Quote of the Day

“I would say to get the character in your mind. Once he is in your mind, and he is right, and he’s true, then he does the work himself. All you need to do then is to trot along behind him and put down what he does and what he says…You’ve got to believe in him. You’ve got to—to feel that—that what—that he is—is alive, and then, of course, you will have to do a certain amount of—of picking and choosing among the possibilities of his action, so that his actions fit the character which you believe in…But the character’s got to be true by your conception and by your experience, and that would include, as we’ve just said, what you’ve read, what you’ve imagined, what you’ve heard, all that going to giving you the gauge to measure this imaginary character by, and once he comes alive and true to you, and—and he’s important and moving, then it’s not too much trouble to put him down.”–William Faulkner

As always, Faulkner finds the perfect words to describe the creation process. So often I feel like I just need to see in my mind what a character is doing. I can’t force it; I just have to let them walk around so I can “put down” what they say and do.

Check out more of Faulkner’s thoughts on writing here (wahoowa!) and check out more quotes on writing here.

Links Galore

Man, I am so behind on posting! Here are all the links I’ve been hoarding:

Come Find Me at Buttonwood Books Tomorrow Night!

Tomorrow I’ll be at Buttonwood Books in Cohasset, MA (just outside of Boston) for a panel and signing with my fellow 2014 debut YA author the lovely Skylar Dorset!

Come for the discussion about YA writing, stay for the signing and smiles.

The details:

YA Author Panel and Signing
August 13, 7pm at Buttonwood Books
747 CJC HWY RTE 3A
Cohasset, MA 02025

The weather is supposed to be kind of gross, but hopefully by 7pm things will have calmed down. And what better way to spend a rainy day than by hitting up a local bookstore?

Ten Reasons Why You Should Read…Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis is book that crosses genre, juggles POVs, and deals with everything from romance to curses to questions of identity. And it all comes together beautifully, with all the feels and thoughtfulness a reader could hope for. Here are a few of my reasons why you should read Otherbound:

1. Nolan
To put it mildly, Nolan’s going through a tough time. He’s been flashing to a fantasy world whenever his eyes are shut, and to everyone around him, it looks like he’s having seizures and hallucinations. Despite the pressure he’s under in both worlds, Nolan is a sensitive person who deeply cares about other people. He’s a character you can’t help but rooting for.

2. Amara
Similarly, Amara’s under a lot of pressure (trying to keep a princess’s magical curse at bay, having Nolan live inside of her, etc.). It’s hard enough to craft one layered main character, but Corinne’s managed to create two. Amara is brave and conflicted and passionate, and easily feels like a classic fantasy heroine.

3. Identity
With two main characters merged together in one body, Corinne brings up interesting questions about what it means to truly exist and own your body, and what kind of control we have over our own lives.

4. Family
Big feels for Nolan’s family. I love that they so obviously care about Nolan and are worried about him, and want to try to help him however they can (even if they have no idea what’s really going on). Pat, Nolan’s sister, is a phenomenal minor character. (Seriously, all the feels.)

5. Big Bads
There are a couple of super creepy, intense moments. Don’t want to spoil anything here, but oh my gosh, stakes get raised on both sides of reality. And even then, I liked seeing how the ‘villains’ and challengers were developed; they were all trying to find some kind of peace, even if it came at another’s expense.

6. Signs
I took ASL in college, so I have major respect for signing as a language. It was really cool to see sign incorporated here as Amara’s method of communication, without it necessarily being a story about a signing experience.

7. Medical Alert
Nolan is dealing with seizures that take him into Amara’s world, and Corinne includes the reality of that kind of situation–the danger of having a seizure, the difficulty of trying to find medication to help, how expensive working with doctors and medications can be.

8. Chases and Escapes
Along with excellent character development and concepts of self, Otherbound includes some good old fashioned excitement. Amara and Cilla are on the run from people trying to kill them and, on yeah, there’s a deadly curse to worry about. Nolan has a hard enough time as it is in the real world without having to deal with stuff like the lines of worlds blurring.

9. Diversity
Otherbound features a wonderfully diverse cast of characters. Obviously Nolan’s dealing with seizures, but he also has a prosthetic leg and is Latino. Amara signs, and is also a WOC and loves a man and a woman (and both relationships feel genuine). None of these features become an “issue” (as in old-school after-school-special “issues”) and are instead just the way these characters exist in the world–which is how it should be.

10. Corinne Duyvis Is Probably a Superhero
If I were going to invent a superhero, it would probably be pretty much exactly like Corinne. She lives in Holland; she writes awesome books and makes awesome art; she’s extremely active in speaking out for diversity in children’s/YA literature (see Disability in Kidlit); and she currently has pink hair. I’m so glad to have gotten to know Corinne through the Fourteenery, and I’m psyched that now readers are getting to know her, too.

Otherbound is now available in all kinds of stores, so go pick it up!

Because I Didn’t Write About Baby Sea Turtles

My latest short story is up at The Hanging Garden! This cycle’s theme was water, so initially I thought, “Of course I have to do a story that involves baby sea turtles!”

Look at how cute he is! Go, baby sea turtle, go!

But then I heard a news report of a tragic accident that involved a group of teens who went swimming, and immediately I knew that was the kind of story I wanted to write. A lot of times, these kinds of accidents happen to young adults who are doing something vaguely dangerous. 9 times out of 10, no one gets hurt, but that 1 time is disastrous. Your life is safe until it’s very, very not.

Click through to check out the story, and, if you want even more gif-inspired fiction, check out the entire back catalog of Hanging Garden stories.

Links Galore

Lots of link-y goodness:

 

Upcoming Events: Buttonwood Books and the Boston Teen Author Festival!

A couple of new and excellent events to add to the calendar!

On Wednesday, August 13 at 7pm, I’ll be at Buttonwood Books in Cohasset, MA with fellow 2014 debut YA author (and all around delightful person) Skylar Dorset. We’ll be BrOEEmsCAAAGCN2talking about writing, being debut authors, how awesome YA is, and more.

And then on September 27, I’ll be part of the 2014 Boston Teen Author Festival at the Cambridge Public Library. Other authors on this year’s schedule include local favorites like A.C. Gaughen, Sashi Kaufman, Diana Renn, and Erin Dionne; and I might just fangirl myself into a frenzy over fellow Candlewick author M.T. Anderson.

Check out the Appearances and Interviews page for more info, and mark your calendars now!