Author interview swap with Steven Harper Piziks

Steven1-215x300Tell us about your publishing journey…

I sold my first short story to SWORD AND SORCERESS IX in 1990, and sold my first novel to Baen Books in 1994. Since then, I’ve sold a few dozen short stories and about 25 novels, including the how-to book WRITING THE PARANORMAL NOVEL.

My latest book is BONE WAR the third in the Books of Blood and Iron series. The queen of elves has
kidnapped one of the fates, and Death sends Danr and Aisa to find the Bone Sword, the only object that can set fate free. Meanwhile, strange creatures are invading Balsia, and the invasion seems to center around Talfi and Ranadar…

What do you love about being an author?

I can write when I want and where I want, especially with this newfangled cloud thingie. And everything is a tax deduction. How great is that?

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Let’s see . . . I wouldn’t want to sit down with any of my own characters. They’d probably try to strangle me.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Danr (Trollboy) would have to be CGI, and wouldn’t that be a kick to watch? Chris Evans would be a really good voice for him, though. Gal Godot should play Aisa, and Grant Gustin would do great as Talfi.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Monsters. I want my vampires cruel and evil and dead, dead, dead.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?Bone War

Oh, man. Only one? I want to see a couple different eras in ancient Greece, like about a year before Xerxes invaded, or during the time of Alexander the Great. Or Pompeii three days before the volcano went off. And Rome during the height of its corrupt glory. Or I’d like to arrive in London just in time to squish though the cow pasture across the Thames and watch the very first performance of HAMLET at the Globe Theatre, preferably with a micro camera hidden in my cloak so I could record it and we could find out how it all was done and what everyone actually said.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

“You’ll love karate class. Take it now.”

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

A witch. I’ll spend hours experimenting in the kitchen. Mixing potions would be an easy way of life.
Where do you write best?

Either at my desk (where I have access to my vast music library) or on my front porch with the laptop. The porch, which I’ve recently refurbished to be a second writing zone, has comfortable furniture, a
table, and enough plants to be mistaken for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. I can also spy on the neighbors while pretending to work.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I just finished HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. It was interesting seeing the original characters twenty years older and seeing the relationship between Harry’s son and Draco’s son. Some of it was a little too dependent on events from the earlier books, but it was still an enjoyable story that dealt with time, how to be a parent when you didn’t have parents of your own, and how to be the child of famous people. I’m glad they released the text, since most of us won’t be able to see the stage play. And I don’t understand the readers who complained about the format. It says right on the cover that it’s a play. Why would you read a play if you don’t like them?

Where can fans find you online?

BLOG: http://spiziks.livejournal.com
TWITTER: @stevenpiziks
FACEBOOK: Steven Harper Piziks

 

Interview with Angela Brown

Angela B 2012 Ferrell PhotographyTell us about your publishing journey…
As a hybrid author – self-published and published through the query process – mines is a journey filled with its fair share of ups and downs. The excitement of getting to share my stories is a high that outweighs many of the down times. I started with self-publishing an erotica novel under my pen name, Rayven Godchild. Along with a great online and IRL bud, Gwen Gardner, I hopped over into self-publishing young adult novels. Beacon started as another project I considered self-publishing, but I decided to put it through the query process and was thrilled to have it picked up by Evernight Teen.
What do you love about being an author?
Story-telling. I get that being an author means writing well, but there’s a certain joy I feel in getting to let my imagination run wild in building a story that makes being an author so wonderful.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
That’s a difficult choice, but I would go with Hermione from Harry Potter and we’d eat whatever delectable tasties her wand conjured.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
Macie would be Zendaya (from Disney’s KC Undercover)
Thane would be Colton Haynes (from Arrow)
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
I like them like Eric from True Blood, blood hungry yet sexy about it at the same time lol!
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?beacon (1)
I’m fine with the era I’m in, though I wouldn’t mind going back to be an apprentice to Madame CJ Walker.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
Probably a vampire, one with a suffering heart wishing I didn’t have to hurt humans for my survival, but an understanding that the occasional dinner – minus the kill or turning – would be good for my soullessness.
Where do you write best? 
Seated in my bed :-)
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
I actually would love to try an exciting mystery at some point.
Where can fans find you online?
They can check me out at my…
Instagram – tomewriter
Buy links my Evernight Teen novel, Beacon.

Interview with C Lee McKenzie

Lee20_250Tell us about your journey…

It’s hard to recall a journey after a few years, but I do remember finding an article in a newspaper that upset me. I wanted to write about it, and I intended to write an article. That article somehow morphed into a story, and then into a book that I titled Bad Ass Attitude, but became Sliding on the Edge. So you see journeys are complicated because they don’t go along a well-lighted and well-paved freeway. However, I sold that story. I sold a second one, and it was published. All was well, and then the publisher shut down its YA division. A year later I put both books out on their own. My last two young adult novels, Double Negative and Sudden Secrets, came out through Evernight Teen.

I have two others with an agent, so I’m kind of waiting right now to see what happens. The journey hasn’t ended; it has only slowed a bit.

What do you love about being an author?

I love to make the stories the way I want them. That’s huge for me.

I also love meeting writers and readers and talking about writing as if I knew what I was doing. I think those two things are what I love about this endeavor—notice I don’t say work. That implies something I don’t feel. Writing isn’t work. It’s agony, but not work.

If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and what would you eat?suddensecrets_350

Hemingway. Fish. Lots of fish with tequila. Not because he was a great writer, but because he created a fantastic mystic. Of course, he was not a very nice man. . .most of the time. And so the mystic!

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Well, I have seven books out, so I’d have to think about which one and why before answering this question. So I’ll come back to this, or wait. . .maybe the best thing to say is I’d like Brant Daugherty (Pretty Little Liars) to play Hutchinson McQueen in Double Negative.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

I steer clear of vampires unless they’re classical or super sexy.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

The WWI era always fascinates me. That could be because it was such a huge shift in the way the world connected. And it could also be because I love the the clothes. Very glam.


200X200What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

Learn how to market. Pure an Simple.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

A Dragon, of course. Not a European one with nasty habits, but a Chinese one that has been man’s second best friend in the Eastern world for centuries. I’m a huge Chinese Dragon fan. My next middle grade book’s titled Sign of the Green Dragon. How could I not hug a dragon?

Where do you write best? 

I have no idea. I write where I am. Editing’s a whole different matter. That happens in my office at my desk with concentration.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

Laurence Yep’s Dragon Gate. You see, I said I was a huge Dragon fan, so you should not be surprised. But Yep is a brilliant storyteller and I read all his books.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I only write in two categories: YA and MG. I haven’t thought about other fiction categories. That’s a lie, BTW. I have thought about it, and actually, since I’m narcing on myself, I have written in other categories. I just haven’t put any of that out there. Not yet.

Where can fans find you online?

My website is http://cleemckenziebooks.com

I’m on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2809083.C_Lee_McKenzie

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cleemckenzie

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cleemckenzie

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cleemckenzie/

 

Buy Links:

Interview with Teresa Richards

EmeraldBoundevernightpublishing-jayAheer2015-finalcoverTell us about your publishing journey…

I started writing with the intent to be published several years ago when my youngest son turned one. My older kids were in school and I found I had more time during the day to dedicate to writing. My first book was a hot mess, but it had a lot of heart and I loved every minute spent writing it. I joined a writing group, got some much-needed feedback that improved my writing, and started again on Emerald Bound. I queried for about a year-and-a-half before finding Evernight Teen.

What do you love about being an author?

I love the fact that I can Tell create something out of nothing other than my imagination. (And, okay, some blood, sweat, tears, and most of my spare time). The creative process is so much fun for me, and the excitement of seeing my stories come to life on the page is what keeps me going.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Becky Bloomwood, star of the Shopaholic series. I think meeting this character would be absolutely hilarious. If Becky were in charge of dinner, we’d probably go someplace fancy and eat something like lobster, but she’d end up either in the kitchen washing dishes to pay for the crystal glasses she broke when her lobster tail flew out of her grip, or crawling underneath the table to hide from an ex-boyfriend who sat down nearby. 

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

Zooey Deschanel would be Maggie.

Amanda Seyfried would be Lindy, but she’d have to dye her hair brown.

Adrian Grenier would be Garon. Mmm… 

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Definitely sexy leads. I’m not a fan of anything scary.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

England, a la Pride and Prejudice. Assuming, of course, that I could pick to be born into a family where I could spend my days reading, playing the pianoforte, and going for long walks instead of feeding chickens and mucking out the stables.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up. Being an adult has its perks, but there’s something really special about being a teenager and I wish I would have enjoyed that time in my life more. I spent a lot of time worrying about what my future would be like rather than just enjoying the now.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I’d be a fairy. Does that count as a supernatural creature? I’d be a fairy because they’re mischievous and they can fly.

Where do you write best? 

I like being at home, but sometimes it’s hard to focus amidst all the other things I need to do (dishes, laundry, cooking, etc—did I mention I have five kids?). So for me, the library works really well. I need complete silence when I write, so I can’t go somewhere where other people are chatting. Another place I get a lot of work done is actually in the car while waiting to pick my kids up from their many activities. Someday I might have the luxury of settling down in my quiet office with a cup of hot cocoa to write all day in my pajamas, but that day has not yet come.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I’m currently reading Scarlet, the sequel to Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I know I’m very late to this party, but I’m loving this series (The Lunar Cronicles). So creative and well written!

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I really enjoy reading historical fiction and I think it would be fun to write, but I’m really bad at history so I don’t think I could ever pull it off. Steampunk would be fun to write as well.

Where can fans find you online?

My website is authorteresarichards.com. I’m on twitter @byutm33 and facebook.com/authorteresarichards/

Buy the book:

http://www.amazon.com/Emerald-Bound-Teresa-Richards/dp/177233524X/

http://www.evernightteen.com/emerald-bound-by-teresa-richards/

Cover Reveal – Traitors’ Gate – Battle of the Undead – Prequel

Due out very soon through Evernight Teen, the prequel to Bad Blood and Bad Timing – Traitors’ Gate. A historical urban fantasy that takes you back to where it all began…

traitorsgate

Book Review: Mary Hades by Sarah Dalton

20935599Synopsis:

Not many seventeen year old girls have a best friend who’s a ghost, but then Mary Hades isn’t your average teenager. Scarred physically and mentally from a fire, her parents decide a holiday to an idyllic village in North Yorkshire will help her recover. Nestled in the middle of five moors, Mary expects to have a boring week stuck in a caravan with her parents. Little does she know, evil lurks in the campsite… Seth Lockwood—a local fairground worker with a dark secret—might be the key to uncovering the murky history that has blighted Nettleby. But Mary is drawn to him in a way that has her questioning her judgement. Helped by her dead best friend and a quirky gay Goth couple, Mary must stop the unusual deaths occurring in Nettleby. But can she prevent her heart from being broken? The first in a series of dark YA novels, Mary Hades follows on from the bestselling Kindle Single ‘My Daylight Monsters’. A spine-tingling tale with romance, readers will be shocked and entertained in equal measure.

About the Author:4720363

Sarah grew up in the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Derbyshire and as a result has an over-active imagination. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, taking inspiration from the stories she read as a child, and the novels she devoured as an adult. Sarah mainly writes speculative fiction for a Young Adult audience and has had pieces of short fiction published in the Medulla Literary Review, PANK magazine, Apex Magazine and the British Fantasy Society publication Dark Horizons. Her short story ‘Vampires Wear Chanel’ is featured in the Wyvern Publication Fangtales. She is the author of the popular YA dystopia series ‘Blemished’ and the gothic novella ‘My Daylight Monsters’. She is currently working on a YA Fantasy series titled ‘White Hart’. Follow Sarah on twitter @sarahdalton

http://sarahdaltonbooks.com/

My Review:

I’ve read a couple of Sarah’s books before so was really looking forward to this book. Now, I have to add in here that this sounds like a 2nd book in the series – although it claims to the first on Goodreads. There’s a definitive ‘catch up’ in the first couple of pages that chart a book before this one – so not sure what happened there?

I’ve been drawn to ghost books ever since I was a little girl, and anything with a Six Sense vibe is fine by me. So the whole plot and concept was a winner in my mind.

From a writer’s perspective, the mystery part of the book wasn’t hard to work out – although to give it credit it is a YA read, so as an adult I was probably going to catch on sooner (one would hope!) rather than later. My only real gripe was that Mary was a bit boring, if she didn’t see ghosts, should would have been the kind of girl you’d dread sitting next to in class as boredom would have been sure to follow. Because of this, there is no real chemistry in the budding relationship with Seth and quite frankly I could feel myself siding with the vengeful ghost!

The front cover is lovely, very atmospheric and attractive – so should garner a decent amount of attention on the virtual book shelf.

Overall I’d give Mary Hades 3 out 5 stars – a pretty good read, written incredibly well, just wish the main character had been stronger.

Book Review: Zomburbia by Adam J. Gallardo

19083252Synopsis:

“Scary, freaky, and original. Get this book!” -Nancy Holder Lifeless. Slow-moving. Brain-dead.
“Welcome To Zomburbia.”

My name is Courtney Hart, and I’m here to tell you about things that suck. Being born in a podunk town like Salem, Oregon, for one. Living in a world infested with zombies? That, too. And the meat heads I go to school with? I think I’d actually take the undead over them most days. But I have a plan to get out of here and move to New York. I just have to keep selling Vitamin Z along with your fries at The Bully Burger. The secret ingredient? Zombie brains.

I’ve noticed things are getting even worse lately, if that’s even possible. The zombies seem to be getting smarter and faster. If I can avoid being arrested, eaten by shufflers, or catching the eye of some stupid boy, I should be able to make it through finals week still breathing. . .

“Gallardo’s world-building is innovative and fascinating, sick and twisted and unexpectedly touching. You’ll want to check that your zombie apocalypse closet is well stocked.” -Molly Harper White

“Readers are guaranteed plenty of mayhem and romance, laughter and heartbreak.” -James Patrick Kelly

My Review:

Looking at the front cover, this looks like an amazing zombie book.  However, instead of it being the full on horror it promises, its more of a teen angst set against an undead back-drop.  If you like those types of books, you’ll love this – it lends itself very much to a teen readership, but as an adult I really expected more, so I was kind of disappointment.

From a writer’s perspective, it was written very well and was well thought-out, but (here’s that big ‘but’ again!) the very start of the book is kind of boring and introduces our protagonist as a whiny teenager, drama-cising her way through the shuffling zombie outbreak. I would have much rather had a Katniss style character that you can get behind that kicks butt and take things seriously – one you actually want to survive.

Also, there’s not much promotion from the author online. I usually include a bio and photo from Goodreads on my reviews, but alas the author is currently an absent blank on there.  that really needs to change. Authors live and die by social media these days and, as the book is available for review now, he should really include his details on Goodreads and Amazon – at the very least.

The front cover is amazing, so two undead thumbs up to whoever put it together – it’ll no doubt get some attention on the virtual book shelf.

Overall, I’d give Zomburbia 2 out 5 stars for adult readers, 3.5 out of 5 for teens – it’s kind of ‘Clueless’ with zombies.

Book Review: The Seers (Book 2) by Julianna Scott

17457717Synopsis:

After nearly being drained of her ability and betrayed by a man her father trusted, Becca Ingle was left with one clue — Ciaran Shea. He holds the key to the downfall of the power-mad Holder, Darragh, and can ensure the safety of both Holder and Human kind alike… but is he willing to help?

Becca, Alex, Jocelyn, and Cormac set out for Adare Manor to meet with the Bhunaidh, an aristocratic group of pure blooded Holders of whom Ciaran is a rumored member. However, when Becca discovers that they might not be the only ones after the information Ciaran has, everyone begins to wonder if Bhunaidh might not be as uninvolved with Darragh as they claim.

A race to uncover Ciaran’s secrets begins, where the line between friend and foe is blurred, and everyone seems to have their own agenda. Becca will have to call on every ability at her disposal to uncover the truth, all the while knowing that sometimes the answer is more dangerous than the question.

About the Author: Julianna-Scott-Nov-2012-250

Julianna was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and spent the majority of her educational career convinced she would be a musician. However, after receiving her music degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, she realized that she’d been born in the wrong era for her dreams of singing jazz to adoring fans clad in zoot-suits and flapper dresses to come true, and began to wonder if her true calling might be elsewhere.

While Julianna had always excelled in writing throughout school, she’d never considered it a career possibility until about three years ago, when she’d gotten her first story idea and decided to go for it. She grabbed her laptop, started typing away, and has never looked back.

Website    Goodreads   Twitter

My Review:

I really feel that this series would make a fantastic movie. It’s kind of a paranormal sci-fi that uses all the familiar aspects of YA that we’re used to, but in a shinier wrapper.

Becca is a great character. She’s not one of those soppy teen angst types that you just want to slap; she’s funny and courageous without being too unrealistic – which is hard in a book with some very strong fantasy and supernatural themes. She did let the side down though a few times and dipped out of character by blabbing to others who could have been against her, but hey – we all do that in real life, so actually, although annoying for a hero to do, was actually very believable.

From a writer’s perspective, there were a few clichés in there, in terms of characters and events, but the whole thing is written beautifully and flows well. I did feel the plot slowed down in places, and personally I like more action and less talking (but that’s just me) I did read the first book before this one, and you really do have to read them in order to truly understand the character motivations and events that take place. There was a bit of swearing in this, which is dancing a fine line for a YA book. As an author myself I understand the debate; there’s a need to make dialogue believable and if something bad happens your character isn’t going to yell, “Fiddle Sticks’ but, in saying that, parents still want their kids reading something cleanly appropriate. Sh*t, I don’t think I even have the answer to this one myself!

The front covers are very classy, but don’t really say much about the story. I’d have preferred a few characters on the front as a visual and also to clearly define it as YA fiction to the less researched reader.

Overall I’d give The Seers 4 out of 5 stars, if you enjoyed The Mortal Instruments series – you’ll love these books.

TheSeersTourBannerNew

Book Spotlight: Eramane by Frankie Ash

18221337-1Synopsis:

In the village of Eludwid, seventeen-year-old Eramane Fahnestock goes about her life, cheerfully disregarding a prophecy made to her parents that she would have a great gift. Not yet wed and beset with boredom, Eramane cannot shake the feeling that something exciting awaits her beyond Eludwid. But when she is invited to picnic with a handsome young suitor, Eramane has no idea that her life will soon change forever.

As Eramane prepares for her date, she is suddenly hypnotized by a strange voice that tells her he will be coming for her that night. Unsettled but determined to press forward, Eramane and her suitor, Lebis, head to the woods to enjoy their picnic. As darkness falls on the forest, however, a beast emerges, transforming their beautiful outing into a terrifying scene. Taken captive and carried away to a mountain hideaway, Eramane finds her memories are soon clouded, even as her family frantically searches for her back home.

In this gripping fantasy tale, evil is summoned to the mountaintop, forcing a young woman to discover her magical gifts and exact revenge against a beast determined to destroy everything she has ever loved.

AMAZON | B&N | INDIEBOUND | BOOKSAMILLION

About the Author:

Frankie Ash grew up on the eastern shores of the US, and her Southern accent would rock as a cartoon character voice. Most of her time is spent with her laptop, spinning tales, fabricating worlds, and writing new creatures into existence. But when she’s not playing Dr. Frankenstein with words, she is either reading, absorbing anything sci-fi/fantasy related, or chasing after, and sometimes capturing, things that go bump in the night.

Her debut novel, Eramane (Archway Publishing) is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, IndieBound, and Kobo.

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Book Review: Hollow’s End by Marianne Morea

hollowSynopsis:

The dark water of the Hudson River isn’t the only blackness looming in the distance of the quaint river town of Sleepy Hollow. Two hundred years of secrets and lies are bleeding into the present, and high school seniors, Hunter Morrissey and Rowen Corbett, find themselves linked with unseen forces shrouded in mystery and violence.

Truths, buried and long forgotten, have risen at a time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Only Hunter and Rowen hold the key to locking the past in the past, and setting old wrongs to right. Can justice be served? Can the two find a way to straddle both worlds and solve the mystery when they don’t understand the clues?

Inspired by historical events that surround the village of Sleepy Hollow and the famous legend that shares its name, this Young Adult Horror takes you on a journey full of history and suspense with a splash of romance and the paranormal.

About the Author: holow author

I’m a New Yorker, born and bred, and for the most part my stories and my characters embody the grit and complexity of the city. An avid traveler, I use my experiences from around the world in all my books. There isn’t a place my characters live or travel to that I haven’t been myself.

Like most authors, my love affair with the written word started as a child with the books I read. Even today, I love to read almost as much as I love to write. My favorite stories are the ones that transport me, that bring me to places and introduce me to characters that leave me breathless…the ones that spark the fire of my imagination, allowing me to dream in the world of ‘what if?’

I’ve always been a scribbler, and from the time I could write my name I’ve been making up stories. So it was no surprise when I earned degrees in both Journalism and Fine Art, but after working in the trenches of Madison Avenue as a Graphic Artist, I decided to do what I love most full time. Write.

In the meantime I am also a founding member and former President of The Paranormal Romance Guild, a not-for-profit organization for readers and authors of the genre…and when I’m not ‘bichok’ (but in a chair hands on keyboard), I’m spending time with my husband and our three kids, traveling to exciting, romantic places …for inspiration, of course!

http://www.mariannemorea.com/

https://www.facebook.com/mariannemoreaauthor

https://twitter.com/MarianneMorea

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4228374.Marianne_Morea

My Review:

I adored the idea of setting a book against the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Especially a YA book, as it really lends itself to the themes and reminded me of when I first saw the old Disney cartoon when I was a little girl.

The high school drama was appropriate for the teen reader, but as an adult reader I found it a little cliché and boring – that said it is a teen read and few YA reads dance the fine line between adult and teen successfully. The character of Rowan was a little hit and miss for me. I didn’t like her obsession with food, although I guess it’s realistic, but it really starts the debate about responsibility to the reader – if your main audience are teens, isn’t it more helpful to give them a strong character to look up to, rather than one who can’t let eating a late night a bag of crisps go?

The historical facts in this book are very compelling and it’s pretty obvious that there was a lot of research done to really make this book stand out. The style of writing and setting also very much reminded me of Beautiful Creatures, which I loved.

From a writer’s perspective, I felt it was a bit slow going at first and took me a while to get into it. And why did Hunter have to have a six pack? Although sexy romantic leads are a must in romance fiction, YA affords the author more room to move and I would have preferred more ordinary looking characters.

The front cover is evocative and interesting and highlights Rowan, which as its written first person from her perspective, is just.

Also, great timing coming up out when the TV series Sleepy Hollow hits the airwaves, it can do nothing but help promote the book!

Overall I’d give Hollows End 3 out of 5 stars, an interesting read if you are a teen.

Hollows End Banner 450 x 169