No blog this week. Too busy being happy. The Kickstarter for Ravensblood funded. I am awed and humbled by the support, and look forward to setting that novel loose in the world this Samhain/Halloween.
Bigger news yet: The Stolen Luck won a silver medal in the Global Ebooks Awards in the category of other world fantasy! So very proud and excited.
Samhain-kitty here. Writer-person is off muttering something about Kickstarter. Not sure what that’s all about. . .I’m hoping she isn’t thinking about spending my kitty-crunchie money on a motorcycle!
Anyway, in lieu of a blog, I thought I’d post a link to an excellent review of The Stolen Luck. The reviewer called it “. . .one of the most thoughtful, well-characterized novels I’ve read in a long time.” Writer-person really liked this review because she felt the reviewer really ‘got’ the book. Not to mention that she glossed over the book’s major flaw, that is to say, the miniscule amount of wordage devoted to cats. Anyway, check out the full review here: http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/blog/the-stolen-luck-by-shawna-reppert
So, last time I covered several types of writer’s block. I saved the best (or at least the most complicated form, the Things Left Unsaid version. Many, if not most of us, were raised with all sorts of scripts. Don’t rock the boat. We don’t talk about such things. Nice girls (or boys) don’t say that. It is, I think, why I would rather do anything, including housework, than write a blog post. Not only is fiction more fun, but I get to hide behind my characters.
But even fiction takes courage. I had a really hard time completing The Stolen Luck once I realized that it had arguably wandered into the realm of male/male fantasy romance. I worried about all the questions I’d get about what a straight woman was doing writing about gay (well, bisexual, actually) males. (My answer has since become ‘why not’? I’m a person. I write about people.)
I especially worried about the slavery issue. Not that I had any qualms about my approach, since the idea was not to condone the institution but rather to explore what imbalance of power does to the soul of all parties involved I was afraid editors and readers would find the topic so unsettling that they wouldn’t see past the word ‘slave’ to look at how I was exploring the theme. It’s absolutely not your typical master-slave trope story, but rather the antidote. Unfortunately, when you try to turn a trope inside out, it’s hard to pitch it without everyone seeing the original trope.
I actually abandoned the novel several times because I was so uncomfortable with the idea of taking it through the pitch process once it was complete, but the novel kept riding me and demanding to be written.
But I finished it. And I found a publisher for it. And then my editor found the scene that I was still afraid to write, and made me (gently encouraged me) to write it. I did. It made the book better, and the world didn’t end.
I’m proud of the book. I’m glad I pushed outside my comfort zone to finish it. No one stopped speaking to me because of the book, and I managed to create a work that a Catholic Republican friend (yes, I do have one or two of those) enjoyed and found ‘very tasteful’ *and* an avid reader of male/male fantasy called ‘squee worthy.’ How many writers can boast that?
So, my point is, if you find yourself sweeping the walk and washing the curtains rather than sitting down to the keyboard, ask yourself: ‘What am I afraid to say?’ ‘Why am I afraid?’ And then say it and see what happens. You might be glad you did.
Samhain kitty says to remind you that you are following the last bit of advice, like all the advice in this blog, at your own risk. Please don’t sue the writer-person. She doesn’t have much money, and she needs it to buy kitty-crunchies.
Samhain the cat here. I absolutely did not eat her blog post, and she knows it. I only ever eat kitty crunchies, even that time she put slivers of her Thanksgiving turkey in my bowl so I had to pick them out with my teeth and drop them on the floor to get to my crunchies.
Other than the horrid slander (which I’m quite used to by now), I’m pretty pleased with my human this week. The Stolen Luck was listed by one of the reviewers over at Joyfully Jay as one of the Best Books of May.
Not bad, though I still say the book needed more cats.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Plus, there’s a lot of exciting stuff going on around planning for an indie launch of my urban fantasy, Ravensblood, and so that’s taking a bit of time. Meanwhile, I have an interview over here:
Maggie is a great interviewer so I had plenty of opportunity to go into depth about my thoughts on writing The Stolen Luck as well as a sneak peek into future projects.
And there will be a blog post soon, promise!
5/7 World-building blog at http://authorsusannafraser.blogspot.com/
This is also my Carina Press promo day. There will be a blog on the origins of The Stolen Luck at www.CarinaPress.com and tidbits throughout the morning on the Carina Press Facebook page.
5/9 Meankitty interviews my cat, Samhain, on the trials of having a writer for a human. They also talk about my fiction as it pertains to cats. A lot of fun! http://blog.jodywallace.com/
5/10 Blog on elements of luck in fantasy at www.rlnaquin.com