I sat down to write this third and final segment on indie authors shortly after realizing that this last author, Savannah Grace, was the third of three young women featured in my blog. Her book is nonfiction, but the central character is most definitely a female protagonist just as they’ve been in my last two segments. Why is that? Am I a closeted fan of chick-lit? Most of my own work is centered upon hillbillies with superpowers and I’m even delving a bit into horror so why did I choose to feature three women who write at the exact other end of the spectrum?
Statistics are freakishly boring and I usually tune out as soon as I see a percentage in text, but please stick with me; there’s something profound in these numbers. And as a disclaimer, I don’t plan on substantiating any of these figures or citing my sources because I can’t think of anything more boorish (this is my blog and I’ll write it as poorly as I wish). Here they are: Of all the classically published authors and professional writers (for TV and whatnot) on this planet, only 35% are women. Only 25% of the books reviewed by the great standards like the New York Times are written by women. This makes absolutely no sense when you consider the fact that 68% of all book purchases are accredited to women (maybe that’s why all my delightfully trashy fiction is selling so slowly).
Disparities don’t usually please me but this one does: over 55% of all self published authors are women. Screw the man, right? If the huge houses prefer male authors why not self publish and skip all that nonsense? We all know that J.K. Rowling chose to write under “J.K. Rowling” to make her name sound more masculine but what would’ve happened if she would’ve simply self published? It’s just simple speculation. I’m dedicating this last entry in this three part segment to the women authors I’ve met on-line and the fact that an ability to self publish will invariably dilute the inequality I’ve seen on the bookshelves; especially when you consider the fact that this last year, 78% off all books in the marketplace came from small presses or self published authors. I swear that was my last statistic and as soon as I finish this blog, I promise to write one about roasting meat over an open fire with guns galore so I don’t completely alienate the followers I’ve attracted with my manly drivel. I hope you enjoy.
Part Three – Savannah Grace
I’ve typically been annoyed by the fact that people think that an incredible event automatically translates into an incredible book. Kanye West’s mother went through the incredible journey of raising a superstar so of course she should write a book about it, right? I picked up her book, tritely entitled “Raising Kanye”, while I was in Hastings a while back, thumbed through it, and then dropped it back on the shelf as quickly as possible lest it steal some of my intelligence. I’ve read that 90% of all Americans believe they have a story to tell that’s worthy of a book deal (I guess I lied when I said there’d be no more statistics). Here it is: it doesn’t mean that you’re fated to be an author just because you’ve been through something extraordinary.
However, sometimes the yen and yang fit together perfectly and someone with such a story really does create a noteworthy book, and that’s what happened in “Sihpromatum” by Savannah Grace. The sub-text for her title is “I Grew my Boobs in China” and the word “boobs” may or may not have been why I originally gave this title a chance but I’m glad I did. Everything about this book just feels professional. It’s a nonfiction story that I suppose should be classified as a memoir, but it reads like a novel which is absolutely awesome. Sevannah’s style is polished and well beyond her years and she has some serious talent. I kept hunting through website for a publisher’s accreditation because it was hard to believe that such a work was self published. Sihpromatum is the type of book you’d expect Oprah to be throwing at her guests in one of her “favorite things” episodes (which I’ve never seen because I’m a manly man); it’s seriously that good (I mean, you know… if you’re in to that sort of thing). All joking aside, I don’t want to do Savannah’s work a disservice by pigeon-holing into the “chick-lit” category because to get something meaningful out of this book, the only prerequisite is to be human.
“SIHPROMATUM (Sip-row-may-tum): A blessing that initially appears to be a curse.
Sihpromatum is a memoir series of one family’s four-year backpacking adventure around the world. The first installment, “I Grew My Boobs in China” is the beginning of an intensely fascinating, sobering, and emotional memoir of Savannah’s introspective and innovative family adventure.
In 2005, 14-year-old Savannah Grace’s world is shattered when her mother unexpectedly announces that she and her family (mother 45, brother 25 and sister 17) would soon embark on an incredible, open-ended journey. When everything from her pets to the house she lived in either sold, given away or put in storage, this naïve teenage girl runs headlong into the reality and hardships of a life on the road.
Built around a startling backdrop of over eighty countries (I Grew my Boobs in China relates the family’s adventures in China and Mongolia), this is a tale of feminine maturation – of Savannah’s metamorphosis from ingénue to woman-of-the-world. Nibbling roasted duck tongues in China and being stranded in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert are just two experiences that contribute to Savannah’s exploration of new cultures and to the process of adapting to the world around her.”
I have two young daughters and while I can see immense strength in both of them, I can also feel that innate fragility in their youth that I’m so desperately trying to protect. That’s why Savannah’s story is so captivating. Even as a grown man I’m not sure I could handle the hand that was dealt to Savannah. Her story is incredible, and when you pair that with a natural prose and a love for storytelling, you get an absolutely viable book that belongs in the company of anything pumped out by the large publishing houses. I’m sure this book would’ve made it to the proverbial shelves even if self publishing wasn’t possible, but maybe not. Maybe the suits I mentioned in my first segment would’ve passed Sihpromatum by and chosen instead to publish the memoirs of a combat Marine thanks to gender. Who knows; all that matters now is that this book exists and it deserves attention, as does Savannah Grace.
On a personal level, Savannah comes across as fearless and genuine. It’s as if all her doubts have been melted away thanks to her struggle; I’d compare it to the way an athlete looses fat during their training.
Her story is a startling one about a young girl that looses everything before regaining something better by experiencing the world first hand with a brother, a sister, and a mother. Savannah writes a tale that stresses the importance of following a dream and staying positive despite the mirage in front of us. It’s a tale of that “trial by fire” that we all look for in our literature and I hope you’ll give it a chance. In any case, I’ve just written close to four thousand words in three segments about female authors and I need to get back to my own work before I too grow boobs.
Sihpromatum can be purchased through Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Sihpromatum-Grew-Boobs-China-ebook/dp/B008YZ0184/
You can find further reviews, blogs, and information on how to purchase this book through Smashwords or Kobo via Savannah’s site here: http://www.sihpromatum.com/
If you’d like to email the author directly you can do so here: firstname.lastname@example.org
And everyone’s a fan of Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Sihpromatum-I-Grew-my-Boobs-in-China/367565703312088