Tag Archives: Bruce Coville

News: Back from Quarantine and Book Signing!

Thank you all for being understanding as I dealt with my various levels of stress, anxiety, and the various fall outs lately (among them involving a lot of my hair going into a fast shed, it was awful). I did okay with the whole shutting myself up in the house part, I’ve been sick the least amount I’ve been in the last few years actually, so you know, small bonuses. Karu and Kari are loving me being home, less so that they are being switched to pure-adult food because it is time they got off the combo kitten/adult food. Once I got a Switch and Animal Crossing: New Horizon (yes, I am one of those people) to be a stress relief and calming mechanism, things leveled out.

Originally, I had a book signing scheduled for April which canceled for…obvious reasons. Thankfully, Full Circle Books offered those of us in April first-dibs at slot for the June New Ink signings, and I jumped on it. I will hopefully be there in June (with a mask!!!) if things don’t spike outrageously here in the metro. I have the box of Sun’s Guard: Ten copies ready and everything… Oh shoot. Dara still has my good pens. I will buy new pens, and then I’ll be ready, lol. I’ll post announcements on Twitter and details on the homepage once I get them, right now I don’t know anything besides…June.

Speaking of book signings though, I am available for those and school visits if anyone wants to drop me a line at rebeccamhorner@yahoo.com to discuss details in the future once Covid isn’t making everything a nightmare. I’ll post that in the FAQ section at some point along with those details. We might even try some virtual meet ups!

I’ve also started to work on an audio reading of Sun’s Guard: Ten, which got waylaid because my desk chair revolted after working from home started with my day job. (I had to sit on a pillow to avoid splinters while tracking down a replacement.) But I have a new chair, so I’ll use this weekend to catch up on that, start getting some recording going on, and then hopefully we’ll have that ready to come out this fall. I’m excited to do a full-cast reading, inspired by Bruce Coville and Tamora Pierce because I am trash like that. And also theater trash, because I want all the characters to have different voices, drat it!

(I can’t get a braille copy going, but by golly, there will be an audio version going. Though if I spot typos in the original text, I might be updating the print copies to correct those because they may drive me nuts…)

Otherwise, I am poking away at a few projects. Right now my focus is on a fanfic that Ginny has outed me for writing on Twitter for Sly Cooper and getting an installment of that out, and then I’ll probably either work on the game or on Black Lark. Page is still on stand by, I believe I’ll start editing work in July…which means fixing my printer, joy. I also found the Ginny box! I need to pick a book and review it for you all, or watch a new movie instead of rewatching things. Sigh, that means making room for new characters. I think I’m still suffering from such high disappointment from Miraculous Ladybug turning sour after season one that it’s hard for me to make that leap again. But I’ll look!

In the meantime, I’ll see you all next weekend. Stay safe, stay inside if you can, and if you can’t, wear a mask and wash your hands.


Writing: Unicorns Need a Publicist

…Okay, stay with me on this one.

While I spent the last weekend sick, I had time to do some musing on my novel getting type-casted as being middle-grade, despite knowing my prose is at 9th grade reading level, my main characters are seventeen (if sometimes decidedly immature, but…teenagers), and while the goblins are ridiculous, the hobgoblin is a real threat. I also knew most of the elements I used in my query/first 10 appear in other YA and even adult fiction books, so it couldn’t be them. What did that leave me with?

Unicorns.

Now, I don’t know about all of you, but I grew up watching The Last Unicorn on repeat from the ages of 6 or 7 till…present. I love that movie. I can quote that movie from memory, and I’m due for a rewatch. And I can quote most of the Butterfly’s speech at that. Around 10, I found Bruce Coville’s A Glory of Unicorns and then his Unicorn Chronicles series. (I discovered The Unicorns of Balinor too young for it to click with me, the shortness started driving me nuts.) As a teenager, I kept hoping unicorns would feature more prominently in the Harry Potter series or in Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books since they keep getting name-dropped along with the werewolves. I read the Acorna series by McCaffery, but it wasn’t the best thing ever since it was very much sci-fi and that isn’t my cup of cocoa most of the time (plus I got bored about the time the lead got a girl and gave up).

And now as an adult writer who keeps getting told her YA book is too MG in sheer concept, I have to wonder. At one point was it decided that after the age of 12, we no longer like unicorns? That they are meant to be cutsey and wootsey and pretty, but we have to grow up and start liking “serious” books that talk about the world around us, or that if we must do fantasy, shouldn’t we read about dragons, who can be both good or bad or neither and be beasts or companion?*

When I googled unicorns, I didn’t pull up images of Amalthea. I didn’t pull up pictures of fantasy artwork featuring them, like the poster that was in my childhood bedroom up until my mother sold her house four years ago. I didn’t even pull up pictures from old medieval texts, where they were trying to hash together what a unicorn looked like, and boy, were those a mess.

I pulled up My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic characters. I pulled up cute, stout little chibi figures. I pulled up rainbow and glitter silhouettes. I even pull up a couple of collections of Unicornos, a collection of figurines big out of Asia with different crazy designs that reminds me of MLP in a lot of ways. Or I pull up the horn with a smile and big eyelashes underneath, which is the latest fad, particularly for these “unicorn” cakes. Worse, I pull up super cheap figurines and stuffed toys that are fine for those about age 9 and younger, but any older and you will get some funny looks.

This strikes me as odd. Now, I liked the first two seasons of MLP, but let me tell you, I’d have never admitted to that in high school. (Especially since the show got increasingly juvenile after Faust left.) And as for what I did have… Amalthea faced hardship, and had to change the fundamental core of what she was in order to save the others. Lightfoot and his people went to war, so people could continue to be happy, could continue to have art and music and joy to their lives, for without them, humans were a sad, miserable lot. I wasn’t embarrassed about enjoying those characters, because I knew that they could withstand the scrutiny. Yes, I was able to immerse myself in a fantasy about unicorns, about creatures called to young girls mostly, but they weren’t these one-dimensional ideas, they were actually people with personalities and flaws and growth.

So that now leaves me with a question. Has the world changed? Have teenagers decided they are too old for unicorns, that they don’t need the ideals but instead need the dark and the gritty reality of their world, or only knights and dragons? Or have we, the adults, just decided that they don’t need it anymore? That it’s just a security blanket of childhood, and that there is no depth to be found there?

I hope it’s the latter, and that we can change it. Because I don’t know about you all, but I still need unicorns. I still need to believe in something fundamentally good…even if some of them are jerks, like Moonshine, or a little too interested in fighting, like Sunny will grow up to be.