I’m excited to welcome Book Country member Marc Poliquin to the member spotlight!
“The characters really will dictate their actions if you let them.”
Marc Poliquin spent the first twelve years of his life in a Tibetan monastery contemplating the nature of silence and the effectiveness of robes in a frigid mountain environment. He spent the next twelve years in South America searching for a rare, one-petaled flower that a group of scientists (who, strangely enough, all seem to be aspiring writers) believe holds the cure for procrastination.
He is also known for making stuff up.
Lately, he’s been living in Canada, editing video full-time, enjoying life as a husband and father, and writing whenever he gets the chance. He has also traded in his robe for a sensible parka.
NG: Thanks for joining us, Marc! When did you realize you were a writer?
MP: I’ve been writing since I discovered which end of the pencil made the little squiggly marks on the paper—and the walls, if we go back far enough. My apologies to my mother. But the moment I knew I wanted to be a writer was when I read The Sword of Shannara. It was 1987, I was fifteen, I had just moved to a new town, and the world between the covers of that book seemed infinitely more interesting than the real world. I remember looking at the book and thinking: This. I want to do this. I’ve been chasing this crazy dream ever since.
My first couple of weeks at Book Country can be defined in one word: NEW. New faces (meeting all the people who work so hard to make Book Country the best writing and publishing community on the web), new vocabulary (“back-end,” “interface,” “populate,” are becoming things I regularly—and proudly!—say all the time now), and new chances to connect with writers from all over the world.
As you may have seen, I’ve been treading into the discussion boards since I started as the Book Country Community and Engagement Manager. There is such a huge variety of conversations on Book Country, and they all have to do with my very favorite things: 1) Books I love and 2) How to be a better writer, one well-placed word at a time. Where else but on Book Country can you expect to see a thread having a high-level debate about the meaning of the word “humanity” (especially as it relates to The Walking Dead) just above a thread about which romance books have the best sex scenes? These are just the kind of debates I like! And it is still super exciting when a member responds to my posts. (I have a feeling that thrill is not going to go away.)
It’s been really fun to get to know the development team here at Book Country. We’ve been digging into your feedback together. As you know, the new site is still under development, so your participation in the process has been invaluable.
Just wanted to share some development news:
We want you to know that soon there will be a centralized logged-in homepage.
After listening to your feedback, we decided to prioritize bringing back the ability to “Follow” books and discussions over other improvements. Our development team started working on this last night, and tells us that you’ll see this functionality back on the site later this month. We’re also bringing over all the books and discussions that you were following prior to the site’s relaunch!
When we release the new version of “Follow,” you’ll see it appear on your new (forthcoming) logged-in homepage. We will continue to build out the homepage in the coming months. With this, when you look at a connection’s profile page, you’ll be able to see the books they follow and their connections.
Thank you for the feedback and your patience as we work to improve Book Country. Keep on giving us feedback on this discussion board—we really appreciate it!
Lucy Silag is the new Community and Engagement Manager at Book Country. She’s worked as a bookseller (at Bookshop Santa Cruz, an indie out in Northern California), in book publicity (at Doubleday and Spiegel & Grau, two imprints of Penguin Random House) and as a writing teacher and tutor (at the University of Iowa in Iowa City). Lucy is the author of the Beautiful Americans trilogy of novels for young adults, and has written essays, travel articles, and book reviews for newspapers and magazines.
Hi there! The importance of a writing community became clear to me when I was a fiction student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, so I am thrilled to be a part of this thriving, diverse writing community.
I figured the best way for me to introduce myself to BC writers and readers was to tell everybody about a couple of the books that I am really, really into, and why.
At the University of Iowa, I taught a lot of different types of writing. One semester I chose to teach Emma in a creative writing course. This was selfish—I just wanted an excuse to spend a month talking about Jane Austen. Like all Austen fans, I adore her turns of phrase and the sweeping romance of her novels. But I especially like Emma because of the way it is plotted—if you do a timeline of the events in the novel (as we did one morning in my class), you see how amazing Austen was at engaging the reader in multiple storylines at once. Also, I find Mr. Woodhouse’s hypochondria totally tragic. Most of the screen adaptations tend to mock this element in his character, but in the most recent BBC Emma miniseries (the one with Romola Garai), Mr. Woodhouse is the heartbreaker that I think Austen intended him to be.