Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making blog tour - guest post and UK Giveaway

I'd like to welcome the lovely Catherynne M. Valente to Bookster Reviews today with a fantastic guest post, as part of the blog tour for her book which has been recently released in the UK by Corsair, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. I am currently reading and loving the book, and my review should be up soon! Here is Cat's brilliant guest post - I know you'll enjoy reading it as much as I did!



Twelve Words

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. It is not the longest title in the history of literature, (that honor goes to Nigel Tomm) but I’ll tell you what, every time I type it, and I’m still typing and still typing and still typing, it feels like the longest to me.  The sequel is hardly shorter: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There. What I have on my hands is a pattern—and I continually give thanks to my cover designers who manage to fit all those words plus my long name and a wyvern on a single book jacket.

So why did I saddle myself and my hardworking graphic designers with a twelve word title?

Well, it started out as a joke.

Fairyland, which is how I tend to shorten the title to save my fingers, began as a book-within-a-book in my adult novel Palimpsest. It is the favorite childhood novel of the protagonist of that work—I wanted to create a book for her that felt like The Wizard of Oz or Narnia or A Wrinkle in Time, but instead of porting the sometimes regressive messages of those books into my own,  give her a children’s text that was about embracing the magical world, not escaping it to get back home as soon as possible.  To amuse, mainly, myself, I drew with broad strokes the feeling of an old children’s novel from the 1910s or 20s: the generic Fairyland rather than the very specific secondary worlds popular in fantasy now, an arch, knowing narrator, a whimsical, wide-eyed style with what would nowadays be considered a high vocabulary. It was meant to be a loving pastiche of those novels—right down to a long, unwieldy title that the current trends of one word titles would reject. (Of course, I had no way of knowing at the time that a new trend was on its way—titles that began with the phrase “The Girl Who” led by Stieg Larsson. Ah well. There is nothing new under the sun.)

As my original intent did not involve ever writing or publishing Fairyland (the author is identified as H.F. Weckweet in Palimpsest), I didn’t think much about such a crazy title—many things an author commits in text simply amuse the author. I don’t think I really expected anyone to say “A HA! This is a pastiche of pre-WWI children’s novels!”

But as happens when you deal with fairies, the world had other plans. Fairyland became a viral juggernaut when I began posting it online and a great success in print, and now I’m stuck with my twelve-word title. But the funny thing is, people tell me all the time that they bought the book because of the title, that they love knowing so much about the story right up front, and the anticipation formed by reading and wondering when the circumnavigating is going to kick in. The novel quite literally does what it says on the tin, and I like being so bald with my literary intentions. It’s a challenge to come up with new ones (Fairyland is a five book series at the moment) since there’s really no formula to it other than long, active verb, conjunction, secondary clause. It’s like a puzzle. I’m working on the third book right now and I have pieces of a title but it hasn’t quite come together yet.

Titles are difficult—I suspect they’re difficult for everyone. Unless it falls into your head with a blinding light of awesomeness, it’s very hard to find a set of words to stand for the story as a whole. Fairyland, which began as a joke, ended up being a rather sly and neat solution to the problem—say what you’re going to do and then do what you say.



Thanks for that fab post Cat! Now onto the giveaway! You can win one of TEN (10) copies of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making! Isn't that exciting?! All you have to do is read the rules and then fill in the Rafflecopter below.


Rules:
- Open to UK entrants only
- Prizes will be sent out by the publisher
-Neither me or the publisher are responsible for any prizes lost in the post
- Giveaway closes on 18th June 2012 at 12:01a.m. - results will be announced in the next couple of days. Sorry for the short entry time, but I will be going on holidays on the 20th for a few weeks so I want to announce the winner before then!
-To enter fill in the Rafflecopter below



24 comments:

  1. A twelve word title?! :O Yet the cover still looks really cute. Great guest post, thanks! And also for the giveaway. (:

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    1. Favourite fantasy book... I'm too spoilt for choice on this!

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  2. I love this title - and the concept of this book! Great guest post and thanks so much for the giveaway! :D

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    1. Forgot to say that my favourite fantasy book is The Lost Island of Tamarind. :D

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  3. Wow, that title really is a bit of a mouthful! I like it, though. It sounds like a cute book as well! :) xxx

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  4. The Eyre Affair/any by Jasper Fforde really. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  5. Awesome post!! Brilliant guest-post and thank you so much for the awesome giveaway! :) I don't really read many fantasy books, but my favourite is probably Beauty by Robert McKinley. :)
    Beth xx

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  6. I just finished 58 page Fantasy book called Tallis. It was great and not my usual read.

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  7. zarah robinson (zarahf@gmail.com)June 19, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    I'm seriously going to stalk this Blog Tour because when I say In the Night Garden is my favorite fantasy book I'm not just saying it to match the giveaway. It really is. I love Valente's writing.

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  8. This looks a really good book to read and would love to win a copy as im a very big bookworm :) xx

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  9. I love a lot of fantasy but the last one I read was A Game Of Thrones :)

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  10. I dont know if Fallen counts as a fantasy, but I enjoyed that.

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  11. The "Song of Ice and Fire" series are my favourites

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  12. It's a bit leftfield - The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

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  13. My favourite fantasy book is The Passion by Jeanette Winterson... such a good book!

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  14. My favourite fantasy book is Time Travellers Wife. I think its really well written and a beautiful story!

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  15. The Lord of the Rings Series. These were the books which originally got me interested in the Fantasy genre.

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  16. When the wind blows by James Patterson

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  17. A Song of Ice and Fire ( Game of Thrones Series)

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