Writer's Advice

Mental Health Conditions Are Not Adjectives

 

In 1969, in an interview with the Paris Review, E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web, said the following: “I do feel a responsibility to society because of going into print: a writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down. Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life.”

As writers, we have a great responsibility; we must be careful how we represent–or refuse to represent–certain conditions, cultures, identities, etc.

Articles

Mental Health in YA ~ Part III

A week ago, I asked a simple question to a writer’s group I run: where have you seen anxiety disorders in fiction?

I had planned to finish this series by discussing anxiety disorders in fiction when it hit me: I haven’t seen a lot of books where characters have anxiety disorders just because they have anxiety disorders. It’s caused by trauma (which of course is still real), but it seems to mostly be plot fodder. So few characters experience a mental illness as a character trait without it being a plot. Maybe I’m just missing out, but I so frequently see books speaking out about mental illness, but I feel like we’re lacking in books that just include them without it being a main plot point.

Surviving the World of Events

Surviving The World Of Online Events Part V ~ Preparing for your first event ~ Being mentally prepared

Having all the items you need to bring with you to an event is only one part of being prepared. If you aren’t mentally prepared, sales will slip through your fingers faster than water falls from a faucet turned on high.

Introverts should accept the fact that live events are interactive. As an author representing your work, you will need to talk to people and appear confident. If this is an issue for you, I recommend walking through a mall and saying hello to every person you make eye contact with. After a few times, you will understand the basics of what you will experience at your first event. Eye contact is your chance to start a conversation with someone about your books. Hello is always an excellent opening for any conversation.

Features

Weaving the Words

I spent an evening with a friend tonight–one I haven’t seen in years but have kept in tenuous contact through the wonder of Facebook. We shared a glass of wine and caught up with all the things that we couldn’t share online.

She knows, and probably always knew, that I’m a writer by trade and while talk would soon turn to that, what we talked about tonight was the reason for my visit–weaving. Yes, the same type of weaving that is used to create fabric. Only, instead of it being about fabric swatches from a large supplier and from a factory, Jo is an actual weaver. She has a few looms of her own that sit in her home. Some of them are portable (she loaned me one tonight) and others not so portable.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Untamed by Madeline Dyer

Untamed is a YA dystopian book about a world where most of the people take ‘augmenters’. These people are known as the ‘Enhanced’ (though they have a different name for themselves) and are trying to convert the remainder of ‘Untamed’ humanity to be like them. The ‘Enhanced’ live safe, idyllic lives, at the cost of their emotions. They can feign emotions with their augmenters, just as they can give themselves many other traits, but the emotions are not real. The ‘Untamed’ refuse to lose their humanity for the so-called safety the ‘Enhanced’ offer.

Articles

Making Heads or Tails of Crowd-Speaking

 

With all the buzz lately about crowd-speaking campaigns, I thought I’d throw my two cents worth in and give you my take on the two major campaigns, Thunderclap and Headtalker, in a two part article.

Crowd-speaking is an easy concept to understand. Basically, you ask people to lend their contacts on various social media platforms to send out a message. The more people who support you, the more contacts your message reaches. You, of course, write the message you want to go out and can even set the date and time. Since the messages all go out simultaneously, whatever you are trying to gain exposure for has a chance to go viral.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

He’d never told me he loved me before.

Nobody had ever told me they loved me before.

When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Caleb—a handsome, funny sports star who adores her—she can’t believe she’s finally found her soulmate….someone who truly loves and understands her.

At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her close friend Zack, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all her time with another boy? As the months pass, though, Alex can no longer ignore Cole’s small put-downs, pinches, and increasingly violent threats.

As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose “love” she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose—between her “true love” and herself.

–back cover of Bitter Truth by Jennifer Brown

This book is the best dealing with the topic of abuse in relationships that I have ever read. It shows how at first it is rarely noticeable, and how by the time that one does notice it may be too late. They may be already caught in the snares of the abuser’s trap. It was a scary read because of how realistic it was.

Surviving the World of Events

Surviving the World of Live Events – Part IV ~ Preparing for your first event ~ Physical Items

Now that you have your event booked and paid for, it’s time to get ready for the big day both mentally and physically. If you are anything like me, after the initial excitement of being a part of a show settled down, I was left with questions galore. I tried searching Google and asking in writer groups. Although there were some good pieces of advice here and there, I still found myself totally unprepared. Now, I have a list of items that I consider taking with me for all events. Not everything is needed every time. You need to think about your venue when deciding what to pack.

Interviews

Interview: Jane Baker

Jane Baker, author of Nobody Dies When I’m Around, opened up about her writing process, her family, and her inspirations during a recent virtual interview. She spoke candidly about what compelled her to put pen to paper, and how she tackled difficult subject matters such as death, grief, illness, and coming out to her family.

Aimee Terravechia: My first question for you is about your writing process. You wrote Nobody Ever Dies When I’m Around during a very difficult time in your family’s life. How cathartic was writing this book?
Jane Baker: Very. I think that when you are in a tough situation, that finding an outlet for your wild thoughts is exceptionally helpful. But I did only start the book then, and I’ve been writing since that event.

Terravechia: Do you think you would have written this book had that not happened?
Baker: Probably not. I think that when your child is ill, your world is shaken up beyond ever getting back to a space where you aren’t thinking about everything.