Saturday, 22 October 2016


Fan art is amazing - and don't let anybody tell you otherwise (and boy, will they ever try)! We can rhapsodize about our favorite things all day long (and boy, do we ever try!), but eventually we run out of ways of expressing the depth of our emotion when it comes to a series.

Along came fan art. Presumably, people are fans of something other than books, and therefore create fan art for things utterly unrelated to books - but this is a bookish blog, and a bookish community, and here all the fan art discussion is of the bookish variety. Also, not to be self-aggrandizing, but bookish fandoms lend themselves best to all forms of artistic expression, precisely because they take place entirely inside our heads. A character can look however we want them to look - and the same holds true for a place or a bizzarre scene.

Bizarre scenes might be the best. It's still up for debate. But bookish fan art is our favorite. There is no debate to be had here.

When I published my last piece and emerged from my blanket fort (wherein I hide upon publication of any piece - it's hard to declare something complete when you're an indecisive pumpkin), I got quite a lot of fan-art-specific questions, which all boiled down to the same thing. And in the interest of covering all my bases - behold! An exhaustive and exhausting fan art post to answer any and all queries, questions, musings, zen koans and limericks I've gotten on the subject.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


Whichever side of the writing process you're on, this much you're sure of: 
  • naming characters is a delight akin to naming children
  • naming characters is a pain akin to delivering children.
And as with most things trope-ish, it is (almost) inevitable that another famed author has already claimed your superduper unique name as their own in that one fantastically popular series you've been avoiding for ages (which you'll only discover once the book is out in print). Likewise, as with most things trope-ish, whichever name you do end up settling on - you're likely following a trend. And isn't that ever so annoying?

So to make it still more annoying, this week we're linking up with The Broke And The Bookish's Top 10 feature and listing our 10 favorite and least favorite memorable naming strategies in YA.

Sunday, 9 October 2016


In light of author Tommy Wallach's rather unfortunate approach to the topic of suicide in YA literature (and broader), in the past couple of weeks the community has turned to discussing the resilience of the YA readership base, and the (in)correct way to approach a controversial subject in a book aimed at teens as well as adults.

As far as the act itself, Victoria Schwab addressed it better than I ever could in a guest-post over on YA Book Central, and more still on her Twitter page. Many others have likewise chimed in with incredibly intelligent insights. The consensus stands thus: YA readers are flexible, inflexible, resilient, fragile, tough, and delicate. As all large communities, we are our very own bell curve. And as such, trigger warnings apply. And never is it appropriate to joke about teen suicide to a crowd of teens one neither knows nor sees, nor has an insight into their state of mind.

Quite apart from our resilience, however, another topic bears mentioning - and it's one that we all thought so commonplace that it didn't need a mention. But now, having found ourselves knee-deep in censorship debates and mental health mockery, it apparently doesn't seem so?