Talkin’ It Up

We are so overdue for a rap, friends. Get in here.

That might look more sinister than intended if it were anyone but beloved Morpheus. (Let’s take a minute and talk about what Laurence Fishburne means to me, shall we? The answer is everything.)

So, as we recall, I’m one of the Sweet 16s – an awesome part of which is getting to read ARCs (advance reader copies) of awesome debuts!! Three that I’ve adored, thus far?

Desktop2The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry (**)

Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia

**ETA: While I enjoyed my initial read of TLTSTW and do not deny that, I do think it’s necessary to point to the very problematic content that was brought to our attention after this post was written. Rather than remove its mention here, I’d like to make note of what I learned. While I wasn’t versed enough to be certain of it, scholars on Native Culture as well as Native activists and authors noted the mishandling of troubling subjects such as the adoption of Native children into white families, the lack of tribal recognition or identity while using stories from various, varied Native cultures as though they are monolithic. If you’d like to know more about the criticisms this title received, I recommend Debbie Reese’s storify on the subject. It is my opinion that if we publicly note enjoyment of something we find out is problematic, we should warn our audience of the problematic content. (And now I return you to the original blog post!)

The awesome thing (I like that word) is that these books could not be more different. Abyss appealed to my love of effortless worldbuilding in science fiction, and the originality of these massive beasts trained from birth to defend their ships? Yes, thank you. TLTSTW was basically written specifically for me, I can only assume, based on the magic realism, the wry humor, and the hypnagogic hallucinations (long story, short version of which is, hooray, I used to experience these a lot more often!). And Rahul’s Enter Title Here was legiterally the most refreshing thing I’ve read so far this year. Loved the concept and the construct, and as a norcal girl who went the accelerated program route, this amazing and also sometimes detestable MC felt so real to me – despite that I cannot think of a single person in my program who seemed like her in the least, lol. And it’s set in Norcal, I mean, come on. I am getting to be that person. Allegiances and all that.

In my own debut news, September approaches, and I am SO looking forward to my own cover reveal, designing/ordering/sending out LLoA swag, and getting to attend writerly events! For me, most things remain pretty quiet. Such is the life of a fall debut when it’s only March, I think. 🙂 But my body is ready.

In the meantime, I am both writing the follow-up to LLoA – which, have we talked about why I don’t think the word “sequel” is necessarily accurate?! no? someday – and also, prepping to write other things!

Thing the 1st: an adult scifi novel based on one of my short stories. While I at one time assumed any related novel would be extrapolating on the story from said ss, I now think I need to sort of explode those parameters. Like, blow them up. It pins in the story, when the whole reason for developing it into a novel is because of how much potential I think there is in the concept.

But this took a backseat to Thing the 2nd: a YA urban fantasy about these present times of ours. This has eaten my brain. I’m co-writing it with my sister, which would be the first co-writing situation of my life, if one could possibly forget that we’ve done this before. Literal decades ago. When we, sisters who decided we are more accurately described as twins despite being two years apart, wrote the story of Megs and Pegs. Two twin sisters entering kindergarten. (I’m peeling my skin off as I tell you.) ::abruptly stops::

THINK FAST! Ever wondered if my contrarianism is a new development? Pretty sure it isn’t but want that certainty confirmed? Well, the lovely Ami Allen-Vath is debuting this month with a lovely novel called, LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US, and in prep, she invited me to take part in a blog post about prom! For which I even donated a picture from my Senior Ball. Wanna see? Click away!

Finally, did you miss my Valentine’s Day interview as part of my #WO2016 crew’s blog hop? Check it out!

Aaaand I think that’s everything.

My 1st Twitter Chat: #WO2016 Edition

Oh. Things.

Life post-book deal (PBD) has definitely been exciting and interesting, friends. I often wondered how I was going to fill my time after I signed with an agent, when I didn’t need to keep up with agent research and requests and forums on which one commiserates with other writers in the query trench. Alongside subbing my short stories and revising and writing new projects, it made up quite a large part of my job. So what could possibly fill that?

Everything. Everything else. Since announcing LLoA’s sale, I’ve joined a couple of communities – which.are.awesome – and recently took part in my first PBD twitter chat. (Despite having that morning suffered a major screen tragedy.)

#WO2016 had our first Twitter party and it was so much fun! And also, for those of you on FB who only saw one side of the conversation, possibly really annoying! My apologies! So today, I wanted to put it in context for you so you can see what the heck I was talking about. And fingers crossed, you’ll come to the next one.

So! First things first, bien sur – Q1: We introduced ourselves and our books.

Intro. - Mozilla Firefox 822015 62434 PM.bmp

LLoA.bmp

This was so awesome because despite being on forums and groups with these authors, I felt like I got *such* a clearer impression not just of their stories but of their worlds. Love.

This was also interesting because on this journey, I’ve done a number of elevator pitches, loglines, twitter contests, pitch workshops, etc – and still I just wing it. (Winged? Wung?) And when you’re talking to other authors, bloggers, readers, etc, the constant wonder: am I telling the most interesting aspects or have I forgotten? Of course, there’s not a lot of time to ponder this since the timeline is racing by!

The second question (Q2) was: What book have you stayed up way past your bedtime reading?

I may have gotten very excited at my tweep’s response to this answer. A little.

What is better than sharing our love of a book? Sharing our love of a character.

Q3: If you could spend a day with any character from a book, who would it be and why? 

A3Yes, I failed to answer the second half that question but. I feel like it’s self-evident. Come on. I may have zoned out, just ruminating on Ender and Valentine for a moment or seven.

The time slot was racing by – amidst a lot of other side-convos and fun exchanges – but we did squeeze in one more question.

Q4: Why do you write?

A4.co8ho6gdb22w - Mozilla Firefox 822015 45420 PM.bmpA4.2.bmpFirst of all, how much do we love typos that get retweeted and favorited? Not at all. Of course I meant “a” not “an” but LET’S NOT OBSESS OVER THAT. Or “have written” but that’s more Twitter’s fault blah blah blah LET’S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, BWAM = Black woman, Asian male. There are criminally few romantic Asian male leads in entertainment, period, and no, it’s not cool. So. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

Relatedly, though, an interesting little factoid came up during the chat when authors were talking about characters taking on a life of their own and forcing changes to the plot:

Minor Characters.bmpAnd finally, a snippet of the conversation that was very, very important to me. Part of discussing why we write, I think, and though it wasn’t related to LLoA, it is near and dear to me.

Therapy. =This refers to my novel, THIS IS NOT HEAVEN, which is written in a nontraditional format and for which I am looking for the perfect home. It’s sci-fi, academic, short and intense and the most cathartic thing I’ve written to date. Because this past few years have been difficult in a way that otherwise defies translation. And if you want to know what social commentary and race and trauma have to do with aliens and immortality… well, I hope to one day soon be able to tell you.

And of course, “the” should be “this” – as it is on-going – but again LET’S NOT OBSESS OVER THAT, BETHANY.

And that, my friends, is a glimpse at the first #WO2016 twitter chat! So much fun! I’ll be hosting one toward the end of the year but you can find me taking part in them about twice a month. Hope to see you at the next one!