Answers! All of the Answers!

| Monday, January 28, 2013
Today's Tune: Over and Over Again

If you haven't entered to win this signed copy of The Raven Boys yet, you only have a few days left! So, you know, GET ON IT.

It's time for answers to those questions you asked last week! YES. I like answering questions. Because I am Hermione Granger. Here we go!

Phire asked: Do you REALLY like my hair, or are you just saying that to entice me to comment? :|

Of course I like your hair! No, for really reals, I love hair colors and styles and seeing how people wear their hair (or not, as the case may be). It is a subject of interest to me. I do also say it to get you to comment, BUT it's the truth.

We Love YA asked: When did you start to write and why? How did you get your agent? What's your writing process like? What do you struggle with the most?

I've been writing since forever. I used to write stories and "books" (actually short little bound stories) when I was a kid, and I actually wrote my first TERRIBLE vampire novella when I was 13. I've always been a big reader and story lover, so it seemed natural to me to write my own. I started writing "seriously" (aka, with a goal toward publication) about five years ago. I actually have posts about getting my agent here and here! And one about my drafting process!

As for what I struggle with the most, it tends to be creative paralysis. In other words, I get into the ruts where I ask myself who I'm kidding and why I ever thought I was qualified to do this and why I even bother because I WILL NEVER BE GOOOOOD. It bleeds very easily into procrastination and being afraid to start/finish a project and I have to push through it. Yes, even after you've had publishing professionals tell you that you are DEFINITELY good enough to do this, you still have these moments. At least, I do.

Yael asked: Let's say you take a day to go somewhere and pretend to be someone else. Where do you go, and who do you pretend to be?

I feel like I would go to a major metropolitan area and present myself as someone gregarious and outgoing who has confidence bursting at the seams and a clever quip for every situation. Someone who's never ruffled and always ready with a barb on the tip of their tongue for the jerkasses of the world. Because that is very NOT me, but it seems like an incredible person to be.

Cowboy Dev asked: What are some of your favorite movies?

I love love infinity love Hayao Miyazaki films (particularly Howl's Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke). Eighties comedies like Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Say Anything have a special place in my heart. Musical films, especially weird ones a la Repo! The Genetic Opera. I basically like anything that can either make me laugh or take me through genuine emotional crescendos. If it can do both, I am smitten.

Becca Christiansen asked: Tell us about the first manuscript you ever finished. Or the first attempt you ever made to write a novel. Anything hilariously embarrassing in your writing past? :)

I believe I mentioned my disastrous attempt at a vampire story from when I was 13? NOOOO. Like, imagine the worst Twilight self-insert fanfiction ever, except it was way before Twilight and my crush was a skateboarding Edward. It was tragic. AND I TURNED IT INTO MY CREATIVE WRITING CLASS FOR CREDIT. OMG. I also have a few very sad attempts at secondary world fantasies and science fiction with overpowered-and-tiny fighting girls in my writing past.

aaand one more:

I LIKE THIS QUESTION BUT I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN ANSWER IT FULLY YET! I may have to write a post on this one. The closest "bad boy" girl character I've come across recently was from Malinda Lo's ADAPTATION, so I think it can be done. However, I also think that based on gender norms and power imbalance,  I don't know if a "bad girl" can ever truly be the equivalent of a "bad boy." In theory, a character's actions and personality could be divided from their gender, but in reality, we hold certain standards for female vs. male behavior, and actions from a male character that people consider sexy/domineering would be considered gross and "slutty" coming from a girl. And when you bring sexuality/gender presentation into the mix, the various layers of approaching this go haywire. I am going to have to think more on this one! I am sure I will have many things to say.

Thank you all for your wonderful questions! This was fun :D

Have a wonderful week, everybody!


{ Kurt Hartwig } at: January 28, 2013 at 5:10 AM said...

First person I thought of "bad girl"-wise was Buffy's slayer-nemesis Faith, but I agree that it's hard to pull off and I'm not sure how well she might fit into a thought-out-definition that is not suffering from having just woken up.

{ Read my books; lose ten pounds! } at: January 28, 2013 at 5:34 AM said...

I love fantasy, but I too am awful at writing in the genra. I have a few failed attempts under my belt.

I dunno about the bad girl. Maybe Sharon Ston in basic instinct?

{ Stephanie Ingrid Sarah Kristan } at: January 28, 2013 at 6:14 AM said...

Thanks for finding those links for us! *goes to read* And for the reassurance (or un-reassurance? lol could go either way) that all writers are afflicted with that kind of self doubt, regardless of how they've been "validated."

{ Yael } at: January 28, 2013 at 7:40 AM said...

I feel like the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is, in some ways, the fictional equivalent of the Bad Boy. (Like Mandarin is probably one of the few places where it was done well.)

Or if we're talking about bitchy girls, Courtney Summers' novels would definitely qualify.

{ Mary } at: January 28, 2013 at 8:06 AM said...

The character Alaska from John Green's Looking for Alaska is maybe a female equivalent of a bad-boy - emotionally troubled, makes bad decisions, has problems with authority and a somewhat tragic arc, also beautiful and sexy - all the characteristics that I associate with a bad boy.

{ Phire } at: January 28, 2013 at 8:20 AM said...

Someone who's never ruffled and always ready with a barb on the tip of their tongue for the jerkasses of the world.

FWIW, this is totally how you are in my brain. I guess we can never meet so I can maintain my illusion...

{ linda } at: January 28, 2013 at 10:30 PM said...

I'm with Phire! I was so surprised to read that you don't think you're like the person you'd pretend to be because that is totally how I imagine you.

Also, I'm sad I missed the question-asking part! I would've ask about what you're working on now (if you've started something after TICK-TOCK HEARTS) and why you chose Michelle and if it feels different to be married. But, you know, in question form.

{ Yahong Chi } at: January 29, 2013 at 1:56 PM said...

Agree with everyone else -- you definitely sound as witty online as you described you would want to sound like in real life. So no worries there? :D

Re my question: I get what you mean. I think there are these barriers in place that a) created the "bad boy" trope in the first place and b) lock certain tropes to certain genders. And as you said, with double standards in place and differences in the way society perceives the genders & behaviours, it'd be hard for a girl to reach the same kind of status a bad boy has -- admired, a little feared, swooned over, etc. But maybe it's possible...?

{ Cowboy Dev } at: January 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM said...

Thanks for answering my question. You have very good taste!

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