Saturday, July 6, 2013


BW Hi, Ann Marie.  We're excited to have you here as part of your Blog Tour for Up In the Air.  Hope you are having a great day. 

AMM:  I am thrilled to be here as well Berk and Andy. Thank you so much for having me.  

BW This is a particularly special day because it is also the official release date of Up in the Air.  We love parties and have looked forward to personally wishing you HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!

AMM:  Yay! Another birthday to celebrate every year. That leaves me smiling. 

BW: We've got to say we've read the book and think it has all the markings of a classic. 

AMM :  I’m speechless. Thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed reading Up In the Air. It’s a book that’s very close to my heart.

BW:  Up In the Air is a magical fantasy on many levels.  As part of your visit today, would you share your ideas on what makes good fantasy?  

AMM:  I’d love to. 

What Makes Good Fantasy

In a sense, what makes good fantasy goes hand in hand with what makes a good story, except there is the added element of an invented world that form the soul, heart and backbone for the events of the story.

Fantasy can take you anywhere and everywhere. It is wide open to whatever the mind can imagine. Yet within an invented world, there have to be rules. Anything can happen, true, but the events should not be arbitrary. The boundaries, as with any book, are what help to create tension and drama.

That said, a book of fantasy should strive to be original enough that it stands out from all the other novels of the same genre. This can be a challenge given the hundreds of fantasy books on the market. But originality can take many forms, from approach to plot, and it’s up to the individual author to find it.

Whatever choice is made, fantasy books should snag readers and pull them into their make-believe world, where readers will want to go willingly and happily, to be entertained and taken for the ride of their lives.

However, a book of fantasy in and of itself, isn’t enough. Definitely, the more an author knows the world he is creating, the stronger and more ‘realistic’ the story will be. However, good fantasy cannot exist without what most good stories have: 

1.    A character (or characters) the reader can connect with and care about
2.    Something must be at stake

3.    The greater the conflict, the greater the tension, the more intriguing the story

4.    Of course, basic elements of style, tone, tension, drama, pace, etc. must come into play
5.    And all the above must blend in seamlessly with the world of the fantasy created.

Of the five points I mentioned above, characterization, to me, is the most crucial. A strong character can keep a reader’s attention even if there are flaws in a story, because once readers connect with the character(s), a relationship is established, emotional connections are made, and readers become vested in  the character’s journey. They want to see how their newfound ‘buddies’ will get out of the mess they’ve gotten themselves into.

And here is where the fantasy world can step in and establish itself as King and/or Queen. The elements of the invented world can then shape the options at the disposal of the character(s). Beware though that characters, as all writers know, love to take the lead and shape the world they are placed in for their own ends.

So, the way I see it, good fantasy all boils down to strong, likeable characters; a world that fascinates and intrigues; conflict, and a story into which readers can lose themselves and suspend disbelief for a few hours of immeasurable joy and fascination.

BW:  Thank you, Anne Marie.  Now, if anyone is wondering what WE think of Up In the Air, hop over to OUR REVIEW.  Be sure to check out the GIVEAWAY below!
Here is where you can get Up In the Air: 

BW: Now comes the part where we get to brag a bit about Up In the Air and Ann Marie Meyers.
Meet Ann Marie:
ANN MARIE MEYERS grew up in Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies. She has a degree in languages and translates legal and technical documents from French and Spanish into English. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and energetic daughter. Meyers is an active member of SCBWI and facilitates a children's writing group twice a month.
Find Ann Marie online at: 

The official synopsis from the publisher:

Ever since she can remember, ten-year-old Melody has always wanted to fly.
And when she leaps off a swing in the park one day and lands in the mystical realm of Chimeroan, her dream finally comes true. She is given a pair of wings. She can fly! Life cannot be any better.
Yet, dreams do come with a price. Even with wings, Melody realizes she cannot outfly the memories of her past. The car accident that has left her father paralyzed, and her unscarred, still plagues her with guilt— she believes that it was entirely her fault.
In Chimeroan, Melody is forced to come to terms with her part in her father's accident. She must choose between the two things that have become the world to her: keeping her wings or healing her father.

 Praises for Up In the Air 

 “Although Up in the Air is an easy read aimed at young readers, it is a story that will enthrall even the most serious of adults.  What begins as a seemingly hopeless story takes us up and over and into the place where our deepest desires lie waiting.  Chimeroan gives Melody (the main character) and the reader a sense of new hope by reminding us all what it is to dream, and what can happen if you just trust and follow your dreams to their fullest potential. The hopeful message that Up in the Air gives the reader—entwined beautifully with fairies, dragons, witches and the like—is one that is clearly relevant and indeed necessary today.”—Dawna Joy Whitman, actor and playwright, Life as a Pomegranate, The Hush Baby, Containers

”Full of adventure and fun characters, I would recommend this to anyone wanting to fulfill their dreams.  Or even to those who wish to guide someone on their way. A great all around book.”—Casey, Goodreads First Reads reviewer

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  1. Thank you Berk and Andy for making this such a beautiful post!!!!

    1. It is a pleasure working with you. Thank you for help on our book.