Q&A with Jim Hardison, author of FISH WIELDER

Happy almost Friday, everyone!

I’m very excited to share this Q&A with all of you, and even more excited to dive into this new YA fantasy! Keep an eye out for my review of the book early next week. In the meantime, read on to find out more about this accomplished writer and his latest project, FISH WIELDER!

jim-hardison-author-picJim has worked as a writer, screen writer, animator and director in entertainment and commercials since graduating from Columbia College of Chicago in 1988. He is the author of The Helm, which YALSA praised as one of 2010’s best graphic novels for young readers, and has directed animated commercial and entertainment projects, including spots for M&M’s, AT&T, and Kellogg’s. He co-founded Character LLC in 2000 and has given story advice to many of the world’s largest brands, such as Target, Verizon, Samsung, McDonalds and Walmart, and has even appeared on NBC’s “The Apprentice” as an expert adviser on brand characters. Jim lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two kids and two dogs. Fish Wielder is his first novel.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

peregrine.jpgA mysterious island.


 
An abandoned orphanage.


 
A strange collection of very curious photographs.


 
It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. 

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography,Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.*

I went into this book not really knowing anything about it other than the fact that it has a cool cover and some of my friends enjoyed it, so the elements of historical fiction scattered throughout the novel were unexpected but really artfully employed. The parallel between the hollowgasts/wights and the Nazis was clear, and provided a convenient cover story for Grandpa Portman. Continue reading

Poisonfeather by Matthew FitzSimmons

poisonfeather.jpgWhen jailed billionaire Charles Merrick hints publicly that he has stashed a fortune in an offshore cache, a school of sharks converges upon his release from federal prison.

Among his swindled victims is Judge Hammond Birk, the man who saved Gibson Vaughn’s life when he was a troubled teenager. Now Gibson intends to repay that debt by recovering Merrick’s victims’ money.

But Gibson isn’t the only one on the trail of the hidden fortune.

The promise of billions has drawn a horde of ruthless treasure hunters, including an edgy ex-con, a female bartender with a mysterious history, a Chinese spy with a passion for fly-fishing, and a veritable army of hardened mercenaries. To stay ahead of the sharks and win justice for his mentor, Gibson will need all his formidable skills. But at the end of the road, he’ll still have to face “Poisonfeather”—a geopolitical secret that just might get Gibson killed…or worse.*

POISONFEATHER is book two in the Gibson Vaughn series (the first book being THE SHORT DROP) and I was lucky enough to have gotten my hands on a copy before its October 4 pub date! I was hooked on Matthew FitzSimmons’s writing all over again right from the first paragraph. He has a talent for putting the reader directly in the same place as the character–I began to feel a little claustrophobic and unclean, as though I were in the prison with Charles Merrick. Continue reading

“A Conversation About Privacy”: Discussing the Effects of a Digital Age

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From left to right: Sherry Turkle, Michael Friedman, James Graham, Daniel Radcliffe, and Jon Ronson.

The Public Theater in New York City is home to the Public Forum, which calls itself “the theater of ideas” and is host to various conversations and performances on a broad array of topics. On 1 August 2016, James Graham, Daniel Radcliffe, Jon Ronson, and Sherry Turkle took to the stage to form a panel–moderated by Michael Friedman–on the issue of privacy in today’s digital age.

As a graduate student of Library and Information Science, privacy is something that comes up frequently in my courses. It is imperative for future information professionals to have an understanding of the rights of our patrons, and throughout the one semester I have under my belt I’ve learned a lot about my own rights as a citizen of this country. For example, police are apparently required to have a court order before obtaining access to patron records. Continue reading

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

diary.jpgBestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.*

I finished the second book in the GoT series earlier this week, which meant it was time for me to read a different book before diving into the third one. I chose THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN because it’s been on my TBR list for a while now, and I finally picked up a copy of it at a used bookstore up in Rochester a couple months ago. Continue reading

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

game of thrones.jpgLong ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. To the south, the king’s powers are failing—his most trusted adviser dead under mysterious circumstances and his enemies emerging from the shadows of the throne. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the frozen land they were born to. Now Lord Eddard Stark is reluctantly summoned to serve as the king’s new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder not only his family but the kingdom itself.

Sweeping from a harsh land of cold to a summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, A Game of Thrones tells a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; a child is lost in the twilight between life and death; and a determined woman undertakes a treacherous journey to protect all she holds dear. Amid plots and counter-plots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, allies and enemies, the fate of the Starks hangs perilously in the balance, as each side endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.*

…I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything here! I got into a bit of a reading rut and when I finally snapped out of it, I ended up choosing to read a book that took a little over two weeks to get through. It feels so good to be back to writing, even if it is just a review. I’m going to spend Thursday getting myself back into the routine of writing draft number three of my baby (the novel I started when I was 17) and just getting myself back to myself in general because I’ve been feeling really off kilter for the last week or so. It’s been a gradual process of reincorporating healthy eating, weight lifting and cardio, and yoga (nothing makes me feel as good as inversions and arm balances) into my daily routine; all that’s really left is reorganizing my room and making time for my art. I also have to give a lot of credit to my friends for snapping me out of the mental rut I was in without even knowing it. I couldn’t possibly ask to have better people in my life than the ones I’ve been blessed with. Continue reading

When We Collided by Emery Lord

when we collided.jpgSeventeen year-old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he is not. With a mother lost in a deep bout of depression, Jonah and his five siblings struggle to keep up their home and the restaurant their dad left behind. But at the start of summer, a second change rolls in: Vivi Alexander, the new girl in town.

Vivi is in love with life. Charming and unfiltered, she refuses to be held down by the medicine she’s told should make her feel better. After meeting Jonah, she slides into the Daniels’ household seamlessly, winning over each sibling with her imagination and gameness. But it’s not long before Vivi’s zest for life begins to falter. Soon her adventurousness becomes all-out danger-seeking.

Through each high and low, Vivi and Jonah’s love is put to the test . . . but what happens when love simply isn’t enough?* Continue reading