In the last few weeks, I have read two novels about cults: EDEN WEST by Pete Hautman and THIS SIDE OF SALVATION by Jeri Smith-Ready. I then revisited Jennifer Matthieu's DEVOTED. After reading this thematic group of YA novels, here are a few observations that might be useful to writers: 1. A Fundamental Sense of Agency . YA literature is noted for the centrality of its teen protagonists--a reason the "orphan" trope is common in the genre. While, in real-life, adults may offer help or guidance, in YA literature, teenagers solve problems largely on their own. In the cult setting, families are often separated by cult rules which, in many ways, strip parents of as much agency as their children. Thus, in the cult narrative, the young adult does not merely seek the independence adults are observed enjoying, but must discover the very existence of his or her own individuality and examine their rights to free thought and agency. 2. A Separate World . Cult settings disconnect
Showing posts from February, 2017
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Six years into my journey as a "published YA author," I have accomplished the following: BOOK-WISE Published a "quiet" debut novel, AUDITION, 2011. Worked myself to the bone blog-touring, live-touring and otherwise promoting AUDITION. Paid my own way to several book events in support of AUDITION. Wrote another novel that was passed on by my editor so it is currently filed away. Contributed a short story to the DEAR TEEN ME anthology edited by Miranda Kenneally and E. Kristin Anderson, and a short entry to THE GIRL GUIDE by Christine Fonseca. Published a more successful (Junior Library Guild selection; made a few award short-lists; PW star, strong reviews) sophomore title, THE SOUND OF LETTING GO, in 2014. Did next to nothing (not even a launch party) to promote THE SOUND OF LETTING GO but the reviews have driven slightly better sales. Found out my first novel was being remaindered. Wrote a fourth novel that was passed on by my editor but I didn't wan
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S ATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2017 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Second Saturdays Writing Program at Woodinville Library 17105 Avondale Road NE, Woodinville The elephant in the room. The element that unites character, setting and voice to move a story forward. The thing Stephen King “distrusts.” What is plot? How do we create it? Use it? Learn to trust it? Everett Daily Herald columnist, and young adult author of GENESIS GIRL and DAMAGED GOODS, Jennifer Bardsley will show you the way. This workshop is open to writers in grades 7 to adult. Registration is not required. For more details, click here .
Book Commentary Policy: From time to time on this blog, I will comment on titles for which I have written marketing materials, or by authors I know personally. The opinions are entirely my own and I am not being compensated in any way for noting these titles. They are simply relevant to the topic I am discussing or worthy on their own merits.