Are you ready?
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
This month’s optional question:
What’s harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?
The blurb by far. It has to be short and yet capture the crux of your story in an interesting or exciting way. That’s just not easy. I spend a lot of hours re-writing the blurb.
Titles can be tricky, but there’s usually one that comes pretty early in the writing, and I’ve only had to change my first choice once. Well, I didn’t change it; my publisher did.
CALL FOR A NEW ADMIN. If you’re an Instagram expert, IWSG could use your help. You can contact us via the IWSG email, or reach out to our Ninja Captain Alex. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll deliver your information.
My own news of the week is that my story’s now a book. If you’d like to read and perhaps review it, it’s up on
and there’s still time to enter the Give Away. That’s at the end of this post.
When I set to write this latest story, I didn’t realize I’d be writing about an under-represented group in the world of books. When the truth finally hit me, I searched Goodreads and found only 519 books with handicapped heroes. Yet, one in four adults in the U.S. is identified as disabled. That’s 26% of the population. Since Shattered is a story about paraplegia, I wanted to know how many people had mobility disabilities in the U.S. I found that 13.7% do. On Goodreads, there are 84 books that tackle that topic. I’m not great at math, but “under-represented” seems to be the correct description here.
For years, we’ve heard the call for more diversity in books, and that is slowly happening. According to the Lee and Low Diversity Baseline Survey, books for young readers with characters of different ethnic and racial groups jumped by 31% from 1994 to 2018. In 2017 the Newbery Award went to Erin Entrada Kelly for her book, Hello Universe. It’s books like these that open up another’s world of experiences, give readers a chance to be a part of that world–one they’ve not experienced. It raises awareness and cultivates compassion and understanding. At the same time, it affirms the value of each of our community members and provides everyone an opportunity to find what is common to us all–our humanity.
Paraplegia cuts across all socio-economic, cultural, and ethnic lines. Anyone’s life can be suddenly altered like this by an accident, illness, a mistake in choices, or a congenital condition. And the theme of adapting to a different way of doing things can apply to all of us. This major change might not be as dramatic and sudden as the one I’ve depicted in Shattered, but we all experience the effects of aging, of illness, of economic or personal setbacks. Adapt or give up is often an option we are given, and in Shattered, that’s the option my main character is given.
My hope for this book is that following Libby Brown’s struggle to come to terms with losing her mobility and grappling with that option will inspire others–paraplegic or not.
Nineteen-year-old Libby Brown is on her way to the winter Olympics for her shot at the Gold. But on a last practice run, an out-of-bounds snowboarder collides with her, and she wakes up in a hospital unable to move her legs. Terrible accident they say, but was it? Or did someone want her off the U.S. slalom team? Libby must find the truth or remain shattered forever.