Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fresh New Voice of YA- Cyn Balog Guest Blog

Check out my reviews of Fairy Tale and Twenty Boy Summer here, and be sure to enter the contest for an ARC of Twenty Boy Summer here!

Guest Blog
As the author of the novel FAIRY TALE, I often get asked why I chose to go with the vanilla, boring, American spelling of “fairy”, instead of going with one of the other, increasingly popular variations, such as “faerie” or “fairie” or “faery”. It seems to me that we have a great degree of confusion among readers, simply stemming from the choice of spelling. Well, the answer, for me, is that I am a no-nonsense kind of gal. For many a time, these variations have confused the heck out of me, too, and so I decided not to cause my readers any agony and just give it to them straight. But then again, I also eat peanut butter directly from the jar and think “Lexus” is just the Japanese word for “Toyota for Suckers.”

However, I thought for sake of clarification, I would point out some reasons why authors may choose to use an alternate spelling:

1) The author is pretentious. This can also be discovered by listening to the author pronounce words like foyer and champagne. If they say “foyay” and “champaaaaahgne”, you’ve got one of those.

2) The author wants to create a distinction between their “badass” faeries and the sweet, nice, Disney fairies of the world, which are not worthy of serious literary exploration. In this case, the author’s “serious literary exploration” will contain a lot of four-letter words and sordid sex acts. Their fairies will hide in dark alleys and carry switchblades.

3) The author just wants to confuse you, which is why they also removed three chapters from the middle of the novel, and all the characters have unpronounceable or too-hilarious-to-say-with-a-straight-face names. (This also serves well when their book is chosen for book clubs, so they can hide in the stacks while you say “What I like is when Aaashitarghafan tells Doosegown that he will never be a part of the Seelie Court…” and laugh their ass off at you.)

4) The author believes that there really is an actual, physical difference between their “faeries” and the “fairy”. This is seen in an ancient construct known as the Fairy Importance-o-Meter.

FAIRY: Puhleeze.

FAIRIE: Slightly better, but still way lame.

FAERY: Good stuff, baby.

FAERIE: My faeries are too hot for you.

5) The author is afraid of the homosexual references associated with the word “fairy.” Their characters have not come out of the closet yet, so they do not feel comfortable with the association. But they would like you to know that some of their best characters are fairies.

6) The author has been studying Spenser or Irish/Scottish lore for most of their life, or else wants you to think they have been. They realize that using the word “fairy” makes readers scoff, and that the word “faerie” makes readers “ooh” and “aah” from the sophistication of it all. They think you are gullible and that all they need to do is to toy with the spelling to up their credibility. Which sure beats learning to dress like a normal person (these authors are notoriously fashion-clueless).

7) The author’s editor made the choice and the author is too chicken to stand up for themselves. If you go to a book signing with this author, he will probably be hiding behind a stack of his books, crying for his mommy.

Now that I read this, of course, it does make sense. I want to be taken seriously! But I want to be a trendsetter, too, and all of those alternate spellings are way overdone. Thus, I am announcing today that any future fae books written by Cyn Balog will use the spelling: phaerrriae. Or, better yet, “@*&”, which is pronounced as “the word formerly known as fairy.” And don’t anyone copy. I’ve already filed the paperwork for a trademark.

1 comment:

  1. Cute post- although I do love "faerie" and am not snobby at all!