Archive for June, 2011

Auntie Heather’s Writing Lair

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Most authors have a special place that they go, Minions, when they are in writing mode, when they are driven to create. Many writers refer to this place as their “writer’s cave”. My special place, my office, my sanctuary, is affectionately referred to as my “writer’s lair”, thanks to the fangtastic Melissa DeLaCruz, of Blue Bloods fame. And today I’m going to give you a little glimpse of it, just so you’ll know the kinds of things that surround me as I pound out manuscripts or blog or tweet (oh man, do I tweet…). Please forgive the relatively crappy images, as I took them with my iPhone, and the iPhone hates pretty, clear pictures.

We will start with the door to my lair.

Not bad, eh? looks normal enough. Just double doors. Plain. Boring. So…normal, right? But when we open them…

PA-CHOW!!! The spookiness begins! This is the view from my open doors, followed by a closer view.

Yeah. I have some skeery stuff in my office. Creepy bodiless hands coming out of the wall, a human skull, a monkey like the one from Monkey Shines. It’s cozy, right? And if we begin to turn to the right, we see this:

That’s the corner of my coffin couch (which is glorious, and yes, made from an actual coffin). My husband often teases that he plans to bring along a mirror just to check on me during nap time. Turning again to the right (we’re spinning – are you dizzy??)…

…we see my favorite corner, where I’ve placed my asylum window, my baby doll (I cannot tell you her name – it may disturb some of you), and antique baby shoes. And right again to the door from the inside.

The dolls on the bottom right, I refer to as my “Creepy Children”, because when I open the office door, they stare at me through the glass with their haunting button eyes. *sigh* I love them so… If you keep turning right, you’ll see a second set of doors that lead to my dining room.

And right from there brings you back to my bookcase, which has a distinct lack of books. (The books are all in the reading room in the upstairs loft) But it does contain some of my most precious belongings. I’ll give you a top to bottom shelf by shelf view.

Not too shabby, right? It’s nice here. I like it. Whenever I enter my lair, I feel at home. To some, it’s creepy. To me, it’s beautiful. And you should be your own kind of beautiful, Minions, no matter what people say.

So…the only thing I haven’t done is hang up curtains. Mostly because I’m torn between curtains and black wooden blinds. Once I make up my mind, my lair will be complete. Yay lair!

As far as “what’s new in the world of Auntie Heather”, I’m currently wrapping up writing the second book in The Slayer Chronicles. I know the title, but you don’t. (neener neener neener) No worries! I’ll tell you soon…ish. Also, I’m finishing up the last few edits for Bloodbound, which is so good it makes my brain all explodey. I can’t really describe it…mostly because I have no idea how. Seriously! The description on my website doesn’t even do it justice. I just want to live in that world forever. And I hope you’ll join me for at least a few hours. I promise it’ll be worth the ride. (Or it won’t, and you’ll hate me forever…but I’m betting on that first one)

On Monday, I head out on a Disney cruise (woooooo, Mickey!!!), so I’ll be offline from July 4th til the 11th, but I’m thinking that I should arrange an Ask Auntie Heather chat on the forum soon. What do you guys think? I can set aside an hour or two and we can just talk…y’know? It sounds like fun to me, and I think it’ll breathe new life into the forum. If you don’t hang out on the forum, please do! It’s a fangtastic Minion hangout and I want you guys to treat it as your own.

One last thing before I go. How many of you have or have access to an iPod, iPod Touch, or iPad? Go grab it. Right now. It’s okay…I can wait.

*hold music plays while you grab your technology*

Got it? Sweet. I’ve got the fire extinguisher ready, because I know how you Minions burst into flames when you get excited. Ready?

Go download this right now, because Minions – WE HAVE AN APP!!!

It’s only 99 cents, and it’s a FANGtastic game that’s kinda like PacMan, but with Fang! You can eat bloodbags for invincibility and killing slayers gifts you with their tiny lil screams. (Mwahahahahaha!!!) It’s sooooo much fun. I am seriously, totally addicted. So go. Now. Grab that app and tell the rest of the Horde (and non-Minions! Or should I say “soon-to-be-Minions”?). Because this thing is too fun!

Can you tell I like it?

Okay, so in my brief absence, I’m leaving you all in charge. I DO NOT want to come back to the world in ruins and zombies on the rampage AGAIN, Minions! *gives you all the Mom look* So behave. Be nice. And SOMEBODY feed the thing under my bed.

#YAsaves lives – it saved mine, after all

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Books save lives, Minions. In particular, YA books save lives. When I was growing up, hated by virtually everyone, and so terribly bullied, my escape, my refuge, my island in the storm was the library. I escaped the painful world that was my own and delved into other worlds–worlds that entertained me, worlds that gave me hope. Without those books, I might never have known that some people had it worse than I did in school (CARRIE by Stephen King) or that I wasn’t alone in my body changes (ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET by Judy Blume). Books helped me get through being a tween and teen–they helped me to stay alive, when I had thoughts of suicide. Books saved me.

So I’m completely confused at why the Wall Street Journal would post an article saying the opposite (click that link, go read that, and then come back here), that books about darker issues are inappropriate in any way for today’s teen. One of the books mentioned, RAGE by Jackie Morse Kessler, blew me away. In fact, I loved it so much that I blurbed it. And when I said, “RAGE is raw and real, a truly dark, honest look at self-harm and the teenage psyche. Kessler left me breathless.” I meant it. Jackie’s book is truly fantastic, and gives us a great avenue to discuss the issue of self-harm. The fact that Megan Cox Gurdon (the author of the WSJ article) actually insinuates that RAGE would make anyone want to self-harm disgusts me. It also tells me two things: 1. Ms Gurdon needs to read Jackie’s book again and again until she fully understands it, and 2. Ms. Gurdon clearly does not understand how a teenage brain works, and grossly underestimates your intelligence, Minions. Not only are you smart enough to know that a book like RAGE is showing you what NOT to do and why, you can figure it all out without someone crying out for censorship, thankyouverymuch. People like this make me crazy. We NEED books. Particularly dark issue books. So that we know that we’re not alone. So that we know we’re not a freak. So that we can find a shred of solace during some pretty scary times.

Jackie’s response is here – you should go read that. Then you should go read RAGE, if you’re interested in darker YA themes. And never let the censors win. This is your life, Minions. Live it.

P.S. Auntie loves you. :)



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