Well, first of all – thank you Hannah Sears.
Second, to all of you reading this — you shouldn’t suppose that just because Hannah actually makes a cameo in Memoirs of a Dilettante that she is somehow selfishly invested in promoting them, as she did yesterday by posting my cover reveal.
Speaking of yesterday — yesterday was Hannah’s BIRTHDAY! Yes, that’s right — she posted the cover reveal for Memoirs of a Dilettante on her BIRTHDAY!
So. Stop what you’re doing, and head over to Vers Les Etoiles, and wish her a belated happy birthday, and tell her Helena says hi.
Well, go on, now. I’ll wait.
tick tock tick tock tick tock….
Scoot! Go! Skidaddle!
Okay, now that you’re back, let me tell you a bit about Hannah.
First of all, Hannah and I stumbled upon each other in the very early days — I’d only had the blog for a couple of months — and we were both writing Friday Fictioneers. We started bantering back and forth on each other’s comments pages for the stories, and then quickly took the banter privately to our email.
The amount of correspondence that followed could likely fill three books, and if I ever run out of material, I may be tempted to raid my e-mail cache.
Clever, witty, smart, and silly, Hannah might be the quickest foil of mine since the Countess Penelope of Arcadia.
What more can I say about that? Some people just click.
But you’re not interested in my friendship with Hannah — though I will say — if there’s anyone out there who’s as excited about the release of the Memoirs as I am; it’s Hannah, who has, out of friendship, put in hours of her time editing and critiquing and helping me prepare for publication. So thank you, Hannah.
But other than her charming wit, what lured me to Hannah? Why, her writing, of course.
Here’s the highest praise that I can give Hannah’s writing in a nutshell: Someday I want to write something in its entirety, and then hand it over to Hannah and ask her to completely re-write it as if it were her own. A daunting task to be sure, but what I’m essentially saying is that I want to be the sketch artist, and then have her make it something truly rich and beautiful.
Hannah’s characters floor me. She creates the most human, most believable, most flawed characters, and you instantly love or hate them. For a while there she was writing three or four different serial stories with different characters, and I had no idea how she kept them all unique and separate, but she did!
And atmosphere! She doesn’t over-write with long, Tolkien-esque description, but instead paints lush, suggestive passages that stimulate your imagination to fill in the rest. She might describe a scene where there are cicadas buzzing in the trees, and (well, I’ll let you read her work, I can’t do it justice here) and after a few paragraphs, you can practically smell magnolias and feel the sweat on your skin from an over-warm southern afternoon.
And let me just say one more thing before I send you back off to read her oeuvre — it takes ovaries of solid brass to run a fiction blog. I’ve discovered, through trial and disappointment, that it’s difficult to get people to read fiction — be it short or long — on a blog. Unless you’re participating in writing communities or competitions, it’s difficult to get people to give you a chance. People are more inclined to read articles about celebrities, or self-help, or reviews or movies, etc… or just personality pieces. And that’s fine — I’m not criticizing, I’m just saying that’s the way things are. So for Hannah to continue to write, even when she’s maybe not getting the feedback that she’d like — that shows a great love for writing and a boatload of integrity. I personally think that integrity should be rewarded, and I hope I’m there to see it when it eventually is. Best of success to you, darling; you deserve it.
And now, Hannah doesn’t know I’m going to spill the beans like this, but oh, what the hell! Hannah’s got another piece of good news — she’s going to have a BABY!!!!!
Choke, sputter.. .what the hell, Helena???!!!!!
Gee… I really hope her parents aren’t reading this!
I meant metaphorically, darlings… as in, a literary baby — Hannah’s delightfully dark short story Tenebris Ad Lucem is being published by Siren’s Call Publishing in their upcoming horror anthology Voices of the Gloom II, set to be released sometime this spring (seems like a good time to release books!)
It’s a creepy little tale incorporating all that great dark atmosphere that Hannah’s so good at, and characters that get under your skin immediately. A priest of a small parish is faced with a series of gruesome murders, and has to battle with demons both literal and personal to discover the truth of the matter.
And of course Hannah is still writing. If you follow her blog, you’ll get updated when she posts something new. But if she’s not posting new stories, it’s likely because she’s saving them for publication — she’s got a couple in the pipeline that I have high hopes for!
In the meantime, head back over to Vers Les Etoiles, and browse through the categories at the top — she’s written a variety of different genres — I’m sure you’ll find something you like.
Oh, I’d start with Tweakers — and give her some feedback on this one — I think she should flesh it out into a novella or something.