Hey, everyone! Welcome to my stop for Ingrid Jonach's Around the World in 80 Days—eek, my second fave Verne book!—blog tour in honor of the release of her new book, When the World Was Flat (and we were in love)!
The Secret Lives of Authors
I rarely talk about being an author in my day-to-day life. In fact, most of my work colleagues would have no idea I spend my spare time writing books (even though my book deal was in the work newsletter last year).
When they ask what I got up to on the weekend I generally say I had a quiet weekend, which translates to writing from dawn until dusk and squeezing in a social activity or time with my husband, plus catching up on my non-writing to-do list (tax time, sigh!), as well as sorting out all of the washing for the week ahead. Phew!
Occasionally, I have told the truth. “My weekend? It was great. I got SO MUCH writing done.” With the exception of close work colleagues, I generally receive a blank look. If I explain I am an author, nine times out of ten the response is positive, which means there have also been a few negative responses across the years, including being warned not to big note myself and to stop dreaming. Yep.
As a result, I am a bit like Clark Kent and Superman (speaking of big noting myself!). My secret identity is not-so-secret though because I use my real name instead of a pen name, which would afford me anonymity.
Jane Austen, who is one of my all-time favorite authors, wrote anonymously her entire life. Her first novel Sense and Sensibility was ‘By a Lady’ and Pride and Prejudice was ‘By the author of Sense and Sensibility.’ Her identity was not revealed until after her death, in a eulogy by her brother Henry.
These days it is more difficult to achieve anonymity. Australian author Nikki Gemmell originally published her fourth novel The Bride Stripped Bare anonymously, because she said it stopped her from self-censoring while writing. She was outed by the media before publication (probably because her novel was written in second person, which was her trademark).
And, unless you have been living under a rock, you would have heard of The Cuckoo’s Calling, which was recently revealed to have been written by J.K. Rowling under the male pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. Rowling was outed on Twitter, by a friend of her lawyer (read former friend and I would daresay former lawyer!).
The Bronte Sisters also chose male pseudonyms Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell because of prejudice against female writers (authoresses) in the early 1800s. Their contemporary George Sand was also a woman (Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin), who reportedly flaunted the law by smoking and wearing male clothes in public (eat your heart out, Lady Gaga). But, even these days, female authors are opting for male pseudonyms in male dominated genres like science fiction or crime, or at the very least initials, e.g. J.K. Rowling, P.D. James, and J.D. Robb.
But male authors have also used female pen names in traditionally female genres like romance, even though studies show that woman will read books written by either gender (whereas men are more likely to read books written by other men). Eighty-nine year old war veteran Bill Spence has written 22 romance novels under the moniker Jessica Blair. Apparently both male and female writers ghost-wrote Nancy Drew novels under the pen name Carolyn Keene. And there were also a couple of men ghost-writing Sweet Valley High novels under the name Francine Pascal as well.
But don't even get me started on ghost writing, which is a whole other level of anonymity!
Lovely post on the topic, right? Funnily enough, I sense pride and/or prejudice to be the main reasons for writing anonymously or using names of the opposite gender, which is sad because it's the words that should matter, not the writer.
Anyway, here's more info on Ingrid's book!
Title: When the World Was Flat (and we were in love)
Author: Ingrid Jonach
Release Date: September 3rd (US & Canada) / 5th (UK) 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Age Group: Young Adult
Looking back, I wonder if I had an inkling that my life was about to go from ordinary to extraordinary.
When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.
But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.
When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.
An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.
About the author:
Ingrid Jonach writes books for children and young adults, including the chapter books The Frank Frankie and Frankie goes to France published by Pan Macmillan, and When the World was Flat (and we were in love) published by Strange Chemistry.
Since graduating from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing (Hons) in 2005, Ingrid has worked as a journalist and in public relations, as well as for the Australian Government.
Ingrid loves to promote reading and writing, and has been a guest speaker at a number of schools and literary festivals across Australia, where she lives with her husband Craig and their pug dog Mooshi.
Despite her best efforts, neither Craig nor Mooshi read fiction.