Have you recently found yourself craving torment? Soul-twisting misery? Feels that make you wanna cry and laugh and possibly cry some more?
The answer is yes. Don’t question it.
Well, I have the solution to all those problems:
Ta-da! (Graph made by Sondra, ‘cause she has skills and I suck.)
So, as everyone (EVERYONE) knows, UNMADE by Sarah Rees Brennan is coming outridiculously soononSeptember 23rd *throws confetti*, which means we have roughly a month before finally, finally getting our hands on the soul-wrenching finale to The Lynburn Legacy trilogy.
To celebrate, and perhaps because we are masochists, the lovely Sondra and I will be hosting a Lynburn Legacy Read-Along starting tomorrow.
Everyone should totally join. I 100% endorse it.
So, here’s how it’s going to work: The Read-Along will happen over tumblr and twitter, roughly during the set dates (above). Sondra and I will be both reblogging/responding/crying with you guys and moderating “Book Chats” over on Twitter.
The idea is that we (all) re-read UNSPOKEN and UNTOLD right on time for the UNMADE release—and then read that together as well. Misery loves company, right? Yay, shared pain!
(Coincidentally, if you’ve never read UNSPOKEN, this is a great time to do it! Yes. Do it. You want to.)
The times for the Twitter Chats will be announced once they get closer, because Sondra and I will have to coordinate silly time zone differences.
We’ll be using the tag #LynburnRead on twitter and tumblr, so if you are reading along (of course you are!) or making/posting content you’d like us to see, tag it with that!
(Alternatively, #JaredHasAFineAss is also a tag we’ll be tracking. I mean, no, that’s totally unofficial… you didn’t hear it from me.)
SO! If you want to join in this crazy awesome Read Along you do, either message me or Sondra or make a post or tweet it or start tagging stuff with the tag—Basically, make yourself known whichever way you want. We’ll be waiting.
Tell your followers! Your friends! Your parents! Your dog! Your psycho-uncle-who-is-also-your-dad!
I am super excited this is happening! Look what a perfect opportunity has been handed to me to use this .gif. ;)
Even more than that, I am excited because of what a lovely thing this is. As I go toward the official end of the trilogy and an UNKNOWN FUTURE (there may be bears involved… bears in space) it is so beautimous to me to see love for this series which I love, and the idea of having a celebration-y reading time for it pleases me so much. I’m so happy Adriana and Sondra want to do it.
I will be makin’ myself available on twitter and tumblr, and use the tag, to answer any questions/cackle wildly at your pain.
'Have you recently found yourself craving torment? Soul-twisting misery?'
I feel really lucky that for my belovedest readers the answer was yes. ;)
once was love | ingrid michaelson | eight easy steps | alanis morisette | out of my league | stephen speaks | nice people | ida maria | king & lionheart | of monsters and men | please don’t leave me | p!nk | strong anything | katrina elam | uncharted | sara bareilles | good day | jewel | going through the motions | aimee mann | alien | britney spears | with a little help from my friends | kick axe covers the beatles
This is SO COOL I almost can’t take it. I’m so happy the songs are about all three of the main characters and that there are interconnected songs about the developing relationships and the personalities of each one. So thoughtful and so flatterin’ to me to see such thought put in. Plus, I love so many of these artists and also I love the awesome album cover. Loser friends, tee hee.
Definitely going to listen to some of these while writing now…
It's really disappointing to see you co-sign that Holly Black post as if the majority of YA authors don't write about very whitewashed worlds where queer/trans/poc people may as well not exist. Telling people to change that reality with their purchasing power is a tad hypocritical when you all write a certain way because you know that's what sells. I'd be more sympathetic to your point if you weren't directly contributing to the problem.
The point of Holly’s post is that buying works by PoC/LGBTQ/trans writers will literally change the landscape of what’s out there and what’s a bestseller and what’s mainstream. I do sign on to that.
As for the need for more diversity in all books being written, yes to that too. Though, I wish you wouldn’t say I am doing something because “you know that’s what sells.” People think writers do EVERYTHING because “that’s what sells.” People are always reading our minds/explaining our motives—people from every standpoint. Most book banners use the “you do this because this is what sells” in order to denigrate work. My goal for myself is to try harder and do better and make good stories.
But the point remains that diverse writers of diverse books are out there, and by buying their books, the playing field changes. It sounds like maybe you aren’t aware of all these writers. That’s a problem. But it’s something that so many good people are working on now, to bring these writers up to the front of the store/the reading list.
As I pack for Texas and RWA, I remember I have not yet shared the deets for my next convention, Loncon, here in London! (So little travel, huzzah!)
And girl, look at these panels.
Thursday 15:00 - 16:30
YA writes seem particuarly keen on supernatural monsters. Have we mined out the traditional ones — the Vampires, demons and zombies? What fresh angles would breathe new afterlife into them? Or do we need a whole slew of fresh beasts to keep the reader’s interest?
Ellen Datlow, Tom Pollock, Sarah Rees Brennan, V. E. Schwab, Oisin McGann
The Exceptional Girl Warrior
Friday 10:00 - 11:00
Some female warriors represent the norm in their fantasy or science fictional societies and are expected to train and fight alongside their men. Others are “exceptions”, who need to battle the prejudice of their colleagues just as much as their enemies. Panelists will discuss female fighters of every kind, taking examples both from real life and fiction. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the characters under discussion? How has representation of female warriors changed over time? How does the author’s treatment of these characters vary by genre if at all?
Elisabeth Waters (M), John Dodd, Kate Elliott, Sarah Maas, Sarah Rees Brennan
Friday 15:00 - 16:30
Romance is in the air! Authors discuss the trend of weaving romantic entanglements into young adult literature. From true love to pining for that special someone, authors tackle the thorny subject of love, sex, and the supernatural—not to mention the fateful first kiss. What is it about a supernatural love interest that leaves mere mortals a distant second? Is there a discernible difference in how teen romance is handled between SF/F and its peer genres? And how far is too far when writing teen romance?
Mary Anne Mohanraj (M), Amie Kaufman , Mary Turzillo, Sarah Rees Brennan, Darlene Marshall
These Are Not the Elves You’re Looking For
Sunday 18:00 - 19:00
To what extent do modern fantasy novels play on readers’ familiarity - and fatigue - with genre tropes and conventions? For example, Andrzej Sapkowski, Justina Robson and Raymond E Feist have all created worlds in which the traditional Tolkienian model of benevolent, wiser-than-thou elves is challenged in various ways. Is deconstruction a new trend, or has genre fantasy been doing it for decades? How do recent debates about the cultural specificity of the English-language fantastic, and the lack of relevance of this aesthetic for audiences outside North America and the UK, affect our views of these issues?
Kate Heartfield (M), Ana Grilo, Stanislaw Krawczyk, Sarah Rees Brennan, Patrick Rothfuss
How fancy am I, fancying with these fancy people? I am VERY much looking forward to Lonconing it up!
Loncon is tomorrow! *checks time* Loncon is today, I am a vile truant and should be in bed as we speak!
I have an additional THING here: A SIGNING. Now basically if you find me I will sign a thing for you. Love signing stuff. Other people’s cheques obviously. Also books. Sometimes books I’ve written. All for it. If you see me bouncing about the con and wish for me to sign… a name, mine or anyone else’s… a book, or a face or a baby elephant… I’ll do that.
But for those who wish to be sure to catch me and have a chat…
So, my signing is on Sunday the 17th August at noon. (Such fancy signing people! Mike Carey. ROBIN HOBB. M’friend Seanan McGuire.) FANCIES.
Quick addition to the panels also: Leigh Bardugo will be on the Exceptional Girl Warrior panel. She’s an exceptionally smart lady and an exceptionally hot blonde so I welcome her…
The Coldtown paperback is coming out 8/12, which if you live where I live, means right now!
It’s super pretty and has two fancy new blurbs on it.
This one on the front:
“No one writes like Holly Black. [Coldtown] is one of my all-time favorite fantasy novel settings.” – John Green
I luuuuuuurve this book. No one writes like Holly. If you love vampires, this is the book for you. If you hate vampires, this is the book for you. If you neither love nor hate vampires, but wonder at their enduring allure, this is the book for you. If you neither love nor hate nor wonder at anything, are you a robot? I don’t care. It’s still the book for you.
yeah this book just plain old rocks. read it. a lot.
People who don’t like Emma Woodhouse as a character because: she’s too rich for anything to really go that wrong in her life, and she’s an insufferable know-it-all, and she meddles in the love-lives of her friends because ‘she knows best’?
Idk man, that’s pretty much Mr Darcy though. And he’s on merchandise tote bags. People seem to like him just fine.
We have TWO galleys of Monstrous Affections to give away. (This is not a Small Beer book! It’s an anthology that Kelly and I edited and it comes out in September from Candlewick.) There are fifteen stories (and more than 15 monsters) — I’ll put the…
I WILL BE THERE FOR… SOME OF THESE EVENTS. I just do not know… WHICH ONES QUITE YET. ;)
This has got to be one of the funniest things I have ever read *WARNING* SPOILERS
This is by Sarah Rees Brennan, who wrote Unspoken, which is a YA reverse Jane Eyre story.
Also, I LOVED THIS. To the moors!
MR ROCHESTER: Jane, Jane, Jane. Why does it always have to be about ‘who the arsonist is’ and ‘who’s laughing up in the attic’? Can’t we just LIVE, Jane? Can’t we just smile as our beds burn around us?
After the final instalment of Turn of the Story, and the release of Wings in the Morning, will you be writing anything else set in Elliot, Luke, and Serene's universe? ( not that you owe us any more stories! Everything you write is a deeply appreciated gift :-) )
Sweetheart, munchkinface, my petal. Thank you for asking! Don’t worry about the disclaimer—I totally did not and would not have read you as thinking I owed you any stories. I think you are a love to ask!
And I am sorry if I made you feel you should add a disclaimer.
(Ahem. I am also sorry if weird endearments sound condescending! I literally use them on everybody I am feeling fondly toward. Many a dude friend of mine has learned to embrace being called petal on the reg despite initial startlement. But if you do not like it, I will stop!)
I do believe in writers saying ‘Look, do not treat me like I am worthless/a nonperson’ because there are always a few bad apples in this land who don’t treat other people as people, and the internet makes interaction easier but also makes interaction complicated. (See a lot of my thoughts about that here. http://sarahtales.livejournal.com/190612.html ) I spent a lot of my time years ago pretending everything was fine, as I think many people do, specially women (just smile!) when it would be better to be up front and go ‘If you cut me, do I not bleed? Hell yes I do! Ouch ouch ouch! Oh god that hurts! Someone please fetch me a plaster. I cry because I am a weakling.’
But… it’s really hard to say, because you know as with many things a) the people who need to hear it won’t take it to heart, and will go: shut up, machineface! and b) the people who WILL take it to heart are lovely, lovely readers, who should never be made to feel ashamed or like they can’t come and be connected to art and the creators of art.
That is a terrible thing to think about, because I owe so much to those people.
If someone reads my book, and likes it fine, and goes on to buy/borrow the others and always likes them fine: great, I have kept them entertained and they have kept me in business, and we are even stephens. I am very grateful to them, but that is between me and my god: the reader will never know of this gratitude I feel!
But there’s another level here: readers who like your stories so much that they’ll take extra time: to tell you they like them, to write reviews telling the world, to make art of various kinds, to talk about them with other people. Those readers become visible to you: you know what they like about your work, and that they’ve put their time and effort into your work, just because they care about it, too. They care about the thing that you feared only you would ever care about. It’s a strange miracle: it seems impossible that it really happens, but they care about something you made up in your head.
I can’t pay people back for love like that: being paid back is not even how love works.
But one thing I never want to do is make the lovely people who care about my writing and my characters, who have done me that inestimable honour, feel like they can’t talk to me (because they are welcome to do so! COME UNTO MY ARMS) or that they owe me some sort of special treatment other than the general do-no-harm-let-us-be-excellent-to-each-other treatment we all owe other people.
So! I APPRECIATE YOU GUYS, never hesitate to ask me things, please forgive me if I ever make you feel bad.
This is the moment where a dark realisation comes crashing in upon me: I have actually managed to not answer the beautimous Allie-Cat’s question yet. So I should do that forthwith.
The answer is: I don’t know.
I do know the story of what happens soon after to those characters, and a story of what happens to those and some new characters, several years down the line. (Holly has furthermore suggested I should write Wings in the Morning from Elliot’s PoV, because Holly Black is Satan.) Holly is also the only one who knows what happens in the several-years-in-the-future story, because I told her once on a car trip: riding in cars with girls, talking about imaginary adventures, is not a bad way to live one’s life.
But I have many stories in my head and I really want to write all of them and fear that I will not be able to write most of them, so the continuing chronicles of Elliot and the Borderlands are in a holding pen with the six more books of the Lynburn Legacy I’d love to write, the Ice Queen of Boston series, and other stories I’ve never talked about like the vampire saviour book and the ghouls books and the theatre shenanigans book. ;) Plus the, uh, two books and assorted other things I’m currently working on. I can’t know what will jostle to the front of my mind, aside from the fact I do sometimes pick from the bevy of stories going ‘Well, I think people might like that one—and I both sure want people to like my stories and sure need money to pay the electrics bill.’
So… I don’t know, but maybe. I do hope, and have tried, to give closure both at the end of Turn of the Story—which, the estimable and lovely romance writer Rose Lerner was right at RWA, curse her!, is probably going to have two more parts—-and at the end of Wings in the Morning. I don’t want to leave readers hanging. I want to leave them happy, and always wanting more happiness.
(Okay, and sometimes I want to leave them tormented, and kind of wanting more torment, but I have issues.)
I am very glad if you would like to see more! As I may have indicated, readers of my heart, I APPRECIATE YOU.
maureen johnson has led me to believe that in person you sound like a cross between an old lady, a small child, and luna lovegood. i had to look up a video of you speaking and was very sad to learn that that was not the case.
Maureen Johnson is a filthy liar, a well-known noodle thief, a dangerous driver and a waste of God’s best poker face. Soon we will meet in the skies over London and settle our disputes once and for all.
Many of you have asked me, "Maureen, what is going on with The Boy in the Smoke?" And I have puffed on my cigar and looked at you enigmatically before spinning in my chair. Because I could not tell you, even though I knew.
You alway have good book suggestions, and I am looking for a good book to give my friend for her birthday. She loves adult/ya fantasy, but is tired of reading trilogies and series. Do you know any good standalone fantasy books worth looking into?
I often hear that YA is a series-focused genre and am not sure if that’s true. Talking about writing serieseses is tricky for a number of reasons, one of which is because women are more often branded as AUTHOR-OF-THIS-POPULAR-SERIES and men are more likely to be branded as THIS-AUTHOR-WHO-IS-VALUABLE-IN-HIMSELF. Also, I love a series, and writing standalones—which I have done and am doing—is odd for me because I feel the urge to stretch the suffering out over many books! I’m a monster.
I mean, I don’t think THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is getting a sequel and it is the biggest YA book out there right now. Though if it did get a sequel would it be called THE FAULT IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEMS? Ahem I digress. But I do agree, though, that there are many YA standalones, especially fantasy, not getting all the attention they so richly deserve.
So here is a list of some especial standalone favourites of mine which I hope your friend will enjoy.
THE WAKING DARK by Robin Wasserman - YA Stephen King but twistier and darker and thoughtfuller. Random killings happen in a small town, the deeds done by people who don’t remember what they did or why. When they realise it is only the beginning, there are a tiny group of kids (including WEST, WEST FOR MAYOR, West who lost his secret boyfriend in the first attack) left unaffected to fight against the rising dark in their town, the years of unexpressed resentment, stifled ambition, embittered love for family or religion… all turning to boiling fury.
CHALICE by Robin McKinley. She’s written a lot of really excellent standalones (I also very much recommend SUNSHINE) but I really like this one because… the hero was set to become a Priest of Fire, which means BECOMING AN ELEMENT, when he unexpectedly came into his inheritance, and our heroine has to help him when they don’t know if he can ever be human again and he burns her when he touches her! I love monsters trying to be human and the humans who help them. Burns her when he touches her! Do not look at me.
UPROOTED by Naomi Novik. May be too late for your friend’s birthday as it comes out in 2015, but it is excellent, and has ladies saving ladies and ladies loving ladies and created monsters and defeated heroes and willing(ish) sacrifices and a very practical heroine and an oldschool fantasy feel, and fairytales and myths twisting around each other to form an entirely new story. I loved it is what I am trying to say without spoiling you too hard.
WINTER ROSE by Patricia McKillip. A lady saves a gentleman… who is in love with her sister… in a Beauty and the Beast meets Tam Lin style of tale with a twist. (Basically I like it when two or more stories are put in a melting pot and produce something new and beautiful and thoughtful.)
THE REPLACEMENT by Brenna Yovanoff. A changeling boy lives in a strange terrible town where children are taken on the reg, not quite human and not quite faerie but tethered by the love of his sister even as the world around him makes him ill…
THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST by Holly Black. Also not out until 2015. What! I am a monster. Hazel, MY FAVOURITE, lives in another strange town (things I love: monsters with hearts of gold, monsters who love only one person, whiny invalids, angry ladies, WEIRD TOWNS). She and her brother have both been in love with a sleeping beauty prince all their lives, who tourists come and take pictures of and who nobody has ever woken… until now. With him wake all Hazel’s old dreams of being a warrior, someone who had adventures, and someone who mattered. With him also wakes a monster who Hazel, her brother with his cursed magical gift, and the changeling next door all have to face.
THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater. Another thing I love: ponies. And then this book said unto me: MONSTER PONIES. A boy who loves his monster pony too much. A plucky girl riding her non-monster pony in the deathly monster pony races. A monster pony who loves his rider too much! Or does he? CAN MONSTER PONIES FEEL LOVE? It’s really a beautiful book. I’m sorry I said monster ponies so many times.
BLOOD & CHOCOLATE by Annette Curtis Klause. A werewolf lady meets a poetic dude who ABSOLUTELY cannot handle her.
WILD by Alex Mallory. Modern Tarzan meets a very modern Jane… and they unwittingly risk bringing about the apocalypse. Feral children, another thing I love, and while the hero Cade isn’t one there are some tantalising resemblances. Plus I love a lady who likes to explore her some natural wonders, if you know what I’m saying. (You do.)
NOBODY by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. What if your superpower and your curse was that you were never noticed or cared about by anybody? Obviously you would be very sad… or you would be a very sad TEEN ASSASSIN, who has just fallen wildly in love with his latest assigned target.
THE GOBLIN EMPEROR by Katherine Addison. So you’re an emperor who had to have an arranged marriage with a goblin and you guys unfortunately had a son but no big, you had other heirs, just hide the gross goblin guy. THEN all the heirs and also the emperor are assassinated. Goblin Emperor! Who is immediately assigned a bride, and falls for a femme fatale, and who has no idea a) how to run an empire and b) who killed his family…
THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers. Hiding in a high school with five other survivors and zombies thumping on the doors, our heroine discovers that… of course the worst thing about the zombie apocalypse are still other humans. Well, it is high school. And everyone is so terribly sad, for so many very legitimate reasons, including zombies. And the ending is not a zombie-cop-out ending. You zombie fans know what I mean.
I hope your friend has a very happy birthday and one of these books suits her. ;) I found them to be very fine.
The basics are that for every one female-speaking character in family-rated films (G, PG and PG-13), there are roughly three male characters; that crowd and group scenes in these films — live-action and animated — contain only 17 percent female characters; and that the ratio of male-female characters has been exactly the same since 1946. Throw in the hypersexualization of many of the female characters that are there, even in G-rated movies, and their lack of occupations and aspirations and you get the picture.
It wasn’t the lack of female lead characters that first struck me about family films. We all know that’s been the case for ages, and we love when movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen hit it big. It was the dearth of female characters in the worlds of the stories — the fact that the fictitious villages and jungles and kingdoms and interplanetary civilizations were nearly bereft of female population — that hit me over the head. This being the case, we are in effect enculturating kids from the very beginning to see women and girls as not taking up half of the space. Couldn’t it be that the percentage of women in leadership positions in many areas of society — Congress, law partners, Fortune 500 board members, military officers, tenured professors and many more — stall out at around 17 percent because that’s the ratio we’ve come to see as the norm?
OK, now for the fun part: It’s easy, fast and fun to add female characters, in two simple steps. And I want to be clear I’m not talking about creating more movies with a female lead. If you do, God bless and thank you. Please consider me for that role.
Step 1: Go through the projects you’re already working on and change a bunch of the characters’ first names to women’s names. With one stroke you’ve created some colorful unstereotypical female characters that might turn out to be even more interesting now that they’ve had a gender switch. What if the plumber or pilot or construction foreman is a woman? What if the taxi driver or the scheming politician is a woman? What if both police officers that arrive on the scene are women — and it’s not a big deal?
Step 2: When describing a crowd scene, write in the script, “A crowd gathers, which is half female.” That may seem weird, but I promise you, somehow or other on the set that day the crowd will turn out to be 17 percent female otherwise. Maybe first ADs think women don’t gather, I don’t know.
And there you have it. You have just quickly and easily boosted the female presence in your project without changing a line of dialogue.
Yes, we can and will work to tell more women’s stories, listen to more women’s voices and write richer female characters and to fix the 5-to-1 ratio of men/women behind the camera. But consider this: In all of the sectors of society that still have a huge gender disparity, how long will it take to correct that? You can’t snap your fingers and suddenly half of Congress is women. But there’s one category where the underrepresentation of women can be fixed tomorrow: onscreen. In the time it takes to make a movie or create a television show, we can change what the future looks like.
There are woefully few women CEOs in the world, but there can be lots of them in films. We haven’t had a woman president yet, but we have on TV. (Full disclosure: One of them was me.) How can we fix the problem of corporate boards being so unequal without quotas? Well, they can be half women instantly, onscreen. How do we encourage a lot more girls to pursue science, technology and engineering careers? By casting droves of women in STEM jobs today in movies and on TV. Hey, it would take me many years to become a real nuclear physicist, but I can play one tomorrow.
Here’s what I always say: If they can see it, they can be it.
Greetings, folks. As some of you already know, we’re hosting a giveaway to celebrate surpassing 12,000 followers! If you click the link at the top of the tumblr sidebar, it will take you to the entry page.
You can sign in using whatever name you’re comfortable giving; the entry itself will…
Dear Man, Sometimes when I'm walking down the street and my face happens to be in repose, men will request or, in extreme cases, order me to smile. Why is this? Should I oblige them? Yours, &c., A Woman With A Naturally Solemn Face
Dear Naturally Solemn,
We all know that it is impossible that you could be thinking of something other than the man before you as you walk down the street. Why would a female think of the household budget or the book she is reading or whether she is likely to be sacked for knocking over the coal scuttle, when she could be thinking about a Man instead?
No; your failure to smile must be a personal judgment. For shame, Naturally Solemn. If you do not smile, men will believe that they are not the center of your universe. Only a heartless jade would send that message.
Now, I recognize that smiling at random men on the street will no doubt open women to all sorts of advances from unscrupulous fellows who mistake their pleasantries for interest. But that is what women get for smiling at all men willy-nilly. Shameless hussies!
I hope I have clarified why men order you to smile. How else are we to teach you that you cannot win?
Male Center of the Universe
Jared bowed his head in acknowledgment as all the dinner guests raised their glasses. Then he played a game with himself where he glanced at every guest in turn and saw how many he could make look away.
All of them, it appeared. Not one of them wanted to meet his eyes.