Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Novel Publishing and Musings of a Bookworm Proudly presents Farsighted By Emlyn Chand,

Where did I get this book? I got this book as an ARC from the publishers.

Farsighted by Emlyn Chand

My rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket I loved it!

This is what the book is about.
Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

This is what I thought about it.
This book was beautifully researched and lovingly brought to life.
The attention to detail of Alex's way of life gave this story a depth that was not only wonderful for the story but gave the reader a look into life as a blind person in a sighted world. The actual story was thrilling and intriguing keeping me interested the whole way. Alex was complex and a little chaotic, as you would expect of a 16 year old. At the same time he was compelling and I really felt like I wanted it all to work out for him.
For a debut book this was fantastic the first person perspective worked perfectly. I mention this as I sometimes find books in this perspective hard to get into but Farsighted is warm and makes you feel part of the tale. I look forward to many more books from Emyln Chand.

Here is my interview with the author.

1) Where did the idea for Alex come from?

Everything started with a single image—my face in these tacky oversized sunglasses reflecting out at me from the car’s side mirror. I was daydreaming while my husband drove us across Michigan for my sister’s wedding. Something about my image really struck me in an almost horrific way. I felt the glasses made me look blind but found it so weird that there was still a clear image within them; it seemed so contradictory. At the time, my book club was reading The Odyssey, which features the blind Theban prophet, Tieresias. I started thinking about what it would be like to have non-visual visions of the future and began forming a modern Tieresias in my mind. Lo and behold, Alex Kosmitoras was born. I didn’t want him to be alone in his psychic subculture, so I found other characters with other powers to keep him company. Thank God for my poor fashion sense.

2) How many books are we going to get with Alex?

Farsighted is a 5-book series. Each book will be told from a different character’s point-of-view, so in book #2, we’ll actually be able to see what Grandon looks like! Next up is Open Heart. I hope to have that ready by the middle of next year.

3) Was it hard doing research into Alex's gift?

I spent about three months trying to talk myself out of writing Farsighted. It’s too ambitious, my inner critic pointed out. You’ll never get it done, not in the way it deserves to be done, it pressed. But there was another part of me that couldn’t resist; I knew I had to at least try before giving up. I started by reading tons and tons of books—I read about world folklore and superstitions, religions especially Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and Sikhism, psychic powers, the occult, blindness, and even Nostradamus. I learned how to cast runes and perform a ten-card Celtic Cross Tarot reading. I had nightmares for several weeks, but then they eventually stopped, and I started writing. In some ways it was hard, but in others, it was astonishingly easy.

4) If you had to choose a paranormal gift for yourself, what would it be and why?

Ooo, I don’t know that I would want a power, because as Alex recalls, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Come to think of it though, I’d really like a super power that would allow me to speed up and slow down time. Being able to travel great distances in a microsecond or to actually pack more hours into my busy work day would be awesome!

5) As a child what was your favourite story and did it influence Farsighted, if so how.

As a child, I adored Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson. It opened my eyes to the world that could exist if only I was willing to create it—I think it’s what encouraged me to be a writer in the first place.

Thank you to Emlyn Chand for allowing me to be part of this tour and answering my questions.

This review has been altered from its original state. The tour notes have been taken off.