manifesta: (Rory/Logan)
manifesta ([personal profile] manifesta) wrote2009-08-29 11:23 pm

don't want your hand this time, I'll save myself

Two days at home and I already can't breathe. Rah, allergies. I can't wait to go back to college.

I'm currently reading Namaah's Kiss by Jacqueline Carey. It's a signed copy I bought through The Signed Page many months ago. I actually met Carey back in June, when she did a reading in Seattle. She was witty and charming, and personalized my copy of Santa Olivia.

It dawned on me this morning that I tolerate (if not enjoy) some things about Carey's books that I wouldn't and don't in most others. Whereas it's a common suggestion to start writing the book at the last possible moment, right in the middle of the action, the beginnings of the novels in Carey's Kushiel series are drawn out. A lot happens, it's just... not right away. Something about her writing style is so beautiful and languid that I can't help but want to read further.

I've been devouring Namaah's Kiss in bits and pieces, in part because I want to make it last as long as possible, and in part because I've been busy with other things. My room is in boxes, but at least after today it's in organized boxes.

I've also been thinking about age. Five years ago, at 15, I wanted to be a published teenage novelist. It was a lofty goal, and one I eventually let go the closer I got to 19 (because no way was a book going to be picked up and published within a year before I turned 20). I turned 20 earlier this month. I didn't think about it much at the time, but then I ran into Teens Writing for Teens via theinkymuse. I wish a blog like that had existed five years ago! I never knew there were so many teen writers out there seriously pursuing publishing. At the time, I had only known a small handful of others.

Crazy.

Unfortunately, it seems like most of the writers I've run into that are around my current age write almost exclusively YA. This puts me in the weird position of wanting to talk with people my own age about writing and publishing, but also wanting to write adult fiction. BWW is not YA. It's not even in the general vicinity of YA. Many of the books I read are also, for the most part, decidely not YA. Perhaps I should put up a warning for this blog.

On the bright side, I've expanded my blog roll for the first time in a long while after finding some wonderful journals.

Black Widow's Walk
 
2,399 / 90,000

[identity profile] lazy-iris.livejournal.com 2009-08-30 02:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Haha, don't feel all alone writing an adult book! You can talk to anyone you like about publishing! :-) It's basically all I talk about (to the extreme annoyance of my friends) and I've always loved adult fantasy/scifi more than anything. I mean I talk to people who don't write in my genre, who write adult fiction, basically everyone :-) And the stuff I've written so far definitely belongs in YA, but I definitely have some ideas that wouldn't work in YA at all--too much would have to be cut, and the story would certainly suffer for that. I've actually been wondering about my current WIP, too. I've already edited it in my head, to make it more appropriate for the 14-18 year old set. I actually stopped reading YA when I was 16 or 17 for the most part. Lately I've checked a bunch of it out of the library, since I was really behind on the "up and coming" authors and titles.

Anyway, I think it's fantastic that you're writing something that ISN'T YA. The fact that you're so young (we're the same age!) will make you even more unique, because I think people almost expect that young authors will write YA, at least for a while. And I totally know what you mean when you say you wish teens writing for teens had existed five years ago.

And, can I say how ridiculously flattered I am that I'm linked in your sidebar??? Thank you!!

(Was that a long comment of what?)

[identity profile] lazy-iris.livejournal.com 2009-08-30 10:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, I am referring to my steampunk. I mean, I don't think it will have problems fitting in with YA, it's just something that I feel could also fit with adult without much alteration--and there would be a few things that I KNOW I can't put in a YA book that I would definitely do for it if it was an adult book. Haha, I'll post another teaser... soonish. Maybe when I finish the novel (hopefully that won't take too long; since I don't outline, I don't know EXACTLY when that will be :-P)

I LOVE Tamora Pierce!!! She's fantastic! I'm so glad I found her books when I was 12 years old. They were some of the books that "shaped" me as an adolescent. I have a lot of YA books from when I was younger, and I've also been buying more of them lately.

It would be awesome if you posted some writing! (If that's what you mean by placing things under a cut.)

[identity profile] lazy-iris.livejournal.com 2009-08-31 05:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Haha, I HOPE I finish writing in a month. That would be amazing.

I got into the steampunk genre before it was the "next big thing" when there weren't very many steampunk novels around--which stemmed my interest in writing a steampunk novel (which now is a source of stress, because I'm worried my novel will never see the light of bookshelves.) I have read several steampunk novels, actually. My favorite (actually, one of my favorite books of all time) is WICKED GENTLEMEN by Ginn Hale. Also, your friend should look up China Mieville--a lot of the stuff he writes (PERDIDO STREET STATION, THE SCAR) is steampunk. Or, for a romance/scifi kind of steampunk-esque book, JOVAH'S ANGEL by Sharon Shinn has some steampunk elements to it. I just bought two, CLOCKWORK HEART by Dru Pagliassotti and HAVEMERCY by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett, that I haven't read yet, but I'm really looking forward to both of them.

I wish you luck on your building momentum :-)

[identity profile] sjmaas.livejournal.com 2009-08-31 07:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Ok, so I just wrote the world's longest response to this post, and then my browser DIED, and I lost it. Talk about a FML moment. Anyway, let's see if I can recap my reply...

I think it's interesting how we can forgive some authors some things/faux pas for which we can't/won't forgive ourselves and other writers. I read KUSHIEL'S DART for the first time a few months ago, and my inner editor was SCREAMING at the uselessness of the first 250 pages. I enjoyed the book after that, but I was astonished that someone didn't insist that Carey cut the first quarter of the novel. I'm a HUGE Robin McKinley fan, and she's notorious for her PAGES info-dumping. When I read her stuff, however, I don't mind it at all. But when I read someone else's book and see a SENTENCE of info dump, I grumble and roll my eyes. :-P

As for the YA vs. adult writing thing...When I was querying agents for my novel, QUEEN OF GLASS, I was pitching the story as adult fantasy. But when my agent signed me, she suggested that QoG might actually be a better sell as YA fantasy. My target audience, I realized, had ALWAYS been YA readers (long story short: I used to write for an online writing community, and the rough draft of QoG got me several thousand fans, most of them teenage girls). My agent telling me that QoG was a YA book was a revelation--it completely altered my view of myself as a writer, and the place I sought in the writing world.

I've written three other fantasy series since QoG--two of them are definitely YA, and one of them straddles the line between YA and Adult. Regardless of where my writing "fits" I write stories that are compelling to me, and captivate my imagination--sometimes they turn out to fit with a YA crowd, sometimes they're more adult. It's always awesome to see where my stories take me.

It's funny, though: when I was a young adult/preteen/teen, I would ONLY read Adult Fantasy. I refused to read YA. But now that my agent is shopping me around as a YA author, I've pretty much started to read only YA. Mostly it's because I want to see the competition and know what's been done before, but also it's due to the fact that I've become friends with several YA authors, and it's a thrill to see their works on shelves.


Anyway, this was a really interesting post, and I'm so glad you left a comment on my LJ--I'm definitely going to be following your journey to publication!!! :-)

[identity profile] sjmaas.livejournal.com 2009-08-31 10:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks for the well-wishes! Being on subs is so harrowing...I jump every time the phone rings!

Yeah--I remember when there were so few decent YA titles that I just steered clear of it. Once I read Garth Nix's SABRIEL, none of the other YA books could compare, and I just drifted off into the regular fantasy section. I'm thrilled that YA is doing so well, and that so many diverse titles are selling! :-P

And it's always wonderful to meet other young writers who are attempting to get published--it makes me feel like I'm not alone. Plus, when other young writers DO sell novels and do well, it gives me hope!

[identity profile] sjmaas.livejournal.com 2009-08-31 10:49 pm (UTC)(link)
OMG! SABRIEL is AMAZING!!! You MUST read it!!! It's one of those books that was so good it made me want to write--and thus made me realize I was a writer! Pick up a copy ASAP!!!!! It'll blow your mind!! Just talking about it makes me want to reread it for the 2000th time!!

I bet the internet is definitely to thank for the exposure of young, published authors--we're all much more visible due to blogs and whatnot. But I also think there's a rising trend in YA publishers wanting to publish YA authors--writers who can really connect with young readers, you know?