blog, gang. Interviews start this week with a bang...and a contest! I'll be interviewing the amazing Chloe Saunders, star of THE SUMMONING and THE RECKONING, by the incredible author Kelley Armstrong. I'll be posting the interview Sunday night...but details of the contest will go up tomorrow.

Catch you then!

~Darby...back from vacation and ready to blog!
[awesome image of skateboarders takenin China by ernop, and subject to creative commons licence for fair use]

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hey Cupcake!

Calling all cupcakes!

Well...actually just one Cupcake in particular.

Still haven't heard back from our last winner -- drop my assistant and all-around dogsbody kc dyer at line at to collect your prize, cupcake!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cupcakes and Chloe....FTW!

For The Win (ner)... of our Kendra Contest, of course.

But first...Maurice:

With a swish of his tail, he has swept a name out of the hat. And the winner is Cupcake!

Congratulations, Cupcake. Send an email to my scribe: kcdyer at telus dot net with your address and both of Kendra's books will be winging their way to you.

In related news, Cupcake suggested 'Chloe Saunders' as a potential interview subject, and I mentioned I didn't know her name. Well, I do now! I was at the bookstore yesterday, and discovered Kelley Armstrong's new series. Now, it turns out that my scribe happens to know Chloe's for Cupcake's sake, we'll see if we can get an interview happening.

However, prior to that, there will be a slight pause in operations, as my aforementioned scribe (kc dyer...yeah, she's the one) is off on a research jaunt to London, Edinburgh and points north in Scotland for a couple of weeks. I may pop in for a visit while she's gone, just to create a little havoc, but otherwise -- see you in June!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Darby Digs Cool Skateboard Decks...

...some real beauties to be found HERE. (via boingboing).

Have you entered to win our Kendra give-away yet? Don't forget -- Friday night's the draw, so get those entries in before 8 pm, PDT. If you blog about the contest -- your name goes in twice!

Details HERE, of course.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Kendra Kandlestar Interview...and a taste of contemporary Tlingit Art

Getting great feedback from the Kendra Kandlestar interview -- lots of good creatures from Een being suggested, as well as other interview subjects.

I'm very happy to report I have the prize for this week's draw sitting beside me on the desk -- two freshly-signed copies of Kendra's chronicles -- the Box of Whispers and the Door to Unger. Check HERE for rules to enter -- and remember, every time you blog (or tweet!) about this contest, we'll throw your name in the draw an extra time.

In news of a more Darby-related nature (it IS my blog, after all!) I found some amazing images on flickr of book-sculptures by artist Nicholas Galanin, with Tlinglit and Northwest coast-inspired imagery. Amazing! In my story, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, I visit the ancestors of the people of the north, and there is some tlingit language used in the telling of the story. For more on artist Nicholas Galanin, check out his website HERE.

Don't forget to enter the contest -- deadline is this Friday!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Darby Interviews Kendra Kandlestar -- and a new contest is born!

Okay -- here we go! Welcome to the first in a series of interviews I will be doing with characters from some of my favourite books.

Today, I have the pleasure of talking to someone who has the most amazing adventures (not to mention the coolest hair I know)

...Kendra Kandlestar.

Darby C: Yo, Kendra --welcome! I know you come from the land of Een. Do they have skateboards there -- and if they do, have you ever ridden one?

Kendra Kandlestar: Er...well I've never heard of a skateBOARD, but my friend Ratchet (he's a famous inventor in the land of Een) once built something called a skateBORED. It was this sort of plank that you stood on when you went ice skating, but because Ratchet didn't actually like ice skating, the skatebored let you doze off or daydream while it carried you about. But Ratchet's inventions sometimes, problems-and the skateboreds always ended up getting so bored themselves that they would whirl around in circles and crazy figure eights at top speed, trying to find a little excitement. So lots of Eens were mad at Ratchet. He said he just needed to work the kinks out of the skatebored-but he ALWAYS says that.

DC: Ha! That sounds like a pretty cool contraption, all the same. Now my story, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, is all about how different people came to live in Canada. Tell me a little about Een -- the land you come from.

KK: The land of Een is a quiet, secret place tucked between the cracks of here and there. Professor Bumblebean says lots of folks from the outside world have tried to find it-but you can't because of the great, invisible magic curtain that seals us off. You can only pass through the magic curtain if you're an Een or Een animal. Of course, that was before Burdock Brown, the leader of our Elders, sealed the curtain altogether and now NO one can get through. We're having some interesting times these days in Een. But otherwise Een is a marvelous place with all sorts of sights. There's the Elder Stone (where the council meets), the Een library (where books grow on trees) and the Rainmaker's Rhapsody (a magic garden filled with songbells that chant limericks and other types of music).

DC: Bummer about nobody being able to get in! I would love to go to Een. Tell me, what is your family like? Do you have any siblings?

KK: It's just me and Uncle Griffinskitch. My parents and my brother disappeared when I was a baby, but no one-not even Uncle Griffinskitch-likes to talk about that. I guess they disappeared while traveling outside the magic curtain and it's all a big mystery. Of course, on my last adventure I did manage to discover what happened to my brother, but...well, I'm not supposed to talk about it. We could get in a lot of trouble from Burdock.
DC: Yeah -- we don't want that. Now, I've read your story and there's a lot going on around you. What has been the scariest thing you have ever faced so far?

KK: Well so far I have faced Rumor the Red Dragon and the Wizard Greeve (he was ghost behind the Door to Unger). You can't leave the land of Een without running into all sorts of creatures. I've met skarm and skerpent, Ungers, Goojuns, Izzards, and Krakes. And Dwarves are a pesky lot, especially Pugglemud. But I have to tell you that the most frightening thing I've ever had to face was myself.

DC: Really? I guess to understand, our blog-readers will have to take a look at your books! So what has been your greatest adventure?

KK: There was something special about first leaving the land of Een to go and search for the Box of Whispers. I was only eleven and it was my first time away from home. But when I went to seek the door to Unger, I ended up all by myself, and that was pretty high adventure. As for my greatest adventure of all, it was probably when I journeyed to the Rumble Pit.

DC: Ahh. Yeah, that was a cool adventure! Kendra, do you have a special skill or talent you'd like to share?

KK: Uncle Griffinskitch has decided to take me on as an apprentice, so now I'm going to learn the art of Een magic. But I had to wait until I turned twelve-that's the age in the land of Een when you are apprenticed to a master.
DC: An apprentice, eh? That sounds amazing! If you had to pick, who would be your favourite fictional character?

KK: I like mostly Een legends and myths, my favourite these days being the story of Anoora and Kojo, two young Eens who fell in love and wanted to marry. Anoora's father, an important Elder of Een, forbid their union, so Kojo and Anoora deciped to elope. They agreed to meet in a secret place across the River Wink in the middle of the night. But Anoora's father discovered their arrangement, and locked the girl in her chambers. Kojo waited all night for his love, but of course she did not come. Kojo was never seen again. Some say he died in the woods as he awaited Anoora, while others say that he left Een, his heart broken and his hope shattered. The place where he waited for Anoora is now known as Kojo's Hope.

DC: Eep. That's pretty sad, Kendra.

KK: Yeah. BUT, if I had to pick a book from your world, I would pick any book that discusses the land of Oz.

DC: I like those characters, too -- Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion, the Wizard and the Tin Man. I've heard all of your books are written and illustrated by Lee Edward Fodi. Can you tell me something about him?

KK: He's a bit of a wizard himself because he writes and illustrates stories that involve characters, well-me! I heard that most kids call him Mr. Wiz and that when's he not busy talking about my story, he helps kids make up their own through workshops.

DC: Yeah, I've seen a picture of him in his wizard hat. I'll try and find it to add to this post. So, Kendra, I know you've explored the Box of Whispers and the Door to Unger. Can you tell me a bit about your newest adventure?

KK: I need to go find the Rumble Pit. It's this arena where that nasty Queen Krake makes all of her prisoners-different mythical creatures she's captured-fight for her amusement. Effryn Hagglehorn the Faun told me that my brother has been forced to fight there. I need to find him! I need to get him back. But I'm going to need some powerful magic to help me I think. I'm not sure my Eenwand will be enough.

DC: Oh, that sounds awesome! I can't wait to read it. If I want to learn more about you on-line, where can I look?

KK: If you want to know more about Mr. Wiz, look at

Thanks so much for talking to me today, Kendra. And to celebrate your visit, we're going to have a special contest.

Check it out: I happen to have signed copies of the first two books in Kendra's series -- Kendra Kandlestar and the Box of Whispers and Kendra Kandlestar and the Door to Unger. Now, to win these books, you need to do a little bit of work. Hie yourself off to and click on the 'between the cracks of here and there' section. Find the list of creatures from Een -- and bring back the name of your favourite creature. Post it in the comment section, and Maurice and I will do a draw for the signed copies of the first two Kendra Kandlestar chronicles.

We'll do the draw on Friday, May 15th, so get your choices in before 8 pm and you could win! (And, as with all our contests, if you blog or tweet about this post, we'll enter your name TWICE in the draw.) What have you got to lose?

While you're leaving your comments, be sure to let me know any other fictional characters you might like me to interview. I'll do what I can to make a connection!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A New Era Begins...

Well, sorta....

I've decided to try something new. You know, when I'm not skateboarding or playing on my X-box, I have to confess I read a lot. So, now with the power of the blog at my fingertips, I've decided to take advantage, and interview some of the cool characters in the books I enjoy.

So this week, I'm heading out to meet one of my favourite citizens of Een -- Kendra Kandlestar. You can look for my interview with Kendra in the next day or two -- and I'm pretty sure you'll have a chance to win a book in the bargain.

Keep your eyes on this blog to find out more about Kendra and to get a chance to win!


Friday, May 1, 2009


This original artwork, commissioned for this blog, as painted by artist (and author) Lee Edward Fodi, illustrating the use of negative space.

Okay, it wasn't actually commissioned for this blog. It was borrowed, after a special presentation Lee made yesterday.

Of course, considering the subject matter, it's not likely I'll return it. The chicken is skateboarding, after all. And it's not just any chicken. It's a portrait of the artist's first pet -- a blind chicken, named Cynthia.

Cynthia never really skateboarded. But you'd never know it from the painting!


Friday, April 24, 2009

And the Winnah..... drawn by the pointy claws of Maurice the cat...


Please email kc dyer at telus dot net and she can talk details.

Thanks to all for waxing poetic. A new contest next week !


Thursday, April 23, 2009

One more day -- Skateboard Haiku Contest Closes Tomorrow!

I think the title of this post just about says it all.

Get your haiku in before tomorrow at 6 pm. Winner will be posted after 8 pm.

Details HERE.

Maurice and I can't WAIT to pick the winner!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Skateboard Haiku Contest Continues...and MORE!


Not as good as Jacquie's!

The skateboard haiku contest is going great guns, with lots of good entries so far. Add yours to the list! You could win a copy of Jacqueline Pearce's MANGA TOUCH, a copy of A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, and -- to celebrate seasonally -- a few chocolate-covered cherries to sweeten the prize.

You can add your haiku to the comments below, or in any post from now until Friday, April 24th when the draw will be made. And if you link to this blog with your blog -- we'll add your name to the draw again!

Now speaking of things poetic -- here's a link to another contest that may interest you...Mitali's Fire Escape is holding the 7th Annual Fire Escape Contest for teen-authored poetry and short stories. This is a special contest for Canadian and American kids who were born -- or whose parents were born -- in a country other than the US or Canada. Sounds like fun -- check for details HERE.

Lots of chances to win -- sharpen those haiku pencils!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Skateboard Haiku Contest

Okay -- for those of you having trouble finding a way to put the word 'skateboard' into your's an example from an expert.

Jacqueline Pearce is mistress of the haiku. And nothing shows a winning edge like a haiku with a skateboard in let 'er rip, Jacquie!

crushed cherry blossoms
graffiti the skateboard ramp
the scented air calls

Wow. See what I mean?

So -- now it's your turn. Leave your skateboard haiku (and don't forget the seasonal reference!) in the comments section of any of the posts between now and Friday, April 24th. We'll enter your name in the draw for the prize once for every haiku you write (that meets the specs, of course: 17 syllables, 3 lines, 5/7/5 breakdown).

And if you link to this post on your blog, we'll enter your name an extra time in the draw.

The prize? A signed copy of A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW. A copy of Jacqueline Pearce's book MANGA TOUCH (she's about to go off on a tour of Japan -- to the very city where her story is set!) AND a selection of chocolate-covered cherries, to celebrate the spring-time.

Awesome prize package -- so get writing your haiku, and spread the word!


Pee Ess... Make sure you check out kc dyer's blog later today. She's getting involved with Operation TBD -- sounds mysterious!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NaPoMo Celebration Continues

Okay, riders and readers, listen up.

National Poetry Month continues throughout April, and I've broken you in the easy way with a limerick contest.

DA was the winner, and a deserving winner she was, too.

Now is time to up the ante.

See this picture?

Cherry tree, just across the street. What does it mean to you...?

(Hint -- think spring -- think poetry...)

Why -- haiku, of course!

Now, a haiku is a lot more structured than a limerick, so don't think you're getting off easy, just because it is only 17 syllables long.

From wikipedia:

Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry, consisting of 17 morae (or on), in three metrical phrases of 5, 7 and 5 morae respectively. Haiku typically contain a kigo, or seasonal reference, and a kireji or verbal caesura. In Japanese, haiku are traditionally printed in a single vertical line, while haiku in English usually appear in three lines, to parallel the three metrical phrases of Japanese haiku[2]. Previously called hokku, haiku was given its current name by the Japanese writer Masaoka Shiki at the end of the 19th century.

Here's what I'm looking for :

3 lines, seasonal reference, and (of course) the word skateboard must appear somewhere.

Think you are up to the challenge?

Contest closes April 24th. And tomorrow, I am hoping to have an expert example (written by a haiku professional) to start things off. Prizes? They'll be great!

Check in tomorrow to read the sample haiku and the list of prizes!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Tony Hawk celebrates Easter...

My hero Tony Hawk celebrates Easter in the best possible giving away his kind of eggs...

(skateboard decks!!!!)

Click here to see the picture: Tony Hawk's Eggs

How cool is that?

Check in tomorrow for news of our new contest to celebrate NaPoMo!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Fantastic Friday Skateboard Limerick Winner


And Purrrr. [That's Maurice's opinion, btw...]

Did we get some AWESOME entries for this contest?

We did.

A tonne of entries, a further tonne of other blog mentions...Darby Speaks readers really ROCK!

Thanks to ALL for participating!

And if you are (sadly) not the winner this week...despair not! National Poetry Month [NaPoMo] continues, and so do the tributes to Canadian poets here on Darby Speaks. Tune into tomorrow's blog posting to find out about our NEW contest...

I'll give you a hint. This contest DOES involve a very short poetic form -- haiku. And it DOES NOT involve skateboards. But you'll have to wait until tomorrow for the details, because ... it's time to announce this week's winner.

But first -- the winning limerick:

You don't know how it feels,
'Til you've skimmed along on four wheels.
Rollin' along,
Singing your song,
On your board wearing shoes with no heels.

It's funny that this one was the one that Maurice swept out of the hat with his paw, because I think it may have been the only skateboard limerick entered that didn't involve Serious Injury.

The winner is DA!

DA wins a signed copy of A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW and also, in honour of poetry week, a signed (I hope...!) copy of Bernice Lever's amazing book NEVER A STRAIGHT LINE. Bernice is an author and poet who lives on Bowen Island, and if kc can corner her, we'll make sure we get a signature before your books get sent out, DA.

Make sure you drop kc at line (with your mailing address) at kcdyer at telus dot net.


Remember to check in here tomorrow for the details of next week's contest.

And a Happy Easter and Passover to all!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Shout Outs!

First, to liviania and In Bed With Books for running an interview with kc dyer and a contest, featuring MY story, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW.

Next, to taterbug and scottsgal, who were the winners of said contest. Books will be flying your way very soon!

And last (but not least) to Becca of Complete and Utter Poppycock for mentioning my skateboard limerick contest on her blog. Thanks, Becca -- that puts you in our Friday night draw!

Have you entered your skateboard limerick yet? Throw one into the comment section below and win yourself TWO new books!

The draw is Friday...don't miss it.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How NOT to do an Ollie

Courtesy of Failblog.

Have you entered your skateboard limerick yet? You have until Friday, April 10th to get your entry in -- win a copy of A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW. (And here's a hint: to get your name entered TWICE into the draw, link a blog post or a tweet on your own account back here - spread the word and increase your chances to win!)


Monday, April 6, 2009

Erika Lynn Vlogs!

One of my way-cool readers has just posted her first vlog on Kiss My Book. It looks to me like she has a BIG pile of books to read, but the first on the pile seems to be A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW.

So YAY for Erika Lynn! And because of her creativity, she gets entered into our Skateboard Limerick contest. Win a copy of A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW and ALSO a book of Canadian poetry (in honour of NaPoMo...)

Have you entered yet? You can leave your limerick in the comment section below, or any day this week. Draw is Friday night -- April 10th.

Check out the comments for the past few days. We've got some serious limerickers around here!


edited to add....

Thanks to Bridget for a mention of the contest on her blog West of Mars. We'll add your name to the draw an extra time, Bridget!

And BIG thanks to Steph Su for the review on her blog for Don Calame's SWIM THE FLY -- she gave it 41/2 stars out of 5!!!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


....with apologies for the delay in posting.

Launch week activities kept Maurice too busy to help make the draw, but I poured a little milk in a saucer and it did the trick.

He slowed down long enough to declare...

BJ is the winner of a signed novel by the swashbuckling CC Humphreys.

Congratulations, BJ!

Email with your snail mail address and the book will be yours.

And don't forget -- our Skateboard Limerick Contest (in honour of NaPoMo -- National Poetry Month) is going strong...lots of crash-bang, smach-up entries -- just the way I like 'em!

There is still time to enter. Just drop your skateboard limerick into the comments section of this post (or any other post this week) and your name will be entered into the draw. And if you post a mention of this contest on your own blog -- we'll put your name in twice and double your chances!

Keep boarding!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring Into Fantasy -- This SUNDAY!

If you can make it out to kc dyer's Surrey event, she'd love to see you. She'll be featuring A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW (starring MOI, the one and only Darby C.) and will be hanging out with fellow authors James McCann and Lee Edward Fodi.

There will be games, crafts, snacks, cupcakes, book draws -- you name it!


Strawberry Hills Chapters -- 12101 72 Ave, Surrey BC
1-4 pm, Sunday, April 5th

Spread the word -- hope to see you there!


Pee Ess

Don't forget our Poetry Contest in support of NaPoMo -- have you written your limerick yet? Book draw on Friday for the winner!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's NaPoMo -- And No Foolin'

Well, here it is, April first -- spring is supposed to be sproinging, but from all accounts I've heard it's still pretty...well, Canadian out there.

So to take your mind off the snow and wet and about a new contest here at Darby Central?

It's National Poetry Month, and we are going to celebrate with a book give-away each week. The winner will receive a copy of my new book A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, plus a copy of a book of Canadian poetry. (More on that title, later.)

Here's what you have to do to win this week. We're going to start with a subject near and dear to my heart -- skateboarding. Because riding a board is such a phat and phun phenomena, it needs a snappy poetic form. How about a limerick?

Here's one to get you started...

Now, it's your turn. Surely...SURELY you can do better than this...!**

Enter as often as you like -- one limerick at a time.

No illustration required, of course -- it's the poetry that feeds us, man.

We're already doing a draw on Friday, April 3 for CC Humphrey's book, so let's make this draw for next Friday... April 10th, that is. And if you post about this contest on your own blog (or give us a tweet on twitter) and link back to show us where, Maurice and I will throw your name into the hat an extra time.

Okay -- let's do it. Show us your limerick, throw in a skateboard and a new book could be yours!

And I promise we'll elevate the poetic form for the next draw. Maurice is fond of a decent sonnet...


A boarder named Darby was skating
Along Yonge Street when she hit a large grating
Through the air she did fly
In the blink of an eye
Now a body-cast she's contemplating.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mystery Eyes -- Unmasked!

You may have seen these eyes somewhere.... maybe on kc dyer's blog?

Well, these eyes belong to the final author I'll be interviewing as a part of the launch celebration for my new book A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW.

But I think we need to see more, don't you?

Here's what he looked like at the last Surrey International Writers' Conference. Cool mask, eh?

But we still can't really see him. Let me give you a hint or two. He tells an ABSOLUTELY fine story. He is an inveterate swashbuckler -- both on the page and for real. And lately, it's not just the swordplay, but the Impaling that has interested him.

Got it yet? Let's see if you're right...

It's CC Humphreys! Or Chris Humphreys. Actually, it's both of him, depending on whether he is writing for young adults or for grown-ups. But everyone loves his stories, so let's meet him in person, shall we?

Darby: Hi Chris! Thanks for joining me today for this interview. A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW is all about how different people came to live in Canada. I know you have kind of a cool story about your own beginnings. Where were you born?

CCH: Toronto. But I grew up in London UK.

DC: Okay -- so that's why you have an English accent, then. So where do you live now?

CCH: Vancouver, BC.

DC: Do you remember any special stories about your family that you heard when you were growing up in London?

CCH: In the Second World War, my mother was a spy in the Norwegian resistance. She had to escape when her cell was busted and ended up cycling over the border into Sweden.

DC: Wow! What a cool mum you have! But if she's anything like my mother, she might be able to ride a bike, but she's hopeless on a skateboard. Can you ride a skateboard?

CCH: Alas, no!

DC: Well, I've heard some rumours about other talents you have. Besides writing books, do you have a secret skill or talent you’d like to share?

CCH: I was a fencer at school and became an actor so I could leap around with bladed weaponry. I’ve killed with axes, swords and slingshots! But my main skill is that I can hang eleven spoons on my face.

DC: It's hard to know where to start with that response. The bladed weaponry is tres cool. The spoons? THAT I'd have to see to believe. Now my special talent appears to be time travel. If you had a chance to walk through a window into the past, where would you go?

CCH: Globe Theatre, 1601. Opening night of ‘Hamlet’.

DC: Ha! Once an actor, always an.... Anyone special you’d like to meet these days?

CCH: Bruce Springsteen. Love his songs and he’s a total storyteller.

DC: Hey, I like his music, too. I listen to him on my iPod when I am skateboarding and eating red licorice. What’s your favourite treat?

CCH: Humbugs (Boiled sweets – mints) They are on my desk as an essential writing tool.

DC: Speaking of writing, can you tell me a bit about your latest project?

CCH:I have just written my first almost full fantasy novel about a girl and a unicorn.

DC: Wow! That sounds a little different than your last novel Vlad: The Last Confession! If I want to learn more about you or your books on-line, where can I go check you out?


DC: Okay -- great! Thanks for joining me today, Chris. Next time, remember to bring those eleven spoons!

If you'd like to win a copy of CC Humphrey's latest book, leave your name in the comment section below. And how about answering this question: Vampire...or Unicorn?

We'll do the draw this Friday, April 4th -- after 8 pm, of course.

And stay tuned to the blog -- I've got a new series of interviews planned to begin very soon.

And don't forget -- kc dyer will be with a couple of her author friends in Surrey this weekend launching my new story...more details tomorrow!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Maurice Purr-sents....


The Winners!

Good old Maurice. I love to see his face -- it always means good news for someone!

Today we have four winners from new categories and one winner from an older draw who hasn't gotten in touch. Let's start there, shall we?

The winner of the exciting new novel by Micol Osterman is Nora. Now, kc dyer has sent you an email to the address you listed, Nora, but if you didn't get it, please email her back at and she will make sure you get your book!

This week's winners (at last!) are:

Sleepless Storyteller wins a copy of Jill Murray's new novel.
Llehn wins a copy of a Patricia Smiley novel.
katayoun is the lucky winner of a signed book by Anita Daher.
And the Word Gardner wins a copy of a Diana Gabaldon title.

The special prize winner this week of a copy of A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW and a copy of MS. ZEPHYR'S NOTEBOOK is Tracy.

Maurice sends a whisker rub of congratulations to you all! Please send an email to with your mailing address and the books will be winging their way to you as soon as possible.

Don't forget to check back tomorrow to read the interview with my final mystery author of Launch Celebration Month -- and to read about exciting plans for my next interviewing odyssey!


*photo displayed with thanks, subject to creative commons agreement, shot by SkyWideDesign and displayed on Flickr.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Beneath the Butterfly...

Well, after reading all the comments left here and on kc dyer's blog, I have to say no one really bought the whole butterfly mask. Or perhaps the general flamboyance of the author wearing it simply shines through?

Either way, let's see if we can find an unmasked picture, just to make things perfectly clear...

Hooray -- it IS Diana Gabaldon! I'm so glad you can be with us today, Diana.

Darby Christopher: A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW is all about how different people came to live in Canada. Your family is from the US. Where were you born?

Diana Gabaldon: I was born in Williams, Arizona. My family actually _lived_ in Flagstaff, Arizona (thirty miles away), but the family doctor was having a feud with the local hospital, who wouldn't let him practice there, so he practiced out of the Williams hospital instead. Ergo, when my mother went into labor on January 11--traditionally the coldest day of the year--my very young parents were obliged to drive thirty miles over ice-covered roads to Williams.

My father said the car went off the road twice, and he pushed it back out of strength born of sheer terror. I was born at one minute past 6 PM, and he thereupon went out and had ham and eggs for dinner--having forgotten completely in the stress of the day that it was Friday (this being back in the day when Catholics always abstained from meat on Fridays).

Having heard this story a number of times in my youth, therefore, I'm never likely to forget either the date of my birth, the day of the week, or the time.

Darby C: That sounds like you had quite an adventurous entry into the world, and a good family story, too! Where do you live now?

Diana G: I actually live in three places at once (I mean, why limit yourself?). Our main place is in Scottsdale, Arizona, but some years ago, I inherited my old family house in Flagstaff, and still keep it as a place to escape to--whether to write, or simply to get out of the summer heat.

And last year, my husband and I bought a place in Santa Fe, where we go for a week or so every month. You just buy enough toothbrushes so that you always have one, no matter where you are.

Darby C: You live in some very warm locations. Lots of summer sun means skateboard time to me. Can you ride a skateboard?

Diana G: Heck, no. I'm terminally uncoordinated; I can't even play badminton. ("_Anybody_ can play badminton!", my unbelieving sister-in-law said, when she invited me to play with her. Ha.)

Darby C: Okay, then, besides writing books, do you have a secret skill or talent you'd like to share?

Diana G: At the age of eight, I learned to fold paper hats out of newspaper.

Darby C: Hmm. With all the newspapers dropping like flies, I hope that is not a dying art! My own special talent seems to be one for walking through windows and getting myself into trouble and I know the characters in your books know a little something about time travel, too, don't they? If you had a chance to walk through a window into the past, where would you go?

Diana G: Well, I think I'd leave the window propped open behind me....but I wouldn't mind seeing the Battle of Thermopylae, provided I didn't have to be _in_ it.

Darby C: Ha! That's a good idea. Anyone special you'd like to meet these days?

Diana G: I meet special people all the time. Some of them are a trifle more 'special' than others, but that's what pepper-spray is for.

Darby C: Okay -- I'll try not to get too close! So, when Gramps throws a little spare change my way, I'm personally pretty fond of red licorice. What's your favourite treat?

Diana G: Right this minute, chocolate toffee almonds and chocolate-dipped fruit, because I have a small bag of each.

Darby C: Wow -- you know how to do treats up right! Can you tell me a bit about your latest project?

Diana G: Yeah, where do you want me to stop? I'm in the final stages of writing the seventh novel in the monster OUTLANDER "saga" (that's not really the right word, but I can't think of a better one)--AN ECHO IN THE BONE.
I do nothing but sit at my keyboard and make faces (at least this is what my family claims I do when writing).

Darby C: I've seen other writers who do that very thing, so I believe you! If I want to learn more about you or your books on-line, where can I go check you out?

Diana G: Website is at, and the blogs can be found at , or

Thanks so much for sharing your time with us today, Diana -- specially when your new book is just about finished!

Now, if you'd like to win a copy of one of Diana Gabaldon's books, just leave your name in the comments and you'll be entered into the draw to win. How about if you tell us what YOUR hidden talent is? We have an amazing bunch of readers here at Darby Speaks -- let's compile a talent list!

The draw for this and the other interview books of this week will take place this Friday, March 27 after 8 pm. Tell all your friends!


Book Launch Celebration Small Print Explanation:
Darby Christopher is the main character in kc dyer's new novel A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW. To celebrate the launch of this new book, Darby will be interviewing blogging authors on her own blog here. Every day, Darby and her guest will give away a book to celebrate! To win a book, just leave a comment, either on leftwriter or on the corresponding post on Darby's Blog. Book draws will be made every Friday night throughout the month of March. There is no limit to the number of books to be won, so comment often!