Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Reality Bomb: The Doctor Who Season Finale

I am a guest today on the 17th episode of Reality Bomb, a Doctor Who podcast. We discuss the
recent season finale and a host of related topics.
On the seventeenth episode of Reality Bomb we have another supersized episode featuring our final panel review of Series 8 that includes Lori Steuart, Jon Arnold and Children's Fantasy author Lou Anders (Thrones and Bones: Frostborn). We also have a conversation with Cat Smith and Lindsey Mayers about Missy / The Master. And Titan's Doctor Who tenth Doctor comic book writer Nick Abadzis tries (and possibly fails) to get The Twin Dilemma into the Gallery of the Underrated. All this plus Listeners' Letters, poltical attack ads you need to hear... and host Graeme Burk gets an offer he can't refuse!

Birmingham Public Library says "a great pick for kids who enjoy fantasy movies like The Hobbit and even Frozen."

The Birmingham Public Library has posted an absolutely glowing review of Frostborn.

"This novel has much to offer to a variety of readers. It can appeal to both boys and girls, since the point of view switches from Thianna to Karn equally. It’s also a great pick for kids who enjoy fantasy movies like The Hobbit and even Frozen. It is a great middle grade read for upper elementary and middle school students, but it would make an excellent read-aloud for kids who aren’t ready to tackle it on their own yet. I can’t recommend it highly enough. The characters display growth, courage, brains, and resourcefulness that I think kids will identify with and hopefully emulate. Also, the author, Lou Anders, is a Birmingham resident. I love to support local authors, especially when their books are so good!" Mollie McFarland, Springville Road Library

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Books for Percy Jackson Fans and Books for Tweens

Earlier this week, A Book Long Enough has included Frostbornon its list of "Percy Jackson Read-Alikes: Mythical Fantasy for Kids 9-12" and today Tween Us has selected my book for it's list of "5 books tweens will love that make great gifts."

They comment (referencing a child I believe): "This is the first in an adventure-filled, Viking-inspired series. Amanda said that she appreciated that the story is told from two perspectives, one male and one female, and they are both equally well-rounded."

Friday, November 21, 2014

Washington, DC independent bookstore Politics and Prose just released their "2014 Children and Teens Department Favorite" newsletter and included Frostborn among their choices. They say:
"Neither Karn nor Thianna, the two heroes of Thrones and Bones: Frostborn (Crown, $16.99), really fits into their world. Karn is a merchant’s son who would rather be playing his favorite board game than learning how to haggle. Thianna is a half-giantess who is mocked by her peers for her comparatively short stature. When their paths cross at the annual market of the humans and the giants, however, they start to recognize their strengths. That is, when they aren’t on the run, trying to survive duplicitous uncles, clever dragons, undead kings, and even fouler beasts. They make an unlikely duo, but author Lou Anders makes them, and their world of trolls and wyverns, gripping and emotionally resonant.  Ages 9-13.  ENR"

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Alexksandra writes: "The first Thrones & Bones book Frostbornwas absolutely amazing, and one of my fav & best reads in 2014, and can't wait for more! No cover yet, but at least there's a title, and sounds awesome!"

Monday, November 17, 2014

Reflections from the Road: Windycon 41

This past weekend, I was at Windycon 41, where it was my privilege to be the Editor Guest of Honor. no longer an editor.
I've enjoyed being the EGoH at quite a few cons over the last ten years, but Windycon will always have a special place as it marks the very nearly, almost certainly, surely absolutely last time I get to be a guest of a convention in this capacity, as I am

The convention was held at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center in Lombard, Illinois. I arrived Thursday night, just in time for the guest reception dinner, then Stephenson--a dear friend that I haven't seen in five years, and who came from Los Angeles just to hang out--and I braved a brisk walk in the 27 degree weather to visit Beer House, where we sampled several varieties of brown ales and stouts.

The next morning, Stephenson and I headed into downtown Chicago for a visit to David Bowie Is, an amazing retrospective of my favorite musician's life and work, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The exhibit was phenomenal, both for me as a huge Bowie fan and for Stephenson who is not. We came out of it with a real sense of how much drive the man has and how incredibly hard he works on everything that he takes on board, from acting to recording to costume and set design to artwork. Really an incredible show. Highlights for me was seeing a clip from his critically acclaimed run on Broadway in The Elephant Man, to seeing the Verbalizer (the software program he co-developed to aid and inspire writing lyrics) at work. Very moving morning for me, personally that I am grateful I was able to see.

Then, after a great lunch at Doc B's Fresh Kitchen, it was time to return to Lombard for the first panel of the convention. Fairy Tales for Children and Adults was a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed the comments from A. Lee Martinez on the panel and Gene Wolfe in the audience. Thanks to Rachel Neumeier for moderating!

Friday night we met up with three very dear friends, Eric Frederickson, Jill Frederickson, and Dave Roberson. I haven't seen any of them in eleven years, but we picked it up like no time past.

Saturday morning I did a Frostborn presentation (hi Wink! hi Dean!), then demonstrated the Thrones and Bones board game in the Gaming room. Here, Dave Roberson shows what a real Viking should look like when playing this game. Thanks to him and Eric Frederickson for help, and to Dean Kastle for a challenging game.

Then I visited Kid's Programming for a Kookieklatch, where I gave my Frostborn presentation to a group of enthusiastic kids (and a few adults). Then we all make Viking faces. (Thanks to Jim C. Hines for the photo!)

That evening a large group went to Greek Islands for a dinner organized by Mike Resnick, then I spent some time catching up with Tim Akers and his wife Jen, who had driven up not for the con but (kindly) just to see me. Then more time with old friends (though I didn't get enough time with Elizabeth Bear and Scott Lynch, sadly, who were just coming out when I was turning in).

Overall, Windycon 41 was a fun time made funner by friends old and new. Thanks very much to all the staff and volunteers, including but not limited to Deb Kosiba (Chair), Lisa Ragsdale (Children's Programming), Debbie Landmann, Rachel Landmann, Richard France, Cait Rupp, and Johnny Haberland (Guest Liaisons), Pat Sayre McCoy (Programming), and everyone I didn't meet but who worked hard to make it a successful and enjoyable con!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Podcast: Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans

I'm a guest this week on Speculate! the Podcast for Writers, Readers, and Fans. Hosts Brad and Greg talk with me about Frostborn,the various games (board, card, and online) spun around the book series, Norway, and editing the editor. Check it out!

They say:
In this episode we talk for the second time to Lou Anders, former editor at Pyr Books during an award-winning career and author of Frostborn,the first book in the middle grade fantasy series Thrones & Bones. We talk about what it’s like to transition from editor to author, how Lou’s somehow managed to get even busier in his new career, and why Kermit the Frog serves as an inspiration…even in Norway! We really enjoyed chatting with Lou again, and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WindyCon 41: Here I Come

Tomorrow, I am heading to Lombard, Illinois for WindyCon 41, where I am the Editor Guest of
Honor. This will be a bit of a special convention for me, as I am no longer an editor! So this is most probably, pretty definitely, nearly absolutely the last time I get to be that type of a GoH!

For those attending WindyCon, here is my schedule:


3:00 PM
Fairy Tales for Children and Adults

Same or different? Should they be? How do they serve different audiences.
L. Anders, T. Bogolub, A.L. Martinez, R. Neumeier (M), F. Salvatini,
J. Stockman
Lilac A - 90 min.

6:00 PM
Guest Reception

The Guests of Honor are invited to gather in the green room for light refreshments before heading over to Opening Ceremonies.
Green Room - 1 hour

7:00 PM
Opening Ceremonies

Don’t miss out on this rare chance to see all of our Guests together in one room! Join us as we kick off the convention weekend!
Junior Ballroom BC - 1 hour


10:00 a.m. Frostborn: Art and Writing
GoH Lou Anders introduces the experience that is Frostborn--a book, a board game, and, of course, the art. Lou's viking-inspired creation is heavily illustrated, and Lou will be giving Windycon a behind-the-scenes preview of the art and writing of his new adventure series. This first book of the "Thrones & Bones" series will appeal to fans of Rick Riordan, Brandon Mull, and Lloyd Alexander.
L. Anders
Grand Ballroom GH - 1 hour


L. Anders, L. Erlick, C. Gannon,
E. Hull
Autographing Tables - 1 hour

2:00 PM
Thrones & Bones Board Game Demo

Lou Anders' fantasy adventure series Thrones & Bones takes its name from a board game that appears in the first book, Frostborn.Come learn about and play the actual Thrones & Bones game that appears in the novel. Loosely based on ancient Scandinavian board games, Thrones & Bones is a strategy game with a fantasy twist.
L. Anders
Gaming - 1 hour

3:00 PM

Enjoy some special snacks while listening to some stories read by our Editor Guest of Honor.
Lou Anders, Lisa Ragsdale
Kids Programming - 1 hour


2:00 PM
Closing Ceremonies

This is your last chance to see all of our amazing guests. The party award winners will be announced, and you will find out what we have in store for you next year!
Junior Ballroom BC - 1 hour

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Frostborn Is The Fantasy Adventure Book I Wish I'd Had When I Was A Kid

This high praise from io9 will have me giddy all week. Charlie Jane Anders (no relation) proclaims in the post's title that "Frostborn Is The Fantasy Adventure Book I Wish I'd Had When I Was A Kid", then goes on to say "Lou Anders' new novel Frostbornis one of those middle-grade fantasy books that you'll buy for your kid, just so you can have an excuse to read it yourself. The highest compliment I can give Frostbornis it gave me Lloyd Alexander flashbacks."

I'm also thrilled when Charlie Jane writes, "The theme of not fitting in is present in both characters, but it's different enough for each of them that they wind up complimenting each other rather than reinforcing. Thianna's status as a mixed-race kid who gets bullied by the other kids is poignant, but it's never overplayed. And Karn's desire to be something other than what his father expects is a much subtler form of identity crisis — you can see the two of them learning from each other pretty much from the moment they meet."

Reflections from the Road: Oak Mountain Middle School

Yesterday, I spoke to 400 kids at Oak Mountain Middle School in Birmingham, Alabama.

The kids were divided into two groups, with a fun activity session in between.

First, I spoke to 200 first in the gymnasium. Kids sat on the floor and I had a wireless microphone, which is my favorite set up because it lets me walk out into the audience and ask questions. (where I was impressed with what the OMMS students knew about historical Viking helmets.)

Next, they put me in the library, and children who purchased Frostborn were allowed to take their lunches into the library and talk with me while they ate. We did two 20-minutes "lunch with Lou" sessions. I didn't realize how short their lunch period is, so only the second session really got to play, Thrones & Bones. But we played four quick games then, and that was a blast.

Then, after I got my own lunch, I went back to the gymnasium for another presentation to 200 kids.

Highlights of the visit included talking with one particularly enthusiastic fan (Hi "H"), being asked to sign a book with the rather odd "To 'Dad'" for someone's father to daughter Christmas present, and meeting "the Asian Viking." I queried this and the boy explained, "My dad is from Norway and my mother was born in Singapore." So there you go.

A big thanks to Library Media Specialists Whitney Howton and Kim Piper, for making this such a wonderful visit.

Thanks also to Little Professor Book Center for facilitating preorder sales.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Watch. Connect. Read.: A Glimpse of Neverland

Today, I am a Guest on K-5 teacher/librarian Mr. Schu's Watch. Connect. Read., with a piece called A Glimpse of Neverland, where I talk about the inspirations for my novel Frostborn and some of my favorite books growing up.
"When I was young, an uncle gave me a large, coffee table edition of The Hobbit. I read the book over and over, and I studied the pictures. I taught myself to draw the goblins and I went around singing “Fifteen Birds in Five Fir Trees.” I played Dungeons & Dragons, and I adored films like The Dark Crystal."