A few hangovers for today, little magpie links here and yon:
- A good piece at Time debunking the "Moonlighting curse" and fingers crossed that Castle pulls crossing the great relationship divide off and puts that fiction to bed. Ahem.
- Clear Eyes, Full Shelves on the Bowker study about YA buying habits. This is a really smart take, and I'm glad to see someone discussing the actual findings (that we can see without the full report; the misleading headline on the initial story did no one any favors). Scott Westerfeld was the first to point out (that I saw) that the study found adults are 55% of buyers, but accounting for 28% of YA sales. So teens are still buying the most YA books. The just-as-notable part of the study to me is the contention that adults are the ones largely driving e-book sales in YA. This makes sense. I'd also be very curious if when the summary mentions the early adoption of devices among these adults as being similar to the numbers among mystery and romance readers whether a lot of the adults probably *are* those genre readers, picking up a YA title here or there on their e-reader. I see all of this as good news, personally.
- "The Internet, Fan Culture, and Creators: A Blessing We Shouldn’t Turn Into a Curse."
- Laura Miller digs into some new research on the differences in the brain when pleasure reading or being analytical. Good stuff.
- The Brave Tart (congratulations to Stella on her book deal as well! you will want this cookbook, people) on the reality of art as job, speaking specifically to people who want to cook professionally but very applicable for lots of disciplines: "The critics themselves, in kitchen memoirs or reality shows, frame the issue in romantic language as if they can taste the passion, or lack thereof, in a chef’s work. The chefs too fall back on this trope, “well, I’m certainly not doing it for the money…” On and on we hear, you’ve gotta do what you love. Put your heart in it. Love what you do. But however much you love it, let’s be clear: this career will never love you back. It can’t. It’s not a person or a puppy, it’s a job."
- I love it when Jeff Ford cuts through the b.s. Snippet: "Fiction writing isn't about getting up on your soap box and lecturing the world about the way things should be. Fiction writing is first and foremost about describing experience. If you want to relay a big idea to readers, write an essay. If you want to write fiction, concentrate on what happens next. The secret to writing effective fiction is not to exert more control as you might want to in driving a car, but instead to exert less control, to take your hands off the wheel and let the characters and their stories lead you." Read the whole thing.
And a few of me-and-Blackwood-related things, but first thanks to everybody for the lovely feedback on yesterday's post:
- I'm over at Narratively Speaking (thanks for hosting!) describing a day in my writing life: "Get up, have breakfast, coffee. If a really good day, exert enough willpower to avoid looking at email or twitter until after morning writing session. If a less chipper one, check these things and hopefully not lose too much time to them, then start writing. Note: I always regret checking, and yet I still sometimes do it. Especially if there’s a chance of news. The flesh is weak." Go there for the rest.
- Jen Robinson's Book Page review: "Blackwood is an excellent choice for anyone looking for paranormal YA, mystery, or just something a little bit different. Unlike a number of other recent YA titles, the romantic elements are fairly low-key. I think this makes Blackwood particularly boy-friendly, and also a good crossover title for adult readers. Recommended for anyone who has ever wondered "what if" (13 and up)." (*BEAMS* Happy-making.)
- Feeling Fictional review: "Overall I have to say that Blackwood is a great debut and one that has me excited to see what Gwenda Bond will come up with next. If you're looking for a story that brings history to life and then puts a supernatural spin on it, a story that will keep you gripped and make you desperate to uncover the mystery then look no further." (Thank you!)