June 11, 2014
the ugly snobs of publishing

hollyblack:

laurendestefano:

So, earlier this afternoon I tweeted some observations drawn from my experience as a female author in publishing, working alongside both female and male authors in publishing. The things I said were the result of YEARS of things I have witnessed. I did not, and will not, go into specifics, as that…

Please read this, because Lauren is so, so, so right about this. And over and over again, I see people say how their feelings about particular authors (male and female) are individual. But what’s disturbing is that those individual feelings seem to — over and over again — align with the same disturbing trend.

Lauren writes up in clean and simple prose things I may have already written angry and terrible poetry about: 

http://sarahreesbrennan.tumblr.com/post/80737589733/women-writers

And Jennifer Lynn Barnes has done mathematics to prove.

In the 249 books in the Times ‘best of’ lists, 76 books were written by women… and 173 written by men. (I’m no mathematician but I’m adding 2 plus 2 and getting something gross and biased is going on here.)

http://jenniferlynnbarnes.tumblr.com/post/52139503163/author-gender-null-results-examining-privilege

Lauren is right that going into specifics detracts from the larger point—but as she already said it so well I have nothing to add and as people often go into specifics to attack those people making larger points, I’m now going to go into some specifics to prove Lauren’s larger point.

Lauren mentions her book getting compared to Twilight. Twilight comparisons: they happened to every lady there for a while. 

They certainly happened to me. There’s a comparison of Twilight on the back of the UK edition of my first book—which had a boy protagonist and no real romance on account of said boy didn’t have human feelings. (But Stephenie Meyer and I both have boobs. So, CASE CLOSED!) Also like Lauren, I was asked why there wasn’t more kissing. (Had I not noticed that I was a lady?) And yet at the same time, when I *did* write girl protagonists and more romance, suddenly my writing was so much less deep. (Sexism—gets you every which way.)

For a lady, having comparisons made between your work and someone else’s means something different. Dudes are doing a homage or ‘taking their rightful place in literary canon’. Women are scolded for being ripoffs.

It got so bad for L.J. Smith there had to be public announcements made, even though it was physically impossible for her to have ripped off Twilight.

L.J. Smith has been writing books for Young Adults since the 1980s. She wrote The Vampire Diaries in 1991, which (for those who can do basic maths) works out to nearly 15 years before Stephenie Meyer’sTwilight Saga was written. So please, for the love of all that is holy, stop saying these books are copying Twilight. If they were, L.J. Smith would have had to have mastered the art of time travel, and would likely have made her fortune that way and be living a life of luxury on a tropical island.

http://www.vampire-diaries.net/lj-smith

Sounds like she might have received more than a few emails on the subject…

(I’m just going to quote here from another monster post I made a while back.

'Dudes get to write perceived-as-derivative/actually-derivative fiction all the time and it’s a HOMAGE, but girls can’t do either. People decide girls’ stuff is derivative and lousy all the time, whereas boys’ stuff is part of a literary tradition and an important conversation. This is sexist and terrible.

Neil Gaiman referenced Asimov in Neverwhere: 

http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/66578815533/my-father-claims-the-line-violence-was-the-last-refuge

And G.K. Chesterton in Coraline:

http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/42909304300/my-moms-a-librarian-and-planning-to-put-literary

And William Gibson in Neverwhere:

http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2004/12/some-days-bears-on-top.asp

Yet I do not see Neil Gaiman getting chased around and called names.

I am very tired of seeing women insulted for things every dude in the world is allowed to do. It is not literary critique. It is violent misogyny.’

Still true, buds!)

More specifics: I think this particular discussion on sexism started with a debate about John Green, and John Green as a person is someone I owe a debt of gratitude to. Last summer I was the target of a lot of ugly internet stuff, which culminated of course in the usual dead-end alleys of hatred: public and private nastiness. I’m not sure which upset me more: public posts discussing how I talk too much, and how I’m pathetic, and of course how ugly I am, or the emails discussing how I should die and be raped and have my books burned. The public stuff actually seemed worse, because it’s shocking to receive that treatment from people who pretend to believe in social justice, and to see others agreeing with them in an orgy of hatred… but the private messages designed only to shock and upset me like an ugly whisper in my ear, to target me where every woman is vulnerable, were bad too. I went on meds. Last summer was the worst, guys.

John Green (who I don’t know personally at all) spoke up supportively, and it really meant a lot to me. Most male authors wouldn’t have done it. I see over and over dude authors saying that generally they support female authors, and never supporting any specific women, but always the Dudes in their Dude Club of Literary Awesomeness. So, personally I am very grateful. I think it spared me quite a lot of misogynistic horror I was in no place to cope with. 

On a non-personal level, I’m happy that John Green’s lady-led movie was a big success… not least because I want to see the next step of a lady-led lady-written movie being a big success. Let’s not dismiss Twilight or the Hunger Games, because people dismiss them too much, but let’s also have our fingers crossed for the movie of Gayle Foreman’s If I Stay, which can only be helped by the success of Fault In Our Stars. And let’s look toward the next next step—some more lady-led lady-written lady-directed movies. There still is, disgusting though it is, a prejudice in Hollywood and everywhere else against female-led films (how else do we explain the treatment of ‘teen girl’ films? Where, when there is every financial incentive and every indicator it would be a success, is our Black Widow movie?) and that cannot and should not be ignored.

John Green has become, to a sexist media, an example of ‘a dude who did it right while silly YA WIMMIN were doing it wrong’—and that’s frustrating for everyone (including Green) who is aware of all the many smart women in YA doing it right, and it means there’s pushback against him as a symbol. Also he’s popular enough now that he’s getting the hatred and pushback that people just get for being popular, and that hatred and pushback is hideous. It drove Stephenie Meyer clean off the internet. It fills me with horror and sympathy for him, as it does for her… but at the same time, I know and have seen many female authors get that kind of hatred and pushback, for having far less popularity than any man.

It is super tempting to blame an individual instead of an institution, because an individual is much easier to take down. So blaming John for sexism is easy—and blaming Lauren for jealousy is easy—but it isn’t productive.

This isn’t about any individual person. It isn’t about jealousy of anyone or hostility toward anyone or any one imperfect person’s flawed behaviour. It’s about the fact the world is not set up to let women succeed in the same way as men do, and that’s something we are all unconsciously participating in.

Here are some more specifics to prove that larger point.

How many dude writers are getting requests for topless pictures, like Maureen Johnson did? 

http://maureenjohnsonbooks.tumblr.com/post/80069086042/hey-im-sorry-if-this-is-super-weird-but-youre

How many dude writers are getting both treated badly because of sexism, and then treated DOUBLE badly (funny how that happens… it’s like people are trying to prove your point!) because they discussed sexism, as happened to both Eleanor Catton and Clare Wright?

ELEANOR CATTON: What is she doing, having an opinion? Why isn’t she grateful? Why doesn’t she just shut her mouth and feel something?

http://www.theguardian.com/books/australia-culture-blog/2014/may/24/eleanor-catton-and-clare-wright-i-call-it-the-dick-table

How many dude writers are accused of SLEEPING WITH SOMEONE FOR A ENDORSEMENT!!! as Robin McKinley was?

(Note: Robin McKinley is a genius and I would describe several of her books as practically perfect. She has not offered me any saucy favours to say this.)

(Note: George R.R. Martin has often described his early blurb from Robert Jordan as influential in his books’ success. Oddly, I have never ever seen anyone saying ‘Oh Georgy boy, you little minx, what did you do to get it?)

http://mtr-amg.tumblr.com/post/88221516204/the-ugly-snobs-of-publishing

All the specifics, as Holly Black says, form a trend.

We need to look at what everyone is doing. We need to look at what *we* are doing. We need to look at the way the world works, and change it.

June 1, 2014
Writerly Appearances, LGBTQ in YA, Celebrities And Unlucky Sheep

image

I have written you guys the longest post in all the world. But it does have bonus Who I Met in Hay on Wye!

http://sarahtales.livejournal.com/215613.html

May 31, 2014
hollyblack:

thegroveart:

Kami & Kaye

I hope you ladies become best friends … or at least like one another lots!

SOMEONE: Do not do the thing.
KAYE: The thing we were told not to do? THAT IS THE THING WE MUST DO.
KAMI: Of course. It’s our journalistic responsibility.
KAYE: We’d better do it twice as hard to be sure.
KAMI: YES. What if we did the thing we were told not to do and then did another thing so loopy that nobody even dreamed we might do it?
KAYE: YES.
How could they not get along? ;) (Also I love their outfits, so characteristique!) (Kaye, you best not get my girl hooked on cancer sticks!)

hollyblack:

thegroveart:

Kami & Kaye

I hope you ladies become best friends … or at least like one another lots!

SOMEONE: Do not do the thing.

KAYE: The thing we were told not to do? THAT IS THE THING WE MUST DO.

KAMI: Of course. It’s our journalistic responsibility.

KAYE: We’d better do it twice as hard to be sure.

KAMI: YES. What if we did the thing we were told not to do and then did another thing so loopy that nobody even dreamed we might do it?

KAYE: YES.

How could they not get along? ;) (Also I love their outfits, so characteristique!) (Kaye, you best not get my girl hooked on cancer sticks!)

May 8, 2014
Seven Stories | Shadow Hunting with Cassandra Clare

cassandraclare:

Come see me and Sarah poke at each other! Good times :)

I really love Seven Stories in Newcastle. (I went once for a school visit, then came back and told all my friends—‘KELLY!’ I said to Kelly Link. ‘They love you! They have a throne!’)

I came back with Holly Black in November, and we sat upon the throne together.

Also we saw the Enid Blyton exhibit, and I got super weird about my favourite Enid Blyton hero. A good time had by all!

So I am super happy at the thought of coming back to Newcastle with Cassie, and of course poking her repeatedly. In the game of thrones, you poke or you die.

Basically:

SARAH: I love you Newcastle.

NEWCASTLE (whispering): Will Sarah Rees Brennan NEVER LEAVE?

April 15, 2014
theshardsofmyheart:

Gavriel & Jared hitting it off (The Lynburn Legacy /The Coldest Girl in Coldtown crossover)
Yay! I finally did it! I wanted to do this one because I knew it would be super fun, and it definitely was!  It is a pretty crazy crossover, they make a weird but very sexy couple. 
Thanks to letmedrawsomething for letting me do the counter art but sadly I couldn´t come up with any good dialog for this two…:(

A sorcerer. A vampire. A crossover. IT IS FATE. (And super cute.)

theshardsofmyheart:

Gavriel & Jared hitting it off (The Lynburn Legacy /The Coldest Girl in Coldtown crossover)

Yay! I finally did it! I wanted to do this one because I knew it would be super fun, and it definitely was!  It is a pretty crazy crossover, they make a weird but very sexy couple. 

Thanks to letmedrawsomething for letting me do the counter art but sadly I couldn´t come up with any good dialog for this two…:(

A sorcerer. A vampire. A crossover. IT IS FATE. (And super cute.)

March 28, 2014
Exclusive: Cover Reveal and an Excerpt from 'The Iron Trial' at USA Today

hollyblack:

 Wooo! Finally!

USA Today, SO FANCINESS!

March 23, 2014

samanthagamgee9-75 said: Do the names Hibiscus, Clytemnestra and Scylla in Sisters Before Misters represent Holly Black, Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan? Is Marcus significant for anyone? Maureen Johnson or Malinda Lo?

Yes… although one of us did not realise we were writing a story in which the wicked witches were a little similar to us for some time, and then the other two smacked her about with throw pillows. ;)

It is true that I have been trying to get either MJ or Malinda to run away with me for some time also, but those cruel minxes keep turning me down. Oh well. Back to romance novels and the constant pursuit of evil!

March 14, 2014
Yuko Shimizu’s Cover Art for Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales | Tor.com

smallbeerpress:

MONSTER COVER FOR MONSTER BOOK!

We made a book. It comes out in September. Candlewick Press are really the ones who made it. Because they make FAB PRETTY BOOKS. (See Steampunk! for example, he said, aware of how obnoxious it is for someone to be so proud of a book they worked on, but, art director, artist (Yuko Shimizu!), what a book they made!) ANYWAY. New book is monstrously full of monsters. Some of these stories are happy. Er, really. No? Maybe not. Monsters get monstery! Some of these writers you might know. Some you may not. You will not sleep at night! (Sorry, folks. It’s ok, maybe the next night you will. Or the next. Or the monsters will get you, wait, sorry, sorry!) Monsters!

Table of Contents:

Paolo Bacigalupi—Moriabe’s Children
Cassandra Clare—Old Souls
Holly Black—Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (The Successful Kind)
M. T. Anderson—Quick Hill
Nathan Ballingrud—The Diabolist
Patrick Ness—This Whole Demoning Thing
Sarah Rees Brennan—Wings in the Morning
Nalo Hopkinson—Left Foot, Right
G. Carl Purcell—The Mercurials
Dylan Horrocks—Kitty Capulet and the Invention of Underwater Photography
Nik Houser—Son of Abyss
Kathleen Jennings—A Small Wild Magic
Kelly Link—The New Boyfriend
Joshua Lewis—The Woods Hide in Plain Sight
Alice Sola Kim—Mothers, Lock Up Your Daughters Because They Are Terrifying

Go click on the link because that is a beeeeeyotiful cover. One of my top favourite covers for anything. I am super pleased to be in this anthology, because Gavin Grant and Kelly Link are excellent peeps and this is an awesome lineup. I have read four of these stories and they are excellent—don’t ask me how into Holly Black’s super alien alien I am. (NO ASK ME, but you might be disturbed.) And I can’t wait to read lots of the others—Nalo Hopkinson’s, because obviously, and Alice Sola Kim’s for the title ALONE.

My behaviour about this anthology has been a little bit off in the deep blue sea, I admit.

SARAH: Uh you guys so I’m writing this story and I love it and I’m super excited and it’s *coughs* twenty thousand words.

KELLY & GAVIN: TWENTY THOUSAND!!!!!!!

SARAH: Maybe a little more.

KELLY & GAVIN: !!!!!!!!!

SARAH: I’ll cut it! Look, I’ll cut it!

I even chronicled some of this process on this very tumblr:

http://sarahreesbrennan.tumblr.com/post/23313152043/this-friday-i-bring-to-you

http://sarahreesbrennan.tumblr.com/post/23315699853/aw-you-are-all-my-boos

And then when I handed in the story (we did cut it) (it’s still very long) I might’ve started to write a prequel companion on my blog which is also… getting very long…

This story—though it can of course be read alone—follows the story of The Turn of the Story. 

http://sarahtales.livejournal.com/209287.html

Which means The Turn of the Story will be finished before September, pinky swear.

All of this overly long stories and strange blog prequels business is unusual behaviour which has I imagine led Kelly and Gavin to a dark place.

KELLY & GAVIN: We never predicted this.

KELLY AND GAVIN: … That Sarah Rees Brennan. She is not right.

January 20, 2014
Dark Duets with Holly Black, Christopher Golden, Nate Kenyon, Holly Newstein and Rio Youers | RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth NH

hollyblack:

Gonna be at RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, NH TONIGHT at 7pm.

Am leaving the house now.

Come say hello.

Definitely those who are around should go!

Reblogged to say that the anthology DARK DUETS is out now and all. I would be there if I could—I was kindly invited—but I could not leave Ireland a full two weeks early due to… I would then wander America homelessly. ;)

But I am in it! And my name is on the cover of an anthology, which is my first time and a fancy thing. (It is happening because my two co-writers are fancies.)

The deal with this anthology is that two writers who haven’t written together before are meant to write a short story together.

Last year at a writing retreat the subject arose.

CASSIE: Christopher Golden asked me to do this Dark Duets thing, and I’m going to do it with Sarah.

HOLLY: No, *I’m* going to do it with Sarah.

SARAH: Guys, this is great, I always hoped this would happen someday, honestly I pictured Colin Firth and Hugh Grant in a fountain, but… this is also fine… please continue fighting over me.

CASSIE & HOLLY: Let’s ask if we can all three do it together.

SARAH: I’m slightly disappointed but that’s also a good triangle resolution.

Tah dah! Also, Carrie Ryan and Sarah MacLean’s story is awesome, and I am looking forward to reading Charlaine Harris (so fancy!) and Rachel Caine’s.

Our three-lady story is called SISTERS BEFORE MISTERS, and the three evil witch sisters are called Hibiscus, Clytemnestra and Scylla. Hibiscus is the wisest and most cunning and planful, Clytemnestra has power over the souls of all living things, and Scylla is the silly one who reads too many romance novels. (OR, SCYLLA IS THE AWESOME ONE WHO KNOWS YOU CANNOT READ TOO MANY ROMANCE NOVELS!)

November 28, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Hanukkah & Happy Thursday

hollyblack:

I want to tell you something I am really thankful about. 

Theo and I waited until everything was final to talk about him online, although maybe I mentioned him if you saw me in person. Anyway, I’m happy to announce that the reason I haven’t been around the internet all that much lately is because my husband and I adopted a baby!

Here’s is a picture of me with our son, Sebastian. The picture is from Maureen’s apartment, right after we got back from court. 

image

Isn’t he the best?

Isn’t he a tiny turnip?

What does that even mean?

Isn’t it weird how one addresses babies like they are delicious?

Doesn’t he look delicious?

This is his first Thanksgiving, so I am making him what I hope to be a succulent yam glop. I am making the rest of us a succulent yam glop too, but with more marshmallows and refined sugar. 

Here’s hoping you and yours are eating delectable things, no matter where you are or what you’re celebrating, or whether you’re celebrating anything at all.

Aren’t they the most loveliest? This is what I have been most thankful for this year: that two of the greatest people I know have a wonderful baby. And now it is all official in perfect time for your strange American festival of the giving of thanks!

Congratulations on it all being done and dusted, every one of the Black family! I’m so happy for you guys, every one.

Happy first Thanksgiving Sebastian! Love, the Weirdo Lady Who Screeches At You On Skype.

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