The Extrahuman Union

Posts Tagged ‘broken

This past month was the month of the BROKEN blog tour, which was the first time I’d done (or, um, heard of–I am a publishing world n00b) anything like that. You can see the list of blogs I toured here. It was a decent amount of work to prepare for, as the blog tour wasn’t just reviews but short interviews, memories, lists and other provided-by-me content.

I did wonder whether it would be worthwhile before starting, but now that it’s done I’m glad I did it. I got to post on or be reviewed by a lot of cool book blogs, and hopefully get some new readers interested in the book. One extra awesome thing that popped up a lot during the tour’s reviews was that the reviewers weren’t necessarily fans of science fiction, but they still found the book accessible and interesting. I have some thoughts about science fiction and accessibility, but that might be another post for another time.

I have no idea how a blog tour translates to sales, but as a way to connect with readers and bloggers it seemed to work well. So, a huge thanks to Jessica at the Teen Book Scene for coordinating it!

I’m going to try and gather all the reviews and post them on the reviews page at some point today or tomorrow.

The BROKEN Blog Tour is ongoing! You can click the above image for more information on what’s happening. So far this week, I’ve done an interview over at The Fiction Enthusiast, with a review coming tomorrow at Rex Robot Reviews.

Wednesday and Thursday are reviews at The Neverending Bookshelf and Novapsych, and the week ends back at The Fiction Enthusiast for a fun top ten list.

And that’s that!

In Other News

I’ve got a post up about the transgender anti-discrimination bill being considered in Connecticut at CT News Junkie. I don’t usually mix trans stuff and state politics, but in this case, I felt I had a lot I wanted to say.

Also: Shiny things have arrived at my publisher. Oh yes.

One of the things that caught both my publisher and I off-guard was that BROKEN started getting reviewed as a YA novel. I hadn’t written the book specifically for young adults, and I know we wondered (and are still wondering) just what it is about the book that makes some people class it as YA fiction. Part of the the reason might be the age of one of the protagonists: Michael Forward is 14. There is also a definite theme of growing up; Michael has to find a way to do the right thing despite facing his worst fears, and he doesn’t always succeed. Plus, BROKEN is relatively short, it clocks in at about 60,000 words (most non-YA SF/Fantasy seems to be longer, averaging around 100K, at least from what I’ve heard).

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it’s exactly the kind of story I would have loved when I was 14.

But does that make it YA? What does make something YA? I’m still not sure. I’ve found a couple of definitions here and there, but I haven’t found any of them satisfying. I think there are plenty of books which are easily identifiable as YA fiction, but there are plenty more that fall into this sort of gray area BROKEN is in. Is YA in some cases more about marketing than content (see: Urban Fantasy vs. Paranormal Romance for another very, very fine distinction that may just come down to which cover goes on the book)? Does the author’s intended audience matter? I have no objection to BROKEN being classed this way, for the record, but I do have to admit it wasn’t my thought when I was writing it.

I’m still mulling all this over. What do you think, folks who have read the book? Could it/should it be classed as YA? Does the label we give a book matter, except as a tool to reach new audiences?

It might not surprise you that there’s a lot of background stuff for the BROKEN universe that never made it into the book. I don’t subscribe to the idea that just because I’ve created a huge world with tons of background information you’ll be interested in hearing about every inch of it. But there are lots of extras, and from time to time I’ll probably post a few of them here.

One of the things I created is a handy reference chart for Extrahumans and their powers. Here it is, in memo form–the most evil, sinister form of all (click “fullscreen” to see everything more easily).

Don’t forget: you can buy BROKEN in electronic format for a mere $10 at the following locations:

One of my enduring obsessions is maps–especially political maps. I exercised that obsession this weekend with a piece over at CT News Junkie about Connecticut’s fifth congressional district, which will have no incumbent running in it in 2012! Open congressional seats are the Loch Ness Monsters of Connecticut politics, so this is going to get interesting.

The maps are pretty cool for this one. I’ve put a bunch of Connecticut political maps up on my Flickr photostream.

Maps help me think about a place. I have many maps of various places in the BROKEN universe, as well as several of the fantasy worlds I’ve written about from time to time. I sometimes sketch maps for fun when I’m bored. I also find that when I’m reading a book, maps often help me visualize the world of the story. Christopher Tolkien’s maps of his father’s world are the stuff of legend, not only because of the quality, but because of the scope and style.

Maps also help me think about things politically. Sometimes maps can reveal patterns we didn’t know were there, and tell us something about why people are voting the way they are and how they might vote in the future. The 5th district maps in the CTNJ piece show a volatile district that sometimes–if not always–responds strongly to national political winds. An open seat in this district is really a toss-up, as I think Connecticut’s voters will come to realize more over the coming cycle.

How about you? Do you find maps, political, fictional or otherwise, to be useful? Do you have any favorite map sites (mine is Strange Maps)?

This is a picture of Silverwyng (from BROKEN) that my friend Ben did a long time ago. He says he’s done a new one–I’ll post it when he sends it to me! But this is Silverwyng as she might have looked during her time with the Union. I love the expression on her face.


Susan Jane Bigelow’s Extrahuman Union

Hey! Welcome to the Extrahuman Union, home of Susan Jane Bigelow. Prepare to be stripped of all meaningful identity. While you're processing, check out more about me on the about page!

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BROKEN

Extrahuman Union #1

SKY RANGER

Extrahuman Union #2

THE SPARK

Extrahumans #3

THE DEMON GIRL’S SONG

YA LGBT epic fantasy!

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