Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Carlee Earhart

I am a writer. Not I wish to be a writer. Not I want to be a writer. I am a writer. I wish to be published, but that does not affect the fact that I am currently writing.

It's already been mentioned on this blog that I am working on a middle grade fantasy book. It is just one of many projects I'm working on; however, my MG fantasy book is a focus because it's done. I'm basically just revising and researching the market. I plan to start actively searching for an agent in the fall, if my beta tests of the book among adolescents goes well. Some of the other projects I'm working on include high fantasy works, science fiction works, and some books that ask the question where the line between scifi and fantasy is. Most of these projects are "adult" books, though I would rate them all PG-13 or less. I have one project, however, that is YA that I would like to share with all of you.

Her name is Carlee Earhart.

Carlee Earhart is a blogger. She has a blog very similar to this one. (Which would be because blogspot templates were used for both, though different ones). She is only sixteen, but she's not your average teenage blogger. Carlee's blog tells the story of an event that happened to her last September, but she just got around to blogging. It starts with the day she discovered her older brother is an android.

Carlee's blog has only been up for about a month, and I will admit her only readers are among my friends (except one reader in Colorado! Go Colorado! I love you and your reading of my blog!). She's a fairly new and unusual project for me. Blogging is clearly not a normal form of publication. I don't know anyone who has hit it rich blogging fiction. Of course, that could mean I haven't done my research. Carlee, however, is not about getting rich. Carlee is an idea I had that I felt very strongly about.

The story of Carlee Earhart and her android brother, John, was one that has been bouncing around my head for quite some time. I've always wanted to write scifi, and I've always wished more girls would read scifi. I love scifi, I'm a girl, and I'm not ashamed. Science fiction is a genre that challenges preconceived notions and leads a person into discovering things they never would have. Because of science fiction, I am an aerospace engineer working for a major….uh…launching facility… Florida……(still not clear on the rules here). I've always wanted to write hardcore, space opera, golden age scifi, like Asimov, but that's not what Carlee is about. Carlee is soft scifi. She's meant to lead younger readers into this noble genre. Carlee's story isn't a golden age of scifi sort of story. I would compare it more to paranormal fantasy.

If you know me at all you know I pretty much detest paranormal fantasy. Why would I compare one of my project's to it?

Well in many paranormal fantasy stories, you have an average, run of the mill person who comes into contact with someone/something extraordinary. (Like a girl coming into contact with a vampire….yes, like Twilight). It's my opinion that people like these stories because they identify with this average, modern day main character, and they feel that adventure could enter their otherwise mundane lives. (That's not a slap in the face of paranormal fantasy readers. My life is mundane. I read high/epic fantasy to escape it. It's just a taste difference, and I have less people I can identify with). Carlee is like that. She was your average American high schooler. She wasn't the smartest, not the prettiest, not the most popular, but neither was she the loser geek that everyone makes fun of. (Which I contest that stereotype. I was a total nerd in high school and I was on prom court. People like nerds these days.) Carlee is far from exactly like me, and I think she is someone people can identify with. Someone who feels sort of average and ordinary, but knows they're far from the bottom of the food chain. So how does this average American girl's life take a turn for the scifi? Her big brother, the valedictorian of his class and captain of the football team, is shot in a convenience store robbery. Carlee finds herself swept off world (essentially abducted by aliens) and discovers her brother is an android.

Carlee's blog details all of this far better than I can do in one entry. It's called "An Android's Soul". How did the name get chosen? Carlee struggles with the fact that her brother, who she loves more than anyone, is an android. What does that mean about their relationship? Can he feel love? Is he even alive? She has to grapple with the stereotypes about androids that others try to force upon her, and she has to determine whether she thinks the laws set in place by the galaxy to demean her brother's existence are valid. It's the main question of her entire blog. Does an android have a soul? Does her brother have a soul?

I encourage you to check it out if you haven't already. One of the things I love about Carlee is that she's interactive. If you get confused about a plot point, want more information about something mentioned in passing, or just have something to say, you can comment on her blog. Or you can friend her on facebook and chat with her there. Carlee is not just some diary you are reading. She is there, answering your questions and helping you to understand the struggles she is having in life.

If you have questions about how the process of writing Carlee's life, you can talk to me, but if you have questions about the storyline or anything else you should ask Carlee. She wants to answer your questions. That's what she's for.

And are you curious about my really long last name I've mentioned before? Scroll down to the bottom of Carlee's blog and check out the copyright. My name is there.

But I'm just Carlee's "earth contact". She's the one doing all the writing.

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