Here are the answers to your frequently asked questions:
How do you pronounce your name?
I pronounce it LAN-uh with a schwa like banana in American English.
OK, so how do -I- pronounce your name?
You should pronounce it however YOU say “banana.”
Even if I don’t say it the American way?
Yes, especially if you don’t. I had a Manchurian roommate so I gave up the fight for American pronunciation in favor of not turning the TV off while I was still watching it.
Great, now, what’s your last name?
Technically, Johnson. Wood is my middle name.
Who names their child “Wood”?
Cool people. But it’s my maiden name. My birth middle name was Marie like 1/3 of all female identified babies born in the late 70s and early 80s. I changed it the first chance I got.
You know your names are euphem—?
Yes, I know…still better.
I saw you got your agent through #DVpit…
But you’re white and married to a guy.
I am both those things. I’m also on the ace/aro spectrums, and have both mental health issues and invisible physical disabilities. But really, it was about the ace/aro spectrum especially since it was right as Riverdale was erasing Jughead’s ace/aro/touch averse identities.
When I was querying TECHNICALLY it was very important for me to find an agent (and editor) who didn’t want Haley to be LESS grey ace/aro and were ready to work with me as I am, disabilities and mental health issues and all.
Can you help ME get an agent through #DVpit?
Unfortunately there are no guarantees in life, but whenever DVpit rolls around you’ll see me helping out in the hashtags, in the facebook groups, and in general, because I’m grateful not only to DVpit for the help getting my agent, but for the voices it raises up and the stories it’s creating for people who need it.
I saw you work at a youth crisis shelter, what do you do?
I am their resident nerd. I make sure the computers stay working, call people when the really complicated stuff breaks, and work behind the scenes on their databases and online resource sites to keep everything working smoothly.
How did you get into that?
Well, I’ve been working in technology for nearly 20 years in one form or another, but really, I had a TERRIBLE day querying agents. I got 5 full manuscript rejections and 2 query rejections on the same day I realized I hadn’t left the house in nearly seven days (I was consulting at the time and no one had any meetings scheduled.)
I realized that ONE of these problems I could do something about, so I went online and found a volunteer opportunity helping out on the crisis line for the shelter. Specifically the text crisis help line.
One thing led to another and I gave up my consulting in favor of helping the shelter out full-time.
Could you help counsel me with a crisis?
I cannot. Nor do you want me to. When I was counseling I had a team and a pile of resources to help me. I was able to do it anonymously so that the focus was on you and not me.
Is there anything you CAN do for me?
I can point you at my resource page! I keep it up to date with various crisis lines and resources. Those people are professionals I trust and I know that if you reach out to them you’ll be in the best hands possible.
What if I have a resource for the page?
You’re welcome to suggest new resources via my contact form, but understand if I don’t add everything. My goal is to keep it focused on crisis resources, especially those with low to no barrier to entry. I want teens who really need help to be able to pick up the phone, text, or whatever and have someone who can actually do something for them.
What I’m really looking for is your profile so I can put it in an article/program/website.
Well, that’s right here.
I have a question you haven’t addressed here.
Feel free to reach out to me via my contact form. If I get enough similar questions I’ll update it, but know in advance that I don’t do other people’s homework for them. You don’t actually want me to do your homework, I’m HORRIBLE at it. I survived school on my test grades alone.