The Month of May I’ve joined the Summer Teen Reading Party! Get your kindles and nooks loaded up with a bunch of brand new YA and MG novels to get ready for summer. I know a few of these authors personally, and I’m super excited to meet the others! You can view the whole event here or check out a list of all the authors involved. There’s prizes, book giveaways, sales for books for $1.99 and $0.99, and loads of great interviews and excerpts to enjoy. I’ll be joining the fun and tweeting about the event all month as well.
On my own blog I’m interviewing Penny Estelle on May 5th. Interviewing Barbara Ehrentreu on May 17th. Then I have a guest post from Marva Dasef on May 20th, and a guest post from Kate Fuentes on May 28th! I’ll also be giving away a copy of one of my books on each of those days on their blogs where I’m featured in return. I’ll post those links on the day each person is hosted as well, but check out the full schedule for a bunch of giveaways and prizes.
This last week I was sick, which is why I failed to blog last Monday, but I made up for it by reading a great deal. Among a lot of reading old favorites (Earthsea books and The Enchanted Forest Chronicles) I also ready a fascinating non-fiction book “The Dance of 17 Lives: The Incredible True Story of Tibet’s 17th Karmapa” by Mick Brown. Now, prior to reading this, I had never heard of the Karmapa, a religious figure similar to the Dali Lama who escaped with him originally when he fled Tibet. This Karmapa though was the next one, a child identified in Tibet who grew up under Chinese supervision until at the age of 14 he also fled the country.
I picked up this book with several from the library about Tibet for research on my new project, a fantasy novel that steals elements from Chinese and Tibetan history. It however, reads more like a memoir than a history. About half the chapters cover the 17th Karmapa’s childhood, identification, troubles in China, and eventual escape. Every other chapter was about church politics between the students of the 16th Karmapa who disagreed over if the right boy had been chosen. I thought that would be boring, but found myself fascinated instead… and now inclined to write a different book about church politics… it’s been very helpful for another project I have with a priest character of a fantasy religion.
The one caveat is the book is written by a western follower of Tibetan Buddhism, so while he’s fair and balanced in talking about the politics between different monks, he has a few places he gets rather overly sentimental about both the Dali Lama and the Karmapa. However, the memoir tone of the book made this feel not as out of place as it might be in a history book and the tone generally worked for making it an easy and enjoyable read.