Archive for April, 2024

Friday, April 19th, 2024

Come Join the TinyCat Birthday Hunt!

April 8th was TinyCat’s eighth birthday, and we’re celebrating with a special catcentric TinyCat Birthday Treasure Hunt!

We’ve scattered a clowder of TinyCats around the site, and it’s up to you to try and find them all.

  • Decipher the clues and visit the corresponding LibraryThing pages to find a TinyCat. Each clue points to a specific page right here on LibraryThing. Remember, they are not necessarily work pages!
  • If there’s a TinyCat on a page, you’ll see a banner at the top of the page.
  • You have a little less than two weeks to find all the TinyCats (until 11:59pm EST, Tuesday April 30th).
  • Come brag about your clowder of TinyCats (and get hints) on Talk.

Win prizes:

  • Any member who finds at least two TinyCats will be
    awarded a heart badge Badge ().
  • Members who find all 15 TinyCats will be entered into a drawing for some LibraryThing or TinyCat swag. We’ll announce winners at the end of the hunt.

P.S. Thanks to conceptDawg for the catbird illustration!

Labels: treasure hunt

Monday, April 8th, 2024

Happy 8th Birthday to TinyCat!

TinyCat celebrates its 8th birthday this month, and we want to give a special thank-you to all our members, including the more than 37,000 TinyCat signups since our launch in 2016. Because we’re turning 8 years old and it’s April 8, we’re keeping the theme of eights and running a special LibraryThing Store sale now through Wednesday, May 8!

TinyCat’s Birthday Sale puts all TinyCat merch, library supplies, and holiday bundles (while supplies last) on major discount for the next month. Come and stock up on gorgeous enamel pins, laptop stickers, printed barcode labels, and more.

As always, we want to thank everyone who’s joined TinyCat to share and manage their library online over the last 8 years, and we can’t wait to see where the next year takes us. Come and share your own birthday messages on Talk, and let us know what other new features you hope for next!

Don’t forget to visit the LibraryThing Store by Wednesday, May 8, to take advantage of the deals while you can:

Labels: birthday, sale, TinyCat

Friday, April 5th, 2024

Author Interview: Chad Corrie

Chad Corrie

LibraryThing is pleased to sit down this month with author Chad Corrie, whose published work ranges across a variety of genres and forms, from comic books and graphic novels to fantasy fiction. His epic fantasy series for adults, The Wizard King Trilogy, was published in 2020 and 2021 by Dark Horse Comics, which also published The Shadow Regent in 2023, as well as his recent graphic novel, Sons of Ashgard: Ill Met in Elmgard, a 2023 Foreword Indie Award finalist in the Graphic Novel & Comics category. As the Sparrow Flies, the first in Corrie’s new young adult dystopian series, Sojourners’ Saga, is due out from Dark Horse in May.

Set in a dying world, As the Sparrow Flies is a dystopian fantasy with a twist, featuring two young protagonists who must find a way to survive or escape their world, rather than save it. Is this important? Were you simply interested in writing a survival story, or was there a deeper message there, about how the individual might respond to harsh circumstances and apocalyptic events?

A major impetus for Sojourners’ Saga was the desire to do something new. At the time I started writing the series I was working on finishing up more epic fantasy tales with these massive story universes and there was an appeal to actually having a series where the world was dying and things were bleak—a near complete opposite of what I was doing with this other work at the time. Person vs. nature also wasn’t a story type I’d yet explored, further sweetening the pot.

And it would be fair to say I was intrigued with the idea of seeing how I’d be able to write something more survival-based in general. It wasn’t so much an initial theme or concept that drove me to it, just the idea of exploring something different. The idea of fleeing the danger rather than trying to correct it was also something different and a bit of a challenge to myself, I guess, to see what was possible.

Dystopian fiction has become very popular over the last few decades. Why do you think that is? Does it offer something to readers that other kinds of fiction do not?

Dystopian fiction has indeed had a long history from 1984 and Brave New World—and even before that with some of the pulp speculative fiction from the early 20th century, etc. Recent years have seen something different in terms of the intended audience for many of these tales—that is many of the dystopian tales from the last couple decades having a definite YA bent or focus.

This allows for the theme of the younger generation rising up to combat/correct the corruption/failure of the previous generation(s) as well as the classic coming of age tale in a world/place that is far from ideal. The fact that these newer tales were written initially by Gen X authors who already had some skepticism to things and didn’t trust authority or authority figures in general, probably only aided their creation. Add in various challenges from concerns over climate, fear of having less/being worse off than the previous generation, etc. and it only adds more fuel to the fire.

And while I’m Gen X myself, this wasn’t the sort of path I ended up going for Sojourners’ Saga. As you said, the protagonists know they can’t save their world and so have to find alternatives to survival, which end up taking them down very different paths, which soon enough will cause problems and internal crises of belief in said ideas and ideals, not to mention issues and challenges with remaining population groups.

As to what dystopian fiction offers the reader, oddly enough it’s hope. As no matter how bad something is portrayed in a story we can usually step back and say, “maybe we don’t have things as bad as some think, as it could be much worse than this…” And, in most cases (but not all) there’s a silver lining to those dark dystopian clouds. The heroes triumph, the world is improved, etc. And in that, I suppose, it can inspire the reader to not give up hope and look for ways to make the world a brighter place—at least in their own sphere of influence.

What was the inspiration for your book? Did it start with a story idea, a character, or something else altogether?

I usually get “scenes” or “flavors” that inspire me to write a story. Often I’ll view something in my mind’s eye that’s really just like watching a movie. The whole scene will play out and serve as either the foundation or inspiration for some tale. Other times I’ll get ideas for different flavors of a story that would make an interesting mix. Perhaps something like Vikings mixed with anthropomorphic squirrels, which led to the the creation of the Sons of Ashgard graphic novel, for example.

With the Sojourners’ Saga series the desire mainly was to do something different than what I had been doing before, which as I previously mentioned, was more epic fantasy fare. Going from a massively epic setting to something more apocalyptic and human-centric was also a first for me. I was curious to explore a story and world that only had humans as the main population, rather than a roster of varied beings and beasts.

It was only later as I was in the midst of the process that I finally understood the story was supposed to be YA, which was also a few steps removed from what I had been doing before. This would later inform more of how things would be organized by chapter and POV, and actually was an interesting learning experience that forced me to think and re-think things through in ways I might not have if I was writing a more strictly adult story.

This book is a departure for you, in terms of the intended audience and the story type. Were there challenges, or things you particularly enjoyed about writing for a young adult audience? Was there anything different about your writing and storytelling process, in light of the fact that this world was less magical, less fantastic, than some of the others of which you have written?

Obviously, I can’t speak to everyone who writes YA, but for myself I had to consider just what was the best way to convey something that made sense to a younger character’s mind who may or may not have all the additional reference and context that older people would from years of lived experience.

As I said previously, it really had me stopping and considering things in some new ways, and ultimately had me going through and re-writing whole chapters and scenes as I came to better understand Elliott and Sarah, our two main protagonists. Additionally it allowed me to have some fun with the older characters and scenes with more nuance and other elements that older readers will notice: subtle ways things are said, how they come across to the younger character(s), etc.

As far as challenges to the world building, the biggest challenge was in realizing that I’d still have to craft a pretty detailed history and culture for various people even if the world—and the populous by extension—is crumbling around them. I had foolishly thought in the beginning that because things are going to be on their last legs, as it were, it wasn’t really important to get too much into the history and background of things. But I didn’t get too far into the process before realizing I’d been mistaken.

I had to take some time off writing to build the world—crafting things that most folks won’t ever see or know—so I’d have a solid foundation upon which to rest the story. So no matter how much I had tried to get around it the present, it turns out, is very much predicated on the past. That said, I did manage to get in some of that history and background in each of the books in the way of appendices readers can explore if they’re seeking more context and background to certain aspects of the world and/or story.

It was refreshing to get something more “low fantasy” in the mix too. In some ways it made for some more interesting stories as you can’t just have them zap something with a spell or laser to save the day. There’s a level of grit and reality that permeates the narrative space I found intriguing and added some interesting parameters and feeling to the tale.

As the Sparrow Flies is the first in a trilogy. Can you give us any hints about what’s coming next, in the Sojourners’ Saga?

First off, the entire series has been written. I tend to write the whole series of a work before I submit it to publishers. That way we all know what we’re getting into and it allows me a chance to go back and better align the tale so it flows smoothly from beginning to end. Having it finished also helps with readers, many of whom can be leery about approaching a new series. If they know it’s finished from the get go it’s less of a risk in giving it their consideration.

In the two remaining novels (each to be released in May over the next two years) Sarah and Elliott will come to face their beliefs about themselves and what they previously held so dear while also trying to stay alive long enough to reach some perceived better place for them as both their personal worlds along with the planet unravel around them.

There will be action, exploration of more of the world and its history, as well as a bonding between these two unlikely persons who come to see more of the truth that has so long eluded them and others of the world all these years. And, ultimately, there will be some interesting answers and developments that unfold—for both reader and characters alike.

Tell us about your library. What’s on your own shelves?

Not as much as there used to be. Since I’m always working on something—world building, writing, etc.—I haven’t read as much for pleasure as I used to, usually focusing on more non-fiction topics tied to business or writing or other areas I’m seeking to explore for creating worlds, making websites, or something else I’m engaged in at the present.

That said, some recent titles I’ve been able to squeeze in are the new Calvin and Hobbes collection that came out last year, picking up some of the latest Conan comics—Conan the Barbarian Vol. 1, Conan the Barbarian Vol. 2, Conan the Barbarian by Jim Zub Vol. 1—from Marvel before they went to Titan Comics for their new editions, Blood of the Serpent by S.M. Stirling, and the two latest Dragonlance novels by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (Dragons of Deceit, Dragons of Fate). Next on my TBR pile is Winter’s Song: A Hymn to the North by T.D. Mishchke, which talks about winters in the Midwest.

What have you been reading lately, and what would you recommend to other readers?

While I think those with a fantasy-bent to their reading preferences might enjoy the above-mentioned titles, over the years I’ve found myself revisiting some of Robert E. Howard’s writing on occasion. In particular, I’ve rather enjoyed exploring his other characters outside of Conan such as El Borak, Bran Mak Morn, Solomon Kane, and Kull.

Now granted, these stories might not be everyone’s cup of tea and some are better than others, but two tales really have stood out to me over the years for different reasons: The Screaming Skull of Silence and The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune.

Both are Kull stories and are rather short, but just have something that inspired me in various ways with my own writing and world building, I guess. But they also, I now realize, are rather part of a dystopian flavor that permeate a good deal of Howard’s work—especially with his Kull stories, which feature a character who was literally ruling over an empire and people in decline. So, in a way, I guess you could argue that these stories (with many others over the years) helped provide some of the initial ideas and atmosphere for Sojourners’ Saga, bringing us neatly full circle to where we started with this interview…

Labels: author interview, interview

Monday, April 1st, 2024

April 2024 Early Reviewers Batch Is Live!

Win free books from the April 2024 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 175 books this month, and a grand total of 3,614 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Thursday, April 25th at 6PM EDT.

Eligibility: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and more. Make sure to check the message on each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Until Our Time ComesWhat Does Little Crocodile Say at the Birthday Party?Roy Is Not a DogThe Hypnotic Tales of Rafael SabatiniFair Shake: Women and the Fight to Build a Just EconomyThe Book Censor's LibraryHow the Light Gets InTo & FroBuster: A DogRain Breaks No BonesThe Hudson CollectionBorn of Gilded MountainsRocky Mountain JourneyToward the DawnSetting His CapAfter Dinner Conversation - Crimes & PunishmentsAfter Dinner Conversation - BioethicsWhite Dove, Tell MeNo Charity in the Wilderness: PoemsThe Fast: The History, Science, Philosophy, and Promise of Doing WithoutThe Ghost of Ravenswood HallThe Overlanding Vehicle Builder's GuideQuarter-Mile Corvettes 1953-1975: The History of Chevrolet's Sports Car at the Drag StripBlood and WaterBummer at Luna BeachThe Rising Tides of Beru1988: A Poetic Diary of a Wrexham AuthorThis Kind of Man: StoriesHearts on Thin IceKnee Deep in MurderSo Now I Get It: The Miracle of Soul-Centred CounsellingTimeslayersMétis Like MeAnd Then There Was UsMile End Kids Stories: Colette, Albert and MayaShineFerren and the Doomsday MissionGiant Trouble: The Mystery of the Magic BeansShe Lived UnknownGirls NightBe Kind Always - In All WaysAll Who Believed: A Memoir of Life in the Twelve TribesMarcelo, Martello, MarshmallowThe Secret Candy DrawerL. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume 40From Sweetgrass BridgeThe Pheeworker's OathA Tale of Friendship and Health / Una historia de amistad y saludHow to Align the StarsThree Hearts Stitched: Poems about AdoptionInsolventAll the Animals Were SleepingDrawn from LifeThe Search: A Story about a JourneyThe Last LeviathanA Kingdom of Souls and ShadowsThe Other Side of the MirrorSadie Does Not Like SorriesThe Neighbors' SecretI Sleep Around: The Humorous Memoir of a Nomadic WriterA Book Club's Guide to Murder & MayhemBound Across TimeThe Ghost of Loon LakeSocial Media Marketing Essentials You Always Wanted to KnowData Analytics Essentials You Always Wanted to Know (2024)The Dinosaur and MeAn Orphan of the LightThe Poppy FieldA Dry Heat: Collected StoriesETA: The Trial of Logan GruverPhelan's GoldThe Anti-Semite Next Door?Kip's Funny Little FeetRed PinesHomeland InsecurityRVMirror ImageA Perfectly Good Fantasy: A MemoirA Perfectly Good Fantasy: A MemoirCensorship from Plato to Social Media: The Complexity of Social Media's Content Regulation and Moderation PracticesJameson Rescues His Best FriendSpliced UpThe Witch HouseThe Demon and the WitchCloser to HomePrey for the DevilJundiVincent's Women: The Untold Story of the Loves of Vincent Van GoghYou're Not Your Job: Going Above and Beyond for YourselfSaviour of BabylonThe Arrival100 Places You'll Find in Heaven: A Non-Biblically Accurate Guide to the AfterlifeUnveiling 11 Relationship Styles: Secrets Nobody Told You: Reinventing Dating and Friendship Apps: Insights from Evolution, Science, and PsychologyRun Away to MarsThe Returnप्रोफेसर साहब : प्रेम, प्रतीक्षा और परीक्षाTalk With the Moon: Silence Between StarsBio Marty Vita: Life Life LifeWant Do Get: A Screenwriter's ManualSpillageThe Pig Patrol: Adventure in SpaceAnxious GirlThe Sun Stone & The Hybrid PrinceDaddy's Little StrangerFamous People Around The World: Learn About Their Personal Life, Career, Legacy, Interesting Stories and Much More (Volume 01A)The Next Run: A UC Berkeley Student’s Rise to Major Pot SmugglerWhat Grows From the DeadInfinitudeEverything No One Tells You about Parenting a Disabled Child: Your Guide to the Essential Systems, Services, and SupportsBreaking Free: Stop Holding Back, Start Being You: Your Guide to Creating the Career & Life of Your DreamsSummoned by the Earth: Becoming a Holy Vessel for Healing Our WorldEarth and Soul: Reconnecting Amid Climate ChaosJudOnce We Were WitchesI'd Rather Be Dead Than Deaf: A Young Woman's Journey With Liver CancerI’m Tired, Not Lazy: Recharge Your Life With The Power of AcceptanceUnder the SkinOlivia Cole and the Legend of the Silver SeedAnvil of GodShelby’s Season of SurpriseTarnished PilgrimSmoke and LightThoughts & Tangents: Musings on Life, Society, and SelfShelby Becomes a Horse GirlSpindleheart: Trail of Shadow and SpoolThe Phantom EnforcerThe Northwest DeceptionUnder Far Galaxian SkiesStone Feather FangSiPEli Elephant Works Through Emotions: Practicing Kindness Along the WayThe Peppercorn Tree and Other Australian PoemsFrannie: Memoir of a FriendshipThe Invisible WarThe Four QueensProof of Life After Death: True Stories of the Afterlife & Spirit CommunicationMilk Before MeatShadow Work Journal & Adult Coloring Book: Unveil Your Inner Strength, Find Peace Through Animal Wisdom And Experience True Transformation Through Art Therapy, Reflection, And AffirmationsThe Guardians of KawtsAlley of Scented RosesFaythe of North Hinkapee: The Saga of a Young Woman’s Quest for Justice and Love in Colonial AmericaGabriel's Tooth Fairy TaleEmergent MarsCreamRascalNovaMIND GAMELeft Wing, Right Wing, People, and Power: The Core Dynamics of Political ActionA Chef on Ice: Living and Working As a Chef in AntarcticaWhy AI? Is Smartest... Is Dangerous... Is DivineBright College Years: (or, If That's Not Life)The Great Escape of Goddess Innana: A Law of Attraction Troubleshooting GuideThe Smooth Fulfillment of the SoulThe Alchemical Book of LilithThe Heron LegacySoundbite with SherlockThe Cultist's WifeAn Element of MagicThe Unbroken QueenPresenters Aren’t Robots: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Fearless and Engaging Public SpeakerThe Infinet DirectivesSinta, Sorceress-DetectiveThe Bear's Black JawAstrology in the Era of Uncertainty: An Astropoetic Exploration of Psyche and CosmosFrom Hitler to Here: The Dolores Wieland StorySonya: Fast HorsesYour True Self Is Enough: Lessons Learned on My Journey Parenting a Child with AutismWhen Nothing is Going Your Way: A Guide to Thriving Through Tough TimesSomething GainedThe Art of Job Hunting: A Dramedy in VerseDave and the Love GunPlease DO NOT GO To ParisGhosts of History: The Temple of AoddaBest Little Marriage Handbook: A Powerhouse Of Great Discussions - The Love Behaviors & 8 Safe Communication Skills That Make Great MarriagesThe Prince of Oregon

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

After Dinner Conversation Inc Akashic Books Alcove Press
Babbly Bellevue Literary Press Bethany House
Bumpity Boulevard Press CarTech Books Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC
City Owl Press Edufrienz 99 Egret Lake Books
eSpec Books EverImagine Books Galaxy Press
Grand Canyon Press Grousable Books Harbor Lane Books, LLC.
HB Publishing House Hot Tree Publishing IFWG Publishing International
Literary Wanderlust LLC Mirror World Publishing Nosy Crow US
PublishNation Purple Diamond Press, Inc Restless Books
Revell Rootstock Publishing Simon & Schuster
Tapioca Stories Themes & Settings in Fiction Press Tiny Ghost Press
Tundra Books University of Nevada Press Unsolicited Press
Vibrant Publishers William Morrow

Labels: early reviewers, LTER