Showing posts with label Andrew Leon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Andrew Leon. Show all posts

Monday, August 11, 2014

Themes That Rocked! Abandoned Places With Andrew Leon

Please welcome author extraordinaire, Andrew Leon!

What made you run with the theme of abandoned places?

It was an idea my wife had. Initially, the idea was, "Wouldn't some of these places be cool as settings for stories," which I thought was a cool idea, but I didn't want this year to be as research intensive as the last couple of years, so I thought I'd just post a few pictures and a blurb to go with them. However, once I started looking up the places, the histories were often so fascinating that I couldn't resist telling about the places, too.

Did you Google search or were there websites you used for resources?

The original concept came from a news article... somewhere. I probably have the link still lying around. After that, I started looking up some of the places from the article and, from there, I found several websites that specialized in pictures of abandoned places. Still, it was a lot of back and forth, because, frequently, the pictures wouldn't come with information, so, then, there ended up being research even though I had intended to not spend time on research. heh

Which place was your favorite?

Oh... Man, I don't even know. North Brother Island? Qasr el Baron? Kalavantin Durg? Angkor Wat? Basically, I picked places (overall) that made me say, "Oh! This place is cool!" so I liked nearly every place I picked.

Which letter was the most challenging?

J, I think. That's why it got a more generic entry than most of the others. Not that X was easy. Or Z. Surprisingly, I had a lot of options for Y.

What’s the most common location of abandonment?

That, I'm not really sure about, but the type that surprised me the most was the amusement parks. There are a ton of abandoned amusement parks all over the world, and I don't think I was really expecting that.

I’d never heard of Teufelsberg. Which place (or places) surprised you?

Places like Craco surprised me, where whole populations had to just get up and move. Holland Island, too. I was surprised to find that that had been a whole town and that they had packed up and moved, including many of the buildings, away. Actually, I suppose I find it surprising that they lived there to begin with, but I suppose it seemed safe enough when they moved onto the island.

Have you visited any of them? Do you want to?

I went to Wolf House. It's pretty amazing looking at the stone walls that have been there for a century. London was correct that the place was built to last. Except for the whole fire part. I almost went to Alcatraz, but I got left behind. The pictures from there were taken by my wife. I suppose I will eventually get around to going. I'd like to take a trip to Devil's Slide; it's not too far from here. Those are the realistic ones, but I'd love to visit most of the places. I mean, there are some amazing places. I'd love to go up the climb to heaven. That would be amazing.

If you participate in the Challenge next year, do you have a theme in mind?

Ah, yes, well, I had decided to not participate next year but, then, I had an awesome idea. My own idea this time, not my wife's, and an idea that hasn't been done before. Not just a theme that hasn't been done, but a whole way of doing it that hasn't been done. It's... well, let's just say it's ambitious, and I'm already working on it because of that.

Dude, that is ambitious. I don’t even know what I’m posting next week… Thanks, Andrew!

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon best-sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm, and his blog can be found HERE

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Love

Blog love, to be specific.

After all, isn't that kind of the point of the A to Z Challenge? I mean sure, part of it is to push yourself to write a lot of posts, but mainly the idea is to visit a lot of blogs, and show them some love.

So here are a few of the blogs I've been reading during the Challenge:

Shannon Lawrence has covering Histories Mysteries.

L. Diane Wolfe has been sharing a lot of great Promotional Tips for Writers.

Joe Lunievicz has been writing about swordfighting.

Laura Eno has been writing about cats! Who doesn't love cats?

Andrew Leon has been posting about How to Be ... any number of things.

Do you have any blogs you've discovered through the Challenge that relate to the letter L? Feel free to share them in the comments, and make sure to visit my five, follow them, and tell them I sent you. Oh, and you can find my blog: The QQQE, here if you'd like to follow me.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy your Sunday off!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Special Participant Feature - Andrew Leon

The A to Z Challenge saw some awesome themes. One of the most intriguing was Fiction to Reality by author Andrew Leon at Strange Pegs. Andrew put so much into his posts – the research he conducted was amazing. I asked Andrew to share a little about his theme for the 2012 Challenge:

Your theme was fiction to reality – what made you choose that?

Actually, my wife came up with the theme. I was sort of thinking out loud to her about all of the themes I'd thought of and why I'd rejected them (and having a theme was make it/break it thing for me; I wouldn't have done a to z without one), and she said something like, "Well, why don't you talk about things that started out as science fiction but are now real?" It was a great idea, and I went with it. Of course, not quite everything I chose is science fiction, which is why I did just fiction to reality.

What subject was the most difficult to research?

I didn't really have any topics that were difficult to research in and of themselves, but there were some letters that were difficult to find topics for. Like "J" and "Y." I could find physical -things- that we have that started with those letters, so I had to be a little more creative with those.

Who’s your favorite robot?

Oh, man, that's not even a fair question. Oh, well, wait... do you mean something that's just what we would call a robot, or do you also mean android? I'm gonna go with the 'droid answer, and I would pick R2-D2. I want one. Of course, I also love 3PO. I also love the character of Daneel Olivaw from Asimov.

Who was Tom Swift?

Tom Swift was a character from the, appropriately named, Tom Swift books. He was a boy genius that got himself out of trouble through his inventions. Tom Swift was conceived of by the same guy that thought up The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. There's still a current series of Tom Swift books out there a century after they first started being published.

Any plans to go back to school for a degree in Xenobiology?

You know, I think I'll skip anything that's going back to school. I think of taken a very Ray Bradbury view and decided that free education is the best education. Which is not to say no education, but reading and choosing what to read very deliberately is a much better way to learn than paying an organization a bunch of money to get a piece of paper.

You’re not secretly building a laser or raygun, are you?

Hmm... I can't really tell you that, now, can I? Just, you know, be wary if you wake up one morning to find your living room filled with a giant Jiffy Pop container. I actually do have an old story -somewhere- about a boy that makes the first handheld laser weapon. That was back in college, though, and I'm not sure where that's packed away.

If you do the Challenge next year, what theme would you tackle?

At this point, I have no idea. I haven't had any good ideas, yet, so that question is still just hovering around out there. I won't do it without a theme, though, and it has to be a theme that I'm not gonna find on a dozen other blogs.

Thanks for having me Alex! I really did enjoy all the research and stuff I learned by participating in the challenge.

Andrew, thanks for doing the interview and can’t wait to see what you come up with next year!

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of CassaStar and CassaFire and his blog can be found HERE