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?
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!
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!
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?
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.
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 (actually...today...Tuesday!) 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!
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?
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!
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...