"Alas, I can't enter. As I approach my mid fifties, surrounded by young novelists, I find myself more and more not predator or prey, but predater."
-- author David Lubar
-- author David Lubar
From Oct. 2 to Oct. 15, I invited Cynsations (also at LJ), Spookycyn, and MySpace readers to answer the following question: Are you predator or prey?
(It's the same question asked in my recent novel, Tantalize (Candlewick, 2007), to diners at a fictional vampire-themed restaurant called Sanguini's.)
Today I'm announcing the winners of three Tantalize prize packages. Two will go to people who connect books to YA readers (booksellers, teachers, librarians) and one will go to an individual reader.
The packages each include an autographed copy of Tantalize, a Sanguini's T-shirt, bat and wolf finger puppets, stickers, and additional surprises!
In addition, the individual winner will receive one signed Tantalize bookmark, and the bookseller/teacher/librarian winners will each receive a stack of twenty signed bookmarks.
I'll also send autographed bookmark stacks to runners-up in the bookseller/teacher/librarian category. Note: Due to volume of entries, I added two runner-up slots in the individual category.
WARNING: some winning entries include spoilers to the novel.
"I am most definitely a predator because of my headstrong nature. I tend to love coming first, which drives me to always want to win, but if I do lose, I back down willingly and silently. This only drives me to do better the next time around, and I tend to come back with a bite.
"I am a nice person, and I am loyal and trusting to everyone I meet until they do something that would otherwise incline me not to be. If so, there are rarely such things as second chances. But in some cases there are, and they have to work twice as hard to win me back.
"I'm always there for everyone I know; I am the ear that everyone relies on to be clear and open for listening. I know more secrets about people than anyone knows.
"I love to try new things at least once, so I doubt eating a squirrel would be too hard for me. Anyways, it is all in the head...right? I believe it is, and those things you are scared of are usually the most thrilling and the most fun. So, why not experience them while you have the chance? One of my favorite quotes explains it all: 'It is important to live life, not exist in it.' --Wayne Newton.
"I am the predator; I take chances when the time comes, leap at opportunities that benefit me and occasionally others. I am most certainly not skittish of blood. On the contrary, it intrigues me, and I love fresh meat... BRING ON THE CHILLED BABY SQUIRREL, BRADLEY!!!
"P.S. this goes to Bradley...you can give me a drink of red wine anytime."
--a YA reader
runners-up in the individual category
"I would, unfortunately, consider myself to be in the prey category. Over the years, I have let many people take advantage of my kindness, whether it be as small as a piece of gum, or as large as a sum of money, or a favorite book. I think that they see in me that I will lend them things or go along with them. I can't seem to say 'no' to people, unless it involves controlled substances.
"'Predators' seem to view me as a warm gooey chocolate chip cookie that just want to get their grubby hands on and devour until all that's left is a dribble of crumbs. Certainly, though, I am attempting to curb my prey appeal to the vast world of predators, but, as of now, I still regard myself as one of the hunted."
--a YA reader from Washington (state)
"I would definitely be a predator, because, to be honest, I couldn't stand to think that someone else would be brave enough to eat squirrels if I couldn't. I would have to eat them, too, to prove to myself I could do it. Plus, I've always been a dominant person, and I know if I was a wild animal I would probably be a wolf or something. I'm also a naturally darker person."
--a YA reader
"I am a predator. I am headstrong, and I always stand out. I am the first to step up and take charge, and I always make myself heard. I am passionate about everything I do, but I do not take any gruff. I am confident in my own skin, and my every imperfection. That is what makes me a predator."
--K, a bookseller from Pennsylvania
"I have not yet read your book! Want to know why? I carried it to class. That's why! Silly me! It was snatched from my hands and is making the rounds of the students... I see it, now and then, as it passes from one set of hands to the others. So...I need to win. Otherwise I will have to wait for a long time, as I'm sure I won't see my copy before spring break.
"Which...is just one of the reasons why I think I'm prey. I know I'm prey. I am too easy to be the predator. A sane person would just say, 'Give it back, kids! I bought it! It is mine!' Right?
"A predator would've made the school pay for it...or the kids! Yeah! That's what a predator would do. But...I am prey, I have always been prey (all of my lifetimes), and I imagine I always will be. Well, that is okay. Can't have predators without prey, I guess, so at least I serve a purpose.
"Then again my intent was to get them interested...so...maybe being prey is simply one effective way to get what you want (be the predator, so to speak)...if you are sly enough. *evil laugh*"
--K, a teacher from Florida
Ten runners-up in the teacher/librarian/bookseller category have also been contacted. They'll each receive an autographed stack of bookmarks, stickers, and--just for fun--bat tissues and vampire napkins.
I elected not to list names of the entrants (who may prefer to remain anonymous), but they are certainly welcome to shout-out their winning status, if they'd like.
Entries by predators outnumbered entries by prey by about a two-to-one margin. Interpret at will, and be careful out there.