quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


Welcome to my stop on the Zenn Scarlett Blog Tour!!

I am so excited to be a stop on the Zenn Scarlett Blog Tour!  I absolutely loved Zenn Scarlett, Christian Schoon has an amazing  and am happy to share it with you all!  

For my stop I was lucky enough to have Christian talk about Miss Scarlett herself, and let us into how she came to be the kick-butt heroine we come to know in the book!

Please check out my review here, and visit all the past and future stops of the tour here!

Coming May 7, 2013 (US/Canada) - May 2, 2013 (UK) 
From Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot Books 
Distributed in U.S./Canada by Random House

Pre-order Zenn Scarlett

When the concept for my YA Sci-Fi novel, Zenn Scarlett, first materialized out of the neural mist in my frontal lobes, certain aspects came into focus more-or-less fully fleshed. 

My main character was a young student studying to be an exoveterinarian. This person would specialize in treating colossal alien creatures. As the mist cleared, I could now see that my hero was a heroine, between 15 and 17 years old. She appeared to have red hair, long but not styled in any discernible way, no make up… in fact, her face was ruddy from sun and wind, there was a finger-swipe of dirt on her cheek, which was freckled. My protagonist, it was obvious, was unconcerned with her physical appearance. She must have more important things on her mind. Her name, she told me, would be Zenn. She didn’t ask if I liked it, and who am I to argue? So, a strong-willed girl who wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself and who has a flare for the exotic. As the fog continued to lift and more details emerged, I could see she was wearing old, patched coveralls with the pant legs rolled up to fit. Hm. Resources might be a little tight where she lives. She also wore a battered, soft-shell backpack of some unusual sort of leather. This was her exoveterinary field kit, a hand-me-down from a relative, she didn’t say which one. I’d figure that out later. Behind her, a huge shape loomed up out of the mist. Sleek, mammalian, about 80-feet long, an otter-like head with impressive jaws and teeth. A whalehound, of course.

Quick cut to the next scene: Zenn is balanced on the hound’s snout. One of his two-foot-wide eyes is squinted shut, inflamed, painful. Zenn’s vet field-kit pack is now a different sort of rig, a tank filled with antibiotic-type solution. The tank has a hose with a nozzle. Zenn’s actions make it plain she’ll use the solution to rinse out the hound’s eye. And while her pose and manner tell me she’s perfectly fearless, comfortable even in this situation, I see she’s also donned some sort of safety harness. It loops up around the back of the hound’s head and will keep her from falling to the floor of the animal’s pen if the hound should startle or shake his head. So, fearless but not reckless.

Beyond the pen: buildings emerge from the fog. A dormitory, a library building, a huge infirmary. The buildings are stone-built, massive with an old-fashioned feel to the architecture, sort of a mash-up of modern and medieval. So, Zenn is studying at what looks like a monastery or cloister of some sort. The terrain is rusty red. Ah…. we’re on Mars. I should have guessed. A wall of thick mud-brick becomes visible. To keep the big animals in? Or to keep worse things out?

So, why would Zenn turn up as a female in this kinda dangerous, kinda dystopian off-world environment full of lumbering alien giants, instead of being a teen male? She didn’t seem willing to discuss this state of affairs, and actually acted a little insulted I’d even asked. But there’s this: our own veterinarian who ministers to the beasts on our farm is female, permanently young in spirit, absolutely fearless and uber-competent. I’m sure this had lots to do with it. I’ve seen this vet, Dr. Jenni, tackle the up-close, hands-on medical needs of animals from kittens to black bears, mountain lions and 17-foot reticulated pythons with the same matter-of-fact “this is my job” courage and calmness. And she’s got the bite marks, claw-gouges, bruises and scars to prove it. Zenn and Dr. Jenni would get along famously… though there might be a little whiff of competitiveness charging the air around them

Then, there’s Zenn’s deep, almost super-human empathy and compassion for the alien creatures she studies and helps to cure. If a teen guy had stepped out of the mist in those early phases of the book, I would’ve done my best to imbue him with this quality of sympathy and caring for the animals; in fact, I myself suffer from hyper-empathetic responses to animal suffering or distress. But it wasn’t a guy who showed up for the job, and frankly, my work was simplified by Zenn’s arrival. And, since she was also so strong, self-confident, logical and goal-oriented, I felt like she brought just the right combination of characteristics to the story.

So, that’s the how and why of Zenn being the heroine she is in the book… and how she made her presence so powerfully felt from the start. I can only hope that as an author I was able to do justice to this amazing young woman. And, of course, it’s still a work in progress. Zenn and I are well along in writing the sequel. And trust me, she’s got some heavy duty opinions about how things should proceed.

 Born in the American Midwest, Christian started his writing career in earnest as an in-house writer at the Walt Disney Company in Burbank, California. He then became a freelance writer working for various film, home video and animation studios in Los Angeles. After moving from LA to a farmstead in Iowa several years ago, he continues to freelance and also now helps re-hab wildlife and foster abused/neglected horses.  He acquired his amateur-vet knowledge, and much of his inspiration for the Zenn Scarlett series of novels, as he learned about - and received an education from - these remarkable animals.

Places to find Christian: Blog - Twitter - Goodreads

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