Hello, all. Skye here, for a special Thursday edition of Typing With Wet Claws. I am writing to you today from a sunbeam, where I am practicing my selfie game. Camera angle is everything, Anty says. I think she may be onto something.
Anyway, this has been a busy week for Anty. I will tell you more about that tomorrow, because then there will be more links. It is season finale time, so there are more people kissing on TV than usual, which means Anty gets to talk about all the TV kisses. She is also reading a lot, and working on both her novel and collaborating on a novella. Which means I may need to pitch in more with the blogs for a while. That is okay. I could use the practice.
Today, Anty is keeping her head down and eyes on her own paper. She has a post to write for Buried Under Romance, a novel timeline to create (she will tell you about that later) and there will be important kissy things on Big Bang Theory, so she will probably have to write about that later tonight. She is also reading her way through a big stack of books from the library. Here is the current read:
Anty has been reading a lot of young adult books lately, though her focus is still historical romance. She wasn’t sure at first why she was reading these books, this much and this fast, but they come in from the library and go out again, very quickly. She is still reading historical romance, as you can see from her currently reading list on Goodreads (are you Anty’s friend there? She likes to have friends there.) so it is not instead of her favorite genre, but along with it.
It took her a few books to catch on to what she’s reading for here. Anty loves a strong authorial voice (this means the way the human writes, not when a human reads a book aloud, although she does like to listen to books on audio, so sometimes, it is both) and there are some excellent ones in YA at the moment. Some of her favorites are: John Green, Rainbow Rowell, and Gayle Forman. Alongside the voice, the other thing she found that the books she likes have in common is the intense emotion involved when young humans first fall in love (with other humans, that is, not with kitties, although some of these books do have kitties in them.) These are both things she would like to see more of in historical romance as a whole.
Anty will do this from time to time, latch onto some seemingly random source of information and study the, um, word Anty says is not nice for kitties to type. We will say “stuffing” instead. She studies the stuffing out of it and then she has a new tool to put in her toolbox and tell her stories even better than before. Some of these sources come up after big life events, and Anty can trace this to last year, around this time. She took Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, out of the library and read it while in the waiting room of the people vet, and something clicked.
Authorial voice is difficult to explain for a human, so I, who am a kitty, am not even going to try. Basically, you will know it when you hear it. Or read it. If Elvis Presley, Luciano Pavarotti and Justin Beiber all sang the same song (not at the same time, please) it would not be neccessary to announce who was singing when. It is the same with writing. Each writer has a distinct way they tell their stories, a combination of everything they have ever heard, seen, read, done, etc. The really good ones cannot be imitated, but can inspire others to find what they recognize within that voice and let it fuel their own.
That is what Anty is looking for here. Strong voice, intense emotion and also how to use some Very Hard Things in life within an emotionally satisfactory love story. Not all of the love stories end happily in YA novels (but that is okay, because the humans are very young and have lots of time to find a mate that is right for them) but some of them do. Some even take more than one book to tell. Where She Went, for example, is the second installment of another book, If I Stay. The first book was told from the female human’s point of view, and the second from the male’s, a few years later, after A Bad Thing Happened. This author has done the same thing before, in a different pair of books, and Anty finds this extremely interesting. Romance novels usually do have both points of view, but they are all in one book and take turns in different chapters. Having all of one point of view in one book and all of the other in another is new and interesting.
She is also listening to a lot of music by a band named Fun, which also gets into some intense emotions, so do not let their name make them sound fluffy. Right now, she is looking at me and tapping her foot, so I think that is all of my computer time for today. I will be back tomorrow with my regular post. In the meantime, you can see a list of some of the YA books she has liked here. If you know of any other books like this Anty might like, let her know in the comments.
Until then, I remain very truly yours,
Skye O’Malley Hart-Bowling
(the kitty, not the book)