We’re delighted to present an exclusive guest blog today from Swoon author Nina Malkin today. We’re featuring Swoon all week on Novel Novice, including TWO very exciting contests towards the end of the week. So check back regularly for more exclusives and exciting goodies!
When I was coming up, “dare to be different” was the catchphrase for the local indie radio station. I liked a lot of the stuff it played, but the catchphrase made no sense to me. “Dare” to be different? Like it’s a choice?
We’re all different, but to tweak George Orwell “Some of us are more different than others.” Take me, in Brownies—precursor to Girl Scouts—when they were teaching us to make flowers out of crepe paper. I wanted to make ‘em my way. Mm-hmm, just one of the reasons the troop leader requested that my mother not bring me back.
Or when, as a “young adult,” I’d get dressed for a night on the town. Why not wear a man’s terrycloth bathrobe circa 1957 as a dress! Why not apply blue mascara…to the eyebrows! Why not carry a sewing box for a purse! (Keep in mind, it was my intention to attract cute boys on these evening outings…)
Then came career. Mostly I worked in the magazine business. Fashion magazines, entertainment magazines, teen magazines. Where I stood apart from my trendy, expensively dressed associates with their finger on the pulse of the masses. I must’ve been a competent word-slinger, since I made a living without having to subsist on Fancy Feast.
Lately, luckily, some of my fiction gets published. Like SWOON, my latest novel. The publisher took a risk with SWOON; it was hardly a slam-dunk. Though a paranormal romance, it lacks the usual cast of bankable characters (no vamps, no lycanthropes, no angels or even fairies). Then there’s the sex (requiring the publisher to slap a 16-and-up sticker on it, making it taboo to a large segment of the YA audience). Plus, there may be a word or two you might have to consult a dictionary on. Uh-huh, SWOON is different.
Only here’s the gratifying, empowering thing: SWOON is actually doing nicely. It’s in its seventh printing. It was translated into a bunch of foreign languages. It just came out in paperback. And because of this, I was able to con the publishers into putting out SWEAR, a sequel to SWOON, late next summer. Apparently enough readers found SWOON and loved it and blogged about it and hyped it to their friends. Enough readers who are different. And I salute those readers, since it’s because of those readers I’m still not eating Fancy Feast.
The point? Be you: Read your way, write your way, rock your way, dress your way, love your way, learn your way, make mistakes your way, make your own way your own way and it goes without saying create crepe paper flowers your way. Daring? Maybe…
For the comments: How do YOU dare to be different?
I’m don’t stand out a lot, but my jewelry is pretty different. I wear two rings every day. On my right is a ring I made in my design class two years ago, and on my left is a ring that’s actually made from the prongs of a fork that have been twisted to make a ring shape. I haven’t don’t many crazy things, like putting mascara on my eyebrows though.
Many people don’t know the real me. Sometimes I don’t even know the real me. I’m loud, and quiet. I’m angry and I’m happy. I am truely a pesimist trying to be an optimist. I dare to be different by living life the way I do. I don’t do what people expect of me and I do do what makes them cringe. I’m outspoken, but still a book nerd at heart. My life is different. I can’t choose who I am, and I can’t figure out who I am. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time, to the Victorian Era. Maybe even just to the ’50s. The way everyone was back then makes me look down on society today. Back in those times a guy wasn’t afraid of asking a girl to dance. They always looked their best. So, that’s how I dare to be different, because I prefer daydreams over reality. I prefer books over real life sometimes.