Monday, January 28, 2013

Please Allow Me to Re-Introduce Myself!

Good morning, all! Just saw this awesome-looking blogfest going around, and thought I would dive in myself. I'm always getting awesome new people around here, and I don't always get a chance to properly meet all of you.

So, hi! My name is Rebecca Mahoney, but the only people who call me Rebecca are the ones who don't listen when I say "please call me Becky." So please, call me Becky. :) I am almost 25 years old, and I've been writing for almost all those years. Most of what I write is YA, generally of the fantasy, horror, or mystery persuasion, but I will dabble in anything that grabs my attention. I am represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc.

Some fun facts about me:

- I am originally from the Boston area (er, Southern New Hampshire, really), and I currently live in DC. It's a strange, strange city, but its quirks have somehow grown on me. Nevertheless, my level of New England pride borders on obscene most days.

- By day, I work as an admin coordinator, which is a fancy way of saying that I spend most of my day trying to keep that throbbing vein in my forehead in check.

- I am proficient in Japanese, but my real second language is sarcasm. I am also fully conversant in silliness.

- I love: food, accessories, marathoning really well-written TV shows, marathoning really hilariously bad movies (preferably with friends), champagne, new recipes, buying more tea than I can possibly drink, adding excessive amounts of hyperbole to rather everyday routines, and of course, reading amazing books.

- I don't love: rude people, DC public transportation, being chased by bears. Terrible things, all.

I am also opening today up as an Open Question Day. If there's anything you've wondered about me (within reason), please do ask!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Sidekick Love

Pictured above: Actual flawless human being John Watson.

(I found that .gif on Life in Publishing, where you should spend your Friday afternoon today if you like laughter.)

I am deeply in love with all things Sherlock Holmes. My bookshelf prominently displays that giant compendium of all the stories, which could probably kill a man if I threw it fast enough. I also not only have Holmes-inspired blends of tea (mmm, earl grey with hazlenut and caramel), I also have Holmes-inspired perfume oils. I wouldn't call myself an all-knowing superfan by any means, but we are approaching serious geekery levels over here. Arthur Conan Doyle is my hero, even though he totally forever bitter that his Serious Fiction didn't get as much attention.

But anyway. Like most fans, I have been slowly working my way through all those adaptations, pastiches, homages, and Doyle estate-approved fanfics that are out in the world today. And I'm not actually very picky! As long as its own merits are strong, I don't care if it's particularly faithful to the original stories. The basic idea if the brilliantly observant social maladjust genius is so prevalent, especially on TV today, that you can go at it many ways.

The way Holmes and his multitudes of TV clones are written and played is a dealbreaker, especially since it's easy for writers to veer overenthusiastically in one direction or another. But lately, I find that even if the central character is brilliantly done, I can't get behind an adaptation without a great Watson.

John Watson might be one of my favorite characters ever: a good, honest, ordinary person who somehow catches the attention of this larger than life personality, and as the stories go on, the narrative shows us exactly why he is worthy of Holmes' (and our) notice. Not to mention he's a total badass, as well as the POV character of the entire series. There's so much you can do with that character type.

And plenty of adaptations have completely effed that part up. Adaptations and Holmes-inspired fiction lately has generally been a lot better about that, but others write the sidekick character as a complete non-entity, there to emphasize the brilliance of the protagonist.

No matter what the genre is, the development of the best friends and sidekicks is vital to how much I enjoy a piece of fiction. If he or she exists purely for the protagonist to bounce off of and then ignore when the love interest comes along, it kind of makes the protagonist seem like a bit of a sociopath. Who you choose to associate with says a great deal about you as a person, so what does it say about the protagonist if he or she spends so much time with a blank slate? When you leave a best friend underdeveloped, you leave the protagonist underdeveloped, and you miss out on having a potentially great character and a really interesting relationship.

So in conclusion, remember to love your sidekicks. They will love you back!

(This post is brought to you by my WIP, in which I took a Watson character type and made her the protagonist of the whole damn story. I'm telling you: serious levels of geekery going on here.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ready, Set, Sub!

Hello, loves, and welcome to my first post of 2013! It promises to be a very, very exciting year, with lots of great changes to come – you’ll see some announcements around these parts before long!

But first, something I must get off my chest...


(Y'all know you missed the multi-colored text. It is not a celebration without it.)

It's an interesting little in-between world I've stepped into, leaving the agent-hunt behind. It was easy to give into querying despair, especially toward the end there, but for the first time since early 2010, everything is new again. I can remember what it felt like to be at my college roommate's house during our February break, sending my first query in the midst of one of those classic New England snowstorms. I remember trailing after my friend during our shopping trip, checking my e-mail every two minutes, and hearing her remind me, very nicely, that it was a Sunday.

Granted, I am a little more jaded than 2010 Becky. I can (and will) still dream about a quick and wildly successful sub process, but I know now that these things can take time. Sometimes lots and lots of time.

So in learning to navigate this world, I'm keeping one eye on what is and the other on what might be. I'm going to start working in overdrive to balance the progress of my WIP with the needs of my day job, with the optimism that I will get the opportunity to tip that balance in favor of the former before long. I'm going to make time for things that make me happy and enrich my writing, like reading amazing books, seeing the sunlight on occasion, and working on my mindblowingly awesome just-for-fun cowriting project with my friend. (I highly, highly recommend the latter, by the way. It's like improv with plot outlines!) And I also want to make time to just think, reflect, and just exist in the world for a while, without anxiety gnawing at the back of my skull. I think that might be more helpful to my writing process than anything.

My only resolution for 2013 is to be brave, whatever that means in any given situation. And for this situation, it means that I'm going to tackle the next step head on and try to enjoy the ride. And wherever it takes me, I look forward to it.

Happy New Year, and I wish you all the luck in the world on your publishing journeys. I can't wait to see where you end up, too!