I totally should have posted this a week ago! My bad! Blogger Buddy Raquel Byrnes book Purple Knot released on June 3rd! She is doing a blog book tour that you can find out more about here including a stop to talk to all of YOU next Thursday! (the 16th) Raquel is brilliant, one of those careful researchers and detailed planners I admire so much and she writes romantic suspense so this is sure to make you sweat in BOTH the good way AND the bad way. She also has that special skill of being able to put 'old adages' with solid enough examples that even a thick head like mine can absorb them (she is second only to Elizabeth in my permanent link file, and you KNOW how I worship Elizabeth!). So be sure to check her out, and come back next week and talk to her in person!
(or rather good NEWS for the delinquent...) Yibus know my Cozy Mystery agent Ellen Pepus had passed on Kahlotus Disposal Site to her colleague who handles the majority of their agancy's YA, ne? Well I HEARD from Amy Tipton yesterday... and she wants to work with me on Kahlotus!!! I gotz agent! (well, I already gotted agent, but now I gotz TWO!)
She had a fair few changes, some of which I planned anyway, a couple of which I should have expected (she wants just one PoV, for instance, which I think for YA is an easier sell... but it can TOTALLY be done)...
And besides THAT, when I was talking to Ellen, she is interested in the Micro Mystery I am WRITING and there is a plan (you heard me cackle, didn't you?) for THAT, too!!!
I have an extra day off scheduled every week this summer, starting (hopefully) the 20th, so I plan to EDIT EDIT EDIT. Maybe by fall I will have two new books being shopped.
If you write, then you would have had to be asleep this week to miss all the stuff on that bloody Wall Street Journal article by Meghan Cox Gurdon about how DEPRAVED YA lit has become (yes, I swear she used that word). Her poor [missed what the relationship was] went to buy her teen a book and found cutting, suicide and *gasp* sex. My favorite response (and thank you to buddy Kimberly Loomis for pointing me there) was from Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak (required reading when my daughter was a freshman) about a girl raped at a party when she is going into high school. Laurie has gotten emails from people who say they would have committed suicide without this, or her book Wintergirls about Anorexia.
Meghan's article is about this dark offering we are putting up for young people and gives the baffling argument that we are giving these kids ideas they will follow through on.
Folks, I have a master's degree in psychology. ANYONE who reads this stuff and says, 'hey, I should do that' was surely already thinking of some DIFFERENT (and possibly more lethal) dark option. A book does not push somebody to try something out of the realm of possibility already. And in fact there is a HUGE NUMBER of people for whom they see these books and think, “you mean I'm not the only one?” or and even MORE books who reach PEERS who can then act with empathy and compassion instead of horror... Want proof with more street cred? This blog by Matthew Rush moved me.
For ME? I have a teen. I have a tween. These books offer me the opportunity to talk about HORRIBLE topics before it is personal. They offer me an OPPORTUNITY to offer guidance before it's needed. My daughter and I have talked about war and killing (is it ever okay? Under what circumstance?). We've talked about accidental pregnancy. We've talked about rape. We've talked about what might make a person cruel. NONE of these are topics that have been personal. They have begun in literature. But you know what? I am GLAD my kid has had a chance to talk through them with me. She's learned I will NEVER judge. I will treat her, WHATEVER the situation, with compassion. She's learned the victim is not at fault. And that good people are sometimes driven to do really lousy things.
I have been on discussion boards where people say “well I'd never read anything with swearing in it,” and I confess to you, I judge them prudish and prim... but that's not the point. The point is, NOBODY is making them READ IT. THIS (made known to me by Janet Reid) is REALLY the point... if you aren't seeing what you like, ASK someone. There are books for YOU, whatever your preference--you don't HAVE to read those dark, scary books if it's not your thing. And stop trying to CENSOR for the rest of us.
But as for the offerings of YA books... I can tell you with absolute certainty, there is a (large) subset of teens who may even have pretty nice lives who still WANT to read dark stuff. And if they don't find it in the YA section, they will find it in the horror section. I know this because I was one.
|Copyright Christopher Chamberlain|
Friend of mine, one degree removed (hubby of one of my Authors Supporting Authors peeps) had an exhibit set up for an art show. It was CALLED Not for Victorian Eyes.
What, pray tell, if you were enlisting exhibits, would YOU think that meant?
Well the exhibit determined THIS lovely work was PORNOGRAPHY and would not display it. Explicit? Yeah, a bit. (I mean I want to fan myself) but this is NOT Debbie Does Dallas. I know it isn't for everyone... I've seen comments of people who think since it is at a DESK it is porn... but I guess I really MISS my days when sex was a little more... you know... spontaneous... the HEAT of 'can't keep our hands off each other' sex.
Now this TOO, I know isn't for everyone, though I happen to think the vagueness of this being a pencil drawing keeps this on the ART side of 'art and entertainment' ifyouknowwhatImean...
Here again though, I think... you know.... the title SAID what it IS... if you have Victorian Values, just don't GO THERE. Because some of us quite like it.
Something I thought I'd never say... Sheesh. Let's let the market decide. Now there are areas I don't really ascribe to this. I think reality TV is chosen NOT because more people prefer it, but because the RATIO of cost to produce to ad revenue is good. I'd really like to see viewers be able to vote it's low brow ass off the boob tube. I'd like there to be a venue for real TV remaining after this society brain blip is over. I think my REAL complaint though, about reality TV is it is making OTHER stuff NOT available (something not the case with books or art). My beloved soap operas are being canceled for low rent stupid people programming. (I know—not all of yibus love Soaps... I happen to, though, and really don't want it to go extinct.)
See, if we lived in a Tart regulated world, they would just segregate a different direction instead of all the networks trying the same darned thing. If they agreed to specialize during the day, everyone would have something they liked. But NOOOOOO... we are a country currently dedicated to the lowest common denominator. And as a prime number (23) I can't abide.
If there was some agreement to let everyone exist, even if it has to be in different places, I could let TV join me 'let the market decide' campaign.
Okay... you can stop the horse now. I can get off this high horse...