Thursday, February 28, 2013

Falling In Love Again

It's posting day for the Bookanistas today.

Been a while since I last did a book review. Wow. AGES.

Ok, so can I just be honest? I'm afraid to tell you, because maybe you'll think this means I'm defunct or something, not a real writer. Try not to judge me, okay?

Alright, so, a while back I was kind of in a slump when it comes to books. It's just...I think maybe...I fell out of love with reading. Maybe that's normal, inevitable even when you're struggling to keep working in a heartbreaking industry, struggling just to believe that YOU ARE A WRITER DAMMIT. It's like books themselves sort of become heartbreaking. So I stopped picking them up.

When I was trying to work out what was wrong with me, I wrote this to a friend of mine: "Why, [Friend], I think I've left publishing's Never Neverland."

It's like I couldn't read a book without seeing all its flaws and questioning why, why, why can't I fall into you and forget you're just a book? Reading was making me so anxious. Like stupid restless. So I delved into movies instead--so. many. films--because stories themselves are an addiction I can't ever quit, but books just...hurt.

Then I read Mary E. Pearson's The Adoration of Jenna Fox. And I remembered. Oh my god, I remembered. And I forgot I was reading a book. I don't know why. I mean, why this book? It's not that there haven't been other amazing concepts or beautiful samples and swirls of writing to make me think there would be others I'd want to read. But there was something about this book's premise that caught my eye. The way Jenna wakes up and has to rediscover the world and existence and what it all means, the exploration of human nature and love and hate, the ethical implications of this new thing in the world. It was like something I'd want to write. Something I would want to tackle. Just the summary gave me hope, this book that focused on so many things that matter to me--things I write about. Like, maybe there's a place for me yet. I don't know, I don't write like her, but I made a connection for some reason. It made sense in my head anyway, rumbling thoughts coalescing through longings too deep and loud to be ignored.

So I read it, and my heart swelled and I thought to myself YES. And something cracked open inside me. Now I'm making friends with books again. I'm reading. So. many. books. And, oddly enough, I feel certain that I AM A WRITER DAMMIT, more than ever. Because, see, I didn't just fall in love with reading books again. I fell back in love with writing them.

EPIPHANY. It wasn't other people's books that made me turn away. It was my own. I let my treasured books become a source of pain instead of comfort. So by default, I could not bear to love any others.

So now, as I've learned to love all things written again, I want to highlight some recent book deals that have me really excited. Yes, they are book deals of friends, but it makes them no less amazing or worthwhile. Please join me in congratulating:

Christa Desir, author of FAULT LINE (Simon Pulse), on her sale of her young adult BLEED LIKE ME, in which two troubled teens are swept into an intense relationship that ultimately becomes dangerous to them both, to Liesa Abrams at Simon Pulse, by Sarah LaPolla at Curtis Brown. (Publisher's Marketplace) You can read more about the story behind the sale HERE

 Sara B. Larson on the sale of her young adult DEFY, a debut adventure romance pitched as in the vein of Kristin Cashore and Leigh Bardugo, in which the fiercest member of a prince's elite guard is actually a girl disguised as a boy and, as this daughter of war is embroiled in a deadly game of thrones while keeping her secret, realizes she has far deeper feelings for the prince, to Lisa Sandell at Scholastic Press, for publication in Spring 2014, by Josh Adams at Adams Literary. (Publisher's Marketplace) You can read more about the story behind the sale HERE.


Jaqueline Koyanagi on the debut sale of her science fiction SURGERY IN THE SKY, about an engineer who falls in love with a starship captain when she stows away on her ship, to Paula Guran at Prime Books, for publication in Fall 2013, by Rachel Kory at Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Publisher's Marketplace) For her thoughts on this sale/book, go HERE.


Kristin Rae on the debut sale of her young adult IF ONLY YOU WERE ITALIAN to Caroline Abbey at Bloomsbury, for publication in Spring 2014, by Marietta Zacker at Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. For more on this sale go HERE.



So excited to read these and so thrilled for these writers!! *APPLAUSE* If you haven't done so yet, stop by to wish these guys well, okay?


I've tried so hard to focus on my writing and the most important things in my life. 

But it feels kind of good to think about books and this world again. It's invigorating to celebrate with these guys. So cheers, one and all. Today, I salute you.

***********

Be sure to check out the other Bookanista reviews posting today! Not many for now, but we're planning something kind of big. So...

Katy Upperman recommends Veronica Rossi's THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT

Jessica Love marvels over Rainbow Rowell's ELEANOR & PARK

48 comments:

  1. yay, go writers!! Can't wait to read some awesome new books!

    I hear ya on the book burn out. Sometimes I wonder what is WRONG with me!? I LOVE books! But man, reading is a lot of work for my poor brain, and life as a mom, and wannabe writer, is even more work. So forgetting that I even love something isn't too bad, considering I'm working hard and living/loving life, and THAT is good for writing, too!

    Glad you loved The Adoration of Jenna Fox! That book will always have a place on my shelf! :)

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    1. It's hard to do it all! But I tell myself it'll all come together. Book burnout is inevitable, I think. But it's wonderful to get past that and find joy in reading again. And yes! It's a remarkable book. I'm just waiting on the third in the series to come out now ;)

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  2. I want my face in an awesome group like that someday!

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  3. Ah, books. Sometimes they are harder for us writers, but I also find that the best ones shine the brighter now.

    Anyway, welcome back (again), Carol. I can't wait for you to review some of these.

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    1. Yes! The best ones do shine brighter. While it's hard for me not to be critical, the ones that I stop mentally trying to edit as I read become true treasures. I've had a lot of those, actually, but not like when I was a kid when I used to get so sucked into reading, book after book after book. I'd forget to eat or bathe or even sleep, all for the love of a book--and so many books like that! I really miss those days.

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  4. I know what you mean about book burnout. Oh yes I do. Often what has helped me is to get away from the genre I write and read childhood favorites or classics on the bucket list. I feel fed hanging out with Anne Shirley or enjoying the daring-do of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Older books have that quaint thing going for them. You'd sooner criticize Grandma, right?

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    1. LOL! Yes, that's a great point. I think Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre have always been my go-to books when I can't find anything else. Thank you for the reminder. Next time I get in a slump, I'll turn to my old pals.

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  5. Been there...still kinda there. I want to find that book that does this for me again...may have to try the one you read or maybe for me it will be another. But I'll keep looking. I want to get there again. So. Bad. Glad you found the way, my sweet. xo

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    1. I think you will, Michele! It's just a slump. I'm certain of it. And I'll cheer the day you pick up a book and call me to tell me how in love you are. I can't wait for it!

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  6. Writing (and yes, even reading) can take us to dark places at times. I'm so glad you're coming out of yours.

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    1. Thank you, Barbara! Me too! It's such a good feeling to have a story stuck in your head, with characters that feel so real you can imagine dialogue never actually written into the book. Can't wait for the third book in the Jenna Fox Chronicles.

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  7. I always love books. They've always been one of my best friends in hard times even if my writing is going nowhere or I don't have time to pursue the writing, which is often. Of course, all my author interviews keep me on a good reading schedule. Glad you're getting back into books. I saw the notice about DEFY and am really excited about that. I'll have to contact Sara later this year to see if she'd like to be interviewed when her book comes out. Glad you're back blogging too.

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    1. That's how it used to be for me. It was always the same with my writing too--a place of solace when other things got to be overwhelming. I can't tell you how much it hurts to lose that. It's very much like losing a best friend. But books and me, we've made up again ;)

      And thank you! I'm going to try to keep up the blogging.

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  8. I totally get it. I have that problem when i visit bookstores. BOOKSTORES! I love bookstores. I was a bookseller for 5 years. But now i go and for like 5 min i'm all excited, and then i see all the books and it's a reminder of what i'm working so hard to reach and it sometimes makes me sad.
    Sigh.

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    1. Oh my, I've experienced that, too. I work in a children's library every Friday. Some days are harder than others. But it still remains one of my favorite things to do week after week, in part because I'm working with children, but no matter how sad books can make me, there will always be a part of me that treasures them and hugs them to my chest.

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  9. I've known Kristin and Sara for a long time, and it thrills me to no end to see them finally have their dreams come true! :)

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    1. Me too, DL! I'm so happy for them. So glad to see you stop by!

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  10. I am glad you are finding your way back to believing in yourself...because you ARE a writer, dammit...one whose blog posts I look forward to because I am so impressed with the quality of your words. You never fail to touch me way down deep...and that's a quality I wish every writer had. Keep faith in yourself, and enjoy the books along the way.

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    1. Thank you, Liza. That means a lot coming from you. And with such good advice. I will do my best! I hope you do the same for yourself.

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  11. Yay for all of these happy book deals! I love all of this awesome news.

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  12. I totally get what you're saying. I started querying again a few weeks ago, and I had such high hopes, but yet another form rejection was waiting in my inbox this morning and it's just so crushing. But I am happy for these authors you've highlighted - it's nice to know at least it's possible!

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    1. Oh man, that is so tough! I'm sorry to hear it. Querying is a tough business in an even tougher business. Just remember how subjective this is--think of all the stories you've not really enjoyed that others have loved. It's hard to break in, but don't give up. These guys with book deals got them after a lot of waiting and setbacks and rejection and heartache. Your time is coming. Hang in there and don't stop believing in yourself.

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  15. Every so often, I go through reading/writing funks like that - where it's hard to appreciate others' work, simply read for the joy of reading, because you're so down on your own. The funks never last long (praise God), and thank goodness for amazing books that snap you out of a reading hiatus. The DISENCHANTMENTS revived me last year. This year, Courtney Summers. And I'm glad YOU'RE back to reviewing books again! Your reviews are always so heartfelt and always make me want to rush out and snag said book off a shelf. So...I have definitely decided I need to read the Adoration of Jenna Fox. And I cannot wait for Christa's book!

    So glad to have you back!

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    1. You know, I think it must be a natural phase for us writers. Peaks and valleys, this business. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to read in the way I did as a child--so carefree and open and without the slightest reservations. I suspect that's just a part of the tradeoff of being a writer. But man, when I do find a book that makes me feel even close to the way I did as a child huddled under the covers reading at 3 AM with a flashlight--that's gold right there. And the anticipation and hope for that feeling will always keep me reading.

      I'm really excited for Christa's book, too. Both of them. Right up my alley! And I can't wait for the day I can read your books ;)

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  16. I haven't read the sequels but I loved, loved The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Carol! It's what ultimately led me to discovering book blogs and the review for that book ended up being my first review ever. :)

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    1. Whoa, I didn't know that! Although I'm not surprised. It felt like a little miracle of a book to me, so beautiful and sad and hopeful and impossible to stop reading. It really makes you think. I read it in less than 24 hours. Talk about compelling. The second book is quite different from the first, but I enjoyed it just as much. I think you have to go into it with the mindset that the second book can't possibly emulate the first book as you'd be bored rereading a copy of it. So it's different and the focus is on different things, but man, it was great! I'm really looking forward to the third and will review the whole series when I'm done.

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  17. I do think many of us go through writing or reading funks. Life happens. Things happen. It stinks when it does, but thankfully there is a way back to finding that passion and love. I am so happy for you that you found your way back, Carol! Hugs to you! I missed you!

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    1. Thank you, Kelly! I've missed you too. It's tough getting back into the swing of things, though. I keep forgetting I should blog sometimes. <3

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  18. ACK! I was typing and then poof - I hit the scrolly thing by accident and the message disappeared.

    I like the new layout/header. Very crisp and fresh! My non-reading period has been more blogs than books -- but as I've been browsing tonight I'm reminded why I used to love it so much.

    Congrats to all the new deals! So much good news. :)

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    1. I'm so sorry to respond so late to this. Somehow I missed it. But thank you so much for coming by! And thank you for the kind words. So much appreciate. Such a pleasure to interact with you again, Vicki!

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  19. I've gone through love/hate cycles of reading and writing. It is interesting what will bring us out of slumps and funks. LOVED Jenna Fox.

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    1. I think most of us go through slumps with this. It's all a part of being a writer, I think. And studying literature in college made it even harder for me. They sort of drive the love out of you, which seems so contradictory. But when I come across a book that is that great, it's magic. Jenna Fox is brilliant.

      So good to have you stop by, Leslie! <3

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  26. How lovely! I think we all go through times when we're just weary of reading and writing, like our brains have emotional overload and need a break. I went through it recently too and managed to snap out of it but picking up a tried and true favourite and falling in love again. It's the best feeling!

    Jai

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes, it took me forever to catch this comment! I've gotten so much ridiculous spam I've stopped paying attention to comments. LOL And yes, a break has done me wonders. So great in fact I tend to be on a semi-permanent one. :P Actually, I'm preparing to post again tomorrow and to start up reviewing again next week. It's time I get back to it. I've just been finishing up a book and being all around lazy with everything else. Thanks so much for your comment!

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