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The Stone Girl – Blog Tour and More!

The blog tour for The Stone Girl is kicking off tomorrow, which means that the book will be on sale in less than a month.  It’s still surprising to me that this novel is really being published.  Writing The Stone Girl, I thought that maybe this book was just for me.  I didn’t think anyone would want to read or publish it.  Maybe I was just getting it out of my system, this eating disorder book that I just had to write, and once I finished telling Sethie’s story, I could go back to writing something better, something people might actually want to read.

I never wanted to write a book about eating disorders, but I guess I always knew I would, since there was a time when they were a big part of my own life.  But I certainly didn’t think there was anything to say about eating disorders that hadn’t already been said in the books I’d read for as long as I could remember: The Best Little Girl in the World, Stick Figure, Fasting Girls, Hunger Pains, and more recently Unbearable Lightness and Wintergirls, to name just a few.  I couldn’t tell you exactly when I started reading these books, only that I read more and more as my own body-obsession intensified.  I read Marya Hornbacher’s haunting memoir Wasted so many times that there are lines I can still, today, recite verbatim.  There was a time in my life when I wanted to have an eating disorder: I wanted to be skinny and an eating disorder seemed like the only way.  I loved eating disorders so much that I even wrote my senior thesis about them.  In a way, I’d been researching The Stone Girl since long before I knew I would write it.

The Stone Girl is not, I know, a traditional story about eating disorders.  Sethie’s is hardly a typical case, though maybe there isn’t really such thing as a typical case with such personal diseases.  Sethie is the girl who, at least initially, skates on the precipice of her disorder, not quite diving in.  She is the girl who will never say she has an eating disorder because she’s too ashamed – not ashamed because she is sick, but ashamed because she’s not sick enough to deserve the title.

Eating disorders are, of course, a very sensitive topic.  They affect everyone so differently, so personally, that I know there are as many people who will not relate to Sethie as there are people who will.  Some people won’t like the way I’ve portrayed her; some people might not believe she could be real.  Some people might simply read the story for the story's sake, a tale of one girl's experiences.  But some people might recognize themselves, their friends, their classmates in her; maybe they will recognize someone in their lives who needs help. 

And maybe, just maybe, those people will begin to talk; maybe a conversation will begin and take on a life of its own.  When I was in the throes of my body-obsession, I always wanted to talk about food – how could I help myself, I was so hungry!  But I didn’t want to talk about whether you thought I was sick or not.  I didn’t want you to offer me advice, because I knew that no matter what you said to me, you’d be wrong.  You couldn’t possibly understand what it was like to be trapped in my body.  You couldn’t possibly be interested in hearing just how fat I felt.

Today, I wonder if I might have made it to the other side sooner if I’d allowed myself to talk about it, if I’d had people around me who talked to me about it.  Maybe they would have understood.  Maybe they would have known what it was like.  And most of all, maybe they would have helped. 

I had many reasons for writing The Stone Girl, but I like to think that if it reaches the right audience – reaches the right girl – it might spark some conversations.  A blog tour is a one way to start a discussion, and I hope you will follow mine.  Details are below!

The Stone Girl Blog Tour
Thursday, August 2: Emily’s Crammed Bookshelf
Friday, August 3: Literary Rambles
Monday, August 6: YA Romantics
Tuesday, August 7: The Book Addict’s Guide
Wednesday, August 8: Book Club Chic
Thursday, August 9: A Tale of Two Bookies
Sunday, August 12: The Teen Book Guru
Monday, August 13: The Teen Book Guru
Tuesday, August 14: Itching for Books
Wednesday, August 15: Random Acts of Reading
Thursday, August 16: The Children’s Book Review
Friday, August 17: Isabel Bandeira
Monday, August 20: YA Romantics
Tuesday, August 21: Taking It One Book at a Time
Wednesday, August 22: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Thursday, August 23: Confessions of a Bookaholic
Friday, August 24: The Compulsive Reader
Monday, August 27: Almost Grown Up
Monday, August 27: A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy
Tuesday, August 28: A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy
Tuesday, August 28: Letter Blocks
Saturday, September 1: Distraction No. 99
Sunday, September 2: Literary Escapism
Monday, September 3: Dear Teen Me

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