Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Jane Lindskold

Jane Lindskold is the bestselling author of the Firekeeper series, which began with Through Wolf’s Eyes and concluded with Wolf’s Blood, as well as many other fantasy novels.

Her new novel is Artemis Awakening.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Lindskold's reply:
Back in February, I turned in the sequel for Artemis Awakening over to my editor at Tor. Up until then, my reading had mostly been either research or through audio books. In audio books, I went on a rather weird binge, alternating social farces by P.G. Wodehouse with re-reads of many of the Spenser crime/detective novels by Robert B. Parker.

When I did read print that wasn’t research, it was usually before bed and chosen at random. I read Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane; Patricia McKillip’s The Sorceress and the Cygnet and The Cygnet and the Firebird; and several novels by Clifford Simak. I also read short story collections by Paul Dellinger and Charles de Lint.

However, once my manuscript was turned in, I went on a reading binge. I read the entire of Garth Nix’s “Keys to the Kingdom” series, which was quite good, although less in depth than his “Abhorsen” series. That made me decide to make the “Abhorsen” series my next audio book adventure. I’d listened to them years ago, as read by Tim Curry. Great books, brilliantly performed. I’m currently listening to the final book. Even though I’m familiar with the story, I find myself looking forward to when I can next turn on my player and hear a little more.

This is quite a compliment for Mr. Nix and Mr. Curry because, to be honest, I find the first two-thirds of the second book in the series – Lirael – a bit hard to get through. The two main characters could be poster children for late teen angst, especially regarding the very specific issue of seeking an adult identity. Although I agree that this is a very real problem, there were times I wanted to join the Disreputable Dog in giving Lirael a good solid nip. And I wished that Sam had had someone to nip him – or at least someone he could talk to without them bringing their own assumptions into the picture and making true communication impossible.

But then again, I think Mr. Nix was making the point that even the best parents – and Sam’s are good people – can make the mistake of thinking they know what is best for their kids and never really ask what’s wrong, only assume – and guess wrong.

Since I switched to the “Abhorsen” books for audio, I found other things to read. I read far, far too much to mention here, without falling into listing titles, but I want to single out one novel that blew me out of the water: Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas.

Rats Saw God was recommended to me by a friend or I never would have picked it up – I’ve never been much into reality-based, teen angst fiction. Now that I have read it, though, I know I’ll read other of Mr. Thomas’ novels. Rats Saw God is a YA novel, focusing on mid-through late high school. The structure is fascinating, divided between a paper the main character is writing that investigates just how he got where he currently is, and his own slow journey into new experiences. I enjoyed the novel on several levels. As a former teen, I recognized some of the mindset, but as an adult I appreciated how subtly Mr. Thomas deals with the complex mindset of an time in life when a person is old enough to think he or she understands just how the world works and how it should work – and so often is missing key elements because the teen is just too young to know those elements are exists.

There… A sampling from the chocolate box of my reading!
Visit Jane Lindskold's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue