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Congratulations, Jeffrey, on the success you're enjoying with Auralia's Colors.

I hope you liked the book cover copy and marketing copy-- I wrote it! :) If you didn't like it, I'm sure it's the publisher's fault... :P

I've been writing copy packets for your publisher for many years... what a great group of people.

I also write religious nonfiction myself. My latest book, out last month, is LIVING LOVED: Knowing Jesus as the Lover of Your Soul (Seabury Books). My day job is producing and hosting a weekly religious radio program featuring preachers from the mainline denominations (Day1).

So when does the second book in your series come out?

All best!

Peter

--

PETER WALLACE

Blog: http://peedub.com

Work: http://Day1.org

Book: http://www.churchpublishing.org/index.cfm?...p;ProductID=746

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A1UFK...1986028-6531128

Myspace: http://myspace.com/petermwallace

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=794385556

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  • 4 weeks later...

Jeffrey's publisher has bought a month worth of adspace at Hollywood Jesus -- and they did a really nice job of designing the flash for them. Very classy. Visit anywhere at hollywoodjesus.com and you'll probably see them running in one of our adspaces... If you want to see them all at once, you can visit our adspace test bed (be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to see all three versions):

http://www.hollywoodjesus.com/adservertest.cfm

Greg Wright

Managing Editor, Past the Popcorn

Consulting Editor, Hollywood Jesus

Leader of the Uruk-Howdy, Orcs of the West

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Ironic, isn't it... that after all of that hubbub about what gets advertised at Hollywood Jesus, now it's Auralia's Colors in those banner ads?

Hey, I'm grateful! And yeah, the ads look really cool. Thanks to all involved!

Peter, sorry I didn't see your post until now. Wow, what a small world. Thanks for your work on the book! I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday and saw some folks reading that back-cover copy there at the "New in Paperback" table.

The second book comes out next September, assuming my current editing schedule plays out as planned.

It's tough, but I'm turning down some wonderful invitations to share Auralia's Colors and Through a Screen Darkly at universities around the country because, well, I've gotta get some writing done! But I *am* planning on making it out to Taylor, Pepperdine, Calvin, and Northwestern sometime between Christmas and next fall. The interest shown by Christian educators has been a pleasant surprise.

I'll be reading from Auralia's Colors at my favorite Shoreline coffee shop on Sunday, November 18, at 2 p.m.: Hotwire Internet Espresso Cafe. And then I'll do that again in Bellingham, WA, on the 28th in the Fairhaven shop called Village Books.

You're all welcome, of course.

And hey... I met A&F's Kyle this week, quite unexpectedly, at an event here on SPU's campus!

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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(when do we meet King Cal-ripken?)

Just for the record, I kept chuckling about this the entire time I read the book. Thanks for the laugh, Crimson!

Jeffrey, my review should be up on my site soon (and a shorter version in culture.ish). I'll link both when I'm finished.

I loved the book, for the record, and am already (impatiently) waiting 'til fall of 2008 for the next book!

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I finished it a few weeks ago. It's on loan now to a friend and will be passed around to many others. I know that is both good and bad news. Good: More readers. Bad: No one is paying for it. Sorry. I do believe a few of my friends will purchase their own copies after reading mine. They did with Through A Screen Darkly.

I loved it. I had no problem with the descriptiveness of the prose. For this story, that was essential. It would have felt incomplete without it. The characters felt real to me. I don't know them as much as I would like, but I am getting to know them. I'm glad you gave each of them distinct voices. But more importantly, thank you for making them complex and three dimensional. The plot was fully engaging and it rarely became conventional.

Overall, solid effort. I am enthusiastically awaiting the sequel.

Edited by Phill Lytle

"The greatest meat of all. The meat of friendship and fatherhood."

The Blue Raft - Are you ready to ride?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, Phil! I really appreciate your comments.

If you get the urge to post an Amazon review, why, I would be so pleasantly surprised! ;)

Good news! As I write this, Auralia's Colors is front page news at SciFi.com!

You can find the article here.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I finished Auralia's Colors a few weeks ago, but haven't taken time to comment on it yet. I've been outside the fantasy loop for quite some time--the last stuff I've read in the genre was re-reading Tolkien in anticipation/appreciation of the films. But in high school and college, I devoured the form--finding particular quality in William's "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn" series, as well as Lawhead's Arthurian saga (except the fourth book which was lacking in scope and heart).

I applaud your work at staying original--no magic swords, nor dark kingdom plotting against the heroes, no quest, really to speak of. The book is a fresh take on the genre.

I will say that I differ from previous posters in that I found myself wishing the book were longer. I agree with Phil in that I don't know the characters as well as I would like to, but I think that this extends to the whole of the story. At the heart of it, the book felt too short, or that too many characters and episodes were given space but not fully developed. We had a city-state in Abascar, where it seems that everyone knows everyone else, but the reader is left trying to puzzle out the history and relationships even though they are not part of the mystery of the colors.

I missed having a chapter like The Fellowship of the Ring's "Shadow of the Past". A sense of scale--of fleshing out that living history that is hinted at, but not drawn up, would have strengthened the tale for me. I never got a sense of why Northchildren were feared, or why colors were important enough to be banned, or who lived inside the walls--was it only the Gatherers, convicts, who lived outside? What was this merchant class? Why was Jaralaine's upbringing in it significant?

The best character in the book, for me, was the Ale Boy--great work with him--loved his story, slowly drawn out. I wish more of the tale experienced that same drawing out.

Edited by Buckeye Jones
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Buckeye, I can see some of your complaints, but I didn't mean to sound like I was complaining. At least, not too much. There are many things about these characters that I want to know, and hopefully we will find some of those answers in the sequels, but I don't think those questions are necessarily a bad thing. This is a book that leaves you desiring to know more, to understand more, to dig deeper. I think that is usually a good thing. It is not out of sense of being deficient, but rather being so rich and full of fascinating people and events, that you are constrained to want and even need more. Does this make sense? :-k

Having said that, a little more information wouldn't have hurt. I just love long books. :)

And yes, the Ale Boy is great. I could read an entire book about him.

"The greatest meat of all. The meat of friendship and fatherhood."

The Blue Raft - Are you ready to ride?

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Phil, I'd characterize my comments as critiques, not complaints. That said, I have no problem with an author leaving his or her readers wanting more. That's a mark of a good book, no?

In Auralia's Colors case, I think that some of the "wanting more" could be satisfied by an expansion of the current exposition without comprimising the quality of the storytelling.

I hope that this isn't coming across as a complaint--its not intended as such.

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Gotcha!

I agree that complaint is not the right word. Perhaps Jeffrey can work on a Extended Authors Cut for release next Christmas. It could include some behind the scenes information and perhaps a making-of section. I would buy it. ;)

"The greatest meat of all. The meat of friendship and fatherhood."

The Blue Raft - Are you ready to ride?

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Buckeye, your comments are right on. I agree.

In fact, I cut all kinds of exposition during the editing process. One of my editor's primary instructions was simple: Cut 17,000 words. Yep. That's a lot of words. A lot of exposition.

Hopefully, I'll find ways to fill in those gaps in the coming books. But I agree with Phil that it leaves plenty of space for readers to entertain their own questions. For all that we cut, I think it still holds together...

I've actually thought about writing little "deleted scenes" and offering them on the website from time to time...

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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In fact, I cut all kinds of exposition during the editing process. One of my editor's primary instruction was simple: Cut 17,000 words. Yep. That's a lot of words. A lot of exposition.

That's gotta feel like hearing, "Your kid has too many arms. Cut one off."

Hopefully sales and reviews are such that it provides you with more leverage to influence the length of the next book. I'd have to think that if you're hearing similar comments from official critics (vs. posters on a internet bulletin board) it will supply you with bargaining chips this January.

Edited by Buckeye Jones
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Well, lest I sound disgruntled, let me sing the praises of my editor. Yeah, it felt like chopping arms off, but I've been amazed to learn how much I can accomplish if I force myself to cut whole pages of text and look for ways to creatively weave that information into dialogue, action, and implication.

The second book is currently a LOT longer. But it won't be when I'm finished with it. :)

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I've actually thought about writing little "deleted scenes" and offering them on the website from time to time...

Are you planning on revealing the sexual orientation of any of the characters this way?

:P

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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Apparently, even having straight characters can get you into trouble with some Christian readers. Came across this review today...

I have learned, without a doubt, that fantasy is NOT my genre. In all fairness, this story is well written. The story line moves along at a satisfying pace, and the scenery and emotions are described vividly. That says a LOT about the talent of the author.

However, it is beyond my mind

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Jason Panella wrote:

: I wonder what the weird stuff she had to read in college was....O'Connor? Dostoevsky?

Dostoevsky is Literature, sure, but is he "English"?

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Dostoevsky is Literature, sure, but is he "English"?

Most English / English Lit. majors (or even people with creative writing degrees, like myself) have to take a significant number of non-American/Anglo lit. classes. I mean, I had about six American/British lit classes, but plenty of "classic" lit and world lit classes.

Edited by Jason Panella
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  • 3 weeks later...

While that reaction is disheartening and regrettably expected, we should respond with patience and grace. I'm the first to get "bothered" by this type of thinking, but I am trying to learn to temper my reaction. Let's pray that the people who hold this worldview learn to open their minds and imaginations to different types of meaningful storytelling. There is so much beauty in the world, and it saddens me that people miss it due to their self-imposed blinders. Perhaps a gentle answer and a firm guiding hand can be the catalyst that allows their eyes to truly see.

"The greatest meat of all. The meat of friendship and fatherhood."

The Blue Raft - Are you ready to ride?

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It may be the reviewer really just doesn't get the Fantasy genre. That's not all that strange. Although, as a reviewer/former English major, I can't believe he'd get his feathers ruffled so easily over that particular scene (I still haven't read the book myself, but I assume it wasn't overly graphic). I mean, even popular CCM books have that sort of thing (and worse) happen in their pages, to say nothing of current mainstream lit.

::shrug::

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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