Monday, March 3, 2014

Why I loved All is Silence by Robert Slater

I am a writer, not an editor...dammit! Basically, what was running through my head when +Robert Slater hired me as his editor on the book All Is Silence (*Disclosure: affiliate link, see below). And it is still true. I am not about to run out and start trying to sell my editing services, that is for sure.

Why did I do it? Well, I had already critiqued a few chapters in the group we both belonged to, and the short answer was: Lizzie.

Lizzie is the main protagonist and has been described as an anti-hero. Anti-hero is a pretty good label for Lizzie...not that she would appreciate being labelled. She is an angry teenage girl who has had a crappy life, and now life is throwing another big bucketful of crap at her--everyone dies except her.

A plague wipes out 90% of the population, including just about everyone she knows. Lizzie already had problems being an outcast, now she is more alone than ever.

I remember when I was Lizzie's age. I've had unfortunate experiences with abuse, like her, and I remember being so angry at everything I would scream and cry into my pillow, when I knew there was nobody around to hear.

I felt Lizzie.

Lizzie and I were sisters, in a way, and wanted to see where her story went. I also wanted to help Rob in shaping her story, because I had an insight into the big question: WWLD (What Would Lizzie Do)? And I wanted to make sure Lizzie grew into the strong warrior I knew she could be.

There is a thing about being an angry teenage girl. Sometimes we put on this tough exterior, but the whole reason we are angry is that we feel weak. We feel like the world is just happening to us and that we have no control over anything. So we rebel in the only ways we know how. Some of us, like Lizzie, try things like hurting ourselves, just to feel like we have a tiny bit of control. But under it all we feel totally useless. Like we don't even matter. That was the voice that Lizzie spoke to me in. I understood her, and wanted to hold out my hand to her and pull her up out of that pit, and bring her to the other side. Where girls like us can be strong.

I wanted girls, who identify with Lizzie, to know they can be strong. And not the fake strong where we just pretend everything is ok, when its not. Real strength where we put all the bullshit of our past behind us, grab hold of our present and our future, and make them ours. Real strength where we say: "It's not OK" at the top of our lungs, when we need to.

All is Silence is book one in the Deserted Lands series which Rob has plans to write. Lizzie has begun her path to strength, and I am very proud of her.

Thank you Rob, for giving me this opportunity to help you shape Lizzie's path and show all the angry teenagers out there that no matter what crap they are dealing with right now, they can take it and roll with it.

(Disclosure: Heads up, the link above with an * next to it is an Amazon Associates link, where I get a tiny payout if you click it and buy a book. Hey, we are all just trying to get 2 cents to rub together in this life, right? It doesn't mean I didn't mean every word I said above. Alternatively, you can visit amazon.com, kobobooks.com, barnesandnoble.com, or indiebound.org and search for "All is Silence.")

©2013 Amanda June Hagarty

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