I'd like to welcome Casey Clubb, author of Jacob, King of Portalia, to the blog today!
Miles Vorkosigan in the Vorkosigan Saga books by Lois McMaster Bujold.
Miles is a loveable and heroic rebel. He was born with friable bones that break easily and he grew up deformed in a culture that is prejudiced against people with disabilities.
Miles is considered a mutant by many of his own, but he goes about his life as if his health issues are nothing more than an inconvenience.
He is reckless with his life, putting himself in grave danger to save others. But he is just cheeky enough and brilliant enough to pull himself, and those he is intent on rescuing, out of the fire.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing Jacob, King of Portalia?
That Jacob is gay.
I had another story I’d planned to write about a young gay man named Jake, but I hadn’t thought to write Jacob as gay. After all, my target audience is middle school. Who’s going to read about a gay middle school hero, right?
But the story never came together right, not the way I wanted it to. Not until I realized that Jacob was Jake, only a younger version of him.
Ironically, Jacob’s story is a story about coming out of hiding and learning to be true to one’s own self. Perhaps it shouldn’t have surprised me that the story never quite came together while I was resisting the truth about who Jacob is :-).
What do you think makes a good story?
My first thought is to say that it’s all about connecting with the character, but I’m pretty sure that’s a writing cliché :-).
For me as a reader, a good story is one that I want to keep reading. But what that is really depends on my mood and where I’m at in life.
Sometimes I want to be moved to tears, sometimes I want to think and sometimes I just want to laugh. And sometimes, I just want to fall in love with an unlikeable character.
One of my favorite books is Prince of Thorns. The main character, Jorg, drew me in within the first page. I don’t know why, but I can’t really say that it was because I “connected” with him because although Jorg does turn out to have some redeeming qualities, I was hooked long before any of those became apparent.
There was just something about the voice in that story that made me want to find out who Jorg was, to learn more about him and find out what happened next and how it ended.
So, to me, that’s what makes a good story.
What books have most influenced your life?
The Four Agreements.
What book are you reading now?
Well, I can never read just one book at a time :-). Right now I’m reading three books:
Prince Of Fools by Mark Lawrence
The Warded Man by Peter Brett
Tomorrow, The Killing by Daniel Polansky
Where are your fans most likely to find you hanging out?
At a coffee shop. Most likely a Starbucks. Although when I’m traveling, you can usually find me at a non-Starbucks coffee shop.
I’m a complete dork. No matter where I go and no matter what wonders there may be to see and do one of the things I most enjoy doing is discovering a new coffee shop. I don’t necessarily go for the coffee. I love great coffee but, like with wine, although my taste buds can certainly appreciate an exquisite, and probably expensive, coffee, my coffee needs are easy to please.
But what I love is to find a cozy, curl up and while away the afternoon type of coffee shop. On a recent trip to L.A. I discovered a great place called Moby’s Coffee and Tea in North Hollywood. I could have stayed at Moby’s for days, I loved it!
Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it?
Write what you want to read.
A piece of advice I read in an article of tips from Chuck Palahnuik. It stuck with me because it’s succinct, and ultimately, so true.
Of course I want to write what other people want to read. But unless somebody tells me directly what they want to read I’m only guessing. So the best I can do is to write what I want to read, and hope that there are others out there who want to read the same things I do.
If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?
Coredelia’s Honor, which is actually an omnibus comprised of the two books: Shards of Honor and Barrayar.
I would rewrite it in first person from Aral Vorkosigan’s point of view. The current story is written in 3rd person primarily from Cordelia’s POV.
I love all the stories in the Vorkosigan Saga as they are and I am loathe to suggest changing any of them :-). But if I could add my own unique twist to any book, I would rewrite Shards of Honor and Barrayar from Aral’s perspective. Or at least I would write companion volumes from his perspective.
Cordelia is an amazing woman, I’d love to see her through Aral’s eyes as she turns his, and his people’s, world upside down :-).
Series:The Pillars of Life
By: Casey Clubb
Genre: YA/MG Fantasy, GLBT story
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Published By: Booktrope
Jacob is the only one who can protect us all from a vengeful lunatic.
But Jacob’s a tiny sixth grader who’s scared of his own shadow. And his only known talent is hiding.
A misfit in his own home, a boy out of place in his own skin, Jacob has been hiding all his life—in his head, or behind his only friend.
His kind of different just isn’t accepted.
He thought hiding would keep him safe. But he was wrong.
For Jacob’s hiding has buried more than one truth, more than one secret. Including a destiny and a duty that are his to fulfill.
And a powerful talent. One that could doom his people.
Or save them…if he can find the courage to stop hiding from the thing that terrifies him the most—the truth about who he is:
A boy who likes boys.
A boy with a destiny foretold in an ancient legend.
A boy whose love could save us all.
Barnes & Noble:
About the Author
Casey Clubb lives near Portland, Oregon with her husband and her ever-growing collection of stuffed Tiggers.
For news and updates on Book Two—Jacob, Portal Master, visit www.caseyclubb.com.