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Children's & Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books


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Geeky Newborns Following in Their Nerdy Parents’ Footsteps

From http://www.boredpanda.com/geeky-newborn-baby-photography/

We can all pretend that a newborn’s first photoshoot is supposed to be all about the baby, or we can give in to our secret desire to dress babies as characters from our favorite fantasy and sci-fi movies, books and TV shows. It’s hard to tell who’s having more fun with these pop-culture newborn baby photos, the parents or the babies.

Before arranging such a photoshoot, just be sure that your baby is comfortable and that all of the materials being used are safe – but if you’re the parent of a newborn baby, you probably don’t have to be told that.

If you have a cute photo of your baby showing their (or their parents’) true nerdy colors, please add it to this list – and upvote your favorites, too!

#1 Baby Princess Leia

Baby Princess Leia

#2 Baby Mario

Baby Mario

#3 Baby Ninja Turtle

Baby Ninja Turtle

#4 Baby Spock

Baby Spock

#5 Baby Star Wars Jedi

Baby Star Wars Jedi

#6 Baby Ewok

Baby Ewok

#7 Baby Flash

Baby Flash

#8 Baby Harry Potter

Baby Harry Potter

#9 Baby Yoda

Baby Yoda

#10 Baby Gamer

Baby Gamer

#11 Baby Spiderman

Baby Spiderman

#12 Baby Olaf

Baby Olaf

#13 Baby Knight

Baby Knight

#14 Baby Batman And Baby Wonder Woman

Baby Batman And Baby Wonder Woman

#15 Baby Luke Skywalker

Baby Luke Skywalker

#16 Baby Doctor Who

Baby Doctor Who

#17 Baby Hobbit

Baby Hobbit

#18 Baby Batman

Baby Batman

#19 Baby Alice In Wonderland

Baby Alice In Wonderland

#20 Baby Wonderwoman

Baby Wonderwoman

#21 Baby Ninja Turtle

Baby Ninja Turtle

#22 Baby Luke

Baby Luke

Click to Tweet: Geeky Newborns Following in Their Nerdy Parents’ Footsteps at http://wp.me/p31Xf4-Pc via @Nimpentoad


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Super Flemish – Superheroes Remade for the 17th Century

Sacha Goldberger is a genius, having combined fairy tale, science fiction, and comic book heroes with a 17th century penchant for frills. Well done! Look at those amazing costumes!  http://sachabada.com/portfolio/?portfolio=super-flemish-8

What if Superman was born in the sixteenth century? And what if the Hulk was a Duke? How might Van Eyck have portrayed Snow White?

Sacha’s discovery of these characters, which goes back to childhood, gave birth to a desire to re-appropriate them, to take them back to a time forming the cornerstone of modern western art. Sacha wants to confront these icons of American culture with contemporary painters of the Flemish school. The collection demonstrates the use of 17 century techniques counterpointing light and shadow to illustrate nobility and fragility of the super powerful of all times. It also invites you to celebrate the heroes of your childhood. These characters have become icons to reveal their humanity: tired of having to save the world without respite, promised to a destiny of endless immortality, forever trapped in their character.

The superheroes often live their lives cloaked in anonymity. These portraits give them a chance to « fix » their narcissism denied. By the temporal disturbance they produce, these images allow us to discover, under the patina of time, an unexpected melancholy of those who are to be invincible.

As science fiction meets history of art, time meets an inexhaustible desire for mythology, which is within each of us.

alice Batman capnamerica catwoman darthvader greenlantern hulk ironman Joker leia robin Snowwhite spiderman stormtrooper Superman wolverine wonderwoman yoda


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Interview with fantasy SPLINTERED series YA author Anita Howard

Anita Grace Howard is the author of the Splintered series. The first book, Splintered, captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers–precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now. When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

HowardAnita

Anita lives in the Texas panhandle, and is most at home weaving the melancholy and macabre into settings and scenes, twisting the expected into the unexpected. She’s inspired by all things flawed, utilizing the complex loveliness of human conditions and raw emotions to give her characters life, then turning their world upside down so the reader’s blood will race.

Married and mother of two teens (as well as surrogate mom to two Labrador retrievers), Anita divides her days between spending time with her family and plodding along or plotting on her next book.

When she’s not writing, Anita enjoys rollerblading, biking, snow skiing, gardening, and family vacations that at any given time might include an impromptu side trip to an 18th century graveyard or a condemned schoolhouse for photo ops.

What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?

Finding time to do it. I’m a mother and a wife, and along with social media, traveling events, and interviews/emails to answer, it’s hard to shut out the world and just write. Before I was published, the hardest part was believing in myself. But now that I have readers who like the stories/characters, a publisher, and a blossoming career, even though it’s validating, it raises a whole new world of challenges.

Henry: There’s always another mountain to scale.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I would have the power to clone myself. As to why, see my answer to question #1. 😉

Henry: That is the most popular answer, along with slowing time, of my author interviewees.

If you could have three authors over for dinner, who would it be?

  1. Charlotte Bronte, because she introduced me to gothic romance in the gorgeous and heart-wrenching tale of Jane Eyre.
  2. E.B. White, for giving me my first experience with a selfless character in Charlotte’s Web. Also, when Charlotte died, my love for the bittersweet ending was born.
  3. Christina Rossetti, who via Goblin Market, ignited my passion for imagery and sensory through beautiful and seductive prose.

Henry: What? Charlotte the spider dies!? Spoiler Alert next time!

What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?

Unicorns. But I don’t envision them as easily-fettered creatures whose bones are fine and breakable like birds. In my mind, they have the size and musculature of Clydesdales. They’re large and powerful, yet quiet and wise. Introverted but observant. If necessary, they can be vicious, although to the pure of heart, they’re gentle and kind. They’re a study of contradictions, as all the best mythological beasts are. Obviously, I hope to write about these creatures one day. 🙂

Henry: I appreciate your sentiment, although I feel like unicorns have become a little clichéd, like vampires. I wrote a picture book that features several fantasy creatures auditioning to become a boy’s pet. The unicorn clumsily punctures the boy’s football and soccer ball.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Actually, it’s an epiphany that came to me when I left my first agent, and saved me during my stages of editing the Splintered series.  (This can also apply to unpublished writers, too, via critiquer and agent feedback). If a writer is serious about getting published, they have to be flexible without compromising. I know that sounds contradictory, but there is a way to do it … a formula: Know the difference between pride and vision. If people are telling you to change something in your book that you love, stand back and ask yourself why you love it. Is it personal to you? Something that other people, including your readers one day, are likely not to connect with? Or is it something integral to the characters in your story. Something that’s a part of them? That’s the difference between pride and vision. Pride applies to the glory it brings you. Vision applies to the glory it brings your characters. Never make changes that will compromise your character(s) or their arc, which ultimately IS your book’s vision. But be humble enough to let go of pride and make a change if it will still be true to your character while making your book a more solid read.

Henry: A terrific piece of advice. It reminds me of the well-known “murder your darlings” from Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, to wit:

“To begin with, let me plead that you have been told of one or two things which Style is not; which have little or nothing to do with Style, though sometimes vulgarly mistaken for it. Style, for example, is not–can never be–extraneous Ornament. You remember, may be, the Persian lover whom I quoted to you out of Newman: how to convey his passion he sought a professional letter-writer and purchased a vocabulary charged with ornament, wherewith to attract the fair one as with a basket of jewels. Well, in this extraneous, professional, purchased ornamentation, you have something which Style is not: and if you here require a practical rule of me, I will present you with this: “Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it–wholeheartedly–and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.”

Anita offers more advice for writers/authors on her website and in this guest post.

This interview is also posted at the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.

Click to Tweet: Interview with fantasy SPLINTERED series YA author Anita Howard at http://wp.me/p31Xf4-L1 via @Nimpentoad


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Disney Heroines Chosen To Be “Doctor Who” Companions

Because you can never get enough Doctor Who homages…

This one courtesy of Donna Dickens at Buzzfeed – http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/disney-heroines-chosen-to-be-doctor-who-companions based on the DeviantArt portfolio of Karen Hallion (KHallion). Enjoy!

PS – On a related note, you may also appreciate The 13 Best Doctor Who Cakes of All Time.

1. Snow White – Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Snow White - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

2. Cinderella – Cinderella

Cinderella - Cinderella

3. Aurora – Sleeping Beauty

Aurora - Sleeping Beauty

4. Alice – Alice In Wonderland

Alice - Alice In Wonderland

5. Tinkerbell – Peter Pan

Tinkerbell - Peter Pan

6. Ariel – The Little Mermaid

Ariel - The Little Mermaid

7. Belle – Beauty and the Beast

Belle - Beauty and the Beast

8. Mulan – Mulan

Mulan - Mulan

9. Rapunzel – Tangled

Rapunzel - Tangled

10. Merida – Brave

Merida - Brave

Bonus: What’s this? What’s this?

Bonus: What's this? What's this?

Bonus II: Little Red and the Bad Wolf.

Bonus II: Little Red and the Bad Wolf.

Bonus III: Mary Poppins is totally a Time Lady.

Bonus III: Mary Poppins is totally a Time Lady.


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Delightfully Macabre Disney Heroines by Jeffrey Thomas

This is my favorite Disney heroines homage to date. Who knew they were so evil? Collected by Donna Dickens at http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/delightfully-macabre-disney-heroines

The awesome artwork is by Jeffrey Thomas at http://jeftoon01.deviantart.com/

1. Snow White – Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Snow White - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

2. Blue Fairy – Pinocchio

Blue Fairy - Pinocchio

3. Cinderella – Cinderella

Cinderella - Cinderella

4. Alice – Alice In Wonderland

Alice - Alice In Wonderland

5. Wendy – Peter Pan

Wendy - Peter Pan

6. Aurora – Sleeping Beauty

Aurora - Sleeping Beauty

7. Maid Marian – Robin Hood

Maid Marian - Robin Hood

8. Ariel – The Little Mermaid

Ariel - The Little Mermaid

9. Belle – Beauty and the Beast

Belle - Beauty and the Beast

10. Jasmine – Aladdin

Jasmine - Aladdin

11. Nala – The Lion King

Nala - The Lion King

12. Pocahontas – Pocahontas

Pocahontas - Pocahontas

13. Esmeralda – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Esmeralda - The Hunchback of Notre Dame

14. Megara – Hercules

Megara - Hercules

15. Mulan – Mulan

Mulan - Mulan

16. Jane – Tarzan

Jane - Tarzan

17. Kida – Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Kida - Atlantis: The Lost Empire

18. Tiana – The Princess and the Frog

Tiana - The Princess and the Frog

19. Rapunzel – Tangled

Rapunzel - Tangled


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Celebrities as Disney Characters (fun!)

Apparently, I’m on a Disney kick lately. Any way, the pictures taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz of celebrities as Disney characters from http://likes.com/celebs/celebs-as-real-life-disney-characters are stunningly composed, and really tickled my fancy and floated my boat. Enjoy.

01SleepingBeauty
#1 Sleeping Beauty

This photo of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens must have been taken when they were still dating… Cute nonetheless!

02SnowWhite
#2 No Place Like Home

Keira Knightley looks amazing here as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

03WizardOz
#3 Snow White

Rachel Weisz posing as Snow White, with all the cute little forest creatures. Check out the golden bricks and red high heels.

04Cinderella
#4 Cinderella

Scarlett Johansson posing as a beautiful Cinderella, at midnight!!

05AliceWonderland
#5 Alice in Wonderland

Beyonce posing as an adorable Alice, Oliver Platt as a crazy Mad Hatter, and Lyle Lovett as the March Hare… All in a teacup!

06Tinkerbell
#6 Tinkerbell from Peter Pan

Tina Fey, with a very Tinkerbell-esque facial expression, posing for the Peter Pan photo shoot 🙂 How appropriate that Fey portrays a fae!

07PeterPan
#7 Peter Pan

Gisele Bundchen as Wendy Darling, dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov as Peter Pan, and Tina Fey as Tinker Bell from Peter Pan!

08LittleMermaid
#8 Merman

Photographer Annie Leibovitz shoots Michael Phelps, who posed as a merman in Julianne Moore’s photo of Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

09Ariel
#9 Ariel from The Little Mermaid

Julianne Moore’s red hair is perfect for the character Ariel from The Little Mermaid!

10Pocahontas
#10 Pocahontas

Jessica Biel rocks an action shot of herself dressed as Pocahontas 🙂

11Aladdin
#11 Jasmine and Aladdin

Jennifer Lopez and her then husband Marc Anthony pose as Jasmine and Aladdin from Aladdin, on their magic carpet ride!

12Genie
#12 Genie from Aladdin

Whoopi Goldberg makes a comical pose to capture the essence of the Genie from Aladdin.

13Ursula
#13 The Little Mermaid’s Ursula

Queen Latifah goes all out as the evil Ursula from The Little Mermaid! Her face still looks a little nice though…

14BeautyBeast
#14 Beauty and the Beast

Penelope Cruz poses as a happy Belle, with Jeff Bridges as her transformed prince ❤

15EvilQueen
#15 The Evil Queen and Her Magic Mirror

Alec Baldwin is the face in the magic for the evil queen, Olivia Wilde. Not used to seeing her as an evil character!


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Interview with NY Times Bestselling ‘Looking Glass Wars’ author Frank Beddor

Literary sleuth and world creator Frank Beddor dared to expose the TRUE story of Wonderland in his NY Times Bestselling trilogy ‘The Looking Glass Wars’.  To satisfy the awakened curiosity of his readers he continues to tell the parallel adventures of Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan’s search for the lost princess in the geo-graphic novel series Hatter M.

BeddorFrank

For what age audience do you write?

I write for all ages but the LGW trilogy is considered Young Adult. and I do have many readers who begin with the series at 11 or 12 but continue reading through high school.  The Hatter M series began as single issue comic books drawn by Ben Templesmith and has always had a slight more EDGE to it.  Genre would most likely be action/fantasy.

Henry: Indeed, my son (and co-author) Josh started reading Hatter M at 12.

Tell us about your latest book.

Right now I am finishing two new books which I am featuring on my Kickstarter campaign (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/149372651/the-looking-glass-wars-hatter-m).

The Hatter M series ends with the fifth and final volume ‘Love of Wonder’. This is the volume where Royal Bodyguard Hatter M will discover Alyss after 13 years of searching.  Had he considered what would occur once he found her? Perhaps.

Finding her is the catalyst for a war between dimensions, as Hatter must fight everything Redd can throw at him in order to bring Alyss home to Wonderland.  Escalating the action and emotion is the ultimate showdown between brothers, as Hatter discovers not all Millinery men believe in White Imagination.

As this series ends I am simultaneously introducing a new prose series featuring a young Hatter Madigan as a cadet at the Millinery Academy in Wonderland, where he is going to be put through the rigors of school, training, girls and the fact life is often very unfair but one must persevere! The title is ‘Looking Glass Wars: Millinery Academy’.

Henry: School, training, AND girls! That is a challenging curriculum!

What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?

For readers of Hatter’s ‘Love of Wonder’ I hope they are able to first of all have a slam satisfying end to the series. Primarily this volume is where the two parallel stories – Alyss lost in London and Hatter searching the world for 13 years will once again merge. I hope readers will be excited by how the two separate book series blend and expand what they know of Alyss, Hatter and Wonderland.

Writing ‘Looking Glass Wars: Millinery Academy’ has been so much fun – I hope readers feel the same way when reading it.  Whenever there is a natural arena for a teen series set around an extraordinary school I think it is a good idea to explore it.  Hatter going through his years at the Millinery, making allies and enemies, is literally brimming with characters, adventures and teen angst.

In each book I write I hope readers get a sense of the huge, vast possibilities that their Imagination unlocks. And how much stranger life is than anyone will ever tell you.

What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?

Being alone for long stretches of time. I am by nature an extrovert, and receive a lot of energy from other people. So when writing, I rely on my ‘characters’ so they have to vibe pretty real for that to happen!

Henry: You’re the first author I’ve interviewed to list being alone as their biggest challenge.

What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer?

In the early stages of the ‘Looking Glass Wars’, I had a group of actor friends do a read through in character. They were all very good and it was hysterical! I had written a note on the page “Beatles … There Are Places I remember comes close to how I imagine Alyss feeling once she was lost in our world.” And suddenly – impromptu – the actors all began singing this song that so many people know. It was really beautiful. And never would have happened if I hadn’t been a writer.

Do you have any strange rituals that you observe when you write?

If I’m stalling around I usually start cleaning. I just keep tidying up until I’m ready to sit down and write. I’ve heard some other writers also have very clean houses.

Henry: Ah, so the state of your home is a leading indicator on the state of your manuscript.

What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?

Jabberwocky. They have a fascinating history as warrior animals – working for Redd’s army as ‘flesh tanks’. Very cool.

Henry: I have to say, I saw that one coming.

Where can readers find your work?

‘Hatter M’ vol. 5 and ‘Looking Glass Wars: Millinery Academy’ are right now only available at my Kickstarter campaign: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/149372651/the-looking-glass-wars-hatter-m

BeddorBook

For more information, readers can check out Frank’s website (frankbeddor.com) or his Facebook page (facebook.com/goaskalyss).

This interview is also posted on the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.