by Dave Amaditz & Marcy Collier
Welcome to February's version of - First Friday - Five Favorite Things - Debut Novel Day. In this monthly series, we ask five simple questions about a debut novel that will hopefully entice anyone reading this post to pick up the novel and read it themselves, and/or give them at a glance some insight into the author's writing style and voice as well as how some of the characters might think or act. We do this by presenting, first, answers to our Five Favorite Things, followed by the author's answers in a follow-up post.
This month we're pleased to highlight debut author, Lana Krumwiede's novel, Freakling.
1) What is your favorite line or paragraph from the novel as it relates to the main character's development and/or growth?
Dave - This passage comes from near the end of the book Without giving away what happens in the story, Taemon, the main character, has to confront the dilemma facing him... how to solve the problem facing him without killing his brother.
"Moke's death flashed in Taemon's mind. He tried to shove his sadness away until he realized that it was part of the solution. Moke died because Taemon's knowledge was useless without power and Amma's power was useless without knowledge. If you could separate Yen's knowledge from the power..."
Marcy - Taemon, the main character of the story is a rule follower. The special ability (psi) that he and everyone around him possess is a gift that should not be taken for granted or used recklessly. He feels sorry for anyone without psi until he finds himself living in their community and realizes they may truly be the lucky ones.
The tune was simple, not nearly as complex as the psi music he knew, but he had to admit this music had more emotion, more feeling. The musicians swayed and bounced when they played, their faces showing something that Taemon was sure he’d never experienced.
2) What is your favorite chapter ending or cliffhanger?
Dave - There were many great chapter endings, but I chose this one from early in the novel. It occurs during a confrontation when Taemon's brother, Yens, has Taemon dangling over the edge of a cliff with sharp rocks and the raging ocean below.
"Forget all this stuff about danger increasing power. You're asking for disaster."
Yens grinned. "That's the whole point." And he let go.
Taemon fell into the water, and the sea hauled him out again.
Marcy - My favorite chapter ending is when Taemon finds himself alone with his brother out to sea. The brother is this insidious, awful person who is selfish and only cares about having power. He threatens Taemon’s life until Taemon relinquishes and tells him the information his brother seeks. As the reader, you think great, now Taemon will be okay. But instead of being saved, his brother releases him out to the choppy sea to die.
3) Who is your favorite secondary character and why?
Dave - Elder Naseph, the high priest, is my favorite secondary character. He's the perfect antagonist - - cunningly evil with a diabolical plan to achieve ultimate power.
Marcy - Moke is a great sidekick to Taemon. He is this quirky, bizarre, lovable kid, who is honest and forthright. Taemon isn’t sure if he can trust this boy or become his friend. Moke responds with the following line:
“You don’t know what to make of me.” Moke nodded. “That’s okay: you’re a quake after all. Quakes are supposed to question. Here’s what you need to know before you decide: My parents run the crematorium. I study weasel droppings. I create sculptures from cat hair. And I stink at psiball.”
What’s not to love about this secondary character?
4) What is your favorite line or paragraph of description?
Dave - There were so many to choose from, but in the end, I picked this passage, as it accurately describes the main character's emotions. It shows how difficult it is for him to understand what it is like for him to live in a different culture, and that believe it or not, different might be better. I think it is a lesson of acceptance we can all learn from.
"A sharp rapping sound made him wince. He turned and saw someone hanging a sign over one of the booths. Even the sounds were different here. Banging, grinding, creaking, pounding. He'd never realized how noisy primitive life was.
But primitive life had its advantages, too. He could tell who was doing what. Everything felt relaxed and friendly and open. Of course, that relaxed feeling probably had something to do with the fact that he was not required to lie, cheat, or pretend to be anything other than what he was."
Marcy - This line captures a clear picture of Taemon’s passion in two short sentences.
Taemon’s head was filled with the sketches he’d seen on the tinker’s slate. Already he’d thought of three different changes he’d make to those plans.
5) What is your favorite line of dialogue?
Dave - This is spoken by Amma. She lives with the non-gifted, but has the power of psi (the ability to move things with her mind) which she is forced to keep hidden. It is a line I believe all of us can learn from.
"Exactly," Amma said. "What is the desire of your heart? It doesn't matter if you have psi or if you don't. You still have to know what you want; you have to picture it in your head before you can make it happen."
Marcy - “This is stupid to the power of stupid,” Taemon said.
Such a fun line that brings out Taemon’s voice and personality as his character becomes more confident and daring.
You can find Lana at: