Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

If my parents thought this was my life in a public high school, I'd have been home schooled.

If my parents thought this was my life in a public high school, I’d have been home schooled.

Remember when you first heard that song on the radio? I do. Very specifically. I was in my best friend’s bedroom, somewhere in the early hours of a summer sleep-over. Previously that night, there had been nail-polish, a pillowcase contest, and reruns of Step By Step.

Sex? On the radio? They’re talking about sex? No freaking way.

Oh, and I was nine years old.

What did I know about sex at nine? Well, not a whole lot, and that song and all it’s talking about it did nothing to provide me a glimpse as to what it was. I knew it existed. I knew adults loved it. I knew my schoolmates made jokes about it. Imagine the amount of information ABOUT SEX I learned in the following eight years until my high school graduation. No, that’s not a hint as to when I really learned about sex, that’s just about the point when the reality of sex really hit home. I mean, high school.

Who reads Young Adult fiction? High schoolers! *shudders* (Chuck Wendig wrote a fabulous article about how teenage characters should suffer teenage problems in novels.) I’m writing a Young Adult Fiction series. There will possibly be a point after my novel is published that those young adult readers will find my blog and read through these posts (and then find one with the word ‘sex’ in it and go all bat-shit because ohmygodshesaidsex shealsosaidbatshit adultsgonewild). And you know what? I want these young adults to read this post for some insight as to why I’m choosing to write sex into my novel.

Yes. You read that right. I am writing sex in a Young Adult novel.

Hang on, I’ll get the hand fans.

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To Self-Pub or Not to Self-Pub

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Back when I first began this writing journey (seriously, anyway) I’d told myself I was going to become a legitimately hardcover printed, agent-represented published author and follow a traditional route from “aspiring writer” to “novelist”. My reasons for this mindset were based on my narrow understanding of the possible success of self-published authors and the stigma that goes along with being one. The more I saw writers plastering themselves on Amazon (because they could, dammit) made me less eager to be just another drop in the piss bucket. I’ve witnessed similar phenomena in other artistic arenas: anyone with a point-and-shoot digital camera can call themselves a photographer; anyone with a mic and Garage Band can call themselves a recording artist. Anyone with access to the internet and some sense of storytelling can become a published writer… It’s a similar bucket of nonsense in a lot of instances (really, in most instances), and another example of the many ruining the respectability of the few. So I said, “Screw that. Imma a be legit, yo. Continue reading