Meagan Spooner
Absolutely brilliant. This is the sci fi I’ve been waiting for! Action, romance, twists and turns–this book has it all!

Beth Revis, New York Times best-selling author of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

2017-11-06T11:42:38-05:00

Beth Revis, New York Times best-selling author of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

Absolutely brilliant. This is the sci fi I’ve been waiting for! Action, romance, twists and turns–this book has it all!
"A literally breathtaking archaeological expedition. Spooner and Kaufman prove once again that no one does high-stakes adventure shenanigans like they do."

E. K. Johnston, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Star Wars: Ahsoka

2017-11-06T11:44:34-05:00

E. K. Johnston, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Star Wars: Ahsoka

"A literally breathtaking archaeological expedition. Spooner and Kaufman prove once again that no one does high-stakes adventure shenanigans like they do."
One of the most intense, thrilling, and achingly beautiful stories I’ve ever read. Kaufman and Spooner will break your heart with skilled aplomb, and you’ll thank them for it. Absolutely incredible! If I have to, I will come to your house and shove this book into your hands!

Marie Lu, New York Times best-selling author of the Legend trilogy

2017-11-06T11:48:19-05:00

Marie Lu, New York Times best-selling author of the Legend trilogy

One of the most intense, thrilling, and achingly beautiful stories I’ve ever read. Kaufman and Spooner will break your heart with skilled aplomb, and you’ll thank them for it. Absolutely incredible! If I have to, I will come to your house and shove this book into your hands!
With rich, complex characters and a dynamic—and dangerous—new world, THESE BROKEN STARS completely transported me.

Jodi Meadows, author of the Incarnate series

2017-11-06T12:09:41-05:00

Jodi Meadows, author of the Incarnate series

With rich, complex characters and a dynamic—and dangerous—new world, THESE BROKEN STARS completely transported me.
Intense and absorbing, Skylark transported me to a world of magic and danger unlike anything I’ve read before. I loved Lark, and was riveted by her journey of survival and self-discovery. Dark, original, and beautiful, this is a novel you don’t want to miss.

Veronica Rossi, author of UNDER THE NEVER SKY

2017-11-06T12:13:28-05:00

Veronica Rossi, author of UNDER THE NEVER SKY

Intense and absorbing, Skylark transported me to a world of magic and danger unlike anything I’ve read before. I loved Lark, and was riveted by her journey of survival and self-discovery. Dark, original, and beautiful, this is a novel you don’t want to miss.
Skylark's rich narrative and plucky heroine will transport you into a mesmerizing and horrifying world.

New York Times bestselling author Carrie Jones

2017-11-27T09:17:02-05:00

New York Times bestselling author Carrie Jones

Skylark's rich narrative and plucky heroine will transport you into a mesmerizing and horrifying world.
With its blend of dystopian, steampunk, and generally fantastical elements, Spooner's follow up is even stronger and more gripping as the debut and is sure to ensnare further loyal readers.

Booklist (Starred Review)

2017-11-27T10:01:57-05:00

Booklist (Starred Review)

With its blend of dystopian, steampunk, and generally fantastical elements, Spooner's follow up is even stronger and more gripping as the debut and is sure to ensnare further loyal readers.
This intriguing dystopian adventure's depiction of the stand this strong female protagonist takes against the horrors of her world is fast-paced, compelling, and un-put-downable.

VOYA

2017-11-27T10:05:07-05:00

VOYA

This intriguing dystopian adventure's depiction of the stand this strong female protagonist takes against the horrors of her world is fast-paced, compelling, and un-put-downable.
Once again, the worldbuilding is superb, the characters fully fleshed out and intriguing, the battles riveting, and the edge-of-the seat suspense compelling. Teens looking for a well-written dystopian adventure with steampunk elements in the magical machines created by the Architects will enjoy spending time with Lark and her companions.

VOYA Magazine, starred review

2017-11-27T10:27:43-05:00

VOYA Magazine, starred review

Once again, the worldbuilding is superb, the characters fully fleshed out and intriguing, the battles riveting, and the edge-of-the seat suspense compelling. Teens looking for a well-written dystopian adventure with steampunk elements in the magical machines created by the Architects will enjoy spending time with Lark and her companions.
An extremely entertaining tale of past, present and future leaving the question: where does humanity stand when the best laid plans backfire?

Children's Literature

2017-11-27T10:29:04-05:00

Children's Literature

An extremely entertaining tale of past, present and future leaving the question: where does humanity stand when the best laid plans backfire?
A haunting and romantic exploration of love and what sacrifices come with freedom.


Marie Lu

2017-11-27T15:17:04-05:00

Marie Lu

A haunting and romantic exploration of love and what sacrifices come with freedom.
Amazing. That one word describes the whole book.

VOYA

2017-11-27T15:18:24-05:00

VOYA

Amazing. That one word describes the whole book.

What is normal?

I think most writers have been labeled “weird” at some point in their lives. (Especially those of us who write science fiction and fantasy!) We like reading more than most people, we’re often into geeky things, we’re happy being totally alone for long stretches of time, we do things in the name of writing and creativity that would land other people in some sort of therapy. (See previous post about talking to oneself while writing!) I think part of why joining the writing community online is so much fun and such a revelation for so many aspiring writers is because you realize for potentially the first time that you’re not alone. You’re not weird–you’re brilliant.

But something that has struck me recently is how, despite finally escaping a world where we’re considered “weird,” so many of us are so concerned with following the “normal” path to publication. What is normal anyway? I mean, really?

Data's not normal. Why should you be?Everyone knows by this point that I love me some geekery, so it should come as no surprise to hear that I recently finished rewatching the entire series of Star Trek: The Next Generation, including the movies. They’re awesome to have on in the background when packing and cleaning, two things I’ve been doing a lot of over the past few months. The only reason I bring this up is that buried in one of the movies was a fantastic quote on normal:

“Normal is what everyone else is and you are not.”

How true is that? It totally blew my mind. Wisdom in science fiction, I tell you.

There’s such a wealth of information on the internet about how to go from aspiring writer to published novelist that, to me, it’s not surprising so many people get caught up in the process. I was talking to a writer friend of mine about her experience landing an agent, and she was saying how stressful she found it. She ended up getting an agent in a slightly different way than “normal,” and ended up having to deal with a significant amount of stress because of that. Not so much that it was hard, as that she felt as though she was skipping parts of the process that she was supposed to have done, because everyone else does it that way, and that’s clearly the “right” way to do it. The normal way.

Yeah, there’s a lot of advice out there on how to go from A to B. But it’s not the only way. It’s not even the correct way, or the best way. It’s just one path. I keep reminding myself of this as I move forward, because I find myself suffering the same thing. “Hang on,” I think to myself, “Friend A got an editorial letter while I’m working more on a back and forth basis with my editor. Is that bad? Am I doing something wrong?” But the thing is, I actually like this way better. It works for me. It might not be “normal” in the strictest sense, in that everyone hears about the editorial letter as the next step in the process, but so far I think it’s the best way possible for me, for this book, with this editor.

I think it’s pretty important not to let “normal” get to us as writers. We haven’t yet–I mean, did any of you stop reading in school when you got teased for being a bookworm? When new acquaintances silently judged you when you said you were a writer? When teachers or critique groups told you that you weren’t writing normal fiction? Of course not. So why let “normal” bog us down us now? Embrace it. When the road diverges, don’t be afraid when you take the one less traveled.

(Robert Frost gets me.)

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26 Responses to “What is normal?”

  1. Sarah says:

    My Mother taught me that I’m normal, it’s the rest of the world that’s out of step. That kept me going for a long time but I don’t need it any more. If you ask my 14 year old girls, they’ll turn their nose up at ‘normal’. According to them, ‘normal’ is for people who don’t have the imagination to be different. Everyone in my household is ‘different’ 🙂

  2. Alaina says:

    Great post, as usual!

  3. I think of it like this: We are each our own normal and that’s the only normal we should be.

    Good thoughts here, Meagan.

  4. I’m not weird, I’m brilliant! That’s should be a mantra. Thanks for the post. It’s good to know I’m not the only only weirdo around.

  5. Carrie says:

    Awesome post! I used to babysit for a little girl who was wacky and wonderful. When the other kids called her weird she just smiled really big and said “thank you” because her parents had taught her that she was her own normal. I hope that if I ever have kids I can do the same and I always think of her when I start to feel like being ‘weird’ is a bad thing.

    P.S. Science Fiction is TOTALLY wise 🙂

    • Meagan says:

      That sounds like an AWESOME little girl! What a fantastic outlook on life, and a great response to people who don’t understand her. Wish I’d thought of that when I was little!

  6. Beth says:

    I think many of us step to the beat of our own drummer, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Great post about reminding us to be ourselves.

  7. After years, I gave up on agents and editors. Now I realize that the problem I had was that I had a ya voice but my characters were and are in their twenties. Now there is a new category for writers like me called, New Age. However, I am self published the e-book way and unless an agent or publisher comes after me I won’t look for them. I don’t know if that is smart or foolish, I just know I got tired of their excuses.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

    • Meagan says:

      I think the New Adult thing is really interesting–as a 20-something myself who loves YA, it’s a genre that definitely appeals to me!

      And really–finding a form of publishing that works for you and makes you happy is really the most important thing! Not what other people tell you is necessary. 🙂

  8. Veronica says:

    Love this post, Meagan. I am absolutely not normal : ) And proud of it.

  9. Kari Marie says:

    Great post Meagan! Normal is boring. Of course it took me 35 years to figure that out. Beloved Husband and I love TNG too!

  10. Great post. I heartily agree. There is more than one way to write a book and more than one way to get published. And normal? Pfft, who wants to be normal? 😉

  11. Jenny says:

    I’ve been having similar thoughts this week. We really can’t compare ourselves to others. We need to just embrace our own experiences. Wonderful post.

  12. Amie Kaufman says:

    I love that ‘you’re weird’ is a compliment in our household.

    I think doing things differently to other people can be stressful–because there’s a way you’re ‘supposed’ to do things, and also because sometimes, that ‘supposed’ is there for a reason. For me, the key is to work out what that reason is, and if you’re achieving what you need–if so, forge your own path! As we usually do 😉

    • Meagan says:

      That’s true. No one would accuse us of doing things the way everyone else does them. And I think we (and our writing) is far better for it!

  13. jeff king says:

    I never bother with what’s normal… if anything, I am above being normal—I am special and love my life—if you want to have a blast just hang around for a bit, the party is about to start.
    Normal is average—why would anyone wish to be average?

  14. Joan says:

    I actually LIKE to think that writers are not normal. We are a different kind of people. Oh, and there was a quote somewhere that said,
    A writer is not a person. He is a bunch of different people trying to be one person.
    Or something xD
    But it’s so true.. Writers are more sensitive and open and dark and… No words for what we are but we are certainly not normal.
    Normal has a very *ordinary* sort of ring to it..

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