Writer / Reader / Fandom Extraordinaire
Monthly Archives: April 2015
Chiara / April 27, 2015 , Mon / writing

I’ve seen a thing floating around the internet saying something like “being an author is x% narcissism and x% crippling self doubt” ( I say x because I can’t remember). And it’s so true.

To be an author you have to think you’re good enough. You have to write your book, sit back, and think: woah. This is good. People will read this. This book can make it.

And then at other times you write your book (or pages or paragraphs or sentences), sit back, and think: woah. This is shit. People will not read this. This book cannot make it.

I’d like to say that the narcissistic side of being a writer (and I say writer because I have this thing where I will only call myself a true author when I have a published book IDK it’s weird) trumps the crippling self doubt, and that 99% of my days involve being in love with my craft and being in love with what I produce from it. I’d like to say that. But I can’t. Because the crippling self doubt that comes with being a writer, at least for me, trumps the narcissism every time.

And it’s not because of rejection (of which I will write another post on), or anything in particular. It’s just ingrained in my way of thinking.

This self doubt makes itself nice and well known when I share my writing, and it comes back well received. Is this enthusiasm true? Are they shielding their thoughts because we are friends? Why haven’t they commented on the most recent thing I sent them? Why aren’t they asking for more? Why this, what that – an endless cycle of why why why. And there’s the self doubt. And one of the reasons why I don’t like sharing my work. Because I never know if I can come away from their response with 100% belief in what they’ve said.

Now, when I share my work anonymously (for example, my fanfics) and get positive comments, this strokes the narcissistic side of writer self and affirms that yes, I am good, and I can do this.

The self doubt really shows when it’s just me, myself, and I pouring over my words, or when friends comment on my work. And what a hideous reaction that is. To doubt yourself at the same time as believing, and wishing, and wanting with all your heart for your words to be available to everyone. To doubt yourself at the same time as sharing the most important part of yourself with important people, and not being able to completely take in the praise they’re giving.

But it’s all part of being a writer. Or it’s all just part of being me.

(win a book because you’re fab)

Chiara / April 21, 2015 , Tue / lgbtqia, writing

Take me back to THE SWEET TIMES, THE HOT NIGHTS, EVERYTHING IS GONNA BE ALRIGHT, IN THE SUMMERTIME. BABY, IN THE SUMMERTIME.

Ahem.

Back when I was 13/14, I wrote my “first book. It was a heinous thing with no paragraphs to speak of, no plot, and just KISSING EVERYWHERE. So it wasn’t really a book, per se, but just something that had a beginning and an end and was written by moi.

After that piece of shit “book”, I wasn’t able to finish another book until I was 21 (which was last year, by the way). I tried. I tried VERY hard. I had story ideas that I thought were fantastic, that I was completely in love with, that I was sure that this time I would be able to finally, finally write a book.

I was wrong. Every time. The closest I ever got was a 25,000 word abandoned YA fantasy.

You  know the common theme with all these failed books? It was that they were all heteronormative. They all featured girl meets boy, girl and boy can’t be together for reason x, but girl and boy make it and live happily ever after.

My first finished book? It was JB, and it’s about a gay boy who falls in love for the first time, comes out to his family, and is in his last year of high school (with no concrete plans for the future). My second book is about a bisexual boy who falls in love with a boy. My current WIP (work in progress) is about a transguy who falls in love with a boy. Obviously these are condensed versions of what the books involve because they’re not JUST about these boys that fall in love – they’re about a lot more than that – but they’re certainly not in the same strain of books that I had failed to write before last year. They’re queer. And they’re about boys.

After I finished JB, and cried about finishing a book for the first time, and saying goodbye to my darlings, I realised that not only did I love this story more than the other not-finished-stories, and not only did I love these characters more than the other not-finished-stories – I realised that I’d been boxing myself in to bow down to the popular market of heteronormative books. I hadn’t even allowed myself to think that I could write these stories that had always been in my heart but never made their way to my head or to my computer screen. I had boxed myself in. I had boxed my heart in. And I had boxed my writing in.

Sure, being a queer writer isn’t easy. And I’ve already learned that in more ways than one. But it’s who I am. And who I will always be, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

(win a great queer YA book here)

Chiara / April 15, 2015 , Wed / books & reading, lgbtqia

Oh, I know they’re out there. Goodreads, one of the largest online reading websites has dozens upon dozens of lists of LGBTQIA+ books, and many of these titles grace my own To Be Read list.

But my question is: where are they?

I walk into a bookstore. On display I can see The Fault in Our Stars, Game of Thrones, the ever present Harry Potter, and a range of other novels that consumers are cracking open their wallets for. But where, on display, are the LGBTQIA+ novels? The novels that represent gender diversity and sexuality?

Well, to be frank – they’re nowhere. Even when I walk beyond these wildly popular book-to-movie adaptations about heterosexual characters, the LGBTQIA+ books are nowhere to be found. There’s no specific LGBTQIA+ section (although that comes with its own problems), and there are no LGBTQIA+ books in the general fiction sections, either.

So I try my hand at the library. I search the title I’m looking for, and the ever-infuriating search terms found no matches pops up on my screen. I finally give up and order online, and even then it’s only available at the supplier and takes three weeks to arrive.

Sure, there are some exceptions to this. Once I saw an LGBTQIA+ book in the Young Adult section of my local chain bookstore and I grabbed my friend’s arm and practically squealed. “I’m so excited!” I said. “They’ve actually stocked an LGBTQIA+ novel.”

Should I be this excited about one sexual/gender diverse novel (and by a popular author at that) in one chain bookstore? No. Because novels which showcase the diversity of the human race, with differing sexuality and gender identity being some of the most defining diverse features, should be on the shelves. They should be on display next to The Hunger Games and Nicholas Sparks. These books shouldn’t be hidden away from view at the supplier, never to see the harsh fluorescent light of a bookstore (or library, for that matter). I should be able to walk into a store, LGBTQIA+ novel title in mind, and find it right away. I shouldn’t have to special order, or come away disappointed in the lack of diversity expressed by my local bookstores.

Where are the LGBTQIA+ novels? Why aren’t they on display, or on shelves in bookstores and libraries?

The book industry is taking baby steps, in the way that LGBTQIA+ novels are actually being published and that these titles are selling, too. But sometimes baby steps aren’t enough. Sometimes giant steps need to be taken for the baby steps to matter.

And one of those giant steps is to provide these titles for the everyday consumer without asking them to jump through hoops to finally get their hands on that coveted diverse title.

P.s. Please don’t forget to check out my welcome post, where you can win an LGBTQIA+ novel :D

Chiara / April 10, 2015 , Fri / general

Okay, okay, I realise that “conception giveaway” is not the nicest term but I’m digging it right now, so what up?

You’re probably here because of one (or both) of two reasons:

a) You know me from my book blog Books for a Delicate Eternity

b) You saw “giveaway”

Amirite? I am right. I know I am (because I just happen to be one of those people that is right 99.9% of the time. Baby, I was born this way).

Anyway, if you’re worried about my book blog disappearing from your feed, never fear, my dearling! Because this right here, Chiara Sullivan, is my author site/blog. I’ll be blogging about writing most of the time, and sometimes about reading, and probably a lot about fandoms and cats (come on, you had to have been expecting that one). So:

WELCOME, MY DEARLINGS TO MY DOMAIN OF WRITING AND READING AND FANDOM AND CATS

I think you’ll love it here (or at least I hope you do), and to celebrate this stupendous occasion, I have a giveaway. Hurrah! You have a chance to win one LGBTQIA+ (because, just to make it 100% known: I am an LGBT+ YA writer, y’all) release from April. You can look at this page to see them all.

As always, some BORING guidelines, but necessary becuase because because:

– You must be over 18 (or if you’re under 18 – we’ve all been there – grab permission from a parent or guardian)

– Don’t cheat ’cause cheaters are lame

– You must live in a country that The Book Depository delivers to

– Obviously Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin etc have no party to this

– If your book gets lost (ALL THE SOBBING) I can’t replace it because poor

And now, assuming you read those points, enter away! :D

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, I HAVE to mention the absolutely gorgeous design created by Mitchii because I seriously couldn’t be happier. It is so perfect and completely what I imagined my writer blog/author site to look like (and I barely gave directions because I’m awful like that). So THANK YOU, Mitchii! <3

I look forward to meeting again next time,

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