January 7, 2010

Is this thing on?

New year, new blog. When I start over, I like to do it right. (Humor me. I even took that picture!)

If you’re here, you probably know a little about me. If not, have some bullet points.

• I used to be an editor at a publishing house, a job that’s both more and less fun than it sounds.
• I’ve written romance, and mystery/romances, and a sort of women’s fiction novel that’s like a romance except that the couple in it is already married.
• I’ve written other things, too, some of it as a ghostwriter.
• Put it all together and I’ve been working in publishing, with books, for a pretty long time now.

Now, thanks to the lovely people at HarperTeen and my wonderful agent, I’m going to be writing something completely different – young adult fiction. It was my first love – my first novel was a young adult novel, and while it will live forever in a box under my bed, it’s still one of my favorite books I’ve written.

It didn’t have a zombie, though. The new book will.

But that’s a long way down the road! For now, I’m still writing it (and you’ll hear more about that as I begin to pull out my hair, gnash my teeth, weep and rock in a corner get farther into it). But I’ll also be here, talking about what I’ve read, what I’m watching, what I’m listening to, the absurd things kittens can into, and possibly what I had for breakfast (most important meal of the day, people, especially if it’s PopTarts).

For now, I’ll start with a book, and I’m even cheating a little, because it’s the first one I finished this year, but I started it in December. (Some things I can never do right.)

The book in question? Ink Exchange, by Melissa Marr, the second in her faery series.
I love these books. They’re exactly my kind of fantasy – set in our world, with another one overlapping (and perfectly described here). And the characters sound real to me, even the faery ones – everyone in these books has genuine feelings and motivations. Here, it’s Leslie, who’s dealing with the very personal consequences of a brother addicted to drugs. Irial, who has responsibilities beyond simply taking what he wants for himself. Niall, who knows his own dark side (and Irial’s) a little too well for his own comfort. It’s another complicated triangle, and I believed every minute of it.

What I like best about these books is that the characters, especially the faeries, don’t flinch from what they are – good and bad, light and dark. And Marr doesn’t flinch from allowing her characters to explore and feel everything that her readers might be, including sex, drugs, drinking, betrayal, violence, grief.

Here, I think the most compelling thing was that Leslie, with all her horribly valid reasons for wanting to shield herself from pain and fear, figured out how terrifying it can be to feel nothing but pleasure, and how it’s not actually that great to break off pieces of yourself (metaphorically speaking) that hurt.

I’m reserving Fragile Eternity – as soon as I pay my library fine.

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