One day when I lived in Ellsworth, Maine (I don’t any longer.) I threw on some ballet flats and jumped in my MINI, zipped up my driveway hill and there was my dog (Scotty) barking and protecting the driveway from a car that had fallen into a ditch and the man trying to shovel the car out.
I jumped out, put Scotty in the car and said, “Can I help?”
The man was Joe, an older guy who has some major health issues and lived down the street.
He was like “oh yeah.”
A white-haired lady inside the car looked at me and said, “Please.”
She had a front-wheel drive car. It had no super cool studded tires like the MINI. And she’d tried to get up the snow-covered monster hill that was my road and slid all the way down. Her car was tilted at this funky angle that no car should have to endure.
Joe and I got behind it and pushed.
We pushed some more.
My ballet flat went in the snow. I fell down. Joe fell down. The car didn’t move.
We tried again. We tried again. And again.
I lost feeling in my butt since it was so cold because i didn’t put a jacket on or anything and my hair was wet from the shower once I realized there was a problem out on the road.
I had never lost feeling in my butt before. It was pretty weird.
This whole time that Joe and I were fighting against the wicked machine that was Mrs. Austen’s unbudging car, I was thinking about helping people and books and writing because let’s face it … you get bored pushing cars that don’t move.
So a lot of the time when people start to criticize books they get really … um … agitated (and rightfully so in a lot of cases) if they think the female character gets rescued too much. And people are sort of SUPER sensitized to it so much that they flip out if anyone helps out the female character ever.
And I get that.
I get that female readers need to know that they can rescue themselves, that they don’t need a boy to do it, and that if girls think that then it makes them dependent. I mean, I thought about that all the time when I wrote the NEED books. And Zara (my main character) thought about that all the time. I think about it when I write the Rosie mystery/thrillers and Alisa’s haunted campground story.
But it also makes me worried.
Because the truth is that we all need rescuing constantly. We all need help. Boys need help. Girls need help. Authors who are neurotic about their next book coming out need help. And I want a balance in books and in movies. I want different genders and ages and races and religions and physical abilities to help each other, to respect help, to be able to receive help.
It’s about balance and intention and not being a stereotype or trope.
And the thing is that in real life? You just do it. You just help (hopefully, unless you’re in a reality show or something and think it’s all about you).
I wasn’t about to ignore that older woman in her car because she was:
3. Judging from her bumperstickers a different political party than I am.
I didn’t think, “Hm … Perhaps, I shouldn’t help her because she should get that car out of the ditch all by herself even though she does have a cane and a fake hip that hasn’t fully healed yet. If I help her, I am actually oppressing her.”
And Joe who almost died the year before didn’t think that either, I bet.
Yesterday was an election in our town. People got all riled up. People were mean to female realtors, but not male realtors. People were cranky and unkind on political posts about local politics.
But the thing is? Almost all those people are going to be there helping each other out when help is needed. How do I know? Because I’ve been a reporter here and I’ve seen it over and over again.
Helpfulness is just as natural as hate–if not even more so. It just doesn’t get as much press.
So, I guess that’s my point.
Go help somebody today! And thank somebody who has helped you.
Here is mine: Thank you to everyone who has rescued me from writer insecurity this year, who have saved me from sad, who has made me laugh, who bought a book or let me edit your story or supported me on my patreon.
You have totally been my rescuers and I owe you! YAY YOU!!! xoxxo
NEW BOOK OUT!
It’s super fun. An adult paranormal/mystery/romance/horror blend. Think Charlaine Harris but without all the vampires. Instead there are shifters and dragon grandmothers and evil police chiefs and potential necromancers and the occasional zombie and a sexy skunk.
Oh, and it’s quirky.
This is because most of my books are quirky.
Be ready to resurrect your love of the paranormal in the first novel in the Alisa Thea series—the books that give new meaning to quirky paranormal.
Alisa Thea is barely scraping by as a landscaper in small-town Bar Harbor. She can’t touch people with her bare skin without seeing their deaths and passing out, which limits her job and friendship opportunities. It also doesn’t give much of a possibility for a love life, nor does her overbearing stepfather, the town’s sheriff. Then along comes an opportunity at a local campground where she thinks her need for a home and job are finally solved . . .
But the campground and its quirky residents have secrets of their own: the upper level is full of paranormals. And when some horrifying murders hit the campground—along with a potential boyfriend from her past who may be involved—Alisa starts to wonder if living in a campground of paranormals will end up in her own death.
Join New York Times and internationally best[selling author Carrie Jones in the first book of the Alisa Thea Series as it combines the excitement of a thriller with the first-hand immediacy and quirky heroines that Jones is known for.
It’s fun. It’s weird. It’s kind of like Charlaine Harris, but a little bit more achy and weird.