Posts Tagged ‘Jay Asher’
Wednesday, December 28th, 2011
Officially, I have written eloquently TYPED LOUDLY from this little blogosphere space for exactly two years. I love it more today than when I first started. I love the books more. I love writing more (which is hard to imagine). And much of this is due to you, my Preciouses. Your comments, insight, and opinions have encouraged me to grow as a book reader, writer, and all-around weirder-than-your-grandmother’s-toupee-wearing-cat-type-person.
Basically, what I’m saying is that if I’d never started this blog, and you’d never visited this blog and encouraged me to keep frolicking around on it, I never would’ve made such lovely new friends, nor talked about books so frequently with old ones.
I also never would have:
Helped save billions (rough estimate) of marriages by posting a Rabid Fan Girl Status test and providing a list of Twilight Support Groups. That’s not to mention all the lonely guys I coached on how to get girls with my Twilight Dating Savvy advice.
Nor would I have been allowed to talk about how sexy a seventy-eight-year-old man (Lord Peter Wimsey) is without coming across as totally creepy. Okay, maybe it was creepy, but that doesn’t diminish the impressiveness of having managed to wheedle the indomitable Lord Peter Wimsey into a blog post and three separate interviews. Yeah. That’s right. *discreet fist pump*
I also never would have:
Recovered the suppressed, childhood memory of consistently being elected for the part of Han Solo’s wookie, Chewbacca, (rather than Princess Leia) by my “childhood friends” (ahem, MMA fighter Tim Kennedy) during our Star Wars games. Although, on a side note, I’d like to think Tim may never have stumbled upon his true calling of Cooking with Tim had we not bullied prompted him into it on this blog, right Preciouses?
I also never would’ve discovered that Joanna Volpe and I share a mutual affection for all things Steampunk, which, consequently, led to my pursuing—and her giving—a helpful piece of writing feedback. Thanks to her for that.
And, of course, I never would’ve met Jay Asher (along with the wonderful JM and Isaiah) and discovered what an incredible writer he is, and even more so, what a sincerely kind friend. Thank you, Jay.
Nor would I have met Jonathan Maberry (Wolverine, zombies, and King of Plagues), or connected with Mary Pearson (The Adoration of Jenna Fox), Catherine Ryan Hyde (need we say more?), and Laurie McLean (agent savant), or become blog friends with Anne R. Allen (her books just released!), or had the pleasure of interviewing super-silly authors such as Chuck Sambuchino (who can best me at pop culture references on any given Twitter day), Carolyn Mackler (who can best Jay Asher at spork fencing), and Lauren DeStefano (who makes me wish I possessed half of her wit as well as her preying mantis, Sarsaparilla).
Last but not least, I never would’ve had the opportunity to dote on you with this:
a $25 Amazon gift card
Which I will send to one of you in celebration of your wonderfulness.
So this is how the gift card giveaway is going to work, okay, Preciouses?
(1) You must be a follower of this blog either through email or RSS (the cute icons at the top of the page—one orange, the other a white envelope), or Google Friend Connect or Facebook (those two icons on the right of this post that show all the pictures of happy faces and people’s cats). So if you’re not a follower yet, it’s about dang time you became one.
(2) Link to THIS PAGE one time via Twitter OR Facebook OR Google+ OR from your own blog, and then come back and leave a comment (on this page) saying which one you did. (For your convenience, you can use the stylish icons below or–if the FB one is being finicky–go ahead and copy this page’s URL and paste it to FB manually.) Your link and comment must be posted by 11:59 pm (PST) on Monday, January 2, 2012.
(3) I will take all the names from the comments (no matter how many times you comment or link, you only get counted once) and place them in a hat; then I’ll use my magical six-year-old child to randomly pull one as the winner.
(4) The winner will be announced next Wednesday, January 4th, 2012. After which, I’ll contact that individual and mail them their gift card.
(5) There you have it. Thank you for following me and my blog, and for loving books as much as I do, Preciouses. ;0) May the odds be ever in your favor.
Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
While I rarely do roundups, bookish or otherwise, this week was all sorts of intriguing! So, I thought I should share and you could enjoy. (Just click the links as you please.) Because, seriously, how can we bypass the news that Jane Austen might’ve died from arsenic poisoning? I’m totally convinced.
And doesn’t it only seem appropriate that, in light of BREAKING DAWN hitting theaters this week, we read Sarah Blackwood’s fantastic post in defense of Bella Swan’s character? Yes, it does. (note: post includes some swear wordage)
Also coming out, in books not theaters (yet), is my friend Jay Asher and his coauthor Carolyn Mackler’s book, THE FUTURE OF US. It releases next week. You can read their silly interview here and my book review here.
And for those of us who obsess over the HUNGER GAMES more than coffee itself, the Examiner offers us a Hunger Games Holiday Suggestion list of dystopian books that fans might enjoy. Um, yes please!
Which leads us to the HUNGER GAMES MOVIE TRAILER!!! Good gracious it’s incredible! To the point that it exceeded all my expectations. Thank you Hunger Games movie people.
And finally…I had a birthday this week along with my son. Which we combined into a vacation last week. One of the perks of homeschooling is that you get to take time away in the off-season when hotels are cheap and theme parks are empty (plus, we had free tickets!). Here are a few of my favorite moments:
Yep, that’s me.
And that’s a giant Orca.
And that’s Mission Bay.
And that’s some strikingly handsome guy I have a rabid crush on.
And this is PubCakes.
And they make beer batter cupcakes.
And here is my favorite birthday gift from Wolverine.
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Hello, bookish explorers! Last year (as you’ll recall), I stealthily returned from the Central Coast Writers’ Conference to give you my Nine (only slightly creepy) Reasons to Attend one of these babies. Today, I take you back there, this time behind the scenes, where we will brave the wilds of the conference together. I will be your guide, taking you up close and personal for a few brief encounters with some of the more intriguing things writers do in their natural habitat.
Our first stop on the tour is the Pride. A Pride is a group of writers (also referred to as a herd), related or not, who stick together for the common goals of stalking famous authors (without appearing overtly creepy—the creepy ones use the herd to blend in), saving seats behind said authors, and making Starbucks runs in between classes. In this photo, we have a Pride of yours truly alongside mother (Susan) and sister (Kati) at breakfast.
The next place we come to is the Author Brawl. This is where authors challenge each other to strange feats of mental prowess such as word games, prose twisters, and blog visibility while the rest of us surround them chanting the biggest words we know. In this pic, we’ve got the plucky challenger, New York Times bestselling author, Jay Asher, arm wrestling Anne R. Allen. Unfortunately for Jay, Anne is winning (though just barely) by the sheer force of mind over matter and her invention of the word “Snookibooks.”
Third stop on our tour is the Watering Hole where writers converge every chance they get to eat, refresh, and seek out savage sage advice from other more experienced authors and super cool agents. Here, you can see Susan, Kristen, myself, agent savant Laurie McLean, Kati, and Jay eating all of Ms. McLean’s french fries whilst discussing the finer points of Doc Marten shoes. Don’t be misled by the tame-looking smiles. This table was a riot of awesomeness.
Last, but not least, we come to the Moment of Humility. When, just as you’re leaving this wild and slightly-terrifying land, a bird craps on your boot and Jay is there to photograph it. Well, first he and Kati laughed. Like any good friends would.
What’s the mood noise of the moment? Guns N’ Roses: Welcome to the Jungle
Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
Well, rabid fan peeps, did you see Harry Potter??? Annnnd? Did you love it?
Peter and I did our rabid fan thing opening night (which mainly looks like me being the rabid fan and Pete being my arm-candy) with the most awesome groupies ever! Some of them had been there since the wee hours of the morning and STILL had energy! Like these ladies. Check out the pillow.
I caught this group walking by us in full character, looking way too fabulous. Love the lady in the back!
And lucky us—right after we got in line, THIS cool fan dropped by to hang out with us for the long wait. Hey, Jay Asher! (Sadly, I’m not in costume…blame the long work day. I do have my cool purple hair streaks though. They’re very “Tonks” looking, don’t ya think?)
For much of the evening we held the honored place of Very Last in Line. Until THIS guy came and stole it. We dubbed him “random end of the line guy.” He embraced the title, so, of course, we had to get a pic with him.
Once inside, the theater hosted a costume contest. These two almost won. Aren’t they adorable? I dig her hair.
And apparently Batman is a huge Potter fan. Who knew?
Finally, the show began. My sister, her hubs, and Pete and I sat in the front row with our cool Harry Potter 3D glasses.
My sister cried. I ate gobs of buttered popcorn.
Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
Today, I have the huge honor of sharing with you a recent interview I did with my hilarious friend, Jay Asher (whom I introduced to you here during a discussion over whether he named his 13RW character after Hannah Montana), and the equally awesome Carolyn Mackler (whose twitter-feed I daily stalk), co-authors of “The Future of Us” (which I reviewed in last week’s post). As writers, they’re smart and straightforward. As co-writers, they border on being witty geniuses (clearly exemplified in the below conversation). This is their first ever blog interview together (hence that little word “exclusive” slipped into the title), so feel spoiled, smile and wave, and try not to pee your pants at their silliness.
As per usual, my questions and comments are in white. Their responses are in green. Enjoy!
(1) Okay, let’s knock off this first question right at the start. *Ahem.* I can’t help but notice how neither of you are ever seen in public at the same time, in the same place. Which leads one to wonder: Are you, Jay and Carolyn, in fact, the same person, just sporting some wicked-awesome disguises?
JAY: The truth isn’t nearly that interesting. I live in California and Carolyn lives in New York, so being seen together doesn’t happen much. In fact, it’s the times when we are seen together that we sport wicked-awesome disguises. For a writing conference, we (along with author Rachel Vail) dressed as Cupids.
CAROLYN: The costumes looked cute online before we bought them. But wearing them, we looked très slutty. I hid behind my shades.
Wait—are you talking about THESE costumes?!!!
Oh, they are definitely wicked-awesome! (Thanks for the photo, Jay.) In fact…I’m not sure there are enough words. Just…wow. ;o)
(2) All right. Let’s see. Um…in a previous interview with Jay, I asked him to name his favorite band, and he responded, “Harmony Alley Carjackers.” When I Googled the band, the first hit was a link to the Backstreet Boys. Do either of you want to comment on that or shall we just leave the world believing Jay is a closet BSB fan?
JAY: Did you know Backstreet Boys are going on tour with New Kids on the Block. It’s true! (Don’t read anything into that exclamation point.)
CAROLYN: I had you pegged for an *N SYNC kind of guy.
JAY: Okay, now you’re just being silly.
CAROLYN: Harmony Alley Carjackers is a name we came up with when we began writing THE FUTURE OF US. It’s an anagram of both of our names combined.
JAY: Early on, when no one knew we were writing a book together, we referred to this book as the Harmony Alley Carjackers project.
CAROLYN: That “band” even makes an appearance in a Facebook status update in our book.
JAY: And they rock!
I totally caught that status update in the book! It made me smile. ;o)
(3) Speaking of your book, what was the absolute best part of writing “The Future of Us” together?
JAY: I often had to write late at night so I could finish my section and send it to Carolyn before she woke up, so I wrote a lot of it at a 24-hour donut shop. That was probably the yummiest part of writing the book.
CAROLYN: Jay and I didn’t know each other when we began writing this book, so I was going to say that getting to know him was the best part of working together…but then he said it was donuts?
JAY: The donuts had cereal toppings! They even had a Lucky Charms donut. With the rainbow-colored marshmallows!
(4) Er, moving right along… Jay, how do you think Carolyn would finish this sentence: “The two Harry Potter characters I’d most likely share my stash of dark chocolate with are…”?
JAY: Hermione and Ron. Carolyn’s a sweet person, so she probably feels bad for those two characters. The two of them went through just as much crazy stuff as their friend, yet the entire series is called Harry Potter. It’s not fair! Sure, HARRY POTTER, HERMIONE GRAINGER, RON WEASLEY AND THE SORCERER’S STONE isn’t as catchy, but at least it’s fair.
CAROLYN: That’s sweet of you, Jay. I hope I get to finish a sentence about you next.
(5) Oh, most definitely, Carolyn. Tell us, how do you think Jay would finish this sentence: “As He-Man, Master of the Universe, by the power of Greyskull, I would…”?
CAROLYN: Get a new haircut.
JAY: Did you just make fun of my hair?
CAROLYN: No, I was making fun of He-Man’s hair. It was a bowl-cut, wasn’t it?
JAY: Are you sure you weren’t making fun of my hair?
CAROLYN: No! He-Man had a very silly bowl-cut. He wasn’t balding.
(6) Heheheh… So, you’re both pretty awesome AND famous, which, in my mind, begs the question: Between the two of you, who acts more rabid fan-girlish around the other?
JAY: Seriously, just knowing that Carolyn and I are both being asked the same question makes my armpits sweat. So it’s definitely me!
CAROLYN: Gross. Anyway, I’m the one who asked to write a book with you. So it’s me!
JAY: The only reason I didn’t ask first is because it would’ve seemed crazy to think you’d even consider writing a book with me. That’s because I’m the rabid fan and you’re the rock star.
JAY: So I win? No, you should argue with me some more.
(7) Good idea! In fact, let’s do some sort of author cage match fight! But first you have to answer this: Jay, if Carolyn were a superhero, which superpower would she have?
- Skin that sparkles in the sunlight and the ability to read (most) people’s minds
- Teletubbymorphosis (the ability to morph between human and Teletubby at will)
- Telekinesis combined with the ability to jump into the splits at random intervals while throwing hands in the air and yelling “SUPERSTAR!”
JAY: Teletubbymorphosis. She has two young boys now, but that power will be so useful when they become teenagers. If they ever start getting rowdy, she can say, “If you two don’t calm down right now, I’m going to turn into a Teletubby in front of all your friends!”
*snickers and begs all that is good and fabulous to see such a thing in action*
(8) And, Carolyn, if Jay were a WWE wrestler, what name would he go by?
- Jay “Klingon Master” Asher
- The Wraith Writer
- The Artist Formerly Known as Mighty Mouse
CAROLYN: Number 4. Jay likes to have inside jokes and not divulge to anyone else what makes them funny, so he’d probably love being introduced as Other, and then he wouldn’t tell them about this interview. He’d make them figure it out for themselves. And when they introduced Other, they’d be blasting Pour Some Sugar On Me.
*snickers even louder and swears we shall only refer to him as Other from now on*
Cage Match (cue Def Leppard):
In each of the following combat scenarios, which of you would emerge the victor?
1. Spork Fencing
JAY: Carolyn would win. I’d probably start by using the spoon end to lightly thwap her over and over, just trying to annoy her. Eventually, I’d wear down her tolerance and she’d give me one sharp poke with those little prongs and I would whimper away.
2. Old Lady Hurling
CAROLYN: Jay would win, but I can’t tell you why.
JAY: It’s an inside joke.
3. Polka Sing-off in the Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine
JAY: I don’t think we would compete in this. We’d sing a duet!
4. Interpretive Dancing
CAROLYN: Again, we wouldn’t compete. One of us would start interpretive dancing, then the other one would interpret what the other one interpreted and interpret it some more. It’s just like writing a collaborative novel.
On that collaborative novel note, what is the exact date “The Future of Us” hits the shelves?
JAY & CAROLYN: November 21st!!! And you can totally read into those exclamation points.
We’ll be looking forward to it!
Thanks to you both for the interview and laughs. You guys rock!
What’s the mood noise of the moment? Kool & The Gang: Celebration
Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
What happens when uber-authors Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler decide to co-write a project together? They come up with “The Future of Us,” a creative concept novel set way back in the year I turned nineteen….
It’s 1996, and things like pagers, Wayne’s World, and boy bands are still riding their trend while cell phones, computers, and DVDs are the enviable luxuries of the cool kids in high school. When Emma gets a computer from her long-distance dad, she and her best friend Josh excitedly dial up the internet (remember that awesome squealing/whirring sound it used to make?) and log on using an AOL CD-ROM. There, they stumble upon something called Facebook, which hasn’t even been invented yet. Better yet, they find themselves ON Facebook—or rather they find their someday-selves on Facebook, status updates and all—fifteen years in the future.
Based upon his future profile, Josh is thrilled to discover his someday-self is married to one of the hottest girls in school, just as Emma is as equally disappointed to find her future full of heartache and seemingly unfulfilled dreams. In an attempt to alter her disappointing life course, Emma begins to implement small changes, hoping to induce the butterfly effect. But in doing so, she sees her future self gain and loose children, cycle through relationships with men, and move from one location to another as each new change she implements in the present brings about a dramatic result in her future. As if the pressures of teen life aren’t enough, she now has her adult life to stress out about as well. And the more she worries about her future, the more obsessed she becomes with controlling it. Except the changes don’t just affect HER future—they influence Josh’s as well (and vice versa). Which makes things strenuous with Josh since he is already taking measures of his own to initiate his happily-ever-after future with Miss Hottie.
And it’s not just Emma and Josh’s futures. What about Emma’s discovery that her best girlfriend has a kid in the future and the time-frame tracks back to becoming pregnant in the very soon present? And how can Josh and Emma justify purposefully altering their own futures when the effects will encompass others as well? And what if their fixation on the future prevents them from recognizing what they have now? To paraphrase Jay Asher, “Everything truly does affect everything.”
What I liked:
(1) “The Future of Us” is written from two different perspectives with two distinct voices (Mackler as Emma, Asher as Josh), and they alternate back and forth by the chapter. Having two separate authors write the characters infuses each one with unique personality and style, making them believable and easy to follow. Well done.
(2) The Sun-In reference. Oh man, I soooo remember using that stuff!
(3) While not quite along the same lines as Asher and Mackler’s other books, “The Future of Us” still takes a look at issues all too familiar to teens no matter what the decade. The pressures of family and friend relationships, the pressure to “make out” and have sex (when and with whom), the pressure to fit in or rise above, the pressure to obtain the “good life,” and the pressures concerning what the future holds.
(4) The reminder to value your present situations and the people you share them with. Basically, the reminder to live in the NOW.
(5) The way the authors portrayed the parents—realistic, involved (in their own ways), and (I felt) honored.
(6) The ending. I liked the choices they made and the sense of reclaimed innocence. Sweet.
What I’d mention as a parent:
Something I know Jay and Carolyn are continually commended on is their accuracy and what I’d call “rawness” in writing from teenage perspectives. In “The Future of Us,” one of the ways this “rawness” comes out is in the teens’ language, actions, and thoughts about the topics of making out, body parts, and sex. In my opinion, a teen’s individual stage of development will determine at what age a parent might prefer them to read it. While my preteen might not be digging into the book for a few more years, when she does, it’ll make for some good conversation opportunities between us. ;o)
And don’t miss my upcoming interview with the two of them! It’s hilarious. In fact, you may want to wear a pair of Depends or something ‘cuz…well, yeah.
What’s the mood noise of the moment? Dave Matthews: Satellite
Monday, June 20th, 2011
There was definitely “something strange in the neighborhood” this weekend (cue Ghostbusters theme song). Something ghostly. Something haunting. Something that looked strikingly similar to the Weber family and Jay Asher family.
Oh wait. It WAS our families. Playing Ghostbusters.
As a kid, I used to spend long, lazy afternoons playing in this old, replicated ghost town. So when Jay had the fun idea that we all get together for an equally long and lazy afternoon to do some ghostbusting at the spooky place, I promptly said, ”I know who we’re gonna call (to obtain permission, since it’s privately owned).”
Jay, JoanMarie, and adorable little Isaiah brought lunch. It was amazing.
Not only are the Ashers cool parents, they’re also really funny. Here, JM is making a silly face for Isaiah while Korbin is making a curious face at Jay. And note the crazy deer heads.
We quickly discovered that, even without ghostbusting gear, Isaiah “ain’t afraid of no ghosts.” His real investigative interests mainly revolved around the crunchy oak leaves and trying to walk.
My girls’ main investigative interests revolved around everything, everywhere, all at once, without pause. Which is why they were too busy to join in for a quick family photo. But check out that good-looking guy I’m married to.
One of the awesome moments of the day was when Jay and JM happened to notice that (unbeknownst to me) the fabulously ragged yard-sale-find t-shirt I was wearing was in fact a Twilight / New Moon t-shirt. Um…ahem.
To top off the day, we offered to make them lattes. They offered to let us borrow this:
Obviously, we got the better deal.
What’s the mood noise of the moment? GHOSTBUSTERS!
Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
I happened across this cool post on NPR’s Monkey See blog and thought I should definitely pass it along. It’s “Your 2011 Books-Into-Films Lineup, From ‘Eyre’ To ‘Water’ To ‘Desert’!” Click on over and see what books are becoming movies this year. Totally fun stuff, right?!
Speaking of which, this seems an appropriate time to congratulate the very fun Mr. Jay Asher for his movie deal with Universal for 13 Reasons Why. If you want to know more about it, clickety-click away to his Jay Asher blogspot. And if you missed out on the silly interview I did with his hilarious self, get that here.
And what, oh what, is our mood music for the day??? Well, how about I send you to haunt the oh-my-gosh-she’s-so-rad Ms. Suzie Townsend to view the breathtaking “what if this was a movie scene” for The Hunger Games. Cuz, yeah…I’m nice to you like that. Well, mainly, cuz Ms. Townsend was nice to us like that and posted it on her “Confessions” blog. Click there to view it.
Now tell me, my lovely reading friendlies…from all of your reading adventures, which book would YOU most like to see on the big screen?
Thursday, October 28th, 2010
What if you could have saved someone’s life and you didn’t?
What if your name was included on a list of 13 reasons why someone committed suicide?
And what if 12 other individuals had access to that list because 11 of them are also on it?
High school student, Clay Jensen arrives home one afternoon to find a package on his front porch addressed to him. With no return label. Inside are seven audio cassettes marked in nail polish with numbers and letters, but who are they from? And who listens to cassette tapes nowadays anyway? Clay dashes off to the garage and digs out the old tape player, inserts Cassette 1, Side A, and is shocked to hear the voice of his long-time crush, and now dead friend, Hannah Baker. The Hannah he recently kissed at a party. The Hannah who committed suicide two weeks ago.
The rules of the tapes are simple, “Rule number one: You listen. Number Two: You pass it on. Hopefully, neither will be easy for you.” And let me just say it now: It won’t.
Thus begins a night long journey for Clay through Hannah’s carefully mapped out reasons for deeming suicide her only option. One by one, he walks the downtown haunts where each of the 13 stories unfold, her voice coming through a walkman headset as she guides him toward the defining moments leading up to the end of her life–just as the 12 other individuals whom these tapes will pass to (or have already passed through) will do. Clay’s detachment at the initial seemingly unrelated events is gradually followed by frustration. Then horror. Then tears. Interspersed with Hannah’s own tears on tape.
As the night wears on, Clay’s experience is akin to watching an assortment of toy dominoes being set up, so awkwardly jig-jagged, yet so perfectly balanced, as he awaits that final trigger which will send them colliding. Until the morning shadows grow along with the awful realization that had just one domino (or event) been removed or responded to differently, this might have been enough to alter the course of Hannah’s future.
In the words of the author, Jay Asher, “Everything affects everything.”
What I liked:
- The premise. How often do I think something’s an original idea? Not very. This is.
- It’s literary, which, as you know, is something I particularly appreciate in a YA novel.
- The difference between Hannah and Clay’s voices. A pet peeve of mine is when a novel alternates first person narrators and they sound EXACTLY the same (especially when they’re opposite sexes). It leaves one feeling either confused, or bored, or both. Fortunately for us, Mr. Asher nails the tone, attitudes, and style of speech for each individual in a way that other authors should take notes on.
- Along those lines, I appreciated that Clay and Hannah’s voices were interspersed with each other, giving the effect of conversation rather than one-sided chunks of information.
- Which leads me to the dialogue. There are multiple reasons 13 Reasons Why sat for 65 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and this right here is one of them. Dialogue is tricky to write—let alone one-sided dialogue (or monologue, technically) which sounds conversational. Mr. Asher achieves this on 2 different levels: first through Hannah’s tapes; then through Clay’s internal thoughts.
- The message. I respect an author who can make a life-impacting point in a novel without “preaching” at the reader. Not only does Asher accomplish this, he does it well, issuing a convicting challenge along with a measure of hope—the latter of which I found surprising considering the topic.
- The fact that Mr. Asher tells reality like it is. Okay, I’ll be honest; this book will be a little too much for some. It’s intense and, at a few points, rather graphic in its endeavor to offer a fairly accurate portrayal of high school life. It’s not that all teens will experience these 13 issues, but I guarantee they’ve dealt with some of them, and probably heard stories about the rest. Is it uncomfortable at times? Yes. Did I cry? Yes. But it gives realistic context to the heavier subjects the youth of today deal with. Bullying. Peer pressure. Rape. Suicide.
- The online notes I’ve read from individuals who claim this book acted as a lifeline in their deepest seasons of depression when they felt alone and that no one could relate. Well done, Jay. Well done.
What annoyed me: Actually…nothing.
What’s the mood noise of the moment? The Fray: How to Save a Life
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
Okay, admittedly this post is a tad off my beaten blog path, but I figured I’d do it anyhow since behind every great book is a great writer, and behind every great writer is a universe of hours spent learning the craft. And, really, what better way to get your feet wet with the whole book craft thing than by attending a writers’ conference? Which I did last weekend. And sitting there in my uberly ecstatic “I’m loving every minute of this” emotional state at our local Central Coast Writers’ Conference amongst hundreds of book readers, writers, agents (ahem, Nathan Bransford), and even a few publishers, I began to list off the many, perhaps lesser thought of, reasons an individual—be it a writer OR reader—might want to attend one of these babies.
So here goes. **stretches arms and cracks knuckles over computer keyboard**
Attending a writers’ conference rocks because:
(1) It’s bolstering. And I mean that in a kind of “I’m in Introvert Heaven” sort of way, if you get what I’m sayin’. Mingling around hundreds of other shy, quirky individuals who like books just as much as you, and like to talk books just as much as you, and like to stalk authors just as much as you, but who really don’t want to make eye contact or shake hands just like you, can be bolstering to one’s introverted self. It reminds you that you’re not alone even in your private “I just want to be alone-ness.”
(2) At least 90% of its participants are women. I don’t know if there’s a code that only females should be writers or what, but who cares because either way you win at a writers’ conference. I mean, if you’re a woman, you’ll fit in. And if you’re a guy, well, this could potentially rival Bingo night for your dating life.
(3) It’s like Comic Con without the costumes.
(4) It’s where you can stalk your favorite people without being labeled creepy. Seriously, at how many other events do you get to sit directly behind a host of your favorite authors and take discreet, awkward side photos of them with your cell phone while you pretend you don’t know who they are? All without having the stalker police called on you. Okay…so maybe they will be called on you, but at least your Twitter hit count will be through the roof while you’re sitting in jail with the wad of used Kleenex you managed to swipe off Jay Asher. (Um…just joking about that, Jay. Ahem. And I meant it when I said your hair looked really good.)
(5) People are genuinely nice to you. Maybe it’s because you’re all in the same boat of waking up before your kids and the sun and the normal rest of the world in order to write, write, write (or read, read, read) your brains out for a few precious hours. This also explains the heavy amounts of coffee provided in each alcove.
(6) It’s humbling in a weird kind of “I might be in Introvert Hell” way, if you get me. I mean, let’s face it, where else can you be voted in as the person to hit the podium and pitch a query letter (which your group of people whom you’ve never met came up with on the spot) in front of a highly favored agent (ahem again, Nathan Bransford) and 100 other people? Also, be sure to have the first 3 pages of your manuscript read aloud and critiqued in front of an acquisitions editing class as you repeat after me: “I am brave. I am brave. I am brave…” Yeah. Whoever said learning was less embarrassing than walking around like you’ve got toilet paper stuck on your shoe? But when it’s over? It’s not nearly as bad as we feared. Or perhaps even better than you hoped (here’s to you, Charlotte Cook. )
(7) The food. Seriously tasty.
(8) You can read in the bathroom and no one bats a lash. They just think you’re an agent who got passed a manuscript beneath the stall.
(9) The reading room bookstore. Enough said.
Oky-doky artichokies…what’s the last conference (of any kind) YOU attended? Got any tips to add for the rest of us nerds???
What’s the mood noise of the moment? Weezer
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