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Blog: Sharon Ledwith: I came. I saw. I wrote.
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By: Sharon Ledwith,
The Storm is here...
Days after the events featured in The Watcher, the Watcher is taken hostage by a dragon, leaving Kristen, Will and Nicki alone in a strange new world. With no choice but to try and rescue their friend, Kristen and the others must travel through ancient cities, forgotten burial grounds, and eventually into the heart of the great storm.
Faced with the unknown, will they be able to traverse the storms that stand before them as well as ones within their own hearts?
Title: Stormdancer (Sequel to The Watcher)
Author Name: JoshuaPantalleresco
Genre(s): Poetry, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Tags: Poetry, Epic, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, science-fiction, dragons
Length: Approx. 104 pages
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing (http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/
Appropriate for all ages from Young Adult to Adult.Follow the Tour to Read Exclusive Excerpts, Guest Posts, and Reviews:http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2015/09/blog-tour-schedule-stormdancer-sequel.htmlGuest Post:Why Joshua Pantalleresco Writes
So before we begin, I want to thank Sharon for having me. She's secretly a unicorn, and that story will have to be told some other day, but she's a kind, sweet lady and it was a pleasure to be asked to come here and write.
I am going to write about my books, why I wrote them, and the lessons you can learn from them. Stormdancer is book two of the Watcher Saga. In it, the Watcher, the main character from book one is kidnapped leaving Kristin, Nicki, and Will to chase him down. The journey is improbable and fantastic and in my opinion the kind of magic a good story creates.
I want to talk about some of the themes of the story. In particular, dealing with grief and changes. Because entering into this book, I was left in a quandry. The Watcher was the Watcher's story; about his journey to discovering who he was, and more importantly, what he wanted to be. This wasn't the Watcher's story anymore. It is the first line in book two.
“This is not my story anymore.”
That was deliberate, conscious line that illustrated the problems I had starting book two. I wanted to flesh out the characters I introduced at the end of book one, yet I didn't want to lose the strong presence the Watcher had in book one.
So who were the three kids I rescued? I chose Kristin as the main character in book two. They had just gone through the loss of everything they knew. Kristin represented that tragedy. Losing a family.
It parallels my own story. Not that I lost my whole family, but my whole family situation collapsed at a very young age. My mom and dad fell apart and I remember that when I was younger it was like my fault. Why did two people I love have to do this? Why did things have to change? It messed me up. I tried to tell myself I was over this pain of not having this unit in my life. I ran away from home at one point because of the pain.
I was very fortunate. I had two teachers look after me. One of them a principal, and the other was my grade four teacher. I was her last class. We didn't make the greatest impression, but to my surprise, she was there for me when I least expected it.
That's Kristin in chapter three. She was happy in her life – it was all she knew. And that turmoil is expressed very much in all her actions for the first half of the book. She has become my favorite character to write in the saga so far. Watching her rise above her own stuff was a vicarious experience.
I had to learn at a young age that life was a struggle. A lot of kids have their childhoods end a lot sooner than maybe they should. I thought the three kids had been through hell, and it was just beginning. Making them grow up happened to me.
The silver lining going through grief is that people come together. Family isn't just blood. It's the people you go through things with, that are there with you through thick and thin. Going back to the very beginning, it wasn't just the Watcher's story anymore. It was about the kids, and going through their own fires, and becoming closer for it.
So if you are a kid reading Sharon's blog, I hope this book teaches you to be brave. I'm not going to lie to you; life is hard. Chances are you have gone through some painful things and are probably stronger and braver than I was ever was. I'm not going to make you a promise that it'll get any easier. What I can tell you though, is that you can overcome. The big secret that most adults don't even know is that if you believe you can do it, you can. You are strong and powerful and can do anything.
But I'm also going to say that there are people who are there for you no matter what. People that believe in you. They will be there when you fall, and they will be there to help you rise. They are the people worth being with.
Read an Excerpt:
disappearing into the night but were unsure of the trees and trails we knew something had happened when we found his blades in the forest the hollow embers and ashes we found those ruins were his story is there something wrong with that? I didn't care about anything else the dragons were bastards but I understood the game the moves that could be made with one flick of a blade shattered the illusion with a roar of rebellion now he had vanished into the night leaving everything in shambles!Purchase Links:
Mirror World Publishinghttp://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/products/stormdancer-e-bookMeet the Author:
Joshua Pantalleresco writes stuff. It's even on his business card. This is a succinct way of saying that in addition to writing poetry, he also does interviews, columns, comics, prose and anything possible with the written word. When he isn't writing, he's playing with podcasts, filming stuff, fiddling with alternative medicine, travelling, talking to people and pretending he is a rockstar. Stormdancer is his second book through Mirror World Publishing. He lives in Calgary.
Unreal's game development toolset is now free for filmmakers and artists.
Pixar’s Monsters University opened with a powerful first-place finish in the United States. The Dan Scanlon-directed film nabbed an estimated $82 million in its opening weekend, which makes it the second-biggest Pixar opening ever behind Toy Story 3′s $110.3M opening in 2010. The real test will be next weekend: will the film decline in the mid-40% range as Toy Story 3 did or will it drop over 60% as Cars 2 did? Overseas, Monsters University opened in approximately three dozen international territories with an international cume of $54.5M, also good enough for a first place finish. After one weekend, the film’s total gross is $136.5M.
Meanwhile, as expected, Monsters University pummelled Blue Sky’s Epic at the American box office. Epic plunged a massive 72.5% percent for an estimated fifth-weekend total of $1.7M. The film finally crawled its way across the $100M mark, but it will now certainly end up as Blue Sky’s lowest grossing film in the U.S., and among its lowest grossing films internationally.
Blue Sky’s Epic continued its mild box office run last weekend with a respectable decline of 28.5% and $11.8 million in U.S. box office earnings. The film has now racked up $83.9 million over its three week U.S. run. The film has one more weekend of clear-sailing ahead of it before it will succumb to another kiddie flick, Monsters University.
Overseas, Epic placed sixth, with approx. $12.7M from over sixty international territories, pushing its overseas total to $105.4M. Blue Sky’s features tend to overperform in international markets—the studio’s last three features have averaged $582 million overseas—but Epic will be lucky to break $200 million internationally.
Continuing our week of looking at artists who worked on Epic, we focus on Sang Jun Lee.
Sang Jun has designed characters and concepts for many blockbuster movie franchises including Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean and Men In Black. After a stretch of working in California on these live-action films, he moved to New York to work on Blue Sky features such as Horton Hears a Who, Rio, and most recently, Epic.
Sang Jun’s website has a generous amount of drawings and digital paintings to explore. He also keeps a blog here.
Continuing our week of looking at some of the artists behind Blue Skey’s Epic, we focus on storyboard artist Tom LaBaff.
“Print illustration is one of Tom’s passions,” according to the bio on his website. Tom creates editorial and book illustration work in addition to working on animated features.
Tom extends the energetic, rough line often used during the animation process to his illustration work. He works with ink and watercolor washes and sometimes with a digital/analog hybrid technique demonstrated in this time-lapse video:
Tom also has a blog here where you can see large versions of his illustrations.
Continuing our week of Epic artists, we take a look at the designs of Blue Sky visual development artist Sandeep Menon.
Sandeep works as a designer, drawing and painting concepts for objects, vehicles, environments and structures.
Sandeep studied at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California where for one project he developed concept art about a future India which included flying elephant cars and robots designed with traditional Indian motifs integrated into their structures.
Sandeep previously worked as a product designer in India, which gives him practical experience in designing functional, real objects that he can apply to his current work designing fantasy worlds. See Sandeep’s animation design work on his blog.
Blue Sky’s eighth feature film, Epic, directed by Chris Wedge and based on a book by children’s author Bill Joyce, opens in the United States today. Reception to the film has been fair to middling. The film currently owns a 63% critics’ rating and 74% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Stephen Holden in the NY Times sums up the majority viewpoint: “As beautiful as it is, Epic is fatally lacking in visceral momentum and dramatic edge.”
Check out the film and report back here with your opinion in the comments below. As always, this talkback is open only to those who have seen the film and wish to share an opinion about it.
(Billboard via Daily Billboard)
By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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As Blue Sky’s Epic opens theatrically in the United States, we continue our week of featuring artists who worked on the film. Today we look at the work of storyboard artist Dan Shefelman.
Dan has worked as a story artist at Blue Sky in addition to doing boards for television series such as The Venture Bros., Robotomy, Celebrity Deathmatch, and Doug.
When drawing caricatures of celebrities and politicians, Dan distorts and renders faces with equal humor in digital paint, marker, pencils, ink and watercolors.
Dan previously worked as an editorial cartoonist for Newsday and continues to draw illustrations and cartoons that you can see on the pages of his website DanShefelman.com.
Above are a few of Dan’s story drawings from the Ice Age cave painting sequence. The finished version from the film can be seen below:
Today, we wrap up our week of featuring artists who worked on Blue Sky’s Epic by focusing on the drawings of Jake Panian.
Jake Panian works as a visual development artist at Blue Sky, where he started as a junior designer during the production of Ice Age: Continental Drift. A few of his pieces from that production are below, and some larger pieces can be seen here:
Jake’s personal drawings are often created in pencil and explore how shadows and light impact characters. He posts personal drawings and sketchbook work on his blog JakePanian.blogspot.com.
By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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Blue Sky’s Epic, directed by Chris Wedge, opened its U.S. box office run in fourth place with a respectable weekend take of $33.5 million. If you add in earnings from Monday, which was a holiday in the States, Epic’s 4-day total stands at $42.8M.
The film was based on a story by children’s author/illustrator Bill Joyce, whose movie projects have had difficulty capturing the attention of audiences. Similarly, Epic is the weakest opening ever for a Blue Sky feature. While Epic outperformed the dismal openings of the last two films based on Joyce properties—DreamWorks’ Rise of the Guardians ($23.8M) and Disney’s Meet the Robinsons ($25.1M)—it still failed to match the opening weekend of the Blue Sky/Bill Joyce collaboration Robots which had a 3-day total of $36 million in 2005.
Fox president of dommestic distribution, Chris Aronson, was optimistic about the film’s long-term potential, telling the Hollywood Reporter, “I think it’s a fantastic start. We have a four week run before Monsters University opens, and I’m very bullish on where Epic goes.”
In other box office news, after ten weeks in theaters, DreamWorks’ The Croods continues to show great legs and remains in the top ten. The film took ninth place last weekend with $1.2 million. As of yesterday, its U.S. total stands at $179.6 million and its foreign total is $383.4 million for a grand total of $563 million.
Finally, GKIDS is headed for its first million dollar-grossing release in the U.S. with Goro Miyazaki’s From Up on Poppy Hill. The film earned $17,281 last weekend pushing its grand total to $958,610.
In its second weekend at the U.S. box office, Blue Sky’s Epic plummeted a troubling 51.1% for an estimated take of $16.4 million. The week two drop is far more substantial than other recent animated originals like Wreck-It Ralph (-32.7%), Hotel Transylvania (-36.4%), and The Croods (-38.8%). Even the DreamWorks dud Rise of the Guardians only dropped 43.7% in its second weekend. In the U.S., Epic has grossed $65.1 million and could potentially become Blue Sky’s lowest-grossing domestic feature.
The LA Times notes that Epic has also struggled to connect with overseas audiences. Craig Dehmel, a Fox v-p, suggested to the Times that, “Epic is unique and a more complex story than much of the typical animated fare and that can sometimes make it more challenging for international audiences to discover.” The film expanded into 57 international territories last weekend, but managed to pull in just $28.5 million for a fourth-place finish. Its foreign total is now $86.3 million.
Welcome to the Summer Reading Club & Book Blog Tour of Edith Pargeter's The Brothers of Gwynedd Quartet. We begin with Sunrise in the West: Book One of The Brothers of Gwynedd by Edith Pargeter. Organized by Danielle at Sourcebooks, the Summer Reading Club & Blog Tour covers the novels Sunrise in the West, The Dragon at Noonday, The Hounds of Sunset, and Afterglow and Nightfall over a period of four months.
The Brothers of Gwynedd Quartet: Comprising Sunrise in the West, the Dragon at Noonday, the Hounds of Sunset, Afterglow and Nightfall
The opening lines:
"My name is Samson. I tell what I know, what I have seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears. And if it should come to pass that I must tell it so certainly that I tell it as though I had been present. And I say now that there is no man living has a better right to be my lord's chronicler, for there is none ever knew him better than I, and God He knows there is none, man or woman, ever loved him better."
Lleweln, prince of Gwynedd, dreams of a Wales united against the English. But first he must combat enemies nearer home. His brothers vie with him for power among themselves, and their infighting threatens the very soil of their fathers. David, brought up in the English court of King Henry III and torn between two loyalties, may be Llewelyn's most dangerous foe -- especially since Llewelyn has no sons. Simon de Monfort promises his daughter to Llewelyn, but the quest to give Wales an heir may not be enough to prevent tragedy for the country and its prince.
Acclaimed novelist Edith Pargeter spins an absorbing tale of tragedy, traitors, and triumph of the heart.
1 Comments on Book Blog Tour of Sunrise in the West: Book One of The Brothers of Gwynedd by Edith Pargeter, last added: 5/22/2010