Monthly Archive for September, 2012

welcome to nathan’s world

If you're wondering, this scene is totally canonical with Fair Coin and Quantum Coin. (Image courtesy Joshua Davis Photograph)

Since a lot of readers have told me they like Nathan Prime, but didn’t see enough of him in Fair Coin, I decided to give him the spotlight in my contribution to Literary Escapism’s “School’s In” series this month. Consider this an appetizer for Quantum Coin in October, with cameos by all the major players: Ephraim, Jena, Mary, and Shelley. Well, okay, almost all the major players. Sorry, Zoe.

So pop over to Literary Escapism to read a brief transcript of Nathan’s video blog, and enter a giveaway for a free copy of my books.

For the couple of people who told me they don’t like Nathan… This probably won’t change your mind. But Quantum Coin might!

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Quantum Coin: The Next Big Thing?

My friend Elisa Ludwig (author of YA books Pretty Crooked and Pretty Sly, which is forthcoming in March 2013) just tagged me at her blog to answer “Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing,” and who am I to pass up an opportunity to blather on about my next book, Quantum Coin? I’ll tag a few other authors at the end of this post, to hopefully keep the game moving along.

What was the working title of your book?

Once I started writing it, it was always Quantum Coin; my editor actually asked for something punnier, but I couldn’t come up with anything. Shocking, I know. My earliest working titles for a two-book series about a magic coin and parallel universes were Heads, You Win and Tails, You Lose. Obviously, those are terrible.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Part of it was suggested by my research for my first book, Fair Coin, which explained quantum events in terms of flipping a coin: in a very basic sense, there are two possible outcomes to a coin toss, but only one of them (heads or tails) can be observed. And part of the idea was suggested by Fair Coin itself; I didn’t set out to write a sequel, but while writing it, or during my first revision, I knew where the story could go next and I was excited by the potential. So of course I had to go there.

What genre does your book fall under?

Quantum Coin is pretty firmly science fiction, which is kind of a refreshing for me. And it’s young adult, of course, but the first book found a nice adult audience, and I hope this one will do the same.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Joel Courtney, photo by Mark Brennen

I’m not really up on teen actors, but when I saw the film Super 8, I thought Joel Courtney was perfect to play Ephraim, and he’s about the right age, too. Dylan Minnette (from the show Awake) would be a good choice for Nathan, and he already has some experience with stories about parallel universes. Victoria Justice could play Mary and Shelley Morales, and maybe Hailee Steinfeld from True Grit for Jena and Zoe Kim. Then there are still all the adults to cast…

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Seriously? One sentence? Um… “Ephraim ends up on the worst double date ever, when his girlfriend’s identical twin from a parallel reality drags them both away from their prom in order to save the multiverse.”

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About seven four months. I started writing it when I began querying literary agents, and I finished the same day just before I got an offer of representation. It was an excellent way to keep myself distracted through that whole process.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

This is always a tricky one for me. I’m not just being lazy or worse, arrogant, when I say I don’t think there’s anything quite like these books. I’ve read a lot, and I still can’t think of anything. I keep falling on movie comparisons, so this is Back to the Future rolled up with Star Trek and the TV shows Lost and Fringe (though I wrote the book long before that series came around) and a little bit of Sliders, with some of the wackiness of William Sleator’s books and just a touch of The Twilight Zone. But if you’re looking for recommendations for other books that deal with similar themes and plot elements, the closest and best are Ian McDonald’s Everness series (Planesrunner and Be My Enemy, also from Pyr) and Paul Melko’s Walls of the Universe. And Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Young Hugh Everett, via newscientist.com & Mark Everett

I was inspired first of all by the characters in Fair Coin, who I wanted to give one more adventure. And going way back, I was inspired by physicist Hugh Everett III, the father of the theory of multiple worlds. In some ways, I wanted Quantum Coin to be a small tribute to him and his contribution to quantum mechanics, which went largely unappreciated in his lifetime.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Fair Coin was a standalone novel, but this is very much a sequel, and you won’t find any cliffhanger endings here.

Hmm. That’s only nine questions. *shrug*

Now to wrap things up, I’m going to tag a few willing friends of mine, who will tell you about their work over at their blogs:

Gwenda Bond, author of Blackwood

Zoraida Córdova, author of The Vicious Deep

Kim Curran, author of Shift

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better the second time

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

Last Friday was the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (preceding by one day the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins). Considered a classic children’s book and a master work of fantasy, this is also one of my favorite books. So it’s a little surprising that the first time I picked up The Hobbit, circa the 5th or 6th grade, I read that first page and promptly put it back on the shelf of my classroom lending library.

I don’t know what caused me to bounce off the book so quickly. Possibly because Tolkien does take his time getting to the point, doesn’t he? Or maybe it all just seemed a little too silly at the time.  It just didn’t seem like a book for me, as much as I loved fantasy and science fiction even then.

The Hobbit appeared on a summer reading list for my 7th grade English class, and for whatever reason, I decided to give it another try. And I completely loved it. So much so, that I immediately dived into The Lord of the Rings, which was admittedly a slog a lot of the time, particularly in the first half of The Two Towers. I’m really glad I gave the book another chance.

This has happened for me with other books, too. Most notably, I bought a copy of The Silmarillion, but it took me ten years to actually finish it, at which point I inhaled it in about two days. Dune by Frank Herbert put me to sleep when I first tried to read it in the 7th grade, but I was suddenly able to appreciate it. And I now have no trouble getting through The Lord of the Rings whenever I reread it every couple of years.

Sometimes we revisit beloved books and either find that our tastes have changed too much to enjoy them any more, or they bring us back to the time and place in which we first read them. But how often do we revisit books that didn’t work for us the first time around? In my first encounter with The Catcher in the Rye, I was way too young to get it, but years later, it suddenly meant a lot more to me.

With so many books out there to read, these days I’m less inclined to finish a book that I’m not enjoying or come back to one that I couldn’t get into, but there’s something to be said for giving books a second chance. So much of the experience comes from the reader; even your mood affects whether or not you feel like reading a book. I guess it’s a matter of knowing the difference between “not for me” and “not for me right now.”

Do you have any books that you passed on or disliked at first, but fell in love with later on?

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talk about pirates day!

My idea of talking like a pirate is saying "As you wish" all day. (Image from The Princess Bride, © 1987 Twentieth Century Fox)

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

This year, in recognition of the tenth anniversary of this international tradition, I’m going to discuss eBook piracy, a subject I’ve been meaning to blog/vlog about for a while.

Standard disclaimer: These are just the opinions of one author, who had his first book published (and pirated) this year–two significant milestones in any writer’s career. The content of this video also does not represent the opinions of my agency, publisher, or cat. Please share your own thoughts on eBook piracy as readers, writers, editors, publishers, or Cylons in the comments below!

It’s also apparent that I need a better camera to record these videos. If you vlog, let me know what camera you’ve been using and what you think of it. Thanks!

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coming to a universe near you

Pop quiz time! I know you didn’t study, but don’t worry, it’s multiple choice, there’s no wrong answer, and there’s a reward at the end.

What kind of books do you like?
a) Free ones
b) Books defaced by the author with a Sharpie pen
c) Books what have time travel and parallel universes in them
d) Books with a smidge of romance and humor
e) all of the above

Great! If you picked a, b, c, or d, then read on. If you selected e) all of the above, then you should really pay attention, because this is your chance to win the first signed and personalized copies of Quantum Coin.

This is the finished book, not the uncorrected early copy for reviewers, and there have been some slight changes to the text in this “author’s preferred edition,” carefully designed to boost the level of awesome. All you have to do to make this yours is enter the Goodreads giveaway below. The winner will be randomly selected in true quantum fashion. Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Quantum Coin by E.C. Myers

Quantum Coin

by E.C. Myers

Giveaway ends October 09, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


 

If you’re not sure this is the book for you, check out this fantastic early review of Quantum Coin by Barb Caffrey at Shiny Book Review. She calls it “a novel that needs to be on your bookshelf, just as soon as it comes out in October; it has flair, drama, big ideas, excellent characters, and some believable, low-key romance.”

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