1. Bad behaviour: So I'm new to marketing and self-promotion and I'm learning as I go, just like everyone else. I have a solid amount of respect for writers who hang their creation out there for the world to see and judge. Doing so has made me feel intensely vulnerable and I understand how neurotic people can get in response to negative reviews. Seriously, I'm there. But I'm really struggling to understand the intrusive and unprofessional behaviour I've seen on the part of some authors. And I'm worried in this world of self-publishing it's going to get worse before it gets better. Perhaps out of ignorance and perhaps because there are no well established boundaries that keep people in check. And I think that a few authors behaving badly makes it harder for those who respect professional boundaries (as best as we can) to engage and build relationships in this post-publishing house world.
2. Eleanor and Park: Warning. More gushing about Rainbow Rowell imminent. I am so in love with this book right now. I love Eleanor and Park as characters, I love Rainbow Rowell's writing, and I love how real this story feels. Eleanor and Park captures how intensely dramatic teen angst can be without condescension or hyperbole. It's lovely and painful and genuine in a way that so many books try to be and aren't. I feel like the book gods have called my bluff in response to my mutterings about not finding stories that moved me. Rainbow Rowell and Maggie Stiefvater are my new heroes.
3. Holidays: I have my first holiday Christmas party tonight. And it's pretty much all a jumble of work and social gatherings from here on in. This part of the holidays is like looking down the first hill on a roller coaster. It's exhilarating and a bit scary and so, so fun. And about two and a half weeks from now I'll look back and wonder how it all went by so fast.
4. Mental Health: I'm concerned about our understanding of mental health. And by "our" I suppose I mean the general understanding of mental health in North America. I'm seeing a lot of messages that equate mental health disorders to physical health disorders and while I appreciate the parallel, I do think we are talking about apples and oranges. Particularly I'm concerned about the implicit message that depression is a disease and people have no part in it's treatment, maintenance, intensity or frequency. I'm worried that in our efforts to discuss mental health without shame we have externalized it as something genetic and inalterable without prescription medication. And I'm concerned that means that we're going to have a generation who feel helpless and hopeless about their own health, mental and otherwise.
5. Supernatural versus paranormal versus urban fantasy? Gillian Berry, the person behind the blog Writer of Wrongs reposted this on twitter the other day. Very helpful. Except now I'm even more unsure what genre Unbound (All Good Things #1) falls into. I think perhaps it's more supernatural than paranormal and perhaps even borders on urban fantasy. And YA or NA? I don't know. Rachel is eighteen, but I certainly don't think she fits into the NA category as things stand now (so. much. sex). It has always felt YA as I was writing it, but I didn't want to make her a pseudo-mature 16 year old. If you've read Unbound, I'd be happy to hear what you think.