Deadweather and Sunrise: The Chronicles of Egg by Geoff Rodkey
Today I’m happy to present an interview with Geoff Rodkey, author of The Chronicles of Egg books.
*Spoilers are highlighted like so :)
Bibliognome: What are you writing currently or percolating in your mind to write soon?
I just finished the first draft of BLUE SEA BURNING, the last book in
the Chronicles of Egg trilogy. I'll probably be rewriting that, off and
on, for another six months.
I'm about to turn in a draft of a TV movie for the Disney Channel
called THE GOBLIN. It's a script I originally wrote in 2008 as a feature
film…then rewrote with a director in 2010…then rewrote again when
Disney optioned it last year. Hopefully, it'll get made this time.
Otherwise, it'll go back in the drawer with my twenty other unproduced
also have an idea for a new middle grade series that I'll hopefully
start writing in the next few months. It's not quite as ambitious
story-wise as the Egg books -- it's more straight comedy than
comedy-adventure-mystery-romance -- but I think it'll be a lot of fun if
I can get the tone right.
Bibliognome: What word is your favorite to say or write?
Geoff Rodkey: "Finished!"
As in, "I finally finished that thing I've been writing!"
adverbs. I abuse a lot of adverbs, especially the
foot-on-the-accelerator ones like "thoroughly," "utterly," and
"entirely." This has weighed heavily on me ever since I read Stephen
King's line about the road to hell being paved with adverbs.
Bibliognome: Was it easier to write a screenplay or a book?
Geoff Rodkey: It's
much easier to write a screenplay. They're not only structurally
specific (three acts, all of a prescribed length), but they're only 110
pages, a lot of which is white space.
read an interview with John Irving around the time he won an Oscar for
adapting his own book, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, into a film, in which he
said, "Screenwriting isn't writing. It's outlining."
didn't fully appreciate what he meant until I wrote a book and realized
it requires thousands of decisions, both big and small, that in a
script are left to the people who go out and make the movie. It's the
difference between drawing up a blueprint for a house and actually
building the house.
it's not necessarily easier to write a GOOD screenplay. Those are every
bit as hard, and can be even more time-consuming, than a book.
if there's a chance the script might become a movie. At that point, it
gets MUCH harder than writing a book -- because you have to satisfy the
demands of the producers, studio executives, director, and actors, not
all of whom will share the same vision for the movie. (This is why, even
when it's your script, they almost always fire you at some point.)
Bibliognome: What's the best part of the writing process for you?
Geoff Rodkey: The
occasional moments when you write something, and you realize it's
really good, and you get a little smile on your face because you're the
only person on earth who's read it, but you know other people will
eventually, and they're going to love it.
The worst part is when you get that feeling and it turns out you were delusional.
Bibliognome: If you had a gnome character, what would you name them?
Geoff Rodkey: Fuzzy McKittrick.
Bibliognome: Which character that you've written about has been your favorite?
Geoff Rodkey: In the Egg books, it's a toss-up between Millicent (the sharp-tongued, occasionally overconfident daughter of the villain, and the girl with whom Egg falls desperately in love) and the pirate captain Burn Healy.
the girl I would have fallen in love with at thirteen. Which is not to
say she's perfect -- in fact, she can be a real pain in the neck. But so
are most teenagers. And while she's bratty sometimes, she's got a
strong moral compass, and she's capable of real grace under pressure.
she's a bit of a Rorschach test for female readers -- four-fifths of
them are like, "She's awesome!" and the rest are an equally emphatic,
"Ugh! I can't stand her."
Healy isn't around much in DEADWEATHER AND SUNRISE, but as the trilogy
goes on, he becomes an increasingly major character. He starts out as a
slightly remote, unknowable tough guy -- the kind of man who can terrify
you with an offhand glance -- and a lot of the fun of the story comes
in discovering there's a three-dimensional person behind the legend,
with his own particular quirks, flaws, and soft spots.
Bibliognome: What is your favorite pirate term or phrase?
Geoff Rodkey: "Kedging,"
which is a means of moving a ship that's been immobilized, usually by
lack of wind. You take an anchor out in a rowboat a couple hundred yards
ahead of the ship, drop the anchor, and then haul in the anchor cable
-- so you're basically pulling the ship forward by the cable.
came across it in a book about naval battles during the War of 1812. It
comes in handy at a critical point in BLUE SEA BURNING, and it's the
kind of thing that proves the value of research. I'm not smart enough to
make up something that clever.
Bibliognome: Anything else that you would like to let people know?
Geoff Rodkey: If
you think you're too old to read DEADWEATHER AND SUNRISE because it's
billed as middle grade, or you won't like it because it's a "boy" book
and you're not a boy…you're wrong!
of the most rabid feedback I've gotten has been from older teenage
girls, and even older moms who bought the book for their kids but wound
up reading it themselves. I think the central romance and Millicent's
character have a lot to do with that, but it's just a fun all-around
if you just read that paragraph and you're thinking, "wait -- I'm a
middle grade boy. Am I actually going to hate this book?" No. You won't.
It's for you, too.