Sunday, January 04, 2009

Don't dis the YA authors

OK, I never do this. I never respond to all the critical and media disparagement of genres in which I write. Romance takes it hard - you can almost never read any article about the romance genre without the outdated and ridiculous term "bodice rippers" coming up. It's outright insult at worst and sloppy journalism at best - like putting a discussion of steam engines in an article about modern physics. But I write romance and women's fiction, and I love writing emotionally satisfying stories about love and a woman's journey and all of the terrifically exciting adventures that can go along with those things.

I've also written a couple of young adult books, just for fun, and they were very light-hearted. But I'm now working on a very intense, lovely, dark and deep love story YA novel that has (of course!) a very paranormal vibe to it. So maybe YA is on my mind, and that's why this hit me so hard. But while eating breakfast today I was glancing through this week's Entertainment Weekly and there's a piece about their predictions for the Oscar noms. Under Best Adapted Screenplay, they have a "For Your Consideration" box that says this:

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist writer Lorene Scarfaria fashioned rounded characters from a young adult novel.

And, you know, this really ticked me off. The implication is glaringly obvious: the screenwriter MUST deserve an Oscar for MANAGING to turn characters from a YOUNG ADULT NOVEL into "rounded characters." WTF??????

Let me tell you, this EW writer hasn't read much in the way of YA novels. I have so many friends writing in the YA field right now, and their books are amazing, thought-provoking, and --surprise! -- their characters are definitely "rounded." Read Caridad Ferrer, or Niki Burnham, or Serena Robar, or Marianne Mancusi, or Simone Elkeles - and her new book, PERFECT CHEMISTRY, is out now and you MUST watch the hilarious rap video parody she did for the book - the music will stick in your mind AND make you want to buy the book AND tell you how to pronounce her last name, LOL.

So, please, media. Get over your outdated prejudices. We romance authors don't write "bodice rippers." We young adult authors DO write wonderfully rich and rounded characters who are experiencing all that life has to offer when you're on that thrilling cusp of adulthood and your future shimmers with endless possibilities.

OK, stepping off soapbox now. It's 2 days till WILD THING's release!! So in the comments tell me your favorite romance or young adult novel you've read recently and I'll randomly select two to win an autographed copy.
hugs,

Alyssa

9 comments:

DarlingDiva said...

Hiya,
Ohhh my let me see. I have read many wonderful YA novels this year, but the one that sticks with me long after the pages have been read is....Kartik and Gemma from The Far Sweet Thing. Their romance was doomed from the beginning but they had a "connection" that could not be denied.

Their characters were definately well rounded and amazing. Their story of love and self sacrifice made you want to scream and throw your book across the room. Yup, that's right throw it, and anything that could conjure up that kind of emotion within me gets my vote.

Sheena said...

Hmmm...it's been years since I picked up a YA novel, but I remember reading them, and I always thought they were fantastic! Looking back, the books that I remember the most from my "YA days" are Anne McCafferty's Dragonriders of Pern series(my library had them in the YA AND in the SciFi/Fantasy depts), and Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. Those are just the two that popped into my head immediately, but I loved them :)
Sheena ag5820[at]wayne[dot]edu

Anonymous said...

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist writer Lorene Scarfaria fashioned rounded characters from a young adult novel.

OK. Does this insinuate that YA does not have "rounded" characters " ? And Scarfaria needs to round/flesh them out ?
Good grief !
Read Caridad Ferrer, Robin LaFevers,Eileen Cook. Any and all of these are great screen plays.

But I'm now working on a very intense, lovely, dark and deep love story YA novel that has (of course!) a very paranormal vibe

Yes ? More ?

Jill said...

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist writer Lorene Scarfaria fashioned rounded characters from a young adult novel.

OK. Does this insinuate that YA does not have "rounded" characters " ? And Scarfaria needs to round/flesh them out ?
Good grief !
Read Caridad Ferrer, Robin LaFevers,Eileen Cook. Any and all of these are great screen plays.

But I'm now working on a very intense, lovely, dark and deep love story YA novel that has (of course!) a very paranormal vibe

Yes ? More ?

Amy said...

I can't pick just one. I can't.

But if I have to, I'd have to go with Rosemary Clement Moore's PROM DATES FROM HELL (and book two, of course, HELL WEEK). Loved those!

Anonymous said...

hey thats soo cool my real name is alyssa day

Tinuke said...

Well I don't think that I have read any ya this year but I loved Andre Norton and Anne McCaffrey when I was young and I also read Beloved by Toni Morrison does that count as YA. As to romance writers faves I have a number but I would have to say you Alyssa, (oh by the way I picked up one of your Alesia Holliday books it was hysterical. I loved it! It might bring me over to chick lit is that the right term?) Christine Feehan Marjorie M Liu C L Wilson Kresley Cole and Nalini Singh in no particular order! I really can't whittle it down anymore LOL

Heather B. said...

Of course your books are among my fav's but recently I would have to say Nalini Singh, JR Ward, Christine Warren - there are too many great stories out there right now.

As far as YA I have the series by PC and Kristen Cast and it's pretty good and you have to mention Stephanie Meyer's Twlight series.

Heather

Jessie said...

Well, considering I just bought a ton of SVH and Fear Street books, I'm assuming they'll fall into that category. They're from my time frame and woefully outdate. Don't care. Still love Lila. Speaking of, she had a good story line with "Don't Go Home with John." One of the first things I'd read about date rape.

Now I don't read much. Just because I'm trying to forget I was ever in that age bracket. That said, didn't Kelley Armstrong just start a YA series, too? An off-shoot of her Otherwomen series, I thought.