Tuesday 2 July 2013

Guest Post: Just Saying (Half Lives Blog Tour)

Photo: Faye Thomas
I'm really pleased to be part of the Blog Tour for Sara Grant's new novel, Half Lives.  She's kindly stopped by to talk about the Just Sayings...

Just Saying

My new teen novel Half Lives is two tangled stories of survival. Icie is a typical teenager, until disaster strikes. Her only hope of survival is escaping to a top-secret mountain bunker. Hundreds of years later, 18-year-old Beckett leads a cult that worships a sacred mountain. But Beckett and his beliefs are under attack. Icie and Beckett must fight to survive. They are separated by time but connected by a dangerous secret that both must protect at any cost.

While writing Half Lives, I had great fun playing around with platitudes. We all say them from time to time. “Everything happens for a reason.” “Time heals all wounds.” ‘Platitude’ is defined as a trite remark often uttered as if it were fresh or profound. In Half Lives, these types of sayings have been twisted – at times to the point of nonsensical – and are part of a sacred text used by the cult in Beckett’s story.

‘Just Sayings’ in Half Lives are the cult’s term for scripture. Here are a few “Just Sayings”*:

‘Destiny is a choice, not an option.’ – Just Saying 103
‘Some things are just not meant to be.’ – Just Saying 23
‘Everything happens for a reason. You just may never know what it is.’ Just Saying 76
‘What you fear most sometimes happens and it’s worse than you could ever imagine.’ – Just Saying 187

The blog Award-winning Blather came up with a list of common platitudes – http://writerzim.com/2012/10/13/a-list-of-platitudes/. I’m not sure how helpful platitudes really are. Does everything really happen for a reason? Or do we just make the best of a bad situation?

I read once that you can go a day without water but not a rationalization. I wonder how long you could go without a platitude.

I mean, I’m just saying that knowledge is power and what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger…
About Sara Grant
Sara is an author of fiction for teens and younger readers and freelance editor of series fiction. She has worked on twelve different series and edited nearly 100 books. Dark Parties, her first young adult novel, won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Europe. Her new novel for teens – titled Half Lives – is an apocalyptic thriller. She also writes – Magic Trix – a fun, magical series for younger readers.

Sara was born and raised in a small town in the Midwestern United States. She graduated from Indiana University with degrees in journalism and psychology, and later she earned a master’s degree in creative and life writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She lives in London. www.sara-grant.com @authorsaragrant
* When I first started writing Half Lives, I noticed people adding ‘I’m just saying’ right after they said a ‘truth’ they thought wouldn’t be well accepted.

Those shoes are an interesting choice with that dress. I’m just saying!

It’s as if bookending the ‘truthful’ observation with this phrase somehow inoculates it from being rude. It doesn’t. I thought it was the perfect phrase – a just (as in fair, moral) saying – for my cult’s scripture.
Thanks Sara!

Half Lives is available to buy now.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the blog tour this week - you can see all of the stop dates on the banner below:

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