The Life of a Self-Published Author

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So, I am quickly discovering that writing a novel and getting it ready to print through the company of your choice may be the easy part of being an indie author. (And it’s probably the most enjoyable — most of the time.) After the printing part comes the part where you need to sell several (at least) copies, to help pay for the costs of everything, so that you can justify writing more because, see, your first book sold!

This means marketing and advertising. Are there ways to go about this for free? Thankfully, yes. There are blogs (your own or somebody else’s), social media, and my new personal favorite, becoming a Goodreads author and developing a profile/page there.

Goodreads is an amazing tool. The site is pretty user-friendly (take it from me, who only understands the very basics of how to do things like customize a webpage), and you can do stuff like have discussions with the community, host giveaways (with the minimum amount of work on your part), and connect with other self-published authors. All of this helps build your reader base (if I use the word “fan” here, I’ll start freaking out too much), and spreads the word about your publication(s), and it can be free if you wish.

The instructional section aside… I am beginning to flail a little — both good and bad — with regards to how much effort must go into the marketing part of this whole deal.

First (to get it over with, and give you something to look forward to) the bad: There are moments when doing this all by myself feels rather daunting, and it makes my blood pressure go up, and it’s a bit hard to catch my breath. Sometimes when I look at the list of readers who have added my book to their TBR, I am still shocked, and amazed, and utterly terrified — because what if they don’t like it?! 

That’s a chance any author takes, though — whether they scraped and saved every spare penny for 4 months to get their novel to print, or whether they have a six-figure salary coming from a big-name publisher and plans for book tours established. And, remember, you can’t please all of the people all of the time — so, it’s just a fact that, based on personality or preference for style/genre/how many dragons are in a single book, some readers just won’t care for your work.

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And when you don’t have a signed contract through a big-name publisher, resources will be limited. You may need to be in the employ of something other than “writing” to help keep the literal lights on, which means that time to write/plan/market may be a valuable commodity. Book tours just won’t happen if you can’t even afford a bus ticket to the nearest big city. And if you’re a family man/woman — like I am — there are other things to take care of — school, cooking, cleaning, homework, doctors’ appointments, needing to be home at certain times of the day to let the physical/speech/occupational therapists in.

Before all of this makes you hyperventilate, remember the immortal and so important words of Douglas Adams: DON’T PANIC.

There is always a silver lining. Always another way, it just requires slowing down and breathing and repeating the above phrase a few times.

So, here’s the good of this situation — When you’re a self-published author, you have complete control over the entire venture. Nothing gets edited out of your work that you really, really wanted to keep. Don’t feel like going on tour to St. Louis or Minneapolis or Baltimore right now? Don’t have to. You only interact with the Goodreads folks as much as you choose to. Hosting a giveaway is not essential.

I didn’t even start off with an e-book. (I’m working on it right now, but when I first started the proofreading/typesetting process, I knew tackling two formats at once would be the metaphorical death of me. So I decided to focus on hardcopy to begin with, and just wait for the digital stuff.)

The important thing is to recognize your limits, and not take on too much.

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Otherwise, it is an extremely satisfying thing to bring up at dinner parties — “Yes, actually, I wrote a book. I’m a self-published author.” Self-published — meaning your literal sweat and tears (and maybe blood?) went into creating this actual physical thing (in traditional or e-book form) that people can read and share. It’s like having climbed all of the mountains in the Adirondacks, or graduated from a Masters degree, or raised multiple children — it’s quite an achievement. Be proud of it. You earned it.

(By the way, I’m giving myself a lot of this same advice.)

So, as I go back to working on Volume 2, nervously awaiting the feedback on Volume 1, getting the digital copy together, and reciting DON’T PANIC like a mantra, I’ll also do my best to remember that this is just the start of something I’ve been waiting a very long time for.

Sure, there were bumps in the road. But I survived. Honestly, I still can’t quite believe it. But now that cool things are happening in spite of the negatives…well, believing it may become easier.

There’s still a lot to do; but also so much that I have now completed.

And that is certainly worth celebrating.

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The Autistic Parent Part 2: Being Busy

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So, last week was BUSY. It was spring break (meaning White Fang didn’t have school). There were scheduled Early Intervention meetings, visitors, doctors’ appointments, and a book launch. (Massive yay to that last one, though!)

Being busy is not necessarily my favorite thing. Doing a lot at one time can be bad for autistics. A busy life translates to a major challenge for our nerves.

I’d like to think mine survived more or less intact, but the long-term outcome has yet to be determined.

So here are some tips on how to cope when you’re really, really busy, and have the tolerance for busy-ness of a cat waiting for the tin of Fancy Feast to be opened.

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Breathe. It seems so simple, and yet, how many of us forget to do it? When our sensory perception is beginning to get overloaded, just stopping and taking a few deep breaths can make a huge difference to how the rest of the day goes.

Try not to hit overload. Sometimes this is a bit tricky, I know. There are instances when we can’t just walk out of the meeting, or the store, or simply quit what we’re doing mid-way and abandon it. Finding coping mechanisms to get you through those really rough moments may become vital to not melting down later.

Have something to look forward to. Give yourself a reward for achieving a goal or making it through a tough obligation. Dig out that coupon for a free latte you’ve been saving. Or start that long-awaited new release (to hell with it being halfway down the TBR!).

When you can manage it, go hide. Seriously. Even having half an hour of sitting alone, taking a walk by yourself, or only interacting with the curtains, will help soothe those frazzled nerves. Make sure your family/friends understand that it’s not them, it is so you, and you need this.

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If you can, take something off your plate. Tasks with a time limit should be addressed, well, on time. Things that you can put off, do it. If the paperwork police have told you that form has to be filed by tomorrow, then fill it out and put it in the mail today. If the kitchen floor can wait another day to be mopped, make it wait. Designating things on the to-do list is important, too. If you have older kids who can put away their laundry/finish their homework/empty the dishwasher by themselves, then draft them to do so.

Remember that it will be over eventually. Soon the appointment will come to a conclusion, the meeting will end, the children will fall asleep, the TV shall at last be yours.

Start each day afresh. When you get up, whether you have a lot or a little on your calendar, don’t tie your brain in knots before you even commence the tackling. Accept that while having a plan is good, it may change, and you will survive. Don’t anticipate a million things going wrong; take each step as you reach it, then pray for the next step to go as smoothly.

And when you’ve made it to the other side of intense busy-ness, go play with the dog. Blow bubbles with the kids. Lock yourself in the basement with a bag of cheese puffs.

Or, my personal favorite — read that latest Warriors release in less than 24 hours.

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Now Officially Out: Volume 1: Masters and Beginners

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I have a launch team releasing details as well. The feels of this moment…well, the feels and Vulcan genes do not always mix well, so… Words will most likely fail me. Except for the ones I’ve prepared ahead of time.

Title: Masters and Beginners (Volume 1 of The Order of the Twelve Tribes)

Author: Daley Downing

Genres: YA, fantasy, contemporary

Pages: 193

Notes: 1st in a series of 6

Summary: When Sophie Driscoll’s grandmother dies, her parents take over running the Annex, a warehouse facility that stores magical artifacts and documents proving, and protecting, the existence of faeries. Sophie and her brothers, Flynn and Cal, happily adjust to a new house, new friends, and a new way of living, joining the ranks of generations who have kept the fey and mortal realms separate for centuries. Before the first month of their new life is over, they’ll encounter romance, elves, talking cats, ancient secrets, and potentially lethal danger. What could possibly go wrong…

Excerpt:

The Driscolls hadn’t always lived in Rylen, Ohio. Kate had grown up here; but when she was 18, she went to England to study abroad (just as her little sister later would), and there she met a very nice young man called James; the short version was that they got married and started a family, and stayed in southeast Britain for several years.

            When Sophie was 9 years old, her family moved from Brighton and Hove, back to Rylen, Ohio. They moved into the newest development in the small town, Mercantile Manor, so called after the butchers and bakers and candlestick makers that used to run their businesses in the former colonial village.

James was a history teacher for the local schools, while Kate worked from home and taught their kids. After a couple of years, though, the Driscoll siblings decided they wanted to go to “regular school,” like the other kids in their ballet/music/art/swimming lessons.

But sticking to that decision was becoming more and more challenging. The fact that they weren’t like other people, that their family was different – even if they didn’t want this to be true – wasn’t going away.

            Gramie Sheridan’s passing meant they couldn’t ignore it anymore. Her death had set their destiny into motion.

Quotes:

Sophie: “What about Gwen? Will she be all right?”

Alex: “She’ll be fine. We just need to get out of here. My wings are about to pop.”

Sophie (to herself): Did he just say wings? He said wings.

Flynn: “You about ready, sis?”

Sophie: “Are you? Don’t you want to change before we leave for the church?”

Flynn: “Nah. God won’t care that I showed up in khakis.”


How to obtain a copy of Masters and Beginners:

Contact me: daley.downing@gmail.com.

Just the book: $15

Subscription box (limited quantity): $25

I will be hosting 2 giveaways in May – one North America only, one international only.

Top 10 Tuesday: Other Types of Re-tellings

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(Disclaimer: I don’t have a single notion of what the actual theme for this week is.)

We’re all aware (aren’t we?) that in recent years, re-tellings have become a big deal in modern fiction, particularly in YA and MG. New variations of fairytales (especially Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast), popular folklore (example: A Thousand and One Nights), and beloved classics (such as Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, and Alice in Wonderland) have taken the publishing world by storm.

But, for readers, the concept is…falling flat. It’s getting dull, repetitive, and leaves us…wanting something more.

So, here are my thoughts on which sorts of tales we could try to re-imagine now, to shake up the genre and keep it alive. (Because getting middle-schoolers to explore the original after reading a modern version is valuable to the future of our culture, and I honestly don’t want to see this concept fade away entirely.)

1. “Outdated” classics:

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In a post-slavery/post Jim Crow South, would Tom Sawyer be able to be friends with black kids? Maybe they’d form a band (how about jazz fusion)? If Tom Sawyer is still a slacker, wouldn’t he be stuck trying to get the popular, straight-A student, cheerleader Becky Thatcher?

The Iditarod sled dog race is considered very controversial these days. What would it look like for a White Fang-ish dog to participate in 2017?

Pirates are a big hit — the romanticized view of the “Golden Age of piracy.” What about space pirates, orbiting a distant star somewhere beyond the Horsehead Nebula, hoping to uncover a buried treasure of plutonium?

2. Lesser known folklore from Polynesian, Eastern European, African, Native American, Aboriginal Australian cultures:

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I haven’t heard much about Moana, but I’m interested to see it because it focuses on Hawaiian mythology, about which I know extremely little. Maybe this movie could start a new trend?

One of my favorite ballets is based on the Russian story of The Firebird. Why not have a modern boy-meets-girl, girl-is-cursed-by-evil-wizard, boy-seeks-help-from-magical-shapeshifting-bird? Or why not make it gender-reversed, and the girl gets to be the hero, accompanied by a literally hot boy into the dangerous woods?

There are so many Australian legends about creatures like bunyips and yowies and phantom everythings. Why can’t we read more about them in the Northern Hemisphere?

3. Underappreciated British legends:

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We have all heard about King Arthur and Robin Hood until we’re blue in the face. (And, sorry, guys, but I think we should cool it on the Sherlock variations for a while, too.) What about a twist on Lady Godiva, a woman who insists on putting more clothes on to get men to respect her? Or, instead of St. George slaying the dragon, a St. Georgina trying to encourage people to see dragons as good and wise?

4. Operas:

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Seriously, why not? Do you happen to know much about opera, any opera, off the top of your head? Nope? Me, neither! So, how about authors who are also opera fans adapting the plot of The Magic Flute or The Marriage of Figaro to a novel?

5. Theatre:

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Yes, I’m completely serious. Novels based on theatre productions of The Glass Menagerie, Death of a Salesman, A Raisin in the Sun, Fiddler on the Roof. And I don’t watch/listen to musicals, but why not those, too?

6. Expansive holiday tales:

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Not that there’s anything wrong with Christmas stories at Christmastime. But there also isn’t anything wrong with Hanukkah stories at Hanukkah time, or Diwali stories at Diwali, or Chinese New Year in space/the future/an alternate history. We are living in a global community now, and there are so many traditions and customs in cultures that co-exist with mine that many of us know so little about.

7. Real life history that we don’t hear so much about:

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The Von Trapps were a real family, and the travelers’ lodge they opened in Stowe, Vermont after their immigration to America is still open to the public today. So many people in the 21st century are so familiar with the musical film, I’m concerned that the real story has been sidelined.

Instead of Pocahantas all the time, let’s hear more about Sacajawea. I’ve come across several novelizations (for juvenile and adult readers) on the life of Pocahantas, but I don’t think I’ve seen more than one for the woman who saved Lewis and Clark’s butts on the Oregon Trail.

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8. Making too-dark-and-gloomy classics funny:

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Honestly, I’ve about given up on many classics because they are just too darned depressing. And some of those characters are just the most despicable and truly unsympathetic fictional people in all of literature. I know that’s the point when we’re talking the villain or antagonist — but when we’re supposed to wish for Jane Eyre to stay with Mr. Rochester, or for Heathcliff to realize he loves Cathy, or for Scarlett and Rhett to see the sunrise together — eew! no!!! Can we please have less soap opera, more a satire in the style of a 1980s MTV video?

9. Ballets:

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There are lots of ballets not based on famous fairytales. Let’s try putting the plots of Aaron Copeland’s Appalachian Spring into a historical fiction novel. The Dying Swan could be re-done for a contemporary journey of a terminally ill patient. I already mentioned The Firebird; my other major favorite is Giselle, which is a combination of love and somewhat-ghost story.

10. Updating the ancients:

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Please forgive me, purists, but tales like The Odyssey and The Illiad, Beowulf and The Epic of Gilgamesh I simply don’t get. Give me the movie anytime. While I certainly appreciate their contribution to literature, I’ll more than likely never partake of it. Unless I can get a version post-1900, with first names and setting locations I can pronounce.

Congratulations on getting to the end of this long and rambling post!

 

 

Shouting into the Void

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I wasn’t going to post today. But in the last 24 hours, I’ve come across a discussion that really bothers me, and if I don’t speak up about it, I won’t consider myself worthy of the title advocate.

There’s a new YA novel out called “The Secret Science of Magic” by Melissa Keil, and there’s a major representation of a main character presenting symptoms on the autism spectrum, and her parents and friends basically just telling her to “knock it off” rather than getting her tested.

To say I am disturbed is an understatement.

According to posts I’ve read in this discussion, the author intended for the character to be “one of the girls who exhibits ASD characteristics but is never diagnosed.” (Before I get accused of misquoting, I’m just paraphrasing information posted by other reviewers.)

Warning: I’m about to be potentially not nice or diplomatic. Some people won’t like this. I might even get some hate mail. (Be aware: all nasty comments will be deleted.)

As an adult who only recently found out that I have had autism my entire life, and suffered greatly because of being undiagnosed, I find it simply irresponsible on the part of this author to write a novel with these intentions. 

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The reason I called this post “Shouting into the Void” is because this is how I feel, most of the time. My 14-year-old son has been diagnosed on the spectrum since preschool, and some of his teachers and peers still won’t listen when he and I explain a sensory perception or trigger. For all the campaigns for autism awareness, there are still major misconceptions about the spectrum flourishing in civilized society.

I am often frustrated by neurotypical people insisting I need to change, or that my son needs to change, without considering that if we do what they want, we won’t be who we were truly meant to be.

How many people in history, who are thought by modern researchers to have been on the spectrum, contributed invaluably to science, medicine, the arts, how we view the world, humanity? Trust me, there were plenty of them.

And there are plenty in the world right now, and if you tell them they’re “wrong,” then what might you be robbing the future of?

Anyway, with specific regards to Ms. Keil’s novel — I have not read it, but I am quickly developing the position of not wanting to. And, I’m sorry, folks, but I really hope that no one else does, without fully comprehending that the main character is supposed to be autistic.

And this is why I simply think this should have been made crystal clear in the novel.

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When there’s something so prevalent, affecting so many people worldwide, as autism, and tons of stereotypes and stigmas about it, we do not need more misunderstandings spread. 

Maintaining ignorance is not a luxury; it’s perpetuating a plague. People need to wake up. Just because something is different does not mean it is wrong or needs to be erased. (I have to say this on pretty much a weekly basis.)

The other thing that worries me intensely about “The Secret Science of Magic” is the idea that it may actually encourage people to think, “Yeah, Sophia (the narrator) was a real jerk,” instead of becoming more informed about why she was behaving the way she did. For many ASD-ers, our neurotransmitters don’t fire in a way that means we naturally understand body language and emotional reactions. So if we don’t respond to conditioned social cues or an emotional display in the way NTs would, it is not because we are cold and uncaring. It’s because for us these things are a behavior we have to learn. Just like training a child to share, or a dog not to bark at 2 a.m.

But society seems to have very little tolerance for people who behave differently — even if we’re not hurting anyone. We look and act almost like NTs, but not quite, so we get put on the radar of “a possible threat” — the same way separate races and religions have approached each other for centuries. (And, no, I don’t consider that an unfair comparison to make.)

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It also breaks my heart for the character of Sophia (even though she’s fictional, because she’s representing real girls everywhere), for the ridicule and heartbreak the author forces her to endure, without forcing the other characters to get a clue and open their minds. To me, it’s not simply a “realistic portrayal,” it’s — as I mentioned before — an irresponsible one. How on earth are we going to change people’s perceptions if we let them stay stuck in the wrong ones?

So, Ms. Keil, with respect to your “intentions,” I’m afraid they’re going to backfire horribly. I know I (and probably many others) would much rather read the story of Sophia, who has been undiagnosed until now, and the rest of the novel being about her journey now that she’s informed, the treatments she seeks (therapy? anti-anxiety meds? deep breathing techniques?), and the way her family and friends react (guilt? remorse? trying to understand?).

There may be interesting reactions to this post.

But I don’t regret what I’m saying for a minute.

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The Autistic Bookdragon Part 2: The TBR

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Good morning! First, happy Easter, happy Passover, happy spring!

Why am I posting today? Because later this week is not looking promising, that’s why. There are other posts scheduled, but there shall be a drought after those… And I hate to feel like I am neglecting this space too much…

Anyway, on to the topic at hand…

My current TBR is pretty reasonable. And yet, I can see it quickly spiraling out of control. Why? Simply because: life.

At the moment, I have a total of 22 books on my Goodreads account. That’s new reads. But this is not counting re-reads — of which there are 4 at present. Not horrible, though. You may be scratching your head, wondering what I’m all in a dither about (or how did a withered hazelnut get in your hair — let’s blame the children).

Here’s the root of my concern: I have very demanding kids, a constantly changing schedule, and rarely the opportunity to just sit and read for hours at a time. I have been limping through a re-read of Soul Music (part of the illustrious Discworld series). I’m enjoying it, and I have even (as already stated) read it before. But it took me a week and a half to make it to 75%. Because of specialist appointments for Muffin, end of the marking period for White Fang, spring arriving (i.e. yard work), and all of this translates to — once Muffin is in bed, I might be too tired to read.

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So, how does the autistic bookdragon go about preparing a TBR that she can easily keep on top of? There are a few key factors to put into play.

Cost. Resources are limited, and the price of things is crazy when you’re a stay at home parent. How much of my TBR can I obtain from the public library system? Don’t forget giveaways. Or if you have a birthday coming up, be sure to refer relatives and friends to your TBR.

Time. Realistically, I don’t expect to be able to read more than 20 new books in a year. At least until Muffin’s older (or maybe in college). I set my goals low, so that I’ll be happily surprised if I exceed them.

Chances to read. If the next few months include a lot of waiting in doctor’s offices or something similar, I’ll be sure to have plenty of books on hand for the occasion. If I anticipate more time at home, I’ll probably plan on going to the re-reads first (since I may not have a good environment to concentrate on brand new material).

My triggers. This is a definite issue. Everybody has certain things they don’t like to read about, but for some of us on the spectrum, triggers can be varied and far-reaching. Mine range from gory violence to lots of swearing to explicit sexual content to bullying to describing foul smells in too much detail. Yes, I am a tender baby unicorn and must be handled with extreme care when it comes to my reading selection. (If I accidentally hit a trigger, I could be near-catatonic for the next 12 hours. Not kidding.)

Life plans. There are some books that the rest of the world (okay, my rather small world) is raving about, but they just don’t fit into my ultimate frame of what my life needs to look like this month/year/ever. So they may be on my TBR, and I may never read them. I’m allowed to change my mind.

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What happens if I feel the TBR is becoming not manageable? Well, my Vulcan side takes over (for the good of the whole).

Cut items from the list. Every once in a while, I go through my Goodreads and Amazon wish lists, and re-evaluate. Did I change my mind about an author, or a series? Truly, we don’t need to finish it all. (We need oxygen, tea, and cats, and tiramisu.) Am I so uncertain about reading a particular novel that it’s just making me squirm to the point of wanting to take another shower? Then it’s gone.

Don’t be afraid to DNF. I know some readers have a major issue with not finishing something. Not me. No such qualms. I have gleefully sent bunches of selections back to the library drop-off bin before page 100, with no regrets. Except for the time I wasted. And it brews a resolution to choose more carefully in the future.

Listen to your inner self, and make that critical choice to begin with. Not impulsively adding 743 new releases that “everybody else” likes to your TBR makes you feel less stressed at the start. It’s truly all right to opt out.

It is okay to watch the movie instead. Even allowing for needing to pause a DVD for bathroom breaks, getting snacks, wrangling misbehaving toddlers, and tending to a needy cat, it will only take you about 3 hours to finish watching most movie adaptations of a popular book. (There are always exceptions, but in general, this is the case.) As opposed to possibly 3 months to finish reading the novel. Especially those titles that just aren’t clicking for you, but you want to know what happens to the characters.

Most of all — are you enjoying what you’re reading? Life is short. Even shorter if you live in a pocket of the globe where hours of the day magically get shaved off at random points (that’d be me), and you suddenly find yourself with 14 hours less in the month than everybody else got. Anyway, it is too short to waste on books that just don’t thrill your little Vulcan heart.

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How to Successfully Raise a Second Generation Bookdragon

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(And, what the heck is up with my super long titles these days?…)

This is an important issue, something that we need to consider when we venture into parenthood and spawn — er, bring our lovely sons and daughters into the world. (Yes, I really mean “lovely” while I have a toddler literally pawing at me to obtain a restricted object.)

Anyway, when we (meaning people who value reading) have a family, the idea is that we want to pass this love on to our own children. And how should we do that? Well, of course there’s reading to them when they’re still too young to understand not to chew on books. And encouraging them to visit libraries (once they’re old enough to rein it before they destroy the whole building). And once they are old enough, to choose something to read. Not just the assigned stuff for school, but something for fun.

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Now, with my oldest, I have successfully created a monster. (Yes, I meant to say it like that.) When he was in 4th grade or so, White Fang was growing a bit tired of the juvenile fiction he was accustomed to (he’d already gone through Harry Potter, and didn’t care for Percy Jackson or A Series of Unfortunate Events). So, in an effort to make sure boredom stayed away, I went on the hunt for a long series with an age-appropriate target audience. After wearing holes in the carpet at my local library, I discovered Warriors.

Warriors is brilliant. It has action, mystery, friendship, love, family, and plenty of death. (Don’t worry, nothing too gory.) Cats die all the time — in battle, from sickness, from being on the wrong side of a human road, from something going wrong with having kittens, and sometimes, even just from old age. So while I wouldn’t recommend it for your 6-year-old, I can confidently state (just Google “Warriors fan art”) that middle-schoolers and up love this series.

And this epic is perfect for breeding good bookworm habits (that will one day turn against us). The series requires an attention span, remembering what happens from one book to the next, analyzing character motivations, and even “shipping” their favorite couples or potential relationships.

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White Fang has certainly lived up to all of this, and more. He has read over 50 books (including some of the novellas and manga) in the Warriors “canon,” knows some of the YouTube fan videos by heart, used to be involved in one of the roleplaying games, started his own fan community, and has decided just what needs to happen next in the newest series.

Last week, I pre-ordered the third instalment in A Vision of Shadows, so that it would arrive on release day (just like a good bookdragon parent), and when it showed up in his room, he proceeded to stay up late reading the first 100 pages. That’s a good boy.

However, this type of behavior can breed obsession. While there are much worse things than Warriors that he could be fixating on, he’s a bit predisposed to getting slightly obsessed, anyway, and he needs to have other stuff going on in his life. Like, friends, school, sleep, balanced meals…

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And — just to prove what a truly bookdragon parent I am — since he has almost completed his TBR (yes, I’m serious), and Shattered Sky was nearly the last item on it as of January 2017… Yes, I am freaking out a little here. Because I am not made of money, and I cannot order the rest of the TBR right now, and at the rate he’s going, Shattered Sky will reach its place on the shelf before this spring break is out…

See what I mean about the plan backfiring? Here I am, thinking it’d be just great to have someone else in the family who shares my passions, and then…

And in terms of sharing the fandom, I will not be able to read Shattered Sky until he finishes it. But I currently have my own TBR, and A Vision of Shadows #3 is a bit further down it. So I will be behind him, again. (I’ve been playing catch-up with Warriors forever.)

And he’s already told me something that happened, drat it.

I have officially created a monster.

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