Tag Archives: Peter S. Beagle

Interview with Rally the Readers

25 Oct

I’m over at Rally the Reader today talking about Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb, my thoughts on Marlowe vs Shakespeare and how if Marlowe hadn’t died, it’s possible Shakespeare wouldn’t have been THE Shakespeare, and how Cole wound up rooming with a crazy like Dmitri. Also a bit of sneak peek on what’s next for Lizzy.

What adventures are in store for Lizzy in the next book?

I’m actually working on the next book right now which is tentatively called Lizzy Speare and the Hall of Hecate. Hecate is the Greek Goddess of Magic and her hall contains every magical object in this history of myth or legend. Looking for the Vorpal Blade that killed the Jabberwocky? It’s there. So is King Arthur’s sword. Once the Hall of Hecate is robbed and all that magic is released, Jonathan realizes that Marlowe’s plans don’t end at destroying Lizzy. They begin there. And all of Mythkind are in trouble.

We’ll see the return of some old friends and we’ll get to meet a few new ones. And few other Muses. Jonathan isn’t the only show in town, you know. And we’ll get to go to Hagsmoor Copse, the land of the satyrs and find out more about Cleo and the war with the harpies.

Read the rest here.

And to Lee and Melissa for the interview (and the very awesome review) my Starbursts of Thanks!

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New York Comic Con and the Author Meeting That Changed My Life

15 Oct

There’s a cause I can get behind

This weekend was New York Comic Con, the second biggest meeting of Nerd Culture in the country (the first being San Diego’s Con or what I call The Big Show). This wasn’t my first Comic Con but it was the first one I went to on the non-professional day, i.e. on Saturday with all my geeky brethren.

So here I am, geeked out:

I’m wearing matching purple tights and my docs but you can’t see those.

Just kidding. I wear that Sandman t-shirt all the time.  So we headed through the trade floor, checking out all the Spidermen and Wolverines and Banes and Batmans. I counted at least 7 Banes and a surprising number of Zeldas. And of course, The Doctor with his Tardis:

Brilliant!

And his most feared enemy:

Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!

There was a ton of stuff for the Walking Dead (which I need to read) including a mob of zombies that tore through the trade floor so quickly I didn’t have time to snap a picture (Sorry, Rob!)

Brains!

I’m not really sure who these guys are but Jay photo-bombed them like a Boss.

One of these things is not like the others.

There were cars…like the DELOREAN and the freaking BATMOBILE!

When this thing hits 88 miles per hour you’re gonna see some serious….

Holy Vintage, Batman!

And yes, that is Marty McFly in the background.

So we headed off the trade floor, down to the Artist Alley because Fiona Staples, who draws for Saga one of my favorite comics, was signing and drawing. As we were waiting in line, I noticed another table to my right. A name. An image. And just like that I was 10 years old again, laying down on the carpet, a bowl of popcorn in front of me, my best friend Dan with me, staring up at the television watching a movie that would become so familiar to me, so ingrained in my very DNA that years later, I would recycle themes, images…harpies….for my own writing.

It was Peter S. Beagle. The man who wrote The Last Unicorn, a book I adored as a child and the impetus for a film that I watched repeatedly:

And there he was, just SITTING there like a mere mortal. I pointed it out to Jay as we were waiting in line.

“Go,” he said. “I’ll save your spot.”

“I can’t….I”ll cry.”

“Well don’t do that. He’ll think you’re crazy.”

Time passed. The line didn’t move. I watched people go up to Mr. Beagle and shake his hand, talk to him.

“Go,” my husband said.

I shook my head. I couldn’t. I couldn’t move. See the thing is to me Mr. Beagle was C.S. Lewis. He was Jim Henson. He was Madeline L’Engle. He created something that shaped my entire childhood, something I still carry with me, all these many years later. And he was just SITTING there.

“Go.”

I shook my head. My line still hadn’t moved.

“Come on,” Jay said, taking my arm and bringing me over to the table. There were two girls in line already. I got in line. I got out. I got back in. I could feel the tears creeping up. I told myself to calm down. I told myself it would be fine. Deep breaths. Tell him what he means. Tell him thanks.

I spoke with his agent. Had I known, I would have brought my old old old copy of the book. (See photo above). Why didn’t I read the program? I thought cursing myself.  I bought the graphic novel for him to sign. I stepped up. I put out my hand. I said:

“Hello, Mr. Beagle. It’s an honor to meet you. I can’t tell you what your story has done for me. I just recently got my first novel published and it was your book that made me want to tell stories. It was that film they made of it that made me believe. Why the Red Bull, Mr. Beagle? Why Schmendrick? Mr. Beagle, thank you. If it weren’t for you, I don’t think I would be a writer now. I hope you know how many lives you have changed.”

Except I didn’t say any of that.

I said this:

“My name….Ally….*sob*…I wrote….published…*sob*….first novel…if  it weren’t for you….your book….*sob**sob*sob*

Yup.

And the amazing Mr. Beagle, took my hand in both of his and he told me about the first time he met a  writer he loved and how he fell apart. He told me what it was like writing The Last Unicorn, how many times he nearly gave up, how his wife pushed him to finish and then I cried some more, thinking of all those nights on the couch, after all the rejections, how Jay just kept telling me to finish Lizzy’s story.  No matter what, finish her story.

He commented on my Sandman t-shirt. Told me that Neil was lovely. That it had been a long time since they had seen each other.

I nodded. I wiped at tears. I just kept saying “thank you.”

And I don’t know if I’ve ever meant those two words more. This man, long ago, wrote a story, that resonated with a little girl, that planted a seed, a desire to be a storyteller too. I’m not there. I know that. I’m just starting out. But it’s a path that Mr. Beagle set me upon long ago, when with a flashlight under the sheets, I read all about the Last Unicorn.

So even though I could barely speak then, thank you, Mr. Beagle. You changed my life.

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