Are you having A to Z Challenge Flashbacks?
FYI: I'm still catching up on other writers' blog posts so please bear with me, people!
First, you'll note the blog's new look. I'm still playing around with the color scheme but I'd like to thank the lovely, talented and amazing Carrie Butler for my blog header! Also check out my website to see the photo/slogan she did for my header over there. As congratulations for signing with my new publisher, Carrie graciously volunteered these and I have been in love with them ever since! (Also check out Nancy Thompson's blog cause she helped over there too and it looks incredible!) Thanks, Carrie. You are the best!
There are a few things I wanted to talk about in this post. First of all, last month I read the Hunger Games Trilogy.
Not because I had any interest in it but just because I couldn't stand not being in the loop one second longer. I had to see what all the hoopla was about. I never read the Harry Potter books and I never read the Twilight books. I did read the first few chapters of Twilight but never got much further than that. This time I vowed that I would know what the hell everyone--and I do mean just about every single person I know, even people who don't usually read--was going on and on about so I read the first book, not even intending to read the others. Well, if you've read them then you know that Collins has made it impossible not to read the other two books.
In my estimation, the hoopla was right on the money: the books were entertaining and provoking. The writing was clean and smooth. The characters were amazing and I was pretty instanteously attached to them. Probably more than anything else, I dug the strong female protagonist.
The only real problem I had with these books is that I'm not sure I would let my young adult read them! Their very premise is extremely violent and disturbing but then I figured, hey, we teach our kids about the holocaust while they are still in grade school so this isn't that bad comparatively. Plus, Collins does a great job in the first two books making the violence impactful but not overly gratuitous. The third book . . . well, that's a different story. But my point is not to get into a discussion about what our kids should and should not be reading. (I was reading V.C. Andrews when I was 13 so who am I to talk?)
My point is that I actually know more adults than kids who loved these books. Just like I knew more adults than kids who liked Harry Potter and Twilight. For a long time this has bothered me. I mean what does that say about people who actually write for adults? Are we doing something wrong? Are we not fulfilling our writerly duties that adults would rather read YA fiction than adult fiction? Are we not compelling enough? Are our stories flat and uninteresting?
What if Twilight had been pitched and marketed as an adult series? (Yes, I know, I know, there were teenaged characters in it, as there were in the Hunger Games, just suspend your disbelief for five seconds). Where would it have ended up? In the paranormal romance genre? What about Hunger Games? Fantasy? Would either one of these series have gained such a massive following? I doubt it.
I really think there is a market out there that publishers are not targeting directly. Adult readers of YA fiction with adult themes. There are a group of writers, however, who have their fingers on the pulse of this market. They're calling the genre New Adult fiction (so yeah, we're talking college age protags really, not necessarily teenagers but you know, some of the most interesting stuff in my life happened to me at college-age. Don't know why no one wants to read about characters in this age group!) and their new website and blog is NA Alley.
Anyway, the wonderful Carrie Butler is a part of this group and I urge you to get over there and check it out and to support these writers. I, for one, have had the privilege of critiquing for Carrie and I can tell you that I would definitely camp out overnight wearing a tee-shirt with her male lead's likeness on it just for a signed copy of her book. And I'm not typically that kind of reader. It would be a shame for all this crazy talent to go to waste just because publishers think adults don't want to read about people who aren't 30 yet.
Finally, two more things: another brilliant writer/blogger, The Doubting Writer (Jeff O) has a short story called The Prophet posted here which blew my mind. Get over there and read it now! You will not be sorry!
Last: my fellow Sapphire Star Publishing author, Mandy Baggot released her novel last week, Taking Charge. It's a romance novel that sounds like a really fun read! I can't wait to read it myself. You can check that out here.