Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Holy Freaking Curse Words in YA

I'm not really a heavy subscriber on the profound language of the curse word. I throw out the occasional bomb when I get angry, but it stays fairly PG13 (perhaps a little less so on the internet). I've always been like this, despite how my mother cursed (and still curses) like a sailor. It's just my personal decision, and I don't condemn anyone for making their own decision.

I'd be out of a girlfriend if I did.

So, in the spirit of banned book week -- someone told me the other day, "Cursing is a sign of lower intelligence and a lack of a command of the English language."

I got puffy. Super puffy.

I said, "I can curse all I want and still be fucking eloquent."

He didn't expect me to say that. Let's just put it that way.

To me, cursing is simply another way of communication, but the words themselves mean little after societal context is taken away. "Kill" is a dangerous word, and it's dangerous by its neutral definition alone. A child can read the definition of "kill" and know it's a bad thing. "Shit" is, well, poop. An angry word for poop. And it's the "angry" part that people generally don't like, even if a child reads the neutral definition and only giggles because poop is funny.

Because of this, there are appropriate times and places for this type of expression. But "appropriate" is sort of subjective, isn't it? Who gets to decide what language is "appropriate" for young adults?

My characters curse. They do. Well, not all of them do as frequently as others. Some of them throw out the occasional bomb as I do: when under excruciatingly uncomfortable situations where "shoot" just simply won't suffice. Other characters get a thousand times more creative.

(Seriously, sometimes I sit and stare out the window, brainstorming some of these curses because, wow, they're crazy.)

But the fact is simple: for me to censor or reduce a character's cursing is painfully out of character for them. It's in their character to curse the way they do, and my responsibility as a writer is to write honestly and truthfully. They curse. Some more than others. Some a lot more than others. But this is them. Good young adult fiction should always be honest to teens and never hold back, just because they're teens.

I've always considered Marionettes to be Upper YA for its edgier themes and language. I know I might have been a bit surprised if I'd picked up a book like this when I was a teen, but to be perfectly honest, the teens of today are not the teens of my day. Seriously. My teen section in Barnes and Noble was an itty-bitty thing. Now, it's growing at a rate that bookstores don't even know what to do with.

Also, teens are tougher now. They're more independent and, holy cow, they're a whole lot more aware of the world than I'd been. And just like with anything else, teens will decide for themselves if the language of the curse word is something they want to practice. Censoring it in fiction doesn't keep it from them -- it just makes them ask, "Why is this character saying 'shoot' instead of 'shit'?"

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Paperback of Book 2 is Available on Amazon!

The paperback of Fracture the Spider's Web is all up and available in the Amazon store! It looks nice, right? All bright and shiny and freaking awesome.

So far, for some reason, Amazon has the digital and the paperback as separate listings. You can search by title or series name and you should get both listings, so make sure to scroll a little bit down and the paperback listing should show up.

The first round of revisions for book 3 are done -- all I need to do is go back, tweak a few more things, and then it's off to the betas! There's also, of course, Interlude, the novella that I've just started revising. Compared to these massive manuscripts I'm used to, the novella will be easy-peasy.

That's all for now. Stay awesome.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Some Updates and Another Announcement!

WHEW. It's been a while since our last update, and even longer since we talked about anything fun. It isn't for lack of fun things -- noooo way. In fact, we have a ton of new things. Let's start with the most exciting:

Yep, the Marionettes series is going to have its very own little novella set after the events of Fracture the Spider's Web and before book 3, and we'll have more details about the story later on. Here's some of the things we CAN tell you about it:

  • The release date is tentatively set for this upcoming October. We're chugging along on it and we REALLY want to have it out by then. Why? Well...let's juts say it's perfect for October. 
  • Just like the Dance in Shadow and Whisper & Fracture the Spider's Web, the novella will feature multiple character viewpoints. The best part? Everyone will be in FIRST PERSON, just like Kali.
  • The digital editions will be only 99 cents, but for a small window at the end of October, we'll be giving away digital copies for free
Writing this story happened spontaneously, but we've been having so much fun and laughing and crying our faces off. We're so excited to share this piece of the world and let you all get closer to the characters you've already gotten to know.

We'll update again when we have the synopsis, release date, and Goodreads page! Make sure you follow the Tumblog for piece-by-piece updates.

Next up --

The proof for Fracture the Spider's Web finally arrived!

It looks pretty awesome, but I'm going to make it look a tad awesomer before we officially make the paperback available. I'm even really proud of how the back cover came out?? It's pretty slick.

Now, I have to go through each page and make sure everything's beautiful. Once that's finished, I'll announce on the Tumblog that it's finally available!

If you haven't yet, you can add FtSW on Goodreads. Still gotta update the sidebar with new links herpaderp.

Added two new sprites!

Ave and Elliot are official additions to the Adoptables page in celebration of the second book. Geez, so many of the boys are just so unamused at being a sprite. Perk up, guys.

Revisions of book three have begun!

We took a brief vacation and now we're back to work. This book is my FAVORITE -- it's a secret I can't really keep. Events came together so naturally and the pacing was thrilling to work. Seriously, even I wrote myself into nervousness and anxiety of, "Holycow, what's going to happen next?!???" The characters are fantastic in this book, and they came out in ways I didn't expect them to. I'm really excited just to READ it again.

The tentative release date for book 3 is December, and if we finish with time to spare this time, hopefully we can send out actual digital arcs. Luckily, I don't think we'll be making the types of changes to book 3 that we had to make for book 2 to be as brilliant and complete as it is, which is super exciting.

I just really love the third book, okay. Don't judge me.

Anyway, that's it for now! More fun stuff later!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fracture the Spider's Web Release Day!

Carmi is really just the go-to guy for adding a splash of excitement to anything.

ANYWAY! SO, HERE'S THE DAY! I'm posting this into the future, so, as a head's up, I hit the "publish" button on both Kindle and Nook, but it can take anywhere from 12-48 hours for it to become active.

If it doesn't show up in your Amazon/B&N search, check back again later. When I see both links live, I'll make another little update on the tumblog.

So, in short, I hope you guys enjoy! As soon as I can, I'll submit the book to Goodreads and announce when that's live as well! Thanks SO much for everyone's support -- it really makes us feel just all warm and fuzzy inside.