Monk Ashland (Chris Rettstat) author chat transcript
On August 30, 2008, Chris Rettstatt, who writes the Kaimira series under the pen name Monk Ashland, joined us for an author chat. The first book in the Kaimira series is The Sky Village.
As always, this transcript has been edited; much of the unrelated chat was removed to keep it from being too long, and some comments were moved to make it easier to read. Caution: there may be spoilers in this chat transcript, so read at your own risk!
SheilaRuth: Hi Wildtail!
Wildtail: Hi Sheila!
SheilaRuth: Coming to the author chat?
Wildtail: Wow! I'm the second one here. n.n
SheilaRuth: have you read the book?
SheilaRuth: Hi Lilac!
Lilacheart: Hello ^_^
Wildtail: No, I haven't.
Wildtail: Hi Lilac!
SheilaRuth: That's ok. Just curious
Wildtail: So I'll be an observer again.
Lilacheart: I'll ask questions, but I haven't read the book. Yet. ^_^
SheilaRuth: you're welcome to ask questions anyway
Lilacheart: I'll ask my mom if she can get the book as soon as I finish the three I just got.
Lilacheart: Ashtail, I think
Woodnose: Oops! brb I'll be Ashtail in a sec!
Ashtail: Whee! back!
Wildtail: Hi Ashtail! n.n
Lilacheart: Wb! ^_^
SheilaRuth: Hi Ashy!
Lilacheart: Heya, Silent! ^_^
Wildtail: Hi Silent!
SheilaRuth: Hi Silent!
SheilaRuth: Welcome to the chat!
Silent: I have a question: when does the author chat start
SheilaRuth: Yay! Spirit! You made it!
Lilacheart: Heya, Spirithunter!! :D
SheilaRuth: Supposed to start in 5 minutes!
Spirithunter: Hello, all. ^^
Lilacheart: in about 10 minutes, I think...
Spirithunter: Oooh, I can show them the demon wolf I drew. :D
Lilacheart: I love talking to the authors...it's so much fun! :D
Forestpelt: hi everyone!!!
SheilaRuth: Hi Forest!!
Forestpelt: I knew I would make it this time!
Lilacheart: Heya, Forest! :D
Forestpelt: Skittles says hi
Silent: Hi, Skittles
SheilaRuth: Hi Skittles!
Ashtail: Hi, Skittles!
Wildtail: Hi Skittles!
Spirithunter: I wonder when book 2's coming out. :P
SheilaRuth: We'll have to ask
Forestpelt: So has Chris only written one book?
SheilaRuth: Yes. This is his first one
Silent: oh ok
Forestpelt: oh ok!
Silent: it was good
SheilaRuth: You read it, Silent?
Silent: the book i mean
Silent: yes i won it from here
Spirithunter: Who actually wrote the book, do you know? One or both?
SheilaRuth: It was good.
SheilaRuth: I think it was both, but you could ask him about how they worked it. Monk Ashland and Nigel Ashland are both pseudonyms
SheilaRuth: Monk Ashland is a pseudonum for Chris Rettstatt. Nigel Ashland is also a pseudonym but I don't know his real name.
Silent: What does Pseudonym mean?
Spirithunter: fake name
SheilaRuth: Pen name
Monk Ashland joined.
SheilaRuth: Like Erin Hunter
SheilaRuth: Yay! He's here!
Forestpelt: Oh he's here!
Wildtail: Hi Magic!
Spirithunter: Hi, Magic!
Monk Ashland: hi all :)
Magicyop: Fwagwa! Sorry I'm late!
Rabbitfoot: Yo author homie! I still plan to read your books but am not going to stay for the chat so I don't get spoiled! Xp Hi though! xd
Forestpelt: I'm eating Mentos!
Monk Ashland: smart thinking, rabbitfoot, though we'll be sorry not to have you here
Spirithunter: How long do we get to just chat? I like chatting. :)
Forestpelt: can we ask questions now?
SheilaRuth: You can go ahead and send your questions, but we'll wait a few minutes before he starts answering, to make sure everyone is here that wants to be
Wildtail: Hi coalfang!
Forestpelt: Too bad Squirrely isn't here! Xp
SheilaRuth: Too bad Starry isn't here. I know she really wanted to be.
Lilacheart: Yah :(
Forestpelt: she couldn't make it?
Lilacheart: Maybe she'll be able to make it in the middle of the chat...?
Spirithunter: Poor Starry....
coalfang: why couldnt she come?
Lilacheart: She's driving home from Wasaga beach today.
Lilacheart: Foo, brb, dinner.
Silent: that stinks
Spirithunter: I had to miss the last two chats because my mom dragged me away from home both weekends. Both on surprise trips, both after I'd told her I wanted to attend the chats. -.-
Silent: i prewarn my mom
Silent: so i can go
SheilaRuth: I hope she can make it later
SheilaRuth: Hi Soundy!
Spirithunter: ^The demon wolf I drew. :D
Silent: i says file not found
Icestar: Same here
Spirithunter: must have typed something wrong...
Spirithunter: ah, I found it.
Magicyop: indeed yay!
Silent: file not found again
coalfang: yea, same here
Magicyop: I haven't finished the book yet, actually
Spirithunter: another typo...
Magicyop: I'm a little past halfway through
Spirithunter: *glares at chatroom for not allowing copy/paste*
Magicyop: Will the picture be a spoiler? =P
SheilaRuth: Spirit, that link doesn't work for me.
Spirithunter: Try that... *pants*
Spirithunter: Hey, Icey!
Silent: it worked
Wildtail: It works.
Magicyop: I see it
Magicyop: Hey, wow!
Magicyop: That's really awesome!!!
Swiftstep: Okay, back.
Spirithunter: Thanks! ^^
Ruby: Hi Swifty
Monk Ashland: that is one very cool wolf demon
Icestar: That's cool, Spirit.
SheilaRuth: That worked. Cool, Spirit!
SheilaRuth: I like it!
Silent: 3 times the charm
Spirithunter: I've never drawn anything like it before, so it was pretty fun to experiment with
coalfang: i cant read the notes Xd
Magicyop: Click on it, Coalfang
Magicyop: It will make it biggah
SheilaRuth: Colafang, you can click on it to make it bigger
Monk Ashland: the way you put notes on everything, spirithunter, that's just how the artists i work with do their sketches
coalfang: ooooooooooo, lol. noe i see, awesome Xd
Spirithunter: I put the notes on there in case things got too smeared to see. I love scribbling.
coalfang: my writing is all scribbling Xd
SheilaRuth: Ok, I'm going to start sending the questions, now.
Spirithunter: Eugapae! :D
Spirithunter: eugepae=hurray (in Latin)
Magicyop: Ah, so that's what it means
coalfang: is that the root for euphoria then?
Magicyop: In that case, eugepae
Bluefire: Is this an author chat
Monk Ashland: Yes :P
Bluefire: Forestpelt are you here
Bluefire: Have you read these books
Forestpelt: me? No.... but I plan too ::happy'
Silent: i made this drawing: www.photobucket.com/albums/g258/leafpoollover/scan001001-1-1.jpg
Silent: no it didnt work
Magicyop: page not found
coalfang: yea, i got that too
Wildtail: Same here.
Forestpelt(Q): What is your favorite food?
Monk Ashland(A): I'm a big fan of a chinese dish called huo guo, or "fire pot." It's basically a pot of boiling spicy soup in the middle of the table and you have lots of little dishes of different raw foods and you put stuff in there and let it boil for a while then eat it. Everything from spinach and tofu to duck tongue and pig brains (though I'm not big on the pig brains myself).
coalfang: pig brains::blink ::laugh
Magicyop: Wow... that sounds really cool, delicious, and vaguely disgusting
SheilaRuth: Wow! Sounds good! (except for the pig brains, Lol)
Bluefire: I think i just had a baby barf
Spirithunter: I know!
Forestpelt: Chinese food!!!
SheilaRuth: Too bad Starry isn't here.
Spirithunter: One of my favorite foods is aloo saag. Indian spinach curry with potatoes.
Magicyop: Ooh, that sounds good
Silent(Q): When is the next book comming out?
Monk Ashland(A): Kaimira is a 5-book series, and the second book, which is called The Terrible Everything, should be coming out July of next year. That is, if I can ever finish it.
Magicyop: Curry is like... Chili, right? ~__~
Bluefire: Also duck tonge is discusting
Spirithunter: It doesn't even taste like spinach... and it's sooo good on naan.
Magicyop: Pardon my ignorance
Forestpelt: Magic: I think so....
coalfang: i like general tsao's chicken, hes a bigger chicken genius than colonel sanders Imo
Spirithunter: Curry is a pretty ambiguous term... in general, it's just a blend of certain spices.
Magicyop: Yay- Five Books!
Spirithunter: I agree with Coalfang. :P
Forestpelt: How old is Monk Ashland?
coalfang: Yay Xd
Magicyop: Hmm, I wonder what The Terrible Everything signifies
Spirithunter: Animus was such a good mystery. :) It added quite a bit of depth to the story.
Magicyop: My theory is it signifies everything being terrible ::ninja
Magicyop: Let's see if I'm right
Spirithunter(Q): Does the part "zip zap zop" in Dragonfly's song have anything to do with the improv game of the same name? :P
Monk Ashland(A): Nice catch. I used to be a director of a summer camp, and we played Zip Zap Zop a lot. I though the sounds worked for hte song, so I used it.
Silent: animus creeped me out
Spirithunter: Same... but I think it's supposed to. :P
Magicyop: I'm not done the book yet so don't reveal anything about Animus to me!
Spirithunter: I'll do my best, then.
coalfang: must....go to...amazon....
coalfang: so...little...money Xp
Spirithunter: All members who are present but have not read/completed the book and don't want major spoilers, say Aye.
Icestar: lol, Coal.
Magicyop: Aye =P
Monk Ashland: (i'm a bit slow answering some of these questions)
SheilaRuth: That's ok, take your time!
Spirithunter: The longer you take, the more time Starry will have to get here. :P
SheilaRuth: Hi Reedfrost!
FireWolf787: What did the person in the author chat write?
SheilaRuth: Monk Ashland is the author of The Sky Village, book one of the Kaimira series. His real name is Chris Rettstatt
Spirithunter(Q): How did you and "Nigel" collaborate to write "The Sky Village"?
Monk Ashland(A): I had aready been developing the ideas for a while when Nigel came on board. We went back to the outline and did more brainstorming and then we divided it up and started writing, then traded what we'd written and reworked each other's stuff until it was all completely mixed up and we had no idea who had written what (or almost).
Spirithunter: Wow. That's really cool.
Silent(Q): Why did the birds get mad at Mei?
Monk Ashland(A): I'm not sure if I should answer this question directly, for those who haven't read the book yet, but the reason they got mad is because of the thing that makes Mei different from everyone else except for Rom. And they detected it.
Magicyop: [guesses about what the author is talking about]
SheilaRuth: We're going to have to have some minor spoilers, or we won't be able to have good answers to the questions. Let's just try to avoid major spoilers.
Magicyop: The... Kaimira Gene?
Magicyop: I could be wrong =P
Magicyop: Just a wild guess
Monk Ashland: (invisible thumbs up to Magicyop)
Magicyop: X^d! Huzzzah
SheilaRuth(Q): Are the meks just like robots, or are they something more?
Monk Ashland(A): The meks are a particular kind of robot. They represent my own slightly warped view of where technology is going. Instead of flawless killing machines like in Terminator, I imagine they are going to be a lot more quirky and glitchy. I get a lot more into what they're about in book 2. There's a significant secondary character in book 2 who is a mek.
SheilaRuth: Oh! Cool!
Swiftstep: I have to go. I might be back, though. >_<
Spirithunter: Aww. Bye!
Magicyop(Q): Hi - I haven't finished the book yet, but I'm curious as to how the idea of the Tree Book came to you. It seems really interesting to me!
Monk Ashland(A): The Tree Book was sort of a combination of the magical books you find in fantasy stories and the idea of online journals, where you might post an entry and then get a response from someone from across the planet -- who could actually be a very good friend, but you've never met and might never meet.
Swiftstep: Bye! :(
Ruby: Awww, bye Swifty!!! :(
Monk Ashland: adios, swifty
Magicyop: Cool, X^d
SheilaRuth: bye, Swifty!
Spirithunter(Q): Will book 2 involve Lizard Girl?
Monk Ashland(A): We'll certainly learn a lot more about Lizard Girl in book 2, though we may have to wait a bit longer to actually meet her. But anything can change, since I'm not finished with the book yet.
SheilaRuth: Great! I was hoping to find out more about her
Magicyop: Me too
Icestar: Sheila, just how many books Do you read?
coalfang: alot i bet Xd
Icestar: That may sound stupid, but I Had to ask.
Spirithunter: yeah, really. :P
Magicyop: A lot
SheilaRuth: Usually about 1 or 2 a week.
Magicyop: Don't be modest, Sheila
Reedfrost: whe's probably reading one right now
Silent: same here
Magicyop: That's if you're not trying
SheilaRuth: You guys probably read more.
Spirithunter: I've been reading really slowly recently...
Reedfrost: i read them when i can get my hands on them...
Spirithunter: It's taking me longer than it should to read anything. I'm spending lots of time on the computer...
Silent: I have been reading Fruits Basket
Ruby: Me too!
Icestar: Nope, I don't. I am very picky. As my spanish teacher said (my name here) en dificil. I think that was it.
Swiftstep(Q): What inspired you?
Monk Ashland(A): I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction when I was young (I never stopped, actually). Like The Dark Is Rising, Lord of the Rings, A Wrinkle In Time. All those great fantasy series. I think they inspired me the most. But these days I can be just as inspired by a good movie or video game. Like Hayao Miyazaki's movies inspire me a lot (Princess Mononke, Spirited Away, etc.).
Bluefire: I love lord of the ring
Wildtail: Miyazaki's movies are awesome!
Icestar: Gah! Not again! (bangs head on wall)
Ruby: I really like The Lord of the Rings.
Forestpelt: Skittles: I looove Spirited away!!!!
Ruby: So do i!!!
Forestpelt: Skittles: I like the Lord of the Rings!!
coalfang: princess mononoke was great Xd
Soundstorm: I've never watched Lord of the Rings and I Hate Spirited away.
Ruby: I haven't watched all of Princess Mononoke
Reedfrost: lotr is a great read1
coalfang: that and spirited away are my favorite miyuzaki films.
Ruby: What reedy said
SheilaRuth: Those are some of my favorite books! The Dark is Rising, Wrinkle in Time, and Lord of the Rings!
Reedfrost: what is princess mononoke?
Ruby: I lvoe all of Miyuzaki films.
Spirithunter: I love Princess Mononoke!!
Spirithunter: It's amazing.
Icestar: Harry Potter Forever!!
Ruby: I want to watch the rest of it.
Wildtail: A movie, Reedfrost.
Spirithunter: So are Spirited Away and Lotr.
coalfang: nausica and the valley of the wind is really good
Spirithunter: I still need to see that one.
Spirithunter: I have some of the music. :P East Winds Ensemble's koto/shakuhachi duet arrangements.
Silent(Q): What will happen in the next book?
Monk Ashland(A): Well, Mei and Rom will get married and settle down in Tucson and live happily ever after. KIDDING!!!!!!! Actually, as it's looking right now, book 2 is really focusing more on Mei's journey. In book one, she had to walk in her mother's footsteps, so to speak, and become fimiliar with the Sky Village. In book two she'll get a chance to walk in her father's footsteps as a member of the Scimurai.
SheilaRuth: Awesome! I can't wait to read that!
Spirithunter: Me too. ;d
Spirithunter: ...that emoticon failed miserably.
coalfang: i cant wait to know who mei is Xd
Magicyop: [fires emoticon]
Magicyop: I'm giving you the pink slip, emoticon. You're just incompetent.
Spirithunter: I was always more interesting in Mei's story, just because I absolutely love the Sky Village. I like Rom's story, too, though.
SheilaRuth: I thought the Sky Village was fascinating, but I actually liked Rom's story a little more.
Soundstorm(Q): What inspired you to write Sky Village?
Monk Ashland(A): I could take a long time answering this. But in short, I lived for a while in China, and I wanted to write something set there. And I'm interested in the direction we are going, where the lines between human, animal, and machine are being blurred. I thought that was an interesting area to play around and explore.
Forestpelt(Q): When did you first start writing stories?
Monk Ashland(A): My first story was for a contest when I was in 4th grade. It was supposed to be on the theme of recycling, and I wrote about an alien. I won the competition and got to shake Bill Clinton's hand. He was governor of Arkansas at the time, and that's where I lived.
Spirithunter: That's cool.
Bluefire: Cool my mom met Bill Clinton and Hilary Clinton when he was pres but that was because my grandad was a general in the army so
Icestar: Say hi to my mom, guys!
SheilaRuth: Hi Icestar's mom!
Soundstorm: Hi Icestar's mom.
coalfang: hi iceys mom Xd
Lilacheart: Hello, Icestar's mom Xd
Spirithunter: Hi Icy's mom!
Ruby: Hi Icey's Mom!
Silverwind: hi icestars moom
Reedfrost: hi icey's mom!
Wildtail: Hi Icestar's mom!
Silent: my grandma sent a president(forgot which one)a letter and she got a picture of his dog
Icestar: Her warrior name is Tangleclaw.(what she got on the warriors site)
Silverwind: Make sure icestar does some extra chores because she respeccts yooou
Magicyop: Hi Icy's mom!
Spirithunter: That's awesome, Silent. Xd
SheilaRuth: Kewl, Silent!
Monk Ashland: Bill Clinton's accent is exacty the same as my father's. Which may help explain why I liked him.
Silent: but she asked about running a charity (it never happened)
Magicyop(Q): Why did you choose the pen name Monk Ashland?
Monk Ashland(A): I mentioned earlier that I used to be a camp director at a summer camp. We all chose nicknames. I had just started shaving my head, so I used Monk. Later, when I wanted a pen name, I decided to use Monk, and I used Ashland because it's the name of a major street here in Chicago.
Silent: i have to go
Forestpelt: aww bye Silent!
Icestar: Later, Silent
Lilacheart: Bye :(
coalfang: awwww, bye
Spirithunter: Bye! :(
Wildtail: Bye Silent!
SheilaRuth: Aw, I'm sorry, Silent
Monk Ashland: later silent
Monk Ashland: glad you could make the chat :)
Silent: i get to go eat bye
Forestpelt: Oiii!!!!! Happy late birthday Magicyop!!
Magicyop: Lol, thanks!!
SheilaRuth(Q): You spent a year in China. Can you tell us about that? How did that influence the book?
Monk Ashland(A): My first time in China I was there for exactly one year, to the day. And I've been back a few times, and I'm going again next week. A lot of the culture and details of the Sky Village come directly from my experience there, especially visiting the smaller villages. Details like the wedding ritual, the laundry hanging on the ropes, the food, and a lot more, it all came from my time there.
SheilaRuth: I loved the wedding stuff!
coalfang(Q): how did you come up with your pen name, and what are the pros/cons of having one?
Monk Ashland(A): pros and cons of having a pen name... the benefit is that Monk Ashland is a lot easier than my real name. The only con I've noticed so far is sometimes people get confused about who Monk and Nigel are, because when I talk about the book I always use my real name. but i may notice some more pros and cons over the next few months, so ask me again next chat :)
Spirithunter: I've always wondered what the pros and cons of having pen names are.
Reedfrost: my pen name is reedfrost
Icestar: My pen name would make no sense whatsoever. lol
Icestar: What? Hunter Wolf makes no sense.
Reedfrost(Q): I have not read your books. Without spoiling anything, tell me why your book would be something I should read. (If you can answer this, I will look for your books to read)
Monk Ashland(A): I'd need to know more about the books you like to answer this properly, but I can say that it's probably the only chance you'll get to read stories set in a world where robots and animals are at war with one another, with human stuck in the middle. That, and if you've ever felt extreme mood swings, you might be able to relate to Mei's and Rom's particular unique situation ;)
SheilaRuth: Mood swings! Lol!
Reedfrost: i'll check those books out!
Bluefire: I love Wandsandworlds thank you so much for making it Shiela. :)
SheilaRuth: You're welcome, Bluefire!
Silent(Q): do you have any phobias. random i know
Monk Ashland(A): fear of hights. which is one reason why the sky villagers get from balloon to balloon the way they do. i thought it might cure me, but instead it just gives me the shivers when I really imagine it
SheilaRuth: That must have been hard to write, then!
Wildtail: I have a fear of heights as well.
Magicyop: Yeah, tell me about it
Magicyop: My tailbone hurts when I look over a great height
SheilaRuth: This coming from someone who rock climbs. Xd
Reedfrost: lol magic
Spirithunter: I love heights. They make me nervous, but I love them. Which is why I would love to live in the Sky Village if I had better balance. :P
SheilaRuth(Q): But wouldn't the birds have detected the Beast part, and felt an affinity with it?
Monk Ashland(A): Good point. If I'm remembering correctly, Mei's mek aspect was overwhelming her at the moment the birds got agitated. So that's what they were responding to.
SheilaRuth: Oh! Ok.
SheilaRuth: I get it. It's the mood swing thing. ::biggrin
SheilaRuth: She was in the Mek mood swing
Silent(Q): what is your faviorte book
Monk Ashland(A): Ah, this one is so hard. It changes. The last really good book I read is always my favorite. For a while it was each of the Lord of the Rings books. At one point it was The Outsiders. At one point it was Crime and Punishment. And right now I think it's Where the Wild Things Are because it's my favorite of the books I read to my twin girls. You have to really like a book to read it 5 times a night.
Magicyop: What is Where the Wild Things are?
Bluefire: Monk have you voted on that poll down there?
Monk Ashland: Where the Wild Things Are is a picture book for little kids. my twins are 1 year old
Monk Ashland: poll?
Monk Ashland: lemme find it
SheilaRuth: Wow, did I never read you that book? You lead a deprived childhood!
Magicyop: Stop it, you Did read me that book
Magicyop: Sheila just corrected me in real life
Magicyop: I thought the book she read me was simply called "The Wild Things"
Monk Ashland: i don't see a poll
Bluefire: Magic are you in the same house as shiela
Magicyop: She's my mom...?
Spirithunter: I love Where the Wild Things Are.
Bluefire: Oh i didnt know that
Spirithunter: It was one of my favorites. :)
SheilaRuth: If you go back to the main browser window, the poll is in the right hand column, down a ways
SheilaRuth: But don't click on it in the chat room window or it might log you out!
Reedfrost: i never read where the wild things are...
Icestar(Q): What kind of things inspire you to write, as well as create the books that you write?
Monk Ashland(A): early in the morning, coffee inspires mo write. kidding (sorta). really, what inspires me is when the characters start to come alive and the story starts going in directions that surprise me but make total sense. i love it when that happens
SheilaRuth: That's so funny. Almost every author we've talked to has said the same thing about characters. That they go in surprising directions.
Magicyop: Neat, authorperson!
Monk Ashland: oh, i will have to answer that poll later. it will be hard to choose between a couple of them
SheilaRuth: I had a hard time choosing, too!
Monk Ashland: characters can be pesky critters in that way (doing the unexpected)
Spirithunter: My characters are all going off and developing without me. <.<
Magicyop: [sniff] they develop so fast!
Spirithunter: The length of my first draft will need to be shortened majorly so I can get to my second draft before I go insane.'
coalfang: characters grow up so fast, and before you know it, they're all grown up and published Xd
Magicyop: Zomg I just had an awesome idea for a book
Magicyop: [must write down]
Bluefire: If you could have all the authors for the chats at one
Reedfrost: that would be weird blue...
coalfang: that would be chaos Xd
Bluefire: It would be cool than all the authors could meet each other
Magicyop: Cool, but chaotic
Reedfrost: but they've probably all met already in their crazy underground author circles..
Bluefire: Every wandsandworlds person would be there probaly
Bluefire: they could meet each other swap book ideas talk and every wandsandworlds person would be ther
Magicyop(Q): What is the apocalyptic diasaster/crux of the situation that turned the world into the Trinary Wars? How did the Meks come to be? What drives the beasts to act so?
Monk Ashland(A): wow, this is a humongous question. so humongous, it's going to take a couple more books to really dive in. and some of the answeres are part of the mystery that gets answered in the story. i can answer some of it though. the beasts at this point in the future are more evolved, stronger and more intelligent, and so they have the brainpower to organize the way they can't now. and meks, i will only say that they are organized around something called a molp (meaning of life program). each group of meks had a single program around which everything they did was organized. but over time those programs got corrupted, so that different groups had different molps. can't say more yet...
Monk Ashland: pardon the typos
SheilaRuth: Wow, that's interesting!
Magicyop: Wow! Cool!
Magicyop: That's pretty amazing... I wanna know more
Forestpelt(Q): Do you like waffles?
Monk Ashland(A): who doesn't? leggo my eggo, i say!
SheilaRuth: I love Spot in the book!
Spirithunter: Spot is amazing.
TsubameSutaa: Holy Foo, Finally!::headcomp
TsubameSutaa: This Internet has gone to teh dogs.::dry
Magicyop: At last!
SheilaRuth: Starry! You made it!!!!!!!
TsubameSutaa: I've been trying to get in here for hte past hour and More!
Lilacheart: Starry!!!!! :D:D
Reedfrost: g2g bye!
TsubameSutaa: *destroys Internet connection*
SheilaRuth: Chris, Tsubamesutaa is Starry that I mentioned
Spirithunter: I'm sorry, Starry.
coalfang: Starreh Xd
Forestpelt: Starry!! yay!
Lilacheart: I'm glad you were able to get on. :)
Monk Ashland: nice to meet you, Tsubamesutaa
TsubameSutaa: *sigh* Hello.^_^'
TsubameSutaa: You can call me Starry, though.
Icestar: Hi, Starry. lol
Reedfrost: i g2g now, though.
Spirithunter(Q): What is your favorite kind of music? :)
Monk Ashland(A): I really like World music, although that's not really a single "type" of music. But I love folk music from different countries. But I have about 100 GB of music, everything from hiphop to bluegrass. literally everything
Reedfrost: see you all later!
Monk Ashland: have a good night, reedfrost
Magicyop: The Tree Book is cool.
Magicyop: I want to have a Tree Book
SheilaRuth: Bye, Reedfrost!
Reedfrost: thanks! you too!
SheilaRuth: Yeah, the Tree Book is cool.
Spirithunter: I want a Tree Book...
Magicyop: Definitely... Ack, hand me the book! I wanna see the other characters mentioned besides Lizard Girl, Breaker, and Dragonfly. =P
Spirithunter: I could use it to communicate with you guys, or some author or other, or distant friends...
SheilaRuth: I hope we learn more about the Tree Book in future books!
Spirithunter: I wonder if the Tree Book would work without Animus.
Silent(Q): Why is Spot so small even when Rom had his helmet
Monk Ashland(A): Demonsmiths don't really get to choose what their demons look like or how big they are. The patterns come from their DNA and their subconscious. So he was sort of stuck with Spot however he turned out. But lucky for Rom, Spot did have a trick up his sleeve for the final fight... but we can't say anything about that, of course...
Magicyop: I want to find out about Animus myself =P
Magicyop: Animus is a cool name though
Spirithunter: Btw, how far are you in the book?
Magicyop: Meh? Rom just met Diamond Teeth
SheilaRuth: Starry, have you read the book?
TsubameSutaa: I've read the book. I read it ages ago.xp
TsubameSutaa: I managed to save up enough to buy that and Tsubasa 18 at the same time.::mellow
Spirithunter(Q): How long did it take you to finish the first draft of The Sky Village?
Monk Ashland(A): It took me about a year, though there were some very long breaks in the middle while we tried to find a publisher. So in all it was about 2 years.
SheilaRuth: Oh, kewl!
coalfang: alot of books average around two years to finish i noticed....
Bluefire: Really it usually takes two years
Lilacheart(Q): What do you do when you get a writers block?
Monk Ashland(A): When I get writers block, usually I'm able to go to another part of the story and edit. But if I seriously hit a wall, which definitely happens, the best thing is to take a walk and try not to think about the story. That always works.
SheilaRuth: Sorry about your Internet connection, Starry!
Spirithunter: I found a copy at a really cool bookstore, and I was just like "okay, now I /have/ to buy it..." Didn't regret it a bit. :)
Magicyop: Diamond Teeth scares me...
Magicyop: I wonder how he got diamonds into his gums
Spirithunter: Good question. 0_o
Magicyop: Maybe someone punched him in the mouth reallly hard
Spirithunter: Well, anything is possible in Vegas...
Magicyop: And then he was like "diamonds are in style" so he had diamond teeth made?
Silent(Q): Why is she called Lizard Girl?
Monk Ashland(A): ah, i could tell you but then I'd have to put this entire chat room into the witness protection program! but i promise we'll meet Lizard Girl in the next book. If she's not in the main story direction, she'll be in the Tree Book. And I'll include a section at the end of the book (in the Artifacts section) where we can meet her properly. how's that?
Bluefire: he must be rich because i diamond a size of a tooth would be about a million dollars
TsubameSutaa: brb*runs to get The Sky Village*
Lilacheart(Q): Do you get any ideas from listening to music?
Monk Ashland(A): Yes, totally. I had a playlist while I was writing The Sky Village. It had a random list of songs. Stuff from Johnny Cash, Faye Wong (a Chinese pop star), Roma music (otherwise known as Gypsy), the Fight Club soundtrack, the Pixies. Also It's Not Easy Being Green by Kermit (don't ask) :P
Wildtail: Johnny Cash!
SheilaRuth: Wow! That's a diverse selection of music!
Magicyop: Wow, cool! X^d
Spirithunter: Ita vero. )0_o
Magicyop: I haven't heard bmany of those though
Spirithunter: Nor have I...
Lilacheart: Lol!! I should ask, but I won't. Xp
SheilaRuth(Q): Were you born in Arkansas?
Monk Ashland(A): Born and raised until I was bout 22. Then I moved to Chicago, and that's where I am now.
SheilaRuth: I'm guessing Kermit was for the twins?
SheilaRuth: Monk has twins who are a year old, I think
SheilaRuth(Q): Is it significant that there are three main people in the Tree Book (Mei, Rom,. and Lizard Girl) and three types of beings (Beast, Mek, and human)? Or is that just a coincidence?
Monk Ashland(A): It wasn't planned like that from the beginning, but it's certainly no coincidence that the number 3 is used a lot. In fact, the series was originally supposed to be 3 books, but the publisher wanted to extend it
SheilaRuth: Makes sense. I thought it seemed that there was a significance to the number 3
Forestpelt(Q): How old are you?
Monk Ashland(A): usually my answer to this is "1 day younger than dirt," but the answer would be 36.
SheilaRuth: At least Squirrely isn't here to ask if you're married, Lol
Lilacheart: Lol!!! Xd
coalfang: awww, its ten, i g2g, ::sad
Magicyop: Aww, bye
coalfang: this has been soooooooooooooo much fun, cya later
SheilaRuth: Bye, Coalfang!
Wildtail: I got to go eat dinner. -.-;
Monk Ashland: night everyone who is leaving!
Spirithunter: brb... that smell's getting to me. Gotta eat. x.x
Monk Ashland: thanks for hanging out
Spirithunter: I'll be back. :)
Spirithunter: Assuming the chat's still running...
Monk Ashland: and if i missed anything anyone in here said, appy polly loggies (nadsat for appologies)
Monk Ashland: nadsat is the made-up slang used in the book A Clockwork Orange
Magicyop: Oh, neat
Monk Ashland: one of my favorites when i was a teen
Bluefire: I like oranges
Magicyop: I like clockwork
Magicyop: it's tasty
Monk Ashland: clockwork oranges are crunchier than regular ones
Icestar: What you banging your head about, Starry?
SheilaRuth: Internet connection dropped?
Bluefire: I love all oranges and orange juice
TsubameSutaa: again, yes.
SheilaRuth: Did anyone have any more questions? I think we're going to wrap this up soon.
SheilaRuth: Sorry, Starry!
TsubameSutaa: It's okay. Once this is over, I'll just engross myself in Okami for a few days while we sue Bell.*shot repeatedly*
Magicyop: Sue Bell?
Magicyop: Any relation to Tinker Bell?
TsubameSutaa: I don't think i had any questions actually. I just wanted to be here and experience it.
Spirithunter(Q): Bouncing off of my draft question: so did you even have a second draft, or did you just have a single one that you gnawed at until there wasn't anything left to gnaw?
Monk Ashland(A): there were about 4 or 5 drafts of The Sky Village. And to be honest, I was having so much fun with the settings and characters that the drafts never really gnawed on me that hard. Though if you asked me during the 3 or 4 days leading up to the deadline, when I looked pretty much like a zombie, i might answer differently
TsubameSutaa: No, Bell the phone company.xp
Magicyop: Why are you suing Tinker Bell?
TsubameSutaa: What, she runs Bell Canada?::huh
Magicyop: I think we may be talking about different things
Monk Ashland: i need to spend some more time with Okami as well. had to retire my ps2 when the twins were born
Magicyop: I could be wrong though
TsubameSutaa: i think so too.xp
Magicyop: So why are you suing Mr. and Mrs. Bell?
TsubameSutaa: ^ ta-da.
Magicyop: O h
TsubameSutaa: Our internet service providers.
Magicyop: Why are you suing a phone company?
TsubameSutaa: brb, gotta go put away teh spaghetti sauce
Icestar(Q): Do any of your ideas come to you through dream?
Monk Ashland(A): you know, i'm one of the only people i know who doesn't remember his dreams. so it's very possible that some of my ideas come from there, but i'm not aware of it
SheilaRuth: Starry, did you know that Monk Ashland lived in China for a year and has been there several other times?
Bluefire: I have always wanted to go to China and walk the Great Wall
Magicyop(Q): From Squirrelflame: are you married?
Monk Ashland(A): yes i am. i met my wife when i lived in china. we met in a tea shop. and now we have 1 year old twin girls, who are flying to china next week to meet their maternal grandparents for the first time
SheilaRuth: Starry, I chatted you when you were gone, Lol
TsubameSutaa: We walked the Great Wall.xp Exactly 399 steps up.*_*
SheilaRuth: I said, "did you know that Monk Ashland lived in China for a year and has been there several other times?"
TsubameSutaa: Cha, I saw that.::happy
TsubameSutaa: Tsubamesutaa: Really?*_*
Monk Ashland: has anyone seen the animation models for the Sky Village, Spot and Feifei on my blog?
Spirithunter: Ooh, no!
Magicyop: No I haven't!!! Where's your blog?
Monk Ashland: we're working on an animation test, a style to use for a movie version of the story
Monk Ashland: http://rettstatt.wordpress.com/
TsubameSutaa: Ooh, cool
Spirithunter: The Sky Village would be an amazing movie.
SheilaRuth: Yeah, it would
Spirithunter: Spot reminds me of a kirin...
Spirithunter: I love the yellow Fei Fei!
SheilaRuth: What's a kirin?
TsubameSutaa: Oh wow, that totally changes my picture of Spot!
Bluefire: I love the name Fei Fei
Monk Ashland: good point, spirithunter. i actually hadn't thought of that, but you are right (about the kirin)
Spirithunter: I imagined Spot as being more mechanical, since demons are mek hybrids...
Spirithunter: Now I want a kirin demon. :P
Monk Ashland: i should say that these aren't finished. they are just early ideas, and the artist is taking some liberties
SheilaRuth: What's a Kirin?
Monk Ashland: so how they look here may not be exactly how they are in my head, or how they should be in your heads :)
Monk Ashland: spot may get a bit more mechanical looking before it's finished. there's a long way to go yet before we're done with the designs
SheilaRuth: *pokes question*
Monk Ashland: a kirin is called qilin in chinese. it's a chimera. you see statues of them a lot in china
SheilaRuth: ok, thanks
Monk Ashland: they kind of look lion-like and doglike with other stuff mixed in
Magicyop(Q): Diamond Teeth scares me. How did he get Diamonds into his gums? Did all his teeth fall out in a freak accident, and then he's like "Oh, I think I'll just stick some diamonds in there! I hear diamond teeth are very stylish."
Monk Ashland(A): I first got the idea when I was reading a book on nanotechnology. It mentioned that some people might just decide to replace their jaws with diamond, because you'd be able to manipulate stuff on a molecular level and basically become a sort of alchemist. So i just got this idea of a guy with a diamond jaw and diamond teeth. I imagined him with a normal chin, so you can't see the diamond underneath, but you'd see the teeth. I use a lot of ideas from nanotechnology in the book, though I don't really go into it much in the story.
Magicyop: Ooh, cool!
SheilaRuth: Nanotech is fascinating.
Silverwind: I Gtg!!!!
Icestar: See you
TsubameSutaa: aw, cyaz!
Wildtail: Bye Silverwind.
Monk Ashland: glad you could hang out with us, silverwind
SheilaRuth: Bye, Silverwind!
Bluefire(Q): Monk how long does it usually take you to write a story
Monk Ashland(A): It took about a year to finish The Sky Village. Not working on it full time, though. And so far it's taking about as long to write book 2.
Silverwind: anyway, bye!
SheilaRuth(Q): I'm a little confused about the Kaimira gene. It's part beast, part Mek, right? But how can Meks have genes? Sorry about the minor spoiler.
Monk Ashland(A): I call it a gene because it's the closest word for it. but the idea is that at this point in the future, machines, humans, and animals have all evolved to a point where there is less difference between the genes in a human or beast and the equivalent elements in a machine. machines are already being designed based more on biological principals, so i think this is where we are most likely headed. i just use the word "gene" mostly for convenience, instead of making something up
SheilaRuth: Ah! Ok.
Magicyop(Q): What was the world like before the Trinary wars? What time to you imagine it being, roughly?
Monk Ashland(A): i imagine the Trinary Wars happening in about 150 years. we've already been through World War Three, in which humans use machines and beasts (forcibly) to fight with them, and in many cases for them. before that, there was a period when there was a deeper understanding between humans, beasts, and machines. but that all went haywire after World War Three and the events that lead to the first Trinary War. sounds like a history book :P
Icestar: lol. Nice way of putting it, though
SheilaRuth(Q): Why did you decide to use a pen name?
Monk Ashland(A): The main reason was that my real name is kind of hard, and I thought a pen name would be fun. And since I am working with another author, I thought it would be fun for our pen names to be brothers.
SheilaRuth: Good reasons
SheilaRuth: I don't think that Chris Rettstatt is a hard name, though
Bluefire: Who is the other author
SheilaRuth: My maiden name was Somerlock. Imagine what kinds of strange spellings you get with that!
Monk Ashland: Nigel has requested that his true identity be kept secret for now ::ninja
Spirithunter: Somerlock is a pretty name. I like it. :)
Spirithunter: ...I might try and use it somewhere. Xd
SheilaRuth: My g g grandfather spelled it with 2 m's: Sommerlock. But the second m got dropped
Bluefire(Q): Do you have any tips on writing a story to pass onto us.
Monk Ashland(A): my main tip is to make your first draft as ugly as possible. full of typos, bad word choices, bad grammar. as long as you get to the end. then you can start back at the beginning and make it awesome
Wildtail: Good tip!
SheilaRuth: Good suggestion!
Monk Ashland: don't tell your teachers i gave you that advice, though. that's just between us
Wildtail: Got it. -.o
Bluefire: Oh that is a good tip
Spirithunter: I think my teachers have already realized that I understand that. Xd
SheilaRuth: If you worry too much about getting it right the first time, you can get hung up and never finish. That's what editing is for!
Spirithunter: Has anyone here read Bird by Bird?
Monk Ashland: Bird by Bird is a very good book on writing. A lot of my writer friends love it.
Spirithunter: I loved Bird by Bird. Anne Lamott's voice was great. I loved the way she talked about first drafts. I think that's why I'm not scared to charge to the end of the first draft of my story and keep it super short.
SheilaRuth: What is book 2 going to be called? Do you know yet?
Magicyop: The Terrible Everything
Magicyop: He already said that =P
SheilaRuth: Oh, I missed it!
Spirithunter: Way to go. :P
Monk Ashland: ah, you are quick on the draw, magicyop
Monk Ashland: beat me to it
Magicyop: Fastest typer in the west, if I do say so myself
Magicyop: many years of touch typing lessons were not wasted =P
Monk Ashland: i'll say
Bluefire: I am not that fast of a typer
Icestar: And I didn't get to typing fast enough until three years ago. All on my own, too.
SheilaRuth: We're going to call it a night, now. There's no more questions, and I'm sure that Monk
Ashtail: I type sloooooooooooooooow. :P
Magicyop: Try a program called "typer Shark"
Magicyop: I practicied with it for a while
Magicyop: It really helped me
SheilaRuth: I'm sure that Monk's twins get up early!
Monk Ashland: they do indeed. they are more effective than roosters
SheilaRuth: Thanks so much for coming, Monk! (It seems strange calling you that because I'm so used to calling you Chris!)
Monk Ashland: thanks for inviting me. i'd love to visit again sometime
Bluefire: Bye Monk,magic,sheila,ash,fire,forest,ice,lila,sound,spirit,tsubame,wild,
Magicyop: And we'd love for you to visit again!
Magicyop: G'bye! Thanks very much for coming!
Spirithunter: Elfwood's Farp is also an amazing resource. I even read it when I just need the drive to write.
Bluefire: Bye everyone
SheilaRuth: Feel free to come by any time. You don't have to have a scheduled chat. You can just pop in and post to the forums any time.
Spirithunter: I loved the chat. Thanks so much for coming!
Monk Ashland: it was fun. you really kept me on my toes with those questions :)
Wildtail: Thanks for coming!
Spirithunter: Definitely stop by the forums every once in a while.
Monk Ashland: will do
Icestar: Nice meeting you. (as close as it gets, anyhow)
TsubameSutaa: Thanks for coming! Even though I missed most of it...xp Ah well, I guess there's next time.^_^'
Spirithunter: Good night!
Monk Ashland: there will definitely be a next time
Monk Ashland: night everyone! adios, tchau, zaijian, and i'm outa here :P
Spirithunter: We should at least have chats after the release of each book.
Monk Ashland left.
SheilaRuth: He's gone.
SheilaRuth: Thanks so much for coming, everyone!
Spirithunter: Thanks for hosting it, Sheila. :)
SheilaRuth: You're welcome.
Spirithunter: You should treat yourself to a bath and some chocolate for all your work. ^^
Icestar: What she said
SheilaRuth: Well, I'm going to get out of here, too. It's late, and have to be up early for church
Icestar: See you, Sheila.
Spirithunter: Okay. Good night!
SheilaRuth: g'night everyone. Thanks again for coming! It was fun!
Wildtail: G'night Sheila!
Hawkheart: oops... i guess im a little late. :D