Writers write.

I’ve posted something along those lines before, both on my blog here and on Social media. I do believe that to be the truth; writers are people who write. Writers don’t write all the time of course; we take breaks, we step away from it for a while–sometimes days, weeks, months, years; some writers walk away and never write. But writers do write.

Sometime in the past year or so–I don’t remember when–I saw somewhere, I don’t remember where–someone took umbrage to the notion that writers write and wrote a lengthy diatribe about how some writers don’t write; as I read all the reasons people don’t write I just kind of shook my head. I take time off from writing periodically; sometimes it’s necessary to take some down time to think, to read, to relax so you don’t burn out or get stale.

And no matter what anyone thinks, says, or feels, I will always think it’s true: writers write.

Michael Thomas Ford (aka That Bitch Ford; or TBF for short) writes. He writes a lot. And he’s very good; he can pretty much write anything. He’s written children’s books and young adult; mysteries and romances and vampires and zombies and essays. I first became acquainted with his work when he was writing a syndicated column in the LGBT press (there used to be such a thing, kids) called “My Queer Life.” I met him when he signed a collection of those essays at the Marigny Bookstore, Alec Baldwin Doesn’t Love Me, and they were all quite funny (included in that collection is my favorite essay about writing ever, “The Nonwriting Life,” which is absolutely spot-on), and over the years we’ve stayed in touch, remained friends; he was one of my contributing editors when I was at Lambda Book Report, he’s contributed to my anthologies over the years, we’ve shared editors, friends and enemies and lots of snark.

Endless amounts of snark.

But after several years away from writing, he’s back, and once again, he’s done a fantastic job with his new work, Lily.

Lily is a fairy tale of sorts, in the same way Tim Burton movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride are; like Neil Gaiman’s Emmeline. Lily is a little girl who, on her birthday, develops the ability to know when whomever she touches will die; and the book follows her after her mother sells her to a traveling tent revivial–as she struggles to fulfill a quest given to her by the witch Baba-yaga as well as find her way back to her safe old world.

The illustrations are quite beautiful, and they match the tone and beauty of the story as well. I am often amazed at how TBF can so easily master different voices and tone and styles. It’s a wonderful wonderful story; one adults can enjoy as well as children.

It’s an excellent addition to your library.

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