I'm baaack!

June 13, 2014

Hello my lovelies.  Hope you like the new site.  It’s a bummer that I lost all of your comments in the transfer as I loved and cherished every single one of them, but I was told by the design team that there was nothing they could do.  Really sorry. 

Anyway, I know I’ve been MIA for quite some time, and I apologize, but I have a really good excuse.  Actually, I have two really good excuses.  The first is that I was writing my brains out.  I wanted to make sure that the second book in my WorldWalker trilogy, Trail of Tears, was done before I let myself come up for air.  I just finished the rough draft, so I feel like I can take a few days and think about something other than magic and mayhem.

The second reason is (drum roll please) my husband and I are expecting our first child!  Hooray!  We’ve wanted a baby for a long time now and finally our little girl is on her way.  Needless to say I’m ecstatic, but it has also meant an astonishing number of doctor’s visits, family visits, prenatal yoga classes, and lots and lots of product research online.  Let me just say—I once knew nothing about strollers.  But that has changed. 

    All of this preparation for the new trilogy and for our wee one left little time for anything else in my world, but now I feel as if I’ve resurfaced and I have one or two brain cells to spare for other tasks. 

    Like getting all worked up about stuff…

It always amazes me when I hear people disparaging YA.  It’s usually a writer in another genre or a critic who does the badmouthing, and I always wonder why.  There are good books and bad books of all kinds, and to single out any particular genre and make a blanket statement that all books written in that one particular style are somehow inferior to all other books is a bit shortsighted. 

    History has proven time and again that those who try to belittle others based on their choice of reading material are simply out of touch.  In Jane Austen’s day the novel was mocked and thought to be evidence of the intellectual inferiority of women, who were the main reader of novels.  Both science fiction and fantasy have been descried for generations as “escapism for geeks”, even though there are many examples of how these genres have proved to be downright prophetic as technology advances and new social issues arise.  And don’t even get me started on comic books.  Mothers loathed them, schools banned them, and critics flocked together to call them puerile rot that would stunt intellectual development, yet some of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met are comic book collectors.

    Now it’s YA’s turn.  There are plenty of disgruntled columnists out there who love to bash YA, pointing out that it’s written for children and that full adults have no business reading it.  Critics shame fans of YA—and I don’t understand why.  What do they get out of it?  Or, maybe more to the point, what are they so afraid of?   Maybe it’s just that they don’t understand the genre.  It doesn’t speak to them, so they dismiss it.  This makes me sad, because as book-lovers, don’t we all know how powerful a good book can be?  Haven’t we learned yet that any book, despite the genre, can have deep social significance?

    Right now in Thailand a military junta has taken over the country and suspended the constitution.  The junta has even enacted a curfew to contain the public outcry, but something extraordinary is happening.  The youth in that country have adopted a gesture from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games to protest the takeover.  They are standing peacefully with their three middle fingers raised as a sign of unity and dissent, just like Katniss Everdeen.  

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And while the protestors would probably speak out against the junta whether or not they read The Hunger Games, it goes shows how deeply a story can effect us and how inspiring good writing can be.

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Take that, naysayers.  YA is AWESOME.

Josie