Sadly no, I won’t be at Comic Con this year, but I’m so glad you enjoyed the panel I moderated there last year! I’ve heard there are going to be some great YA panels at Comic Con this year though, and I’m bummed I’m going to miss them. Maybe next time!
Wow, I just realized I had questions in my in box. This is embarrassing. I don’t know how long ago you asked this, but hey, better late than never?
THANK YOU so much for your kind words about Ash. I’m glad you enjoyed it! You may already have figured this out, but I’ve also written a prequel-ish companion novel, Huntress, which just came out in paperback. It’s not about any of the characters in Ash, but it’s set in the same world.
Re: the Wellesley thing, nope there was no sustainable moveout while I was at Wellesley. Way back then, from 1992-96, we didn’t really understand that we were destroying the earth yet. Or, we might have had a hint of it, but it was before An Inconvenient Truth, which I think really made a lot of people wake up to what is actually going on with our planet. (And in fact I have no idea what a sustainable moveout is, but I’m guessing it’s about sustainably moving out of the dorms?)
Anyway, thanks for your note! Always lovely to hear from a Wellesley woman. :)
I know a lot of people believe that first person is the closest, most intimate mode of narrative, the one that reveals the deepest truth about a character. But as a playwright, I have a different perspective. In a play, every character speaks in the first person, but the audience sees that each character’s perspective is necessarily limited—the world of the play is much bigger than any one individual, and each character can only see her own narrow sliver of what’s around her.
As a playwright, whenever I hear a character launch into a first-person monologue about who they think they are, what they believe, etc., I automatically hear it with skepticism, knowing that the play itself—if it’s any good—will ultimately reveal the holes in that character’s claims. So for me, first person has always been the most narrow mode of narrative, often deluded and self-serving, or at the very least isolated from the world.” —
Author and playwright Madeleine George on the first person POV, in her interview for my YA Pride series
Don’t underestimate how much antagonism there is toward women and how many people wish we could turn the clock back. One of the things people always say to you if you get upset is, don’t take it personally, but listen hard to what’s going on and, please, I beg you, take it personally. Understand: every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is an attack on you. Underneath almost all those attacks are the words: get back, get back to where you once belonged. When Elizabeth Dole pretends that she isn’t serious about her career, that is an attack on you. The acquittal of O.J. Simpson is an attack on you. Any move to limit abortion rights is an attack on you — whether or not you believe in abortion. The fact that Clarence Thomas is sitting on the Supreme Court today is an attack on you.
Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim. Because you don’t have the alibi my class had — this is one of the great achievements and mixed blessings you inherit: unlike us, you can’t say nobody told you there were other options. Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead. Twenty-five years from now, you won’t have as easy a time making excuses as my class did. You won’t be able to blame the deans, or the culture, or anyone else: you will have no one to blame but yourselves.” —
I remember being sort of taken aback by her speech when I heard it on graduation day, because it wasn’t full of feel-good “you can do it” stuff. I was 21 at the time and hadn’t lived in the real world yet — not really. Now, at 37, I know exactly what she means. I’m sorry to hear today that she has died.
[H]eteronormativity plays a larger role, a more significant role, I think, than direct homophobic bias against novels with LGBTQ identifying characters (or themes, situations, etc). This isn’t to suggest that such bias mightn’t also occasionally be present, but I just don’t think it’s nearly as prevalent. …
Though things are changing for the better (unquestionably, to my mind), I think it’s still true, widely, that anything that confronts or confounds heteronormativity is immediately “othered” (as in it’s considered “different,” “not the norm,” “its own thing,” “weird” — you get the idea) by many, many people. So if a novel has a queer character, say, even folks who might embrace that character or storyline or what-have-you often will still “other” it, as in recognize it as something “other than” what is heteronormative, as “oh, that’s the novel with the lesbian romance” or the one with the “bisexual football player,” etc.
In other words: the novel’s LGBTQ content so often becomes its primary identifying feature. Thinking of heteronormativity as most people’s default assumption/stance can be a useful way of getting a handle on it.
Sometimes thinking like this can be useful for marketing, say, or finding a particular audience, but when we think about how books are selected for publication it seems obvious, to me, anyway, that this kind of binary thinking — this privileging of that which is heteronormative — is much more responsible for fewer LGBTQ books/characters than is overt homophobia.” —Author Emily M. Danforth (The Miseducation of Cameron Post), in her interview for my YA Pride series
Just a quick note to say thanks to everyone who’s been reblogging and liking my #YAPride posts/links. I really appreciate it! You are all so awesome!
Today marks the first day I’ve sat down to work on revisions to the sequel to Adaptation. Just like when I was writing the rough draft, I’ll post on Tumblr every day I work on the revision, as part of my plan to document how long it takes me to write this book.
So, today: Revision Day 1! What did I do? I sat down and read my editor’s editorial letter. Typically the first time I read an editorial letter, I feel like this:
So I have a process. Today I meditated before I sat down to read the letter, in order to open my mind to the letter. This might sound weird, but I’ve noticed that (like many people, probably) I often approach criticism defensively. An editorial letter is totally helpful and absolutely vital, but it is also criticism. In order to fully understand what my editor is saying, I have to at least be open to hearing it. So, I meditated first.
Then I read the letter once through quickly, letting myself have whatever knee-jerk reactions I might have. After that I read through it again more carefully, this time highlighting portions that I thought were especially important. Then I wrote in my writing journal about my thoughts about the letter. This whole process took about an hour.
That’s all I did today, because I also know that I need to let the letter sink in, and allow my editor’s comments to perk around in my subconscious for a while. Because of my travel schedule over the next two weeks, I know I won’t be able to dive into revision right away. But at least now I’ll be working on it subconsciously!