Hiddy Hilda and My Website

Hello friends,

My website is up and running and it is lovely. I hope you visit regularly and have a look around. Already there are some events on the Events page. Which is good, because an Events page without events is an existential crisis. There are some FAQs you might enjoy if you've wondered how and why my first novel, The Beast Is an Animal, came to be.

Please take a look at the Thanks page as well--it's a running narrative of all the people who have helped The Beast Is an Animal get its start in life. It's also a little glimpse into how the process of finishing a novel and finding a publisher can go. A number of people have said that since I've been an editor for so long it must be easier for me to be an author--at least I'm a little less confused by the process. That's definitely true. (Although one can quickly forget everything one knows when one is an author oneself. Trust.) Also true: Being an editor didn't make it any easier to write the book. I hope that's reassuring to all writers frustrated with themselves for not getting it right the first or even the tenth time.

I'm often asked why I write for young adults, and I answer that question on my FAQs page. A related question is why adults read YA fiction. What are those readers looking for? Someone who doesn't read YA once said to me, "YA is so accessible." Which can be true. But not always. YA is tremendously varied, and multiple genres exist within the YA category. Sometimes the designation can feel a little arbitrary. Two recent examples: Nova Ren Suma's The Walls Around Us and Robin Wasserman's Girls on Fire. Both books could be read by sophisticated readers thirteen and up. Both are about adolescent girls who alternate between the roles of victim and victimized. Both ask really important questions about what adolescent girls are capable of--good and bad and everything in between. (Which my book does as well.) Both are gorgeously well-written. One has a supernatural element (gracefully and organically incorporated), and the other doesn't. One is categorized as YA and the other as adult. I recommend them both highly, and if you have a reading group I think it would be fascinating to read them side-by-side. Or make your own reading group of one.

And hey, if you're reading anything wonderful, tell me!

Wishing you a lovely October--


PS, Hiddy Hilda is a little creation of mine that started on Twitter. Find her here. She is not me. But there are similarities. 

Your October doodle is brought to you by our sponsorAnxious Moments with Hiddy Hilda)

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Peternelle van