Sunday, December 5, 2010

Brandon Mull Month

mullBrandon Mull is the author of middle grade fantasy series Fablehaven along with standalone novel The Candy Shop War and children’s picture book Pingo. I chose to dedicate a month on the blog to the works of Brandon because after meeting him at Provo City Library’s Teen Book Fest I was convinced that he was a genuinely nice guy. The next day I picked up a copy of Fablehaven and was convinced, shortly thereafter, that he is one heck of a writer. Despite signings by other very popular authors (Brandon Sanderson, Scott Westerfeld) Brandon’s line at Teen Book Fest was by far the longest, eclipsing Sanderson who was seated next to him by about double.

I was the last person in Brandon’s line, as I had yet to read any of his books. I was collecting signatures on the back of my nook and decided, seeing the line had almost petered out, to visit Brandon to add his sig to my collection. When I approached him he was at the tail end of a 3 hour signing session, he spent the first hour of the event in a panel on fantasy writing, and the next 3 in an uncomfortable seat facing down a line of admirers. Yet as I approached he seemed genuinely friendly and happy to talk to me. I asked him to sign my nook and he was happy to oblige, then he asked “So tell me about yourself, what is your situation” A moment of “omg” hit me, was this bestselling author really interested in what I had to say? He certainly made me feel like he did. We chatted about his books for a few moments, I even told him I had not read one yet. He assured me when I finished the fblhvnfirst Fablehaven book, if I liked it I would be hooked.

With that promise in my back pocket I quickly obtained a copy for my nook and set about reading. I was pleasantly surprised. In less than 30 days I read the entire 5 book series and Pingo, I will finish The Candyshop War tonight. As we spoke Brandon mentioned his newest series, Beyonders, the first book which debuts in March. I was sold on the synopsis he gave me and was itching to read it. I was super excited to find out that it was part of Simon and Schuster’s recent galley beyondergrab. Luckily I got an advanced copy sitting on my nook and will be reading it very soon.

Brandon Mull Month will be a part of a longer series about Utah fantasy Authors. Specifically the three on the fantasy panel at Teen Book Fest: Mull, Sanderson and J. Scott Savage whose Far World series is currently sitting on my entertainment center waiting to be read. They had some great things to say about writing fantasy and I cannot wait to delve more into their ideas. Especially a follow up on my epic fantasy post of a month or so back, AND a review of the single best fantasy novel I have ever read.

So stay tuned for reviews of the Fablehaven Books, The Candyshop War, Pingo and finally a look forward to Beyonders.


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