Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dark Days Tour - St. Louis

For this Saturday I wanted to do something a little different from Secondary Character Saturday, which I'll pick back up next week. About a week ago the Dark Days Tour finished up in Orlando, FL and luckily, incredibly, AMAZINGLY, St. Louis was one of the stops on the way! The tour featured YA authors S.J. Kincaid (Insignia), Aprilynne Pike (Destined), Dan Wells (Partials) and - wait for it - VERONICA ROTH!!! Yup, that's right. I am now the proud owner of signed copies of both Divergent and Insurgent. I know what you're thinking and the answer is yes, my life is complete.

Needless to say it was really great to listen to these four authors talk about their books and YA in general so I thought I'd share some of the cool stuff they talked about. Unfortunately I have no pictures of the event. I was just so super focused on what was going on that I didn't even think to whip out my camera. I was in the zone. Oops. :/

One question that got asked was: what is the best and worst thing about writing YA? This opened up a discussion/rant on YA lit being considered "childish" and "not good". Veronica Roth said that the one question she gets a lot is "When are you going to write novels for adults?" as if YA is just a stepping stone into the world of "real" authors, which is ridiculous. This prompted Dan Wells to add his frustration at the comment of "Your books are really good!...for kids" as if teens don't deserve good reading material, or something. It made me stop and think. There definitely is a lot of stigma surrounding the YA world even though I'd say it's experiencing a sort of "Boom". There's so much more out there than when I was a kid/teen. But even though I'm not a young adult anymore, it doesn't mean I've forgotten what it's like to be one. And it certainly doesn't mean I can't enjoy a story whose protagonist is a teenager...just like I can still identify with a character that's older than me if the author makes them relatable (is that a word?).

I know Hannah has tackled this subject on the blog before, and I'm sure you've all experience this type of criticism before as well...I know I have. I used to work at my school's library during the summer and a few of my coworkers would make snippy comments when I brought one of my YA books with me (summer=empty library=Caralyn has lots of reading time)...stuff like, "aren't you a little old to be reading that?" or "what kind of teenage fantasy are you reading today?" They weren't malicious comments, but I felt the need to defend myself, which I didn't like. I can't stand ignorant people.

Not to mention some of the most successful books/series out there happen to be YA. And where do people think some of the most successful movies of all time have come from?? YA!!! Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and even Twilight (sorry Hannah, I know we don't use the T-word around here, but I had to include it) - they're all YA phenoms whether you're a fan or not. They're out there and they are  ridiculously popular. Everyone and their mother has heard of these books. And somehow I doubt that only 12 year-olds are responsible for the $500 billion those franchises have made, or whatever the amount. My point is that YA hits a nerve with everyone. That's what's so special about it. I don't know what there is to be afraid of.

Anywho, what are your thoughts on YA being considered a sub-genre? And if any of you saw these or other authors on tour, please share your experience!!

Random fact: Veronica Roth is team Hufflepuff :)

Happy Reading!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I agree wholeheartedly!! I'm now an LMC Director of 3 school libraries grades 6 through 12. I also happen to have an English degree and found myself veering far from YA after high school because of so many of the same comments others mentioned above in your post. Now it could have also been that I was ridiculously busy reading, reading, reading assigned classics, etc. for my majors but for some reason carrying around a "kids" book on campus was something I couldn't bring myself to do. Once I was out of undergrad and into the world of work substitute teaching in different classrooms, I found myself drawn back into YA lit instantly. It made me happy. It made my cry. It made me think. It made me imagine. It made me want more, more, more to read! Isn't that the best part of all!? To find what makes you not only feel all of these things and more, but something that keeps you coming back for more, more, more!? Well said my dear! Great topic!

    ReplyDelete

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dark Days Tour - St. Louis

For this Saturday I wanted to do something a little different from Secondary Character Saturday, which I'll pick back up next week. About a week ago the Dark Days Tour finished up in Orlando, FL and luckily, incredibly, AMAZINGLY, St. Louis was one of the stops on the way! The tour featured YA authors S.J. Kincaid (Insignia), Aprilynne Pike (Destined), Dan Wells (Partials) and - wait for it - VERONICA ROTH!!! Yup, that's right. I am now the proud owner of signed copies of both Divergent and Insurgent. I know what you're thinking and the answer is yes, my life is complete.

Needless to say it was really great to listen to these four authors talk about their books and YA in general so I thought I'd share some of the cool stuff they talked about. Unfortunately I have no pictures of the event. I was just so super focused on what was going on that I didn't even think to whip out my camera. I was in the zone. Oops. :/

One question that got asked was: what is the best and worst thing about writing YA? This opened up a discussion/rant on YA lit being considered "childish" and "not good". Veronica Roth said that the one question she gets a lot is "When are you going to write novels for adults?" as if YA is just a stepping stone into the world of "real" authors, which is ridiculous. This prompted Dan Wells to add his frustration at the comment of "Your books are really good!...for kids" as if teens don't deserve good reading material, or something. It made me stop and think. There definitely is a lot of stigma surrounding the YA world even though I'd say it's experiencing a sort of "Boom". There's so much more out there than when I was a kid/teen. But even though I'm not a young adult anymore, it doesn't mean I've forgotten what it's like to be one. And it certainly doesn't mean I can't enjoy a story whose protagonist is a teenager...just like I can still identify with a character that's older than me if the author makes them relatable (is that a word?).

I know Hannah has tackled this subject on the blog before, and I'm sure you've all experience this type of criticism before as well...I know I have. I used to work at my school's library during the summer and a few of my coworkers would make snippy comments when I brought one of my YA books with me (summer=empty library=Caralyn has lots of reading time)...stuff like, "aren't you a little old to be reading that?" or "what kind of teenage fantasy are you reading today?" They weren't malicious comments, but I felt the need to defend myself, which I didn't like. I can't stand ignorant people.

Not to mention some of the most successful books/series out there happen to be YA. And where do people think some of the most successful movies of all time have come from?? YA!!! Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and even Twilight (sorry Hannah, I know we don't use the T-word around here, but I had to include it) - they're all YA phenoms whether you're a fan or not. They're out there and they are  ridiculously popular. Everyone and their mother has heard of these books. And somehow I doubt that only 12 year-olds are responsible for the $500 billion those franchises have made, or whatever the amount. My point is that YA hits a nerve with everyone. That's what's so special about it. I don't know what there is to be afraid of.

Anywho, what are your thoughts on YA being considered a sub-genre? And if any of you saw these or other authors on tour, please share your experience!!

Random fact: Veronica Roth is team Hufflepuff :)

Happy Reading!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I agree wholeheartedly!! I'm now an LMC Director of 3 school libraries grades 6 through 12. I also happen to have an English degree and found myself veering far from YA after high school because of so many of the same comments others mentioned above in your post. Now it could have also been that I was ridiculously busy reading, reading, reading assigned classics, etc. for my majors but for some reason carrying around a "kids" book on campus was something I couldn't bring myself to do. Once I was out of undergrad and into the world of work substitute teaching in different classrooms, I found myself drawn back into YA lit instantly. It made me happy. It made my cry. It made me think. It made me imagine. It made me want more, more, more to read! Isn't that the best part of all!? To find what makes you not only feel all of these things and more, but something that keeps you coming back for more, more, more!? Well said my dear! Great topic!

    ReplyDelete