Saturday, July 29, 2006

Virtual Press Conference Replies: Part Five

Time to continue the RSR Virtual Press Conference with a few more replies. Today I'm focusing on questions from pepektheassasin and Michelle, both of whom asked about books and authors. At some point in the next week or so I'll answer the final questions from Corky and Andrea about life. Now on to today's questions. Pepektheassasin asked: Questions. Hmmm. Let's see...okay, since I am looking for books that explain quantum physics in words of one syllable, what do you recommend? Have you read "I'm Not Really Here," by Tim Allen? Great book. And how about "What the Bleep Do We Know?" And what about Deepak Chopra? Hi! Can I call you Pepe? I'm a lazy typist and Pepektheassasin is a really long user name to type every time! {grin} Anyway, I haven't read the book by Tim Allen and honestly probably wouldn't have looked twice at it since I would have figured "typical celebrity book" but since you say it's a great book I'll look for it and maybe give it a try! I haven't read "What the Bleep Do We Know?" either, or seen the movie, but I'd like to. I've read a couple of Deepak Chopra's books ("The Seven Spiritual Laws" and "The Way of the Wizard") but it's been so long ago that I remember almost nothing about them except that I thought they were interesting. As far as a book that talks about quantum physics in a way that makes it really understandable to non-physicists (like me!), the #1 book I'd recommend isn't a science book or a spiritual book. It's a novel where the whole story hinges on certain theories of quantum mechanics and one of the characters gives a really good and understandable explanation at one point. So if you haven't read it yet, you might check out "From the Corner of His Eye" by Dean Koontz (even if you aren't normally a Koontz fan), including reading the author's note at the end. I love that book. Michelle asked: if you could have dinner with 3 authors (dead or alive) who would they be? what would you want to serve and what would you want to talk about? Only three??? (If you're imagining those two words in sort of a whiny wail, you've got it just right. Hehehe.) Ok, let's see... First would have to be Jane Austen. I love the way she wrote characters and the way she took perfectly ordinary, everyday situations and made them interesting enough that people still read the stories (and make movies from them!) hundreds of years later. She had to be so very observant to be able to do that. I'd love to hear some stories about the things she didn't write, either because they would have been too scandalous at the time or because she simply ran out of time considering that she died rather young. I'd hope that this fantasy would include her being able to stay a while and observe life in the 21st century before the dinner party so I could hear her thoughts on that too! Now it gets harder, because my next choices would be from among living authors and there are way too many I'd like to meet. Hhhmmm.... Ok, second I think I'd choose Barbara Mertz, who writes as both Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters. I've just loved her books for so many years - since my early teens. How many people can write books that someone reads and re-reads for 30 years without getting tired of them? Partly I just think she'd be fun to hang out with but also I'd like to hear more from her about Egypt and about archaeology (since that's her pre-writing career and appears in many of her books). And because many of her Barbara Michaels books feature paranormal elements, I'd like to ask her if she believes in any of those things and if she's ever experienced anything like that personally or if she just was interested in it from a fictional point of view. Also, from interviews I've read, I suspect she and I would have other things in common to talk about, from roses to quilts to old houses and vintage fashion. Third...oh my, this gets harder and harder. Do I want to choose a man or make this a GirlyNight? I think I'm going to have to go with GirlyNight, although choosing either Dean Koontz or Charles deLint as the third was awfully tempting. So third, I'd invite Joshilyn Jackson. I've wanted to meet Joss since before her novels were published, back when we were on an email list together (which, well, we still are...but we still haven't met in person). I adore her sense of humor. Plus I know she's also a HUGE Austen fan, (probably even more than I am) so I bet she'd come up with some great questions for Ms. Austen. I'd want to ask Joss about her favorite books - actually I'd like to ask all three guests about their favorite books. I'm always curious who my favorite authors like to read. I'd like to ask her some questions about her latest book, like did she ever picture in her mind what happened to Hazel or to Lori Anne (hope I'm spelling that right!) after their part in the published story ended. And we could talk about shoes (a topic where I think we'd frequently agree) and movies (a topic where I think we'd frequently disagree) and life (some of each!). As far as what I'd serve, I'd keep it simple and serve something that would keep me out of the kitchen most of the time because for me the point would be the conversation, not the food. So I'd want something where I could do most of the work in advance and just bring it to the table when everyone arrived - maybe spinach lasagna, tossed salad, some really good crusty bread and some red wine, with a decadent dessert for triple-chocolate raspberry rum cake perhaps. Thanks for the questions, P and M! Today's DAT: "Spotlight" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

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