May 23, 2013

Band Geek Thursday: Guest Post (and Wishlist!) by Quirk Books EA Blair Thornburgh

Hey, Misfiteers! Happy Band Geek Thursday! We know it's been a little while, but trust me when I say we've got some great BGT guest post installments coming up! This morning we have for you the lovely Ms. Blair Thornburgh, Editorial Assistant of Quirk Books, here to give you Music to Edit By and a list of what she's looking for at Quirk! You may not think you're familiar with QB, but you might know a little book called Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, yes? Or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? Hey, check that out - you know Quirk Books after all ;) And another wonderful part? A literary agent is not required to submit. So polish those manuscripts, slip on your headphones (or slip in your earbuds!) and check out what Blair's listening to and looking for!

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This Band Geek Thursday is brought to you by the miracle of earbuds. Without earbuds, all my fellow editors would know how dorky the music I listen to really is and I would probably have to hide in shame (which is not easy to do in an open-plan office).

When I'm editing (or writing, for that matter), I can't listen to anything with lyrics or the words in the song get jumbled up with the words on the page and I end up putting Vampire Weekend lyrics in my line edits. No good. Instrumental music is much more my speed—usually. The exception is non-English lyrics, and that's where I run into some real nerdery.

Here's the thing: I am a consummate dork, but especially about the Middle Ages. I majored in Medieval Studies. I watch "Vikings" religiously. I have a Renaissance Faire outfit and I'm not afraid to wear it in public (though it does get sweaty under that bodice). And just because Ye Olde Recording Studios weren't exactly a thing in the twelfth century doesn't mean that I can't also get my Middle Ages fix with music.

There are HOARDES of neo-Medievally tunes just waiting for me to listen to their siren song on Spotify—and the earbuds make it happen. I love everything from slow and mysterious Enya tracks to upbeat, dance-y folk songs from German neo-pagan bands—not to mention the literal scores of soundtracks to movies like The 13th Warrior and King Arthur ("Woad to Ruin" being the best/worst pun name for a track I've yet seen). YOU try not feeling like you're soaring through the Mists of Avalon when you're listening to songs like "Ecci Mundi Gaudium" and "Boadicea"!

Ahem. Anyway, there you have it. The secret's out, the truth is revealed, and the playlist is below—BYOEarbuds.

Wishlist: I'm always on the lookout for an unusual love story. I'd love to see something with a speculative high concept but a literary execution (think The Time Traveler's Wife) or something with a fresh voice and offbeat protagonists (like Eleanor & Park). I also love stories with a colorful and well-rounded group of friends like in the Scott Pilgrim series—and, of course, a sense of humor is crucial! (Lightheartedness isn't a sine qua non, but I'm not really feeling dystopian or high-drama contemporary right now).

Oh, and novels set in the Middle Ages have a special place in my heart. Obviously.


A native Philadelphienne and apparent devotée of gendered demonyms, Blair Thornburgh makes a mean plate of scrambled eggs and a much friendlier cup of coffee. Her professional past has seen her at the helm of everything from a 35mm projector to a cantankerous tractor, so she's glad to have all her fingers still intact for typing. She would love to talk to you about (or in) multiple dead languages. Hwæt!

Check out Blair's website at http://www.blairthornburgh.com/ and follow her on Twitter at @ATallOrder!

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