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YA Week continues with...me

I decided on a post of my own to conclude YA week here on my blog (unless some of my stragglers come in with guest blogs next week, in which case, I'll extend things).  I hope you've enjoyed the past week's posts and look forward to presenting more theme weeks in the upcoming months.  Stay tuned!

As for my bio, most of you know me as a literary agent for all kinds of commercial fiction, including fantasy, romance, mystery and young adult.  My youn
g adult series featuring Gina Covello, fashionista of the damned, started last year with Vamped and will continue in September with ReVamped (*shameless plug* now available for pre-order!).  Flux has also contracted two more books in the series, Fangtastic and Fangtabulous.  Hope you'll share in the fun.

Better Living through Fiction by Lucienne Diver

They say familiarity breeds contempt.  They say write what you know.  They say I was dropped on my head as a child.  While that last part might be true, I beg to differ on the first two points.

I write a fashionista vampire.  She’s confident, cocky, popular and fashion-obsessed.  Oh yes, and she’s seventeen.  While I will admit to once being seventeen (just yesterday), I was not at the time confident, popular, fashionable or fanged.  I played D&D, wore shapeless shirts to cover up the figure I wish I had now, took extra classes, particularly in art and English, did drama and generally lived the life of a Gleek.  I think what drew me to Gina (my character) was that she was so absolutely alien to me.  My first YA, Vamped, was originally meant to be a short story called “Unlife Style” about a teen vamp who faces true horror when she claws her way out of the grave, totally destroying her manicure, and realizes she’s got to face eternity with no way to fix her hair and make-up.  She decides to save her sanity by turning her stylist and starting an undead entourage. 

I didn’t have to like Gina.  I only had to live with her for about ten pages. Unfortunately, my writers group informed me that “Unlife Style” was more of a vignette and that Gina demanded more.  Not exactly a surprise that my heroine was high maintenance, but did I have to be the one to cater to her every whim?  The short answer is, of course, a resounding, “Yes.”  So, I had to learn to live with Gina.  I had to learn to love her.  Which meant that I had to understand what made her who she was and discover her more redeeming characteristics.  In short, I had to learn tolerance and acceptance for a character who was so alien to the real me.  Gina changed as well, learning to open herself up a bit, becoming more human as a vampire than when she lived and breathed.

It didn’t occur to me until I sat down to write this blog that my path is more or less echoed in ReVamped.  Gina, the girl whose most noble goal is to beautify the world, one person at a time, ends up having to go undercover as a goth…no color palette so speak of, more chains than a bike rack, and don’t even get her started on the shoes….  She’s sure she’ll have nothing in common with the goth gang, but they take to her instantly, particularly Ulric, who wants to be a whole lot more than her new BFF.  She learns a lot of things, beyond what’s messing with the ley-lines and causing outbreaks of violence at her new school.  She discovers that we’re all the same beneath our outer skins.  Whether hair is shorn or dyed, spiked or gelled, whether flesh is pierced, tattooed or untouched, everybody shops.  And whether you’re a biter or a bleeder, all life is precious.

You don’t necessarily have to start out writing what you know, but you do have to come to know that which you write.  For me, familiarity didn’t breed contempt, but understanding and acceptance. 


Special Note: one day left to participate in my mighty minions contest with a chance to win a Flip Video Camera or B&N gift card.  Details are here!  And tune in to Bitten by Books on September 15th for the virtual launch party for ReVamped and chance to win an iPod Nano with a special skin.

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 13th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the two new contracts!

Aug. 13th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
Love it!

Looks like we have something in common lol: "They say I was dropped on my head as a child."

So excited for you. And so looking frwd to read more of Gina. WTG, Lucienne!
Aug. 14th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
Yay! Can't wait for the new book! And you are a serious fashionista now, so you're making up for your gleeky youth :-)
[Yes, I've met you, so I can say that with some authority!]
Aug. 14th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
(*grin*) Yeah, admittedly I'm something of a fashionista now. Still a geek, though, and proud of it.
Aug. 14th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
You love Joss Whedon and Ren Faires...you're a cool geek.
Aug. 15th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
Writers are gods with a greater sense of responsibility towards their creations.

And Whedon is my must see again TV.
Sep. 11th, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC)
Gina Covello, Fashionista of the Damned with “Tomorrow the World”
User madgeniouswrite referenced to your post from Gina Covello, Fashionista of the Damned with “Tomorrow the World” saying: [...] ow how vampires are always accused of mesmerism, hypnotism and all that jazz? Well…come closer… closer…look into my eyes…. It’s all true. You will tell no one. You will buy my books. You will buy copies for all of your friends and family, your enemies, your cat…. Oh, er, sorry, I got a little carried away there. Let me start again. You know how you walk through a bookstore and vampires are everywhere? That’s because we’re insidious. We’ve infiltrated your hearts and souls. Zombies might eat your brains, but we can get inside them without ever cracking open your skull. And, really, isn’t that better for everyone? Certainly it leaves a better-looking corpse. Luckily, it’s not really in our best interest to leave corpses lying about. For one, it’s unsightly. For another, corpses don’t buy retail. And in a tight economy, we don’t want to start stalking our target demographic, not after all the trouble we’ve gone through to control creative types like writers, illustrators, directors, producers and anyone else we can tap for a portion of the proceeds. Mercenary? Hey, it’s not like we can go out and get day jobs. Besides, agents take 15% for what they do—talk about bloodsuckers! We’re only taking our cut for all the inspiration we provide. We’re like the ultimate unsung ghost-writers. Think that’s not hard work? Have you ever tried to wrestle creative types into revising their visions? We should get hazard pay! Take my chronicler, for example. She’s one of those bloodsuckers I referred to above. That’s why I chose her—I figured she could totally relate. But have you ever tried to influence an agent…and a Taurus besides? Hard-headed doesn’t even begin to cover it. Oh, the power struggles we’ve had…let’s just say I need to suck down the blood of a caffeine addict just to cope. And do you know how many times I’ve had to grit my teeth when she refers to me as “fictional”? [Link: http://varkat.livejournal.com/171738.html [...]
Sep. 28th, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC)
Tomorrow the World
User ginasgems referenced to your post from Tomorrow the World saying: [...] how many times I’ve had to grit my teeth when she refers to me as “fictional” [...]
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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