Anna-Marie McLemore here, author of THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, flitting in for a winged edition of Fearless Friday.
So THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS is a book about mermaid performers and tree-dancers who wear wings. I’ve already documented my exploits in a mermaid tail.
Water, swimming, wearing a mermaid tail. No problem for me. But, um, the tree-climbing thing. Never happened. I am afraid enough of heights that I managed to get through my childhood without ever having climbed a tree. Sure I’d hopped up on a low branch. But, like, climbing a tree high enough that I could actually fall out of? Forget it.
Knowing this, for TWOF, I enlisted a tree-climbing consultant. Yes, you read that right. A tree-climbing consultant. He’s about as comfortable in trees as Cluck Corbeau is, so I knew he’d be able to help with the details. What I didn’t know is that he was not going to let me get away with this never-having-climbed-a-tree business.
So he found a tree of both decent height and relatively easy climbing mechanics, and he took me up.
I’m not going to say I wasn’t shaking or clinging to the branches, but once I was up there, I was glad I did it.
Until I realized I had to get down. This of course did not involve me clinging to a branch, telling my tree-climbing consultant, “No, I’m good, thanks, I’ll just stay here” while he tried to give me instructions on lowering myself onto the branch underneath me. Because no self-respecting, professional author would ever admit to something like that.
But as you probably guessed, I’m not typing this from up in the tree, so the tree-climbing consultant successfully half-talked me down, half-caught me when I made my less than graceful descent.
There you have it, friends.
I have vanquished my fear!
I have climbed a tree!
I have decided I am probably never doing it again!
*slips into mermaid tail and swims away*
|Anna-Marie McLemore writes from her Mexican-American heritage and the love for stories she learned from her family. She lives in California’s Central Valley with a boy from the other side of the Rockies. Her debut novel THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, a YA contemporary love story with a magical twist, is out now from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press. You can find her on Twitter @laannamarie.|