There was an error in this gadget

Create Your Own Familiar

We've been traveling around the country visiting schools and at each one the students have created their own Familiar Story.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Familiars website goes live

http://www.thefamiliars.com/

Be the first to check it out! And please let us know what you think.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Familiars Movie - Visual Development

For those of you following the Familiars blog, we thought you might be interested not only in the adventures of the book getting released, but also in the adaptation of the book into a movie. We have been writing the screenplay for the Familiars since last fall, working with producer/director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) and Sony Animation (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) to turn our novel into a 3D animated film. And recently, as the script continues to evolve, an amazing team of artists at Sony has begun the visual development of the movie. Visual Development starts with the script in exploring all the visual aspects of the film including the overall scale and canvas of the story, time and era of the film, mood of the settings, the look of the characters, right into the tone and drama of each scene. It assists all collaborators in the process in seeing and understanding the vision for the film. It also means walls and walls covered with paintings of locations, character designs, and scenes straight out of the script brought to mind-blowing life! We would love to share some of this artwork with you, but Sony Animation is keeping it guarded under lock and key. So you'll just have to take our word for it: it's freakin' awesome!

Please let us know what you would like us to focus on? What burning questions do you have about the process of turning a book into a film? An animated film?

Over the next few weeks and months, we'll take you inside the halls of Sony and share with you the ups, downs, twists, and turns as we experience them.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Big-Name Celebrity Blurbathon

Now that THE FAMILIARS is edited and ready to go to galleys, you'd think all that would be left for us to do is put the champagne on ice and start the countdown to hitting bookstores. But alas, our adventure has only just begun. Yes, it turns out writing the book is only a small part of being an author. There's also marketing, promoting, and selling your book! That means blogging, vlogging, tweeting, interviews, pre-sales conferences, and getting blurbs.

Yes, blurbs. The blurb, or endorsement, is a brief promotional statement found on the book jacket. Preferably, it is not written by the author's friends or parents. A fellow respected author who writes in your book's genre can be of great value. (Full disclosure: we already have two fantastic, wonderful author endorsements, from two of our personal favorite YA authors -- Michael Buckley, author of the exceedingly clever fairy tale detective series "The Sisters Grimm" and the new irreverent series "Nerds," and Roderick Gordon, co-author of the compellingly readable action-adventure series "Tunnels.")

But a Big-Name Celebrity blurb can, in the words of book marketing guru John Kremer, "Shoot Your Book To The Top Of The Best-Seller Lists & Sell More Copies Than You Ever Thought Possible!"

So we have decided to seek out a Big-Name Celebrity to endorse THE FAMILIARS. According to trusted on-line database ContactAnyCelebrity.com, "Always remember the 'Three Ps' for getting celebrity testimonial and endorsements for your books: Be Polite, Be Persistent, and Be Patient!"

Which brings us to the Big-Name Celebrity Blurbathon. We will be seeking a laudatory endorsement of a famous person. But not just any famous person. No, a famous person who loves animals.

Here are the 10 Big-Names will be pursuing:

10. Alyssa Milano, best known as Samantha on "Who's the Boss?" and more recently as Phoebe on "Charmed," is a vegetarian and supporter of PETA. Her dogs' names are Lucy, Ripely, Stella, and Hugo, and she has four cats named Simon, Lucy, Daisy and Miles.

9. Denise Richards, E reality star and former Bond girl, is involved with a charity called Much Love that rescues animals and finds them loving homes. She has three cats (Max, Billy, and Stan), 11 doggies (Tina, Hank, Wally, Luke, Scarlet, Lily, Emma, Olivia, Sugar, George, and Lucy), and two oinkers (Charlotte and Bert)!

8. Pink is a passionate campaigner for PETA, and once sent a letter to Prince William Windsor criticizing him for fox hunting and to Queen Elizabeth II protesting the use of real fur in bearskins of the Honourable Artillery Company and the Foot Guards.

7. Alicia Silverstone, voted sexiest female vegetarian in 2004, is an animal rights activist and PETA supporter. During the filming of Clueless (1995), she adopted a raggedy old mutt, whom she found wandering the streets of Los Angeles. She named him "Samson," and kept him on the set.

6. Paris Hilton, reality star and socialite, is not only an animal lover, but also an animal activist. When she viewed a video of an animal being brutally killed for fur, she promised to never wear real fur again.

5. Pamela Anderson, Baywatch babe and worldwide sex symbol, is a vegetarian, an advocate for animal rights, and an active member of PETA, taking part in several campaigns for animal rights. She has also campaigned against Kentucky Fried Chicken and seal hunting in Canada.

4. Jessica Simpson, singer and reality star, has a dog named Daisy.

3. Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. Dog lover Ashton famously once said, "I pee outside my house in my yard. I usually start my day off by taking my dogs out. While they go, I go."

2. Ellen DeGeneres has been praised by The Humane Society for her dedication to promoting key animal rights issues.

1. Oprah Winfrey is a dog owner and 2008 PETA Person of the Year. And she's Oprah.

THE FAMILIARS is an animal empowerment story. These celebrity animal rights activists and animal lovers seem like ideal candidates for our Big-Name Celebrity Blurb. We're going to chronicle our quest for a celebrity endorsement, but also call upon all of you out in the blogosphere and twitterverse for help as well. Please help with posts and tweets and any direct contact with these celebs that might aid our cause!

Today, we begin with Alyssa Milano. Wish us luck.

FamiliarMadness Champion - Shadowfax

It was an epic familiar showdown, with only two votes separating Shadowfax and Hedwig. But in the end, Shadowfax was the last animal companion standing, crowned champion. Now Gandalf's loyal steed will not only be known as the Lord of all Horses, but the Lord of all Familiars.

Congratulations.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Championship - #1 Hedwig vs. #2 Shadowfax

First, yesterday's results: Hedwig cruised into the final with 75% of the vote.

Familiar Madness 2010
Championship

#1 Hedwig



vs.

#2 Shadowfax



Only one familiar will be left standing at the end to call themselves the greatest of them all. Will it be Harry Potter's owl, Hedwig, or Gandalf's horse, Shadowfax? Both animal companions share the most important qualities of being a familiar: loyalty, friendship, and magic.

Your vote will decide the winner!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Final Four - #1 Hedwig vs. #5 Pyewacket

First, yesterday's results: It was the closest match-up yet. Shadowfax and Archimedes battled back and forth, but in the end, Shadowfax prevailed with a slim 57% of the vote.

Hogwarts Regional
Round Three

#1 Hedwig



vs.

#5 Pyewacket



Preview

It's owl versus cat as Harry Potter's familiar faces off against the feline companion of "Bell, Book, and Candles" Gillian Holyrod. The winner moves on to the Familiar Madness Tournament championship. Shadowfax awaits. Your vote decides!

Tomorrow: The Championship

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Final Four - #2 Shadowfax vs. #3 Archimedes

First, yesterday's results: Argo never really got out of the starting gate, as Hedwig moved on with 83% of the vote.

It began with 16 of literature, film, and television's best known familiars, and now it's down to the Final Four. Who will emerge as the greatest of them all?

Hogwarts Regional

#1 Hedwig vs. #5 Pyewacket

Middle-earth Regional

#2 Shadowfax vs. #3 Archimedes

Today, we visit Middle-earth:

#2 Shadowfax



vs.

#3 Archimedes



Preview

Horse vs. owl. Power vs. wisdom. Gandalf's familiar vs. Merlin's familiar. Your vote decides who moves to the championship match-up.

Tomorrow: #1 Hedwig vs. #5 Pyewacket

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Round Two - #1 Hedwig vs. #9 Argo

First, yesterday's results: Shadowfax wins in a laugher, taking out Iago with 80% of the votes.

Hogwarts Regional
Round Two

#1 Hedwig



vs.

#9 Argo



Preview

The Elite 8 wraps up with #1 Hedwig battling #9 Argo. Neither familiar was challenged in the first round, with Hedwig scoring 77% of the vote against Mister and Argo grabbing an even more impressive 80% over Flotsam and Jetsam. Xena's trusted palomino horse can't be counted out, but Harry's owl is the familiar to beat. Be sure to vote!

Tomorrow: The Final Four match-ups are announced and the Madness continues.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Round Two - #2 Shadowfax vs. #10 Iago

First, yesterday's results: As expected, it was a nail-biter, but in the end Archimedes scored the decisive vote and eliminated Pantalaimon with a 57% margin.

Middle-earth Regional
Round Two

#2 Shadowfax



vs.

#10 Iago



Preview

The Lord of all Horses would seem like the clear favorite, but Jafar's pet macaw is just sneaky enough to pull off an upset. Will it be Shadowfax or Iago? Your vote decides!

Tomorrow: The last of the Elite 8 match-ups, as #1 Hedwig faces #9 Argo.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Round Two - #3 Archimedes vs. #6 Pantalaimon

First, yesterday's results. Pyewacket prevailed over Salem with 66% of the vote.

Middle-earth Regional
Round Two

#3 Archimedes



vs.

#6 Pantalaimon



Preview

In Round One, Archimedes eliminated Fawkes with 66% of the vote, while Pantalaimon scored the round's biggest margin of victory, taking out Macbeth's Sisters' familiars with an overwhelming 85% of the vote. Now these two familiar heavyweights will battle it out for a place in the Final Four. Will it be Merlin's wise owl consigliere, or Lyra Belacqua's shapeshifting companion?
Your vote decides!

Tomorrow: #2 Shadowfax vs. #10 Iago

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Round Two - #5 Pyewacket vs. #13 Salem

First, yesterday's results: Argo ran away with 80% of the vote, sinking Flotsam and Jetsam.

That means Round Two is set to kick off. The Elite 8. Here are the match-ups!

Hogwarts Regional

#1 Hedwig
vs.
#9 Argo

#5 Pyewacket
vs.
#13 Salem

Middle-earth Regional

#2 Shadowfax
vs.
#10 Iago

#3 Archimedes
vs.
#6 Pantalaimon

Today, we begin Round Two in the Hogwarts Regional.

#5 Pyewacket



vs.

#13 Salem



Preview


It's cat versus cat, as these two feline familiars face off! In Round One, Pyewacket defeated Morgan Le Fay's Raven with 71% of the vote. Salem scored a surprisingly easy victory over the Winged Monkeys, with an 80% margin. Only one will move on. Your vote decides who.

Tomorrow: We return to the Middle-earth Regional for perhaps the most intriguing match-up of Round Two... #3 Archimedes vs. #6 Pantalaimon.