Exodus

  1. Mark Robson

    Mark Robson Dragon Writer

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    I bought Exodus today and am looking forward very much to reading it. :)

    Will post a brief review here when I get around to reading it ... but don't hold your breath just yet, because I'm somewhat frantic at present and not getting a lot of leisure reading time.
     
  2. Julie Bertagna

    Julie Bertagna author

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    Thanks, Mark, I hope you enjoy it. Sorry for not replying sooner, I've been in frantic mode myself - just back from several weeks of talking about books rather than writing them. If your 'must read' book pile is anything like the one spilling off this desk, and the others scattered about the house, then don't worry, won't hold my breath.... : )

    I don't know about you but I still find it slightly unnerving when someone says they're reading a book of mine - obviously the books are out there and people are reading them and I should be used to it by now. But still, it IS strange to, essentially, share a world that is built from your own fragile daydreams. And when someone else reads it, that fantasy then becomes as much theirs as the writers. (And while I loved it, they might hate it.)

    Had a nice debate about this with some 15 yr olds last week - how much a reader projects/injects themselves into fiction and how much that affects their experience of the book.
     
  3. Mark Robson

    Mark Robson Dragon Writer

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    I'm about half way through now and loving it. I'll not write anything about the story here, as I'll put a review up when I'm done. Out of interest, however, do you always write in third person present tense? (My technical grammar knowledge is not great, so if I've got that wrong I'll go and hide in a corner with a dunce's cap on - a terrible confession for an author, I know.) For about the first couple of pages I found the tense sort of awkward, but I quickly became so absorbed by the story that it became more of an idiosyncracy of the writing rather than anything else.
     
  4. Namorvia

    Namorvia Noosrunner pro

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    She doesn't, well not unless she made an exception for The Opposite of Chocolate, which is the only other book I've read by Jaybee, alas. [I hope you don't mind me answering by the way, either of you]

    Just a hint for when your going to write your review, wait a couple of days first then, if your like me, the obsession will kick in and you'll never be able to say a bad word about it. I think it was something to do with the present tense that meant my mind needed to work out what I'd just read.
     
  5. Mark Robson

    Mark Robson Dragon Writer

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    Finished at last. An excellent book, Julie. I'll put a review in the appropriate forum shortly and link to it from this thread. :)
     
  6. Mark Robson

    Mark Robson Dragon Writer

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  7. Julie Bertagna

    Julie Bertagna author

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    Wow, thanks for that, Mark - really generous of you and I'm so pleased you enjoyed it. (I will def. get around to your books, just had a very hectic couple of months then collapsed in a heap on holiday.)

    As for tenses (cheers, Namorvia, and greetings!) I write what the story seems to demand. It's very much trial and error. I once rewrote an entire book (Soundtrack) because something didn't feel right and as soon as I changed to 1st person, it began to 'zing'. (The zing factor, for me, means it's working. If I don't feel it, I can't expect anyone else to.)

    I'd never written in 3rd person present tense (very few books are). But in Exodus I wanted readers to be flung right into the story, for it to feel immediate and real - and almost, in the cyber part, like a computer game. And the more I thought about it, a story set in the future, told in the traditional past tense, began to seem plain illogical. I knew I was making a demand from the reader (at least until they adjust) but as soon as I changed to present tense, I felt I got that 'zing factor' in the writing. Feedback has been overwhelmingly that it can feel slightly strange at first (which I kind of like) then it is more dramatic and 'real' - except in the case of a few adult readers who are adamant that a story should only be told conventionally, in the past tense.

    Huh. :p
     
  8. 73 magic number

    73 magic number Member

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    I've just finished reading exodus and have immediatly started on zenith. What an amazing experience it was- the thrill I got when reading a book just blew my mind! Loved the hidden poetry in the discriptions, in the space between the lines even thank you julie, you have written a truly inspirational novel!!
     
  9. 73 magic number

    73 magic number Member

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    Sorry that was a bit brief. Anyway what inspired you to write exodus- your vision of the future is so vivid and believable! It reminded me of Dubai, they are busy building those top notch world islands and is becomming one of the most advanced places on earth, whereas in its recent history, it was just a poor fishing village. I just thought of that whilst reading about The New World in Exodus.

    Also it made me think of the song Swallowed in the sea by Coldplay. Just a thought.

    ok, bye

    P.s, sorry about being so brief in the previous message
     
  10. Namorvia

    Namorvia Noosrunner pro

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    That's the place where all the incredibly rich people live right? (Now envisioning a world equivalent of Cheshire)

    Well you might not always write in present tense Jaybee, but I can't seem to stop. I've been writing some rubbishy little fantasy story for my friends, just posting it online for them every 2 months just so I can practise keeping to deadlines and that's in present tense (because it's based on a short story I started after reading Exodus for the first time and I wanted to try the style), and then I've just started writing a kids book and a paragraph in I decided it would read better in present tense. I don't know if it is better though, I wrote the first chapter in about 2 hours whilst drunk (not very drunk, but still...) so next time I read it through it'll probably make absolutely no sense.

    I think I've just gotten onto the 2 part of Zenith, it'll have to wait a bit longer before I read more though on account of certain boy wizard. I don't like to put a book down in order to read another but I have no intention of letting my mum read it first.
     
  11. Julie Bertagna

    Julie Bertagna author

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    Hi 73,

    Thanks for the kind messages. Glad you enjoy reading between the lines - me too, so I try to leave spaces for the reader's imagination.

    Music often helps get me in the right mindset for writing - all kinds. And the outside world certainly seeped into Exodus and Zenith - places like Dubai, and also the vast shanty slums surrounding the luxurious towers for the wealthy of Sao Paulo, inspired the boat camps around the New World sky cities.

    If you look up my website (www.juliebertagna.com) there's more detail on my inspirations, on the Exodus and Zenith pages.

    Happy writing, Namorvia. Have fun experimenting - you'll know when it feels right.
     
  12. woolleywrld

    woolleywrld Noosrunner

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    Hi! I just wanted to let you know how much I love these books - Exodus and Zenith. I was recently in Scotland and I actually went into every bookstore I saw to get a copy of Exodus, as I never actualy owned one, i heard through word of mouth. (And apparently I can only get these books in Scotland!) I am now the proud owner of both books and I am ecstatic to hear that there is a third!! I am now reading the books for the third time and I always get a different sentiment, I can't get enough of Mara's journeys. These stories are so vivid in my mind it's like a movie playing. Has that ever occurred as a possibility to you? Making a movie of this trilogy? I can't wait until the release of Aurora! :)
     
  13. Julie Bertagna

    Julie Bertagna author

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    Woolleywrld, I'm glad you found the books. Sorry you haven't been able to get hold of them in your part of the world. I've had so much mail from the US asking why the books aren't available there - but they will be soon, at last!

    It's bewildering that readers of all ages (in 15 different countries all over the world) have emailed with such overwhelming enthusiasm about Exodus - thankfully, it's not just Scotland you can get them in. Yet until now US publishers have, in their wisdom, been adamant that it was not a book that would interest US readers. America was not interested in the story of a drowned world caused by catastrophic global warming. One publisher thought the idea 'too strong and troubling' for teens in the US. Meanwhile, readers in neighbouring Canada were loving the books.

    Very odd.

    So, woolleywrld (or any other US readers out there) - what's your take on that? The rest of the world can take a strong story that makes you question the future but not the US? I'd be a bit miffed if I were you.

    Then, this year, once Zenith was published, there was a change of heart. I'm delighted that Walker Books US will now be publishing Exodus in spring 2008, followed by Zenith and Aurora. If you want an early glimpse at the US cover, click here:

    WalkerYoungReaders.com - Books

    It's an interesting cover for US readers, what with Hurricane Dean on the rampage; quite different from the UK Exodus cover and those published in other countries.

    A film? Well, it would be amazing to see what I've imagined on a cinema screen - as long as it was done well. I'd much rather have no film than a bad film. Unfortunately, I don't have the squillions of dollars it takes to make a film; other people have to come up with that. There has been interest but nothing definite. I'll keep you posted but don't hold your breath - these things take years, if it happens at all.

    But here's a question: who would you cast as Mara and Fox? And the others? Come up with a good cast list I'll put it on my (not a) blog with photos, if I can. There might even be a prize for the best ideas...
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2007
  14. woolleywrld

    woolleywrld Noosrunner

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    It does bug me that Americans can be so close minded! I actually used to live in Scotland and that's where I heard about the book. I can't wait for them to come out over here. I really hope that people read this book and really think about it. Who knows what the world will do, but it's definitely changing!
    The cover looks pretty cool, it's very different than anything I would have thought, but it gets the message, I guess. I just don't see how they could have said that book was "too strong and troubling." Mara is exactly what this world needs!
    As for the movies, I see what you mean, you want it done well or not at all. These books could either be amazing on screen or a disaster. But if there is a way, the actors would have to be fantastic! The first one that springs to mind for Fox is Sean Biggerstaff. He even kind of looks like how I imagine Fox to look like. Although he is a little older. What do you think? Am I totally off? :p
     
  15. Julie Bertagna

    Julie Bertagna author

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    I never thought of Sean Biggerstaff but if he grew his hair and messed it up a bit he'd be an excellent Fox - especially as he's from Glasgow, very near where I live, and where the Treenester part of Exodus is set.

    Good casting, woolleywrld. But what about Mara?

    (Can Dork Lady act? Just a thought...)
     
  16. woolleywrld

    woolleywrld Noosrunner

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    Yeah, thats what I was thinking too, he is from the right part! I am also in love with him!!! :p
    Mara is a little harder though...
    She would need more of a northern accent, am I right? I can act!!! But I have an american twang when I talk now, haha. And I'm from Fife anyways. Hmmm...auditions would be the perfect way to find THE perfect Mara, and to see who worked best with THE perfect Fox. (I'm routing for Sean Biggerstaff)
     
  17. Julie Bertagna

    Julie Bertagna author

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    Couldn't work out from your posts if you were male or female, wooleywrld, (which is why I didn't ask if you could do Mara). I know now! I bet you could relearn a Scots twang, though Mara wouldn't have to be strictly Scottish, just speak in a way that suited the 'northern-ness' of her island. (ie. not a 'Hollywood' accent). The people of the Orkney and Shetland islands have very pure, beautiful accents. I was thinking of those islands when I wrote Exodus.

    I hope it was clear in my earlier post that I don't for a second think that American readers are not interested in challenging books - it was US publishers who seemed to be insulting you by implying that!

    Thanks for your comments about the US cover - I agree. Not what I expected but very topical.
     
  18. woolleywrld

    woolleywrld Noosrunner

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    I took no offense to it at all, although I do not yet consider myself "American". I will always be Scottish at heart!
    I do love the accents from the North though. While reading the books, I try to hear the lilting accent in my head...Quite honestly, I would be willing to fake any accent if it was for Sean Biggerstaff, haha!
    I can't wait for the books to come out over here. Do you know the release date yet? I know what all my friends will be getting for their birthdays next year anyway!
     
  19. Julie Bertagna

    Julie Bertagna author

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    Exodus will be out in US Spring 2008 (March/ April, I think) with Zenith a year later, and Aurora the year after that. So I'd better get on and finish it ....:)
     
  20. Namorvia

    Namorvia Noosrunner pro

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    Sean Connery for Grandfather of All! or Tain? Are we sure the New Worlders would have Scottish accents?
    If I could act (ha!) I think I'd want the role as Tony Rex, just for the kick of playing a mole and getting killed.

    Anyone seen the cinema trailers for "The Golden Compass" that vile renaming for the American market of the book most of us will know as Northern Lights. Not sure whether its going to be any good or not, but i'll no doubt go and see it. Full of famous names, of course.

    Also, sitting in Heathrow airport for 3 hours waiting for a flight to Seattle and reading Zenith, then half way through the flight, look out of the window and see...[​IMG]

    Greenland. It is such an amazing place. I was just utterly taken aback.
     
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