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Win a copy of Nobody and Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (ends 2/20)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Interview with D.J MacHale + Giveaway

Hey guys, I'd like to introduce you to D.J. MacHale. He's produced several TV shows and movies and written a few books here and there. You know that series called Pendragon? Yeah he wrote that. His latest book, Morpheus Road: The Light will be coming out really soon (like today!) To celebrate this release I have a small interview with MacHale and a lovely surprise in the end :)
1. How do you find the time to focus on your novels in the midst of all your other writing projects? I was just reading a short biography and there was a lot that just boggled my mind a bit.

After having worked in episodic TV for so many years, I developed the ability to compartmentalize and switch gears pretty quickly. While shooting a season of a TV show, at any given moment I would have to juggle thirteen different stories in various stages of completion…from writing to production to editing and sound work. Once I started writing novels, the challenge grew. For many years I’d spend half the year writing the next Pendragon novel, and the other half of the year writing and producing the TV show Flight 29 Down. The good thing was that I was always re-charging my creative batteries in
different ways. When writing any story, after spending so much time on it you can lose your objectivity. So I found that switching between stories keeps me looking at each one with fresh eyes. Right now, I’ve got three different book series going. Morpheus Road, The Monster Princess and The Equinox Curiosity Shop. Each is very different and geared toward different ages. Jumping from one to the other bends my thinking in different directions and, I believe, keeps the ideas fresh and the ideas flowing. So jumping around is actually a good thing!

2. Does your thinking differ when writing novels than say screenplays? Do you try to be more descriptive? More dialogues?

There are many similarities between the two, and quite a few differences. The similarities are obvious. A good story is a good story. You have to create interesting characters who go on a journey and encounter compelling challenges. That applies whether you are writing for TV, movies, books, shorts stories, etc. So the basics are the same. The differences come with style. With a screenplay you have to be very descriptive using as few words as possible. You only write what you will see or hear. I think that’s why so many of my readers tell me that they can easily visualize my stories. That comes from years of writing quick, descriptive sentences. Readers also tell me that my dialog is authentic. That comes from having written tens of thousands of lines of dialog that were actually spoken by actors. As I’m writing and re-writing my books, I perform the dialog in my head. It’s habit. It may not be considered superlative literature, but it is definitely real. It’s written the way that people speak.

One of the great, freeing things about writing books as opposed to screenplays is that I can write about thought process. That’s one of the reasons that I write so much in the first person. I like to be able to get into a character’s head and write what he’s thinking as he encounters various challenges. That’s something that you can’t do with a screenplay. With a screenplay, the character’s thought process has to be conveyed by his actions. So it’s fun for me to get into the head of Marshall Seaver or Bobby Pendragon and actually write about their confusion, or annoyances or desires. For me, that’s the biggest difference between writing screenplays and books. Each have different challenges, but in the end it’s just about writing a good story.
And because I told you that there'll be a surprise (but I think I spoiled it already....) I was offered by someone lovely to host a giveaway for 5 copies of The Light to 5 lucky winners in US.

To enter just leave me a nice little comment telling if you ever tried to balance so many things all at once. Were you successful? Just remember to leave your comment before May 7th!


P.S. Linking this interview/giveaway doesn't hurt your chances either :P

P.P.S. D.J. MacHale will be available during a LIVE UStream chat at 6EST today! So just visit the site, login on the right side via Twitter or Facebook and post questions for him. It's that simple :)

21 comments:

  1. Hello! Yes and no. Yes, I tried to balance too many things at once. No, I was not successful. Years ago, I was hyper-organized, working full-time, caring for an aging parent and numerous rescue animals. I was an "administrative assistant" in a mostly male work environment, and tried my best to be professional in my manner and my appearance. That all changed one day when I went to work and was promptly told by my male coworkers that my shoes didn't match! They were the same style and model number of shoe, but one was black and one was blue. Efficient to the core, if I spotted a good buy in shoes or clothing, I bought it in more than one color. For a long time after that fateful two-toned day, I was know at work as "Miss Match"! I laughed along with everyone else and learned a valuable lesson or two. Don't sweat the small stuff. Take care of the most important things first. Everything else will fall in place. Give yourself a break now and then. If you laugh, you'll live : )

    US Resident, Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

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  2. I feel like I'm always trying to balance too many things at once. I tend to be a bit of a "yes" person when it comes to my job and my friends. I often take on too much (with good intentions) and then have little time for myself. This has only gotten worse since I entered into a program to earn my master's degree. Now, "too much" is a regular feature of my life. Only one year to go though, and I'll be done and (hopefully) able to spend time with family and on my own interests!

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  3. I'm not a good multi-tasker. I prefer to finish one think before I start another.

    I'm a US follower and would love to win a copy of Morpheus Road.

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  4. I am actually pretty good at balancing things out although I prefer to do things one at a time.

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  5. I'm not a very good multi-tasker. If I have too much stuff going on outside of school my grades usually start to suffer. College has really made me have to work on my organizational skills.

    -Brittany
    randomlybrittany(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. Of course I have. It normally leads to me being stressed out and going little bit crazy. Finding the right amount of balance is key.

    dawnpnr at aol dot com

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  7. mmm multitasking is not for me. It seems like I can handle things better if I am doing them one at a time.

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  8. Who doesn't try to take on many things at once. I'm usually pretty good at this, but there was one time at work, I just broke down and starting crying because it was way too much for me to handle at the time.

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  9. I'm always multitasking at work. it's just impossible to finish anything without being interrupted by something else.

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  10. It's hard to multitask and be zen at the same time! I've been successful doing multiple tasks at the same time but it's exhausting!

    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  11. i can multitask to a certain point, but it doesn't last long! :)

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  12. OH my! Yes. I try to balance a couple things at once.

    Hmm. One example is last spring, I wanted to do track and soccer at the same time. At first it worked for a while. I would go to soccer practice and then track. But finally I just decided that I should just pick one sport. Also, I think my track coach (actually, I was in filed so my throwing coach) didn't like that I was going to soccer. AND there was the fact that track wasn't as fun as it was in middle school and I didn't know anyone on the team, they were all upperclassmen.

    infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

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  13. Yes I have tried it. No I was not successful. I learn that while I can balance a couple things at a time there is a limit before I feel like I am going to have a breakdown.

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  14. I'm trying it now, but I don't think it's successful because doing and balancing many things at a time will only cause me to stress out.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  15. Right now school has become a balancing act for me. I have to juggle my 5 classes, after-school activities, community service, AP exams and the SATs and ACTs. And since I'm a junior I have to find where I want to attend to college and have to start filling out scholarships. And on top of that all is my family and other activities outside school. It's stressful at times, but then I find myself really enjoying how my life is.

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  16. And I also linked your contest to my sidebar,

    http://booksbytheircover.blogspot.com/2010/04/interview-with-dj-machale-giveaway.html

    :D
    Sarah L.
    two_of_hearts_101 at yahoo dot com

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  17. Yes I have tried and succeeded but it was so stressful that I dont really do that anymore.

    fmd518(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. I am a follower.
    Oh yes, When I use to work 50 hours a week or more. Had the responsibility of a business to run and a husband at home. Thankfully I ran a restaurant and was able to bring dinner home. That helped out. Then my husbands family gets together like every weekend. I never felt like I had any time to myself.

    I also tweeeted this giveaway:
    http://twitter.com/Romantic73/status/12975188299

    chirth7@yahoo.com

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  19. When I was younger I could handle a lot but not anymore. I use to work 60hrs a week as a nurse, raise 4 kids and keep house. I never had any time to myself.

    jellybelly82158 at gmail dot com

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  20. Have I ever had to balance things in my life? Uhm, hello, welcome to the day of a teenager. I have school, friends, reading, my computer addiction, homework, and sleep to balance- EVERY DAY! It's gotten easier as time has progressed, tho some days are much harder than others! :p

    This book looks very intriguing!
    -Dani
    lightningstreak123[at]comcast[dot]net

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  21. Well if you could count once at school this year I had to balance studying for five tests and writing two essays in one night because all were due the next day, then yeah...and was I successful? Er, partially. :) This book looks cool and it's quite interesting how D.J. MacHale was a director before O:

    Amy Chang
    amychaang AT gmail.com

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