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inkpopper of the Week: Herald Angus Penn

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on June 21, 2010

“I live in the MURDER capital of Canada. I kid you not! There are two things Winnipeg is known for: 7-11 Slurpies and MURDER. Now, you’d think with such an interesting label, my city would be a hotbed of stories to tell. Sadly, not the case. It takes the wildest of imaginations to spin any sort of yarn out of Winnipeg. Luckily, I think I have one of those! 🙂

“Not-so-interesting fact: I’m the leader of the Straight Edge Society Winnipeg chapter, which currently has one member. That means I don’t consume anything that might harm my temple, er, uh, I mean body.

“Other things I enjoy are going for long runs with my beagle, Maggie, watching lots of different kinds of movies, and playing hockey with my good buddies.”

Of course, many of Herald Angus Penn’s good buddies can be found right here on inkpop, via the numerous projects he has selected, which have launched countless wannabe-published-authors into inkpop fame.

While there was a point in time when Herald’s very own work, Arthur and the Washing Machine That Ate Him, was ranked at # 17 on the inkpop Charts, he elected to remove the piece for editing, and instead focus on improving his Trendsetter Status. Ranked as Number 3 on the Top Trendsetter list, Herald has an eye for talent and a knack for picking winners; a skill that he is more than happy to share with all of you with each and every project he selects and promotes.

What’s the secret to your Trendsetter success? How do you determine what inkpop projects you want to pick?

Herald Angus Penn: My secret is none other than Morgan (MIC), the greatest picker in all of inkpop! She must have some sort of superhuman picking ability because she always picks the best projects. Aside from that, I like a fresh, creative premise, and a unique, engaging character voice.

In addition, I ask that people really ‘sell’ me on their work when they message me for reads. In fact, I ran a little contest last week looking for inkpop’s most creative pitches. Most of them were really great, but here are the projects I felt were sold the best and that readers should check out:

1. In the Land of the Blind by Malcolm Anthony.
2. Murphy and Me by thewanderingsagittarius.
3. Dancing Through Life by mleedancerr12.
4. The Michael Mackin Project by Cait Black.
5. Half Iron by sheaelaine.

If you had the chance to star as a character in any book what book would it be and why? Would you be a character that has already been created, or a new one?

HAP: I’d be Alice’s White Rabbit because I can never seem to get a good grasp of time. I’d be a natural!

If you were to recommend ONE book that you feel everyone should read at some point in their lives, what would it be and why?

HAP: Everyone knows the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland but not everyone has actually read it and they don’t realize just how weird and wonderful it really is. I must also plug Bruising Reed by inkpop’s own FinneganScott. It’s a project that has tragically not been read enough.

Do you hope to make writing a career; or do you have other aspirations?

HAP: This is it for me! If I don’t become a writer I’m going to become a drifter, wandering aimlessly across the country. Scratch that — even if I DO become a writer, that’s what I’m gonna do.

How do you combat writer’s block?

HAP: A hunger strike. I say that because whenever writer’s block sticks out its ugly little head, I always seem to head to the kitchen or walk down to the bakery for food. If I don’t eat, I’m forced to stay seated at my computer writing. It’s worked wonders for my work and my figure.

What room is your favorite to write in and why?

HAP: Any room except the rooms of my house (sorry mom!)! There are just too many distractions at home. My favorite place to write is at the downtown library. The crazies walking around give me my inspiration. You know the ones. They mutter to themselves loudly or just start chuckling randomly. I love those people.

If you could have a dinner party with five of your favorite authors who would they be and why?

HAP: Lewis Carroll would host, but it wouldn’t be a dinner party, it would be a tea party, because, as you know, he’s all about tea parties. He’d sit at the head of the table and at the other end would be Ken Kesey, but Kesey would be zoned out on some drug he spiked his own tea with. Carroll and I would talk about some nonsense. To the left of Carroll would be Alan Moore, the writer of Watchmen. But he would just be completely silent and looking around suspicious of everyone. Will Shakespeare would put on a play on a stage nearby, but it would mostly just be him delivering a long soliloquy about tea being better than coffee. Finally, Roald Dahl would show up late with a fantastic story for us all. I would choose these people because it would just be so darn entertaining.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Hermione Granger or Bella Swan? Hermione! Twilight ahhhh stay back! *makes a cross with his fingers*
What’s on your iPod? 99 Luftaballoons – Nena; Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen; Break My Stride – Matthew Wilder; Lean On Me – Glee Cast Version.
Lucky number? 21
Food you could eat everyday? Tim Horton’s whole grain raspberry muffin (it’s a Canadian thing!).
Best place to curl up with a good book? On my exercise bike.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent, Teen Trends, Top Picks, Top Trendsetters | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

inkpopper of the Week: HealedMyWings

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on June 7, 2010

“I tend to think of myself rather like many would think of a trapped insect – that is, partly disgusting, partly fascinating, and partly amusing. It’s rather a disturbing mixture, especially when you consider that I am not fond of insects in the least. At sixteen, I am the eldest of four children. The other three are my twin brothers and two-year-old sister, the latter of which I tend to lump with my massive golden retriever and the friendly little toad that lives in our garden. I’m not in any particular grade (I’m homeschooled, so I can be in three grades at once and no one thinks twice about it), but I suspect I will be a senior this coming school year.

“I have an unhealthy love of words, to the point of keeping a little journal in my purse for the sole purpose of recording new words I come across. When I am not writing, you can find me walking in the woods thinking about writing, drawing scenes and characters from my writing, talking about writing, or taking pictures of people, places, and things that remind me of my writing. I would love to say that I swim against the current, but that is not true. But then again, neither can I say that I go with the flow. I’m rather the one swimming across the current, blundering through traffic and other fish as I go about my happy little agenda.”

It is Tori’s (aka HealedMyWings) slightly offbeat way of thinking that has made her such an asset to the world of inkpop. Since joining the site back in February, she has taken on the task of rewriting a fairytale for the fairytale anthology being put together by LA Knight; participated in a variety of writing contests right here on inkpop; and, most importantly, reached a Rank of 24 with her adventure, science fiction/fantasy novel The Game of War, which is as unique as Tori herself is.

Your book The Game of War is currently ranked at # 24. While it is a fantasy/science fiction piece, you introduce ideas and scenarios that have never been done before (i.e. medieval valley girls, battles with teakettles for weapons, etc.). Where did these ideas stem from?

HealedMyWings: Medieval valley girls, teakettle battles, and useless dragons all spring from my love of anything bizarre, quirky, or contradictory. Because I write mainly high fantasy, I have an obsessive fear of falling into the stereotypes associated with that particular genre. So I look at what is usually done in my genre and ask myself, “How can I set this on its head?” My favorite way to answer this question is to look for the worst possible fit for a particular role. Most fantasies have a wicked king or evil sorcerer intent on destroying or ruling the world. Instead, I create a “villain” who is noble and means the best for his people, although his ideals tend to be skewed because he views himself as their god. On the other hand, the “good guys” are willing to cheat and lie to bring him down. And instead of the typical farm boy or orphan who rises to become their leader via some revered magical talent or particular leadership ability, I choose the worst possible character to stumble into the middle of a war: A naive Medieval valley girl who can get in the way and screw everything up for both factions as she pursues her own little agenda, as opposed to saving the day. In this way, I can come up with all sorts of bizarre – and sometimes even unheard-of – ideas for my stories.

As for the teakettles, that is entirely the main character’s fault. She had to defend herself somehow, and a teakettle happened to be the only thing on hand. I’m not nearly clever enough (or shallow enough, perhaps?) to invent such a preposterous weapon out of kitchenware.

Based upon your work, it seems that you have a very creative way of thinking. How would you describe your imagination?

HealedMyWings: Whimsical, hyperactive, and altogether impractical, I would say. Have you ever seen a ridiculously energetic little kid pumped full of sugar, running around a playground with a plastic sword screaming their head off? That’s me. I am, in essence, a young, female, modern-day Don Quixote seeking adventure in an ordinary world with very little to offer in means of fantastical endeavors. At times, I think I take the imaginary more seriously than reality. After all, when all this world has to offer bores you to the point of near-insanity, your only option is to pretend with all your might that life is a whimsical adventure, and then live it as if it truly is. That, and vent all the wild adventures you wish you could go on into a story and have your characters live them in your stead.

You are a member of inkpop’s Teakettle Clan, which was discussed a few weeks back when Cara Ruegg was inkpopper of the week; however, you also use teakettles as a focal point in your work (a la their appearance as weapons in The Game of War). Do teakettles have some sort of special meaning for you?

HealedMyWings: Before I joined inkpop, teakettles meant very little to me – no more than any other kitchen appliance, that is. The beginning of all this teakettle craziness actually began with a particular chapter in The Game of War involving said teakettle weapons. Some of the fans (and a few others) decided to become “cheerleaders” for The Game of War. They decided they would dress up like the main character, and instead of using pompoms they would use teakettles in honor of that particular scene. After that, the Teakettle Clan sprang up, and then a variety of inside jokes involving teakettles. I’ve taken to using it as my author’s signature of sorts – most of my projects, if not all, now contain something about tea and teakettles. So if you ever read something of mine aside from The Game of War, keep an eye out for those signature teakettles.

How do you combat writer’s block? Do you have any tips for beating out writer’s block that you’d like to share with us?

HealedMyWings: To be frank, I’m a pathetic wimp when it comes to writer’s block. But I fight anyway, of course (fr the sake of my sanity and my characters, more than anything else). What seems to work best for me is having multiple projects going at once. That way, when I get stuck on one, I can work on another until I know where I’m going with the first. For example, I have four separate novels and three short stories going right now, and it’s working quite well. As for actually getting ideas to help me get unstuck, it helps to create a web chart. I put the current predicament in a bubble at the center of the page, then branch off with all sorts of absurd (and often unworkable) paths until I find something my characters would actually do that I actually like. I just keep branching and branching, and then pick the best path and unleash the characters to wreak their havoc.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite cartoon character? Raven from Teen Titans. One can’t help but adore a heroine struggling with her fate to bring about the end of the universe. I love a character with depth and a story of his or her own, and Raven certainly has more than her fair share of both.
What’s on your iPod? I’m a nerd. I have mostly classical pieces on my iPod, such as Beethoven’s 5th and a variety of flute concertos by everyone from Chaminade to Mozart.
If you were granted three wishes from a genie, what would you ask for? 1) A pet dragon, please. Preferably in black or white, if possible. 2) Writer’s block would die and never bother me again. 3) More time!!!
Favorite movie? Either Coraline or Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland.
Oreo cookies or cookie dough ice cream? Oreo cookies, definitely. Cookie dough ice cream is nice, but nothing beats slowly licking the cream out of an Oreo.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent, Teen Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

inkpop Fundamentals: May 25, 2010

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 25, 2010

We’re off to see the wizard Since their release in June of 1997, readers and non-readers alike have found themselves sucked into the vortex known as the world of Harry Potter. The seven-book series has been devoured over and over again by fans; allowing them to find themselves lost in the land of Hogwarts amidst Harry, Ron, Hermione, and a slew of other characters. Come June 18, 2010, however, fans will no longer have to use their imaginations to be a part of the Wizarding World. They need only stop at Florida’s Universal Orlando Resort to experience the magic firsthand. Visitors will have the opportunity to break bread at The Three Broomsticks; savor butterbeer at The Hog’s Head Pub; choose a wand at Ollivander’s; take a ride upon the Dragon Challenge – a twin, high-speed rollercoaster – and so much more! MTV.

I read; therefore, I draw The Neverending Story, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Hobbit, Sabriel…chances are that your childhood was a whirlwind of afternoons spent lazing about your front porch hungrily reading many of these titles. Now you have the chance to see the words you adore so much transformed into art by some of the best illustrators in the biz! Picture Book Report is an ode to books which consists of drawings posted on a daily basis depicting scenes from your favorite forms of fiction, created by fifteen amazing illustrators – including Laura Park and Lucy Knisley. Pop Candy.

‘The Perks’ to light up the big screen! Stephen Chbosky made jaws drop when he released his debut novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower back in 1999. Though the novel was quickly banned from several schools, and even found itself in the midst of controversy via its inclusion in both the 2006 and 2008 American Library Association’s 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books Lists; it retained massive popularity with readers. Now the book is set to hit the big screen with Emma Watson in talks to play the female lead – Sam – and Logan Lerman up to possibly play the male protagonist known as Charlie. Fans will be happy to know that Chbosky not only wrote the script for the film; but will be directing it, as well. MTV.

Over to you…will you be visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when it opens? What attraction are you most looking forward to and why? What do you think of Picture Book Report? Is there a book you would love to see adapted into art – which one and why? What do you think of a film version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower? Do you think Emma Watson and Logan Lerman are good candidates for the lead roles?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Fundamentals, inkpop News, Teen Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »