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Random News: Teen Literature Day

Did you know April 16 was Teen Literature Day? Me neither.

Read more about it here.


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Random News: Charles de Lint & YA

A great interview with fantasy writer and YA writer Charles de Lint appeared today. Here’s a quote from it:

“I don’t write differently for different age groups,” he says. “In fact, I never even thought I was writing Young Adult stories until I was approached by Viking. They wanted to do a collection of my Young Adult short stories. And I told them I didn’t have any Young Adults stories and didn’t have time to write any.

“They said, `Well, you already have.’ And they pulled out a list of all the stories I’d written with younger protagonists.

“So that’s kind of the way I look at it now. It’s the age of the characters that defines the genre.”

To read more of the story, visit here.

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Random News: Auctioning Off Stephenie Meyer

This past weekend, a dear acquaintance of mine, Faith Hochhalter, ran Project Book Babe, where authors such as YA authors Stephenie Meyer and Janette Rallison attended. Tickets–at a cost of $300 in some cases–were sold out in minutes. At the event, the epilogue to Meyer’s never-published Forever Dawn was auctioned ($5,100), as well as lunch with Meyer herself ($6,500). All proceeds went to Hochhalter, who was uninsured when she found out she had breast cancer.

Hochhalter is credited for helping Meyer launch her career when Hochhalter spread unbelieveable word of mouth about Twilight when she was a book buyer for Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ.

Lots of warm fuzzies going Faith’s way!

For more on the event and Faith, click here.

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Random News: Two YA Books Being Petitioned

In the April 6 Orlando Sentinel, a mom of a 13-year-old girl is petitioning to get Maureen Johnson’s The Bermudez Triangle and Cecily von Ziegesar’s Only in Your Dreams: A Gossip Girl Novel yanked from the Leesburg Public Library.

The mom told the Sentinel: “I’m optimistic because it’s such common sense,” she said. “It’s not a gray area. It is black and white. It’s so distasteful for youths. It’s so farfetched that we would allow this to happen in the first place.”

Johnson’s book has been challenged twice, both times in Oklahoma, and von Ziegesar’s has been challenged 13 times, including in Arizona and Florida.

For more on the story, visit here.

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Random News: What I Saw and How I Lied

There’s a new review out for What I Saw and How I Lied. In a time when reviews are scarce, it was great to see the Seattle Books Examiner doing its part to support the literary arts. Here’s a great quote from that review:

“It kind of reminds me of Judy Blume’s Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself.  Although it isn’t as funny, the prose is just as tight and Evie is every bit as likeable as Sally.”~Reviewer Danielle Dreger-Babbitt

For more of the review, click here.

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A Random Pause

Hi all!

This week, we Randoms take a breather to work on deadlines and life matters. I think I may even work on taking down some Christmas decorations (oh relax, people–I leave up the Snowmen around here until it’s time to put up Easter crap. It’s not like I left up the Christmas tree–it came down February 1st, thank you very much).

Check out our archives if you’re needing a Random fix!


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Susan’s Randoms: Medicating the Demons Within

Hi all! This week feels like a fresh start–revisions are out the door, children are accounted for, flus are being gotten over. So here we are, revived and refreshed, ready to talk about…what scares us as writers. Yeah, that’s right. We get scared. Not of the boogeyman (although don’t ask me to explain why I have to have my husband sleep nearest to the door) but of writerly neuroses–both real and imagined.

1) I’m scared of rejection. Not of my next book (although there’s that too). But of requests I need to do in the every day life of an author. For instance, going up to the local B&N children’s department manager and asking that they stock my book (“We can stock two.”). Or asking an independent bookstore if I can have a book signing (haven’t done this yet–plan to get over this hump for CASHING IN). Or asking a writer I greatly admire to write a cover blurb for me (I did and she said maybe possibly and she and my editor need to talk). If you don’t ask, you won’t get rejected–but you’ll go nowhere.

2) I’m scared of losing the passion. In the day-to-day minutiae of other jobs and raising children and migraines and the to-be-read bookpile, it’s easy to be afraid of losing your passion and chucking in the towel. But those dark days are usually created by hormones or insomnia. As long as there’s people roleplaying in my head as I fall asleep and people like Lauren Conrad and Miley Cyrus and Paris Hilton getting book deals, I have a stick-it-to-’em passion to write my books.

3) I’m scared of readers. Boy, am I in the wrong field, huh? But it’s true, I’m scared of readers thinking they wasted their time reading me. I’ve actually had teen reading groups assigned to read BLACK TUESDAY, and I worry that they hated every single minute of the book. This is one of those neurotic, take-a-Vicodin-already fears. I know it, my brain knows it–I obsess about it anyway on those dark, hormonal, sleep-deprived days.

4) I’m scared of writing a story I didn’t intend to write. You know when a story is bright and shiny and new, and your outline or synopsis or one-paragraph summary is written and then you start writing your 300-page book and forget about that outline/synopsis/summary and the book you intended to be the next Heathers turns into Dude, Where’s My Car? I’m not saying that’s happened (at least to that extent) but it’s a realistic fear.

5) I’m scared of never getting published again. It’s a bad time out there in publishing. But deals are still being made, and money is still exchanging hands. All I can do is write–write the book I intended to write for readers that I KNOW will love the book will all the passion and none of the rejection lurking in the back of my neurotic, not-medicated-enough brain.



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