Today's WordCount Blogathon theme is "My 5 favorite places to write." And here I am, hands flying across my computer keyboard. But I really don't do my writing at my desk at all. That's just where I rearrange the phrases and paragraphs that I've mulled over and polished and discarded and remade as I'm out walking in the mornings, crafting my book recommendations so that they're just right.
And I find that the books I recommend often come from certain places that resonate repeatedly with YA readers. So here are my five favorite YA lit places to write about (with some BooksYALove recent and upcoming featured titles):
1) The future: Whether it's the just-around-the-corner days of Awaken (5/23/11 post) and Trickster's Girl (5/7/11 post) or the rocket-ship-in-the-driveway far-future of Ender's Game (5/19/11 post) and Across the Universe (5/4/11 post), "speculative fiction" can be the ultimate in escapist literature.
2) Fantasy: but no rehashes, please! If the cover blurb is overrun with difficult character names or boy wizards or disparate friends on a quest for an obscure object, then it'll get passed over. YA fantasy readers want real story in an unreal place (Green Angel and Green Witch), real feelings and questions in possibly unreal beings, like Kristin Cashore's Fire who is a beautiful monster, and Lenah, a 500-year-old vampire who longs to be human again to end her Infinite Days.
3) Around the corner: realistic fiction that could be happening over on the next block (Zen & Xander Undone 5/8/11 post), where young people and families face difficult questions (Dancing Through the Snow 5/17/11 post), have to live through unfair situations (Blindsided 5/9/11 post), or just put up with everyday life together (Ten Miles Beyond Normal posting on 5/26/11).
4) A long time ago: historical fiction that explores life in another era, especially if young adults are featured, as in Julie Chibbaro's Deadly typhoid epidemic and Celia Rees' The Fool's Girl set in Shakespeare's day. Warriors in the Crossfire (5/3/11 post) and Heart of a Samurai are amazing, heartstopping.
5) Far away, in another land: fiction that brings us into another culture as an outsider sees it (Mamba Point) or as residents live it (Saraswati's Way 5/15/11 post), books that give us perspectives on teens' lives to inform our own, sometimes humorously (Sequins, Secrets & Silver Linings 5/12/11 post) and sometimes as a matter of life and death (This Thing Called the Future).
Hmmm...so my walks aren't just strolls around the neighborhood; they're writes and rewrites to invite readers to fascinating places through outstanding YA books.
See y'all later - it's time for my walk!