one book authors

Lame adaptations and sequels are always like, “how can Mina go back to her stifling Victorian marriage after her experience with the dark, seductive Dracula??”

Meanwhile, Mina marries her best friend, who she’s known since they were children, who she share common interests with, they build a home together, work as partners, make immense sacrifices for each other, support each other through their traumas.

Guys, a marriage isn’t stifling and restrictive just because two people… get along, I guess?

- You’re just 18, you’re too young, don’t get pregnant or marry someone to quickly, - they pleaded.
- You’re 25, come on, it’s time to think and start doing something, you don’t need any kids, focus on your career, - they preached.
- You’re 32, what are you thinking? Do you want to end up as a single crazy catlady? - they cried.
- You’re 39, a single mother without a successful startup or a fabulous career, you’re such a disappointment, - they grumbled.
- She was 42, when she jumped out of the window. What a disgrace to the family, - they whispered.

The only thing they’ve never told you was when to start living your life on your own…
— 

Don’t lose your way while trying to satisfy all the expectations: they are never worth wasting your life.

© illirein

I never realized how beautiful brown eyes are until I fell in love with you. I always used to think blue eyes were gorgeous and clear and I would be so lucky to get to stare into a pair of eyes that reflected the ocean for the rest of my life, but now all I think about is how I want to stare into your beautiful coffee colored eyes every moment of every day. I don’t want a pair of bright emerald eyes staring back at me every morning, I want eyes the color of amber and onyx piercing my soul, I want eyes that reflect my cup of coffee every morning, I want your lovely brown eyes to look longingly at me each and every day
—  On brown eyes

After a little bit of traveling while she’s figuring out exactly what she wants to do, Cat Grant decides revisit an old pen name.  She wrote a few children’s books when she was younger under the name Charity Malkin, mostly to settle a bet with Lois, but there was no reason Charity Malkin couldn’t come out of retirement.

She finds she enjoys it, and finishes her first book in record time.  She sends it in to CatCo’s publishing department, through the normal approval procedures.  Sure, she could just order it done, but Cat refuses to take the easy option.  Her employees have been trained to recognize quality, and if her book doesn’t pass muster, she’ll just have to try harder.

Her book is picked up, however, and the first limited run is snatched up quick enough that she’s approved for wider release.

Charity Malkin gets fanmail, drawings from little children and thank you letters from parents, but two letters are sent to Cat Grant specifically, despite her expecting at most one, or more likely zero.  After all, Lois was the only other person who knew who Charity Malkin was.

Sure enough, one of the cards is from her former colleague, congratulating her and insulting her in equal measure.  The other card didn’t come through the mail, but instead appeared on her kitchen counter along side a styrofoam container with breakfast from her favorite bistro in France.  Kara’s card was short, congratulating her on her return and hoping for more, with no explanation as to how she figured out Cat was the author or why she had read the book in the first place.

Fueled by her initial success, Cat keeps writing.  The average american family hadn’t been static over the years, and Cat refused to use the stereotypical 50s family.  She didn’t always make it the focus, but her books were quickly noted as some of the best new examples of non-traditional families available.  Divorce, Adoption, Gay Parents, Transgender characters, characters on the spectrum, and more.  Cat did her research, interviewed real families to make sure she was accurate, because she knew children deserved to see themselves in books.

Cat has never been willing to settle once she’s on a roll, and she starts writing for older kids, first chapter books, then some young adult fiction, all the diverse casts she had made her mark with.  She made sure anyone who read her books could find themselves in the pages, and from the fan letters that made it to her and the communities that sprang up, Cat had succeeded.

Kara kept sending her cards whenever she published something new, usually a few lines about what she thought, but sometimes, the whole card is full of words, and once or twice, there’s notebook pages torn out and stuffed in the card, and Cat reads every word, more than once.  Those letters always end up in her collection of favorite fanmail, alongside pictures of kids and families dressed as her characters, fanart of her heroes, and letters that brought a tear to her eye.

Charity Malkin was successful, but reclusive.  Cat had fun lurking on the official Charity Malkin forums, posting only occasionally, typically to end discussions that had gotten out of hand, or to critique particularly bad grammar.  Her favorite section was the creative writing boards, and encouraged everyone to contribute.  It was considered high praise to have TheCharityMalkin leave a comment, even when she only left a few words, because she rarely left more than that.

But Cat wanted to be able to interact with her fans more directly than through an internet filter, and began planning her reveal.  A press release would be boring, and a media campaign wasn’t the right strategy.  Inspiration struck when Supergirl landed on her balcony.

Supergirl hadn’t taken much convincing to agree to her plan, not that Cat expected it would.  Two weeks later, Supergirl landed in front of the children’s hospital for a publicized meet and greet.  A camera followed her as she met the kids and answered their questions.  Eventually the kids were assembled for storytime, and Supergirl introduced her friend, Charity Malkin.  The camera barely left her face as Cat read her new book, about an alien who came to earth, and how she had managed to adjust to life on a new planet.  The kids clapped for the book when she was done, and Cat warmed because she knew they weren’t clapping just because of who she was, because most of them still didn’t recognize her.  It was a change Cat didn’t know she would appreciate so much.

The video was sold to everybody pretty much immediately.  Cat let the media run with it, and refused to answer her phone, except when Lois called for a comment, and Cat only did that because she knew nothing either one of the said would be fit for print.

Cat kept writing, though she slowed down production somewhat now that she was public.  She refused to do a full book tour, but instead, she would fly out and did public readings and Q&A sessions in bookstores whenever it struck her fancy.  Charity Malkin also spoke at fan conventions, where she lectured on writing and storycraft, and gave maddeningly obtuse answers whenever she was asked about a spoiler.

It’s the happiest she’s been in years.

“No ‘Glory shall be your reward’ for me. Oh, no, for me, it is, 'Stop whining’ and 'Go to bed’.”
― Megan Whalen Turner, The King of Attolia

My entry for @meganwhalenturner ’s Thick as Thieves ARC contest, featuring everyone’s favorite one-handed thief-king, Gen.

When you took my hand, gently, for the first time, I felt as a tiny snowdrop, timidly piercing through the snow. I felt so fragile, tender, filled with unconventional trust to you.
When you shouted at me, fiercely, for the last time, I felt as a Maiden of Ice, strong, cold and untouched by your curses. I felt so powerful and brave that I felt almost happy to leave you in the past.
Each time my heart gets broken, I become stronger.
Each time I become stronger, I just smile at my past tragedies and they can never hurt me anymore.
—  © illirein