Butterflies & Girl Power


I’ve been meaning to post for days about the last two readings I attended, which were by two debut authors from New England. Sure, it was really cool to attend recent readings by Neil Gaiman and Ann Patchett, but there’s nothing like seeing someone whose career you’ve been following for a few years up there with her brand new, beautiful book. Congratulations, Erin and Dawn!

Erin Moulton had a reading and signing at Porter Square Books (my local indie). She’s one of my Vermont College classmates and was one of the people who’d attend my monthly mini-retreats. The hilarious part about co-working with Erin was that we’d all be spread throughout the house silently writing (some with headphones, others needing absolute quiet), and she’d take over my husband’s study upstairs so that she could work aloud. My crit group calls me a social writer because I love writing dates and meeting to work side by side with other writers. Erin’s one of the most physical writers I know. She gets up to pace, read aloud, and act out the parts so that she can describe them. No wonder her story is about a girl who goes on an adventure. The story is about four sisters, and as one of four girls, Erin nails the relationships. In the book, two of the sisters set out to try to find a miracle for their prematurely born baby sister.

Here’s Erin at her reading, and isn’t this cover gorgeous?

Last week I got to see Dawn Metcalf at Pandemonium Books. The setting was so appropriate and hilarious — Dawn is a complete geek (which is a compliment!), and there was a gaming night going on downstairs, so every so often a couple of stereotypically geeky boys (who looked like they’d been picked from Central Casting) would slink by to get to their event downstairs. Dawn is gorgeous, and her table was decorated with a purple tablecloth and some spectacular skulls (I particularly liked the Bedazzled one — best use of Bedazzling ever), and she read and answered all sorts of questions. Luminous is about a girl who discovers her super power — she can step out of her skin and into new ones — which means she occasionally runs around as a skeleton. It’s multicultural fantasy with a diverse cast of characters, and have I mentioned that the main character is trying to catch a serial killer? Dawn’s semiotic analysis of her book’s beautiful cover made me smile: purple signifies fantasy, she said, and butterflies = girl.

Given the books that these butterflies decorate, I wonder if we’ll need to revise that so butterflies = girl power. These protagonists and their authors are strong and talented!

© 2016 Anindita Basu Sempere. 
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