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 kcdyer@telus.net 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 scribe...so 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 have...er, 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 like...er, 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: www.kendrakandlestar.com. If you want to know more about Mr. Wiz, look at www.leefodi.com.

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 www.kendrakandlestar.com 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!