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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Guest Post with Sarah Rees Brennan & Contest

-by Sarah Rees Brennan

Part of being a writer is being a reader who thinks 'Wait, I can fix this!' Most of the writers I know have things in their books that come from other books which they don't like, turned upside down: for instance in the romance novel Your Scandalous Ways the heroine tells the hero 'You're beautiful when you're angry.'

One thing that always annoyed me in books was what is called 'phantom income.' You know - how on earth do the characters in Friends afford their apartments. Way worse than that, a character who has a part-time job and the rest of the time slays monsters, and still has a penthouse? Being the star of a fantasy novel should have a serious effect on your earning power.

But then, being the star of a fantasy novel means that something scary is usually after you, so you need weapons. Many characters in fantasy novels don't immediately dive for the kitchenware. I find this hard to understand! I don't generally go armed, but if vampires/demons/evil unicorns were trying to kill me, I'd be hitting www.ineedabazooka.com PDQ. In the Demon's Lexicon series, my hero Nick is a master swordsman. Because if evil things are after you, you get armed, and you get good.

So here's a thing. Weapons are really expensive. Especially if you want them to be untraceable.

I did a lot of sums and a lot of research on this. At one point my great-aunt came to tea, and she found my pile of notes on black-market guns.

... She had a few questions for me over our tea and biscuits. I think she may still secretly believe I'm a crime lord and not a writer at all.

So I needed a place where two teenage boys could buy weapons. And I needed people who knew about the magical world I had created, and I wanted to one more thing.

Usually in fantasy world, the world is either open (everybody knows about vampires, in fact there are vampires living across the street, and the mayor is a werechipmunk) or closed (you find out about the magic world, because you're special - you've got magical powers, or a magical creature loves you very much).

I wanted a world ajar. A world where there was secret magic happening, and it was just possible that simply through being interested, you might get an invitation.

And from all this came the Goblin Market. Which proves writers also steal stuff they like!

I got the name from Christina Rossetti's poem the Goblin Market (and I tried to give her credit, though my Nick, not a reader, thinks that she's called Christina Risotto) - which is a beautiful, scary poem about friendship, death and being almost unable to resist the tempting things inhuman creatures offer you in the woods.

"We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"

At the Goblin Market, dancers dance dangerous dances to call up demons, who give answers that are always truthful and never nice to hear. You can buy magic blades. You can buy fruit that takes all your inhibitions away. You can buy a necromancer's charm to curse someone you love, or buy a pied piper's song to make someone obey you. You can buy chimes that sing your favourite songs to you, protective charms against evil, lanterns you can put in a window to call someone you love who is wandering or lost home. You can buy a light of love, a light so small that if it glows enough for you to see by, you know the one it's glowing for is your true love.

Anyone can be invited to the Goblin Market, because the people there live on the money provided to them by tourists - by people who come to see and touch magic once a month.

I wanted to create a magic place, which said to the reader: Come in. Come buy.

And it all came from wanting teenage boys to have a place to buy pointy stuff. Not that my great-aunt would ever believe it.

**This contest is closed**
For a chance to win the audio book of the first book in the series, the Demon's Lexicon: what would you want to buy at the Goblin Market?
Contest is ends 8/1
International entrants welcome!
Good Luck!

SARAH REES BRENNAN was born and raised in Ireland by the sea, where her teachers valiantly tried to make her fluent in Irish (she wants you to know it's not called Gaelic), but she chose to read books under her desk in class instead. After living briefly in New York and doing a creative writing MA and library work in Surrey, England, she has returned to Dublin, Ireland, to write. Her Irish is still woeful, but she feels the books under the desk were worth it.

To learn more about Sarah Rees Brennan and her books, visit her Official Website and Blog.

Read an excerpt of The Demon's Covenant.
Read my review of The Demon's Covenant.


Kayla :) said...

Hmm. I would probably buy one of the chimes that sing my favorite songs to me. Sounds interesting, and the least likely to somehow go wrong! xD Great contest!

kayla3194 at gmail dot com

Cara said...

The Friends-apartment-thing has always bugged me. I remember reading an article that said it was worth millions and I literally yelled in my mind 'But they're WAITRESSES!'

/end small rant

Great guest post!! (:

Travis said...

I'd probably buy a protection spell. If I found out that there were demon's and who knows what else out there, I'd need something to keep me safe.


Victoria said...

I'd buy a tailsman. Better safe than sorry. I wouldn't mind a dance with nick either ;). vsloboda@gmail.com

host said...

I would like to buy a light of love, it sounds very handy :)

Erin said...

Hmmm I would like to buy a pied piper's song for reasons I shall not disclose =)

Oh does that make me sound evil and up to no good like along the lines of world domination?? ;)


Elie said...

Ohh, I want a world ajar. That sounds interesting. Hope they would invite me.

Great post.

holdenj said...

I think the chimes sound really lovely. Very nice post! Thanks!

SandyG265 said...

I think I'd buy a talisman

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

Hmm, I'd want to buy something that either let me go invisible or maybe fly, or read minds.

Lots of things I'd want to buy that allowed me to be super cool. :)

Michelle said...

Oh man, This was so great! That section about the illegal guns had me snorting with laughter. I ADORE Sarah Rees Brennan's books - and I love hearing about how authors come up with different plot devices. Thanks for the great post.

Truthfully? I'm like Nick - I'll go for a shiny, sharp enchanted sword any day.

rai-ryu said...

I'd probably end up buying a charm of protection, or something along those lines. Maybe for one of my friends rather than myself though, cause that's just my way. Though working up the nerve to actually give it to them is a different matter :P

I think another good thing about the Goblin Market is that you can trade things rather than just using currency. Imagine having to pay your rent AND shell out thousands on weapons? Good thing Alan is so skilled at translations.

Ann said...

Great idea for a contest!

If I were to buy one thing at the Goblin Market, it would probably be a protection charm for my boyfriend, because he always gets himself hurt by doing something silly. It would be a way I could keep him safe(er), because boys never listen when you tell them something is probably a bad idea. :)

C said...

I think I'd buy a graceful magic dress in blue velvet that would cause anyone who touched/caressed the nap to do my bidding for ten minutes (only a handful of minutes, after all).

Jessy said...

I think I would buy the fruit that would take all of my inhibitions away. Sounds handy!

Tore said...

I would buy a light of love to make sure I have found my true love. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Chelsea B. said...

Ohh! Definitely a light of love! Wouldn't that be wonderful to have? :-)

Azzy said...

The Goblin Market sounds like a place I'd love to visit.

I would probably end up buying everything I could get my greedy little hands on (as long as my money didn't run out of course). If I had to pick just one though, I'd definitely spend my life savings on one of those lanterns to call a loved one who is lost or wandering home.

Please consider me for the contest: nofacevalue@hotmail.com

Bee said...

I'd buy the light of love. Time I need it. Sigh.

Also, the Goblin Market sounds terrific! Love the idea of it!


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, babe. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Ms. Yingling said...

No wonder I loved the first book so much. What a great interview! I probably would have bought a protective talisman, but after reading the interview, I think I would need something pointy. And sharp. But small and easily concealed. I cannot wait for the next book!


charm of protection mrs.mommyyatgmaildotcom

Benita said...

I'd definitely buy a talisman. Better safe than sorry.


mverno said...

a world ajar mverno@roadrunner.com

Anne said...

I'm with Nick - I would buy a weapon =D Probably a really beautiful knife, since I do not know how to use a sword.

Emma said...

Great guest post! Fascinating.

Infertility Goddess said...

Protection spell.
Nice post!

mmentor said...

sign me up

Anonymous said...

I would buy a light of love because, in my opinion, what is there to live for without love? It is something that makes you want to wake up everyday in the arms of the one who makes you feel the happiest and overcome every obstacle with them right by your side. <3


Mystica said...

I want this book for my son who likes reading books of this genre. I think he would also go for a weapon of some kind!!


Aik said...

I would buy a protection spell that will last for a hundred years.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

bridget3420 said...

I would buy some charms.


angel28140 said...

I'd go on a shopping spree. One (or two) of everything for me. I can't wait to read (or hear) The Demon's Lexicon. I wish I had it already.

-Lisa B.
angel28140 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

lilian-cho said...

A protection charm or a talisman, I can't decide =)

Dawn M. said...

I would buy a Light of Love. Too bad I didn't have that for my last relationship. Would've been helpful.

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

ferretvamp14 said...

I think I would buy a protection charm. You never know what kind of beasties are out there waiting to harm you. To me, protection is always a viable option. I wish fantasy places were real. It reminds me of waiting for that letter to arrive from Hogwarts, then realizing no owl post is coming for you, but it sure is fun to dream!

Great post! Thanks for the contest!

jellybelly82158 said...

I think I would want a protection spell.

I really like the idea of an open world
Thanks for the great post and giveaway!!!

Maidenveil said...

I always wanted a sword..I guess the Goblin Market is the best place to get an awesome sword!


Scoot said...

I would buy some kind of awesome sword.



chlorinebrain said...

I'd definitely buy a tailsman.

Jon_Lefkove said...

I'd buy a tailsman.

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

I would buy a comfort spell, which would give me the power to calm down people who are nervous, irritated, angry or scared.

Thank you for the graet posta nd the fantastic giveaway!

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

YA Vampire Books said...

ha I think I would be too afraid to buy something there, but if I had to - a protection spell, like Travis said!


SalanderServant said...

A talisman because I wear in regular life my own version of one, having one actually enriched with power would be awesome.

Melissa B. said...

I would buy a luck potion.

Anonymous said...

I would buy a vocabulary!


degood said...

I think I would buy a world ajar.


Storm, The Psychotic Housewife said...

LOL at the notes on the guns and your Great Aunt thinking you're a crime lord!

I'd buy the Pied Piper's song so I could actually get my little gremlin to obey me! ;)

stormraven at gmail dot com

AEKZ2 said...

I'd want a protective charm.

Deborah Wellenstein said...

I would buy a light of love. Thanks!

kathy pease said...

id buy the fruit that takes all your inhibitions away :)