November 3rd, 2009

Somehow it seems like cheating

Teen someone managed to persuade her lit teacher to let her choose Shock Point as a book for her "reading response journal." Of course, she has an advantage no one else does: she can ask me questions.

The report begins: "This story is pretty good so far. I like the author’s (my mother) use of time."

And beware how you dress your characters (the book was written when Teen was just Kid). Teen writes, "I don’t like the main character all too much though. I know it is kind of shallow of me to base it off the way she dresses, but really the way a person dresses can tell you a lot about them. For instance Cassie wears “[a] vintage black thrift store shirtdress, black fishnets, and pink Chuck Taylor All-Stars.” A person who dresses like this would generally be the kind of person who wants to be noticed but just doesn’t want to admit it. The kind of person who wants to seem all punk and tough but really isn’t. I asked April (my mother/the author) about it and she said she didn’t really think that much about, she just saw someone dressed like that on the bus and made Cassie dress like that. So I guess I shouldn’t read so far into the way she dresses."

Ah, the language of clothes. I guess back then I wasn't speaking it very well.

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It's a small world

The woman who copyedited Girl, Stolen left a note in the margin that she had gone to the same school as Cheyenne, the main character.

So I got her email address from my editor and sent her a note about it being a small world.

It's even smaller than I imagined. It turns out she also copyedited Torched. Which was from a completely different house - Putnam vs. Henry Holt. She even remembered the old title, which was "Fire, Kiss, Electric Chair." [Full disclosure: And Girl, Stolen used to be Shadows Walking Backward.]

Small world indeed.

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Who are you if you don’t know who you are?

I was fascinated by this story about a girl found in New York with near total amnesia . “[S]he is said to have recalled certain words, which turned out to be an excerpt from the fantasy novel "Fool's Fate" by Robin Hobb. ... The girl has a 2- to 4-inch scar on her lower left back and had a black, handwritten birthday message on her arm, addressed to a name of Japanese origin, when she was found, police said.”

It turned out she was 18, not 14-17 as authorities thought, from Washington State, and had had some previous issues with memory loss. Here’s an update on the story.

I’ve been pretty seriously playing around with a story idea about a girl who regains consciousness to realize she doesn’t know who she is or anything about herself except that bad people think she knows something and are determined to find out what it is and then kill her.

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