Emotion vs. intellect

Here’s a blog post about emotion vs. intellect in fiction. Specifically YA and MG fiction, in this case.

What interested me most, strangely enough, was the classification of genres as Adrenaline, Emotional, Intellectual, and Landscape. I wonder whether these don’t correspond to the predominance of certain elements of fiction, namely (in the same order) plot, character, theme (or ideas), and setting. Novels should have all of these, of course, but I’m sure readers (and writers too) feel consistently drawn to some elements more than others.

Sunday updates

Hello, darlings! I had a wonderful time in Calgary. Thank you so much to the organizers of WordFest for inviting me and for running such a well-organized show! I’ve been on the other side of convention organization before, and I know how many unexpected challenges come up. I thought y’all did a particularly nice job with this.

I met many interesting writers and artists at WordFest, but I want to give a special shout-out to Shane Peacock, who did a program with me at the Calgary Public Library. He writes the Boy Sherlock Holmes series, which I am definitely going to get for my son. I think they sound right up his alley. Shane also gives a really engaging presentation for kids, if you ever get a chance to hear him. Super fun.

I spoke at two schools, Ecole Lawrence Grassi Middle School and Alice Jamieson Girls’ Academy, and I could not have asked for two nicer groups of kids. Y’all were good listeners and you asked great questions. Thanks so much for having me!

This coming week we have two bits of excitement. First: Tuesday is the book birthday of the Italian edition of Seraphina: la Ragazza con il Cuore di Drago. Happy birthday, book!

What an arresting image!

Secondly: I will be appearing in two events as part of Vancouver Writers Fest this week, Words Run Amok with Susan Juby (moderated by fellow GG finalist Susin Nielsen) on Tuesday, and Flights of Fantasy with Kenneth Oppel on Thursday. Come see us, if you have a chance!

Busy days, but fun!

I’m off to Calgary

Goin’ to Alberta soon,
Gonna be a dental floss tycoon!

Ok, maybe not precisely that, but I will be attending Calgary WordFest, giving exciting talks on the 10th and 11th. If you’re in town, come see me!

If you’re nowhere near Calgary, never fear. I will leave you with interesting things to read and think about.

First, at Lady Business, an informative post on Gender Balance and YA Award Winners Since 2000. I notice they did not include the Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award, so I include the stats here (with the caveat that some of the books may be middle grade and at least one looks like nonfiction) — 7 male, 5 female.

Zoe Marriot has some interesting things to say in response: Women Dominate? In What Universe?

Also buzzing through the YA blogosphere yesterday, an article from Read Now, Sleep Later about perceived stigma around the very label “Young Adult” – YA Shame and Stigma.

I come from comics and from SF/F, so I’m not entirely convinced YA has much of a stigma, or at least not universally. Sales don’t reflect that. Rapid expansion of the genre doesn’t reflect that. And honestly, are there books with NO stigma from anyone? Don’t we all turn up our noses at genres we dislike (or haven’t tried)? We are creatures of habit, and we prejudge things readily on little evidence. My personal stigmatized genres include “books where doggies die” and “adult literature that takes itself way too seriously”. I’m almost certainly missing a lot of great books because of these irrational biases, but what to do? I’m also missing a lot of great books by virtue of not having time to read them.

All right, darlings, take care. Be excellent to each other until I return.

Today’s news

There’s a new interview and Seraphina giveaway up at Mostly Reviews today. Thanks, Veronica, for inviting me to do this!

In other news, I am working super hard, writing like a writing fiend, revising the sequel. I think it’s going well. I’m certainly enjoying it more than the first time through.

I will be at Calgary WordFest next week. Expect posting to be light.


I’ve been nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award!

For the non-Canadians among you, that’s a Canadian award. The Governor General is the Queen’s representative in the Canadian government, a ceremonial and Constitutional position. Here’s the Wikipedia article, which explains the office in more depth than I’m prepared to.

Of course, my husband and I had a good deal of fun this morning imagining what would happen if I won. I’m still pretty new at being Canadian. I assume one dresses up to meet the GG, but then what? Do I curtsey? What if my latent southern accent pops out, as it sometimes does when I’m nervous? I almost feel like Seraphina herself, worried about my manners.

But! Let us not count chickens before they hatch! It is a huge honour just to be nominated, and I say that with gratitude and proper Canadian spelling.

My beautiful jigsaw puzzle!

Remember me mentioning that a friend had made a puzzle for me, laser-etched in black lucite? Well now it can be shown:

It’s even prettier in person. The black parts are all shiny.

The best part, though, is that the puzzle contains numerous custom-shaped pieces. My initials:

Musical instruments:

Crumhorn, drum, violin, lute

And two characters from my old comic series, Amy Unbounded:

That’s Lalo, the original dragon in human form, and Amy herself.

Pretty neat, huh?

Now, I need to make a little legal disclaimer here: this puzzle is not for sale. I did not buy it. It is a one-of-a-kind gift from a friend. He makes and sells all kinds of other interesting puzzles, and you should definitely check them out.

Thanks again, Pavel! It’s really beautiful.