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Sunday, 5 June 2011

Weekly Round-up, and the WSJ YA storm.

It's been a crazy one again - getting used to being back at work, plus getting Basement Blues out there, sorting out artwork, and screaming hysterically at the electronic malfunctions in my life.

Before moving on to the round-up though - I've had the extreme displeasure of reading the Wall Street Journal article about YA.

Now, I don't write Y.A. I do however read it, and have done so from a fairly early age.

The article is an insult to writers of Young Adult fiction, their agents, and publishers. It is an even bigger insult to the people who read it, most of whom are teenagers.

Teenagers are a lot of things. Often confused, alienated, and trying to figure out the world they are in. The one thing they are not, is stupid. And if they don't like a book, come hell, high water or 6 months detention, they won't read the blasted thing.

Opinion writers like Ms. Gurdon seem to have forgotten this. She seems to have fallen into a trap I've seen before,  which is the one of wishfully relegating teens to the status of children who still require adults to make every decision for them, from the clothes they wear to the books they read.

Hate to tell you this, sweetie, but it doesn't work.

Pretending that teenagers need to be wrapped up in cotton wool and not exposed to the horrors of life is beyond stupid. It's actively dangerous.

They might not be adults legally, but teens are exposed to the world, with all the beauty and brutality that entails.

Pretending they aren't makes Ms. Gurdon appear so far removed from reality, she might as well have invited Tinkerbell to tea in her article.

Moving on from the mini-rant, the round-up:

Travel
Liverpool (cold) and Romford. It was my first visit to Romford, which is not that far away from London. Unfortunately I didn't get to see much apart from the train station and the business I visited.  Best part was chatting to two delightful elderly gentleman on the train coming back about the merits of kindle versus tree books.

Technical Malfunctions
My new wireless headphones decided not to recognise my phone any more. I got them because I was very tired of fighting with the cord on my normal headphones. LSH, who got a pair because I was so chuffed with mine, is still laughing at me. Hers are working fine.

Home PC has (again) become the worlds largest paperweight. Not happy.

And for something completely different, the light fitting in our home toilet has discovered new life as a water feature. Hopefully, the letting agent fixes it before either LSH or I end up crispy crittered, which is a distinct possibility if one of us forgets and flips the light switch while its still raining.

Writing
Got Basement Blues up on Amazon this week - the link is here. I sent a couple of preview copies out and the response was incredibly positive, so I'm moving forward with plans for a full length series with these guys.

Now it's back to working on the follow up to WolfSong. I think the break to work on BB was a good thing. The only problem is I now see a huge amount of the book I want to re-write since it's just not up to scratch. The weird thing is, a year ago I would have been happy with it. But I think in the past 6 months I've learnt so much - and hopefully improved - that there is no way I'm happy putting it out the way it currently stands; so we're talking a major re-write. Possibly from scratch. Ah, well..

I have about a month before university starts up again, so will be writing as much as I can.

Books
Found some absolute gems:

Bubba and the Dead Woman by C.L. Bevill. Waiting for pay day so I can download all of the books by this author, I enjoyed it that much.
Scary Mary by S.A. Hunter - I really hope there's a follow up to this one. Loved the characters.
Wild by Naomi Clark. If you aren't following this particular author by now, you are really missing a treat. And I LOVE the cover for this. I have the feeling it won't be long before this author gets to write full time; there's just too much talent here for it not to happen. Personally, I can't wait, since it means more books from her. :-)
I've also just discovered Camile Laguire and the Mick & Casey adventures, & I can't wait for the next lot.