Wednesday 13 October 2010

Interview with Brenna Yovanoff

I read The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff last week and I’m still thinking about it; it was that bloody good! It’s about ugly things, love, friendship, courage, and secrets. The Replacement debuted at #10 on the New York Times children’s list, and is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

The Replacement
Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement—left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is slowly dying in the human world.
Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with an oddly intriguing girl named Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

Brenna is one of the Merry Sisters of Fate, and I’ve enjoyed her short fiction for a while now. Her energy is incredible, and her writing has always affected me: I become the story, I’m empathic to the emotion, I love and loath her characters and, ‘I’d like to write like Brenna.’ She’s become an online mentor, and I squealed like a wild pig in a crocodile’s mouth when she let me interview her.

1) What was it about The Replacement that made you think, this is the one, this is the one I want to see published?

I wish I had a better answer to this, but I'm honestly not sure. I just had a feeling that this was The One and I needed to send it out into the world. I knew that agents and editors had been talking about wanting more YA fantasy told from a male point of view, and I felt like maybe I had what they were looking for.

2) I've noticed love is a recurring theme in YA, what's being in love like for you?

I think that love is a recurring YA theme precisely because when we experience it in adolescence, it's very new and very raw. There's a lot of uncertainty and confusion surrounding it and it can be very difficult to navigate. For me, being in love now is very different. There's a much greater sense of trust and security—it doesn't come with such an element of risk, partly because I know myself much better.

3) This, from your website, surprised me - "I'm bad at dancing, making decisions, and inspiring confidence as an authority figure. I suspect this is because I am short, and also terrible at sounding as though I have any idea what I'm talking about." And yet your writing is powerful, eloquent, and seductive. What do you think prevents these traits from manifesting in your personality and life?

Thanks for the wonderful compliment, Simon! I do think that one of the great things about writing is being able to tap into characteristics one might not exhibit in one's daily life. I'm a chronic second-guesser, and I think this is because whenever I look at something, even if it's pretty straightforward, I see a lot of possibilities. This trait is better for—say—writing, than it is for deciding on which route to take in a crowded city.

4) If you had the opportunity to talk to young Brenna, what age would you be, and what would you say?

I would probably talk to Brenna at fourteen and tell her to stop worrying so much about how to socialize because no one else has any idea what's going on either, and those heavy bangs are really not a good idea, and please, please try harder at Algebra, because in two years you'll find out that you are actually really good at Basic Physics, but you won't be able to move on to the advanced class because of your woeful knowledge of algebra.

5) Your presence online is comforting, I already consider you a mentor, and I believe you'll become a role model for readers, writers, and young people. Are you ready for this, and is this 'fame' something you've dreamed about it?

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Simon! Personally, I don't know if mentoring is something people are ever really ready for. I think people find themselves in that position, either voluntarily or by chance, and then they get to see if they're cut out for it—so if mentoring turns out to be a part of all this, I'll have to see how it plays out! As far as fame goes, I'll be honest, I've never really dreamed about it. When I was little, I really hated being the center of attention, and even now, if I'm given a choice, I prefer to be an observer rather than a participant. So I don't think much about being famous, just about writing stories that people want to read.

6) Do you think the fantasy worlds that writers create only exist in their imaginations or are they created from something real? Are the fangs, fur, and fey real?

While I'm definitely not a literalist about fantasy creatures, I do think there's something to the idea that we as a species are driven to create them as expressions of our own cultural fears or desires. We invent creatures who transform from human beings into animal counterparts, or who live forever and never age or get sick. I think these things speak clearly to ideas about death and self-control. They might not be real, but they seem to be very effective metaphors for a lot of things that are.

7) Zombies are roaming the streets and your critique partners have been infected. Do you:
a) Blast them?
b) Keep them as pets and train them to be vegans?
c) Let them bite you so you can still be friends?
d) Another option?

Well, you're talking about Tess and Maggie here, so I would absolutely need to find a cure! Even if I could keep them as pets, I'm pretty sure they'd be no good to me as either writers or critique partners, and if it's the zombie apocalypse, I expect to be holed up for quite a while and I'm definitely going to need them to keep writing new stories for me to read!

Thanks for having me, Simon!

Isn’t she cool!

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Monday 11 October 2010

In Great Love

The day I started the 100 healings a friend was woken by spirit at 5 AM. This is the txt message I received from her, from spirit.

“That which you embark upon this day may lead to heights or depths, my son. Do not lose the integrity of this process, for it is sacred, and in your hands. Many of those who come to you are of great need, and in this, faith may be lost, or found. Be not tempted by the gilded lights, intention pure be not veiled. We are many who watch with great interest this task. In great love.”

Once you’re on this path, the messages come from everywhere.

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Tuesday 5 October 2010

Thank You

This is an email I received from one of my clients.

I just want to again thank you for the wonderful experience of healing and love I received from you and spirit yesterday, and I want to let you know how I have felt since.

I had an interesting time as I drove away from your house. I was really sobbing and then I screamed very loud "I don't want to die, I WANT TO LIVE!" and from that time on I have felt so much better. The sadness that I could physically feel in my chest has gone. As you suggested, I am looking at one part of my body at a time and loving it and being thankful for it. I also seem to be able to divert negative energy away from my heart.

I had a very real experience this afternoon. I had been reading your blogs and watched the videos regarding your healing with Gary. I suddenly became very tired and needed to lie down. I didn't want to lie down on my own so I crawled into bed beside my son who was watching TV. I was shivering and couldn't get warm. At times I felt nauseous and wondered whether I would have to get up to vomit. When I dozed off my son told me I was moaning and at one time my other son asked me why I laughed? I’d keep waking up with my legs moving with little kicks and twitching and the left side area which you worked on (ovaries or uterus?) was aching. Both these sensations were just as I felt yesterday on your table. I think I probably slept a little and after a while I felt okay. I guess I got some distant healing today!

Love, Glenda.

Thanks, Glenda, for allowing me to post this here. I love you too.

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Friday 1 October 2010

What to Expect After a Healing

There has been a lot of interest in the 100 free healings offer and since I can’t respond to every email I will try to answer the questions in a series of posts.

The most common response to healing that I hear from my clients is, “I feel great,” but often they can’t describe what has changed; they just feel different. This post will help you to identify what has changed and promote further healing, and I’d also recommend reading this post on self-healing.

Like the healing responses during a healing I don’t know what you will experience after. I’ve witnessed extraordinary medical responses with some clients only to have the illness or injury reappear weeks or months later. Ultimately the client is in control of what happens in the future, and in these cases I’d suggest the clients hadn’t changed the way they think or feel about themselves. Self-awareness, observation, action, and courage are needed to enjoy a happy and healthy life. Success ranges from negligible to miraculous and even though I’ve done countless healings I can’t guarantee or predict the response.

There are two common pathways of healing:

• Clients leave smiling and live a pain and illness free life, and I don’t hear from them again until they refer a new client to me twelve months later.
• Clients leave dazed and then experience fatigue, mood shifts, depression, temporarily relive past injuries, illness, and emotions—one client had acne, similar to what she had as a teenager, for a day, her breasts ached for six hours, she experienced the pain of a ten year old knee injury for an hour, she sobbed uncontrollably for half a day, and she had flu like symptoms for a day—over time these incidences fade and health and joy manifests, seemingly from nowhere and sometimes without the client noticing. One day they just feel great.

Of course there are numerous variations on these outcomes, and some clients re-book because the experience is so bloody good and they like the stories I tell. I never advise my clients to re-book, I let them make that decision, but with chronic illness’ I like to see clients more than once, and I also like to see immediate family members.

Depression and addictive behaviours are more difficult to shift and clients have to be proactive in changing thinking patterns and behaviour. I’ve had immediate success with depression a few times, but usually there are follow up appointments.

I don’t ever advise anyone to stop taking prescribed medication or to stop seeing their doctors. I’ve had clients who have been unable to take drugs after seeing me, they can’t even put the tablet into their mouths, but this is a decision you should discuss with your doctor.

I’ve also had the same response with smokers. I saw a client four days in a row and she was unable to smoke after the sessions. The first day she forced herself to smoke ten cigarettes, but she felt nauseous after. By the fourth day she didn’t have the desire to smoke. Apparently, four months later she started smoking again. The intelligence of our energy fields, if we pay attention, will guide us to health, but we’re in control. Be mindful of what you’re creating. Be responsible.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments. Talk soon.

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