STATUS: Another late post so I’m a little tired. This one will probably be a little short but sweet.
What song is playing on the iPod right now? Baseball highlights on the Telly.
Wrapping up my whirlwind New York Tour today. Since Friday is Good Friday, I’m playing hooky and doing some un-publishing related stuff. The weather has been so gorgeous this week.
Today and (most of yesterday) I hung with the children’s editors. Discovering the world of teen fiction is something I’ve been actively exploring since my adult trade authors startedd making forays into the realm of YA—Jennifer O’Connell, Ally Carter, and Kelly Parra.
And boy I am so glad. First of all, teen fiction is just downright fun. There is so much great stuff being published and unlike anything I remember from my tween years. Dark fantasy, edgy, bordering on horror stuff. Terrific, witty chick lit voices. Emotional packed dramas (keep an eye out next year for MTV/Pocket’s ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS. Gee, even the title sounds just a tad creepy.)
Hell, I would have read teen fiction for much longer if the cool stuff being published today was available way back when.
The Children’s editors are just great as well. It takes a special sort of someone to solely handle children’s literature. One editor had an enormous life-size Glinda the Good Witch cardboard stand up in her office (and no, I wasn’t able to concoct a plan to steal such a gem without her noticing.)
But of all the things I’ve heard this week, what is most clear is that this genre is hot (even if film stuff is a little lukewarm at the moment).
And for the record so I don’t get a strange flood of queries, Nelson Agency does not rep children’s picture books or even middle grade books with illustrations. We do YA and what I call older middle-grade (cross-over stuff).
Editors, and at a variety of houses, are open and game to seeing all kinds of terrific new ideas, concepts etc. for this genre.
And yes, I’m beating that dead horse, but it’s all about the unique and stunning voice that will open the door to this world. If you are an already published author and have toyed with the idea of doing YA, get on the phone with your agent. Find out whether she is open to you exploring some ideas. Editors love established adult writers dipping their toes into this field.
If you just write YA, the time has never been better to try and break in as a debut.
Since you can’t read as much as we agents and editors do, I strongly suggest taking an afternoon at your local bookstore and really dig in to read the back covers of what is out and what’s selling. You’ll get a good feel for it. Another thought is to cruise the YA catalogs online at the various publishers. Check out Teens Read Too review site (or your favorite teen site) and read.
If you want to write the book of your heart, fine. I support that. Just remember that it might not be marketable enough to sell.