Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Is There Anybody Out There?


Back during the Sad Songs Bloghop, I listed this as one of the saddest songs going. You may have to turn it up to really hear.

I thought of this song this week, not because I’m especially sad, but because sometimes it feels like the only person in the world who doesn’t write YA.

I know it’s not true, of course; a number of you regulars here don’t write YA, but still. It seems nearly every blog I find is penned by a YA or MG writer, and every query that turns up in AWs Query Letter Hell or on Matt’s QQQE is YA. When I got my first 250 in the Mother. Write. (Repeat.) Agent’s Inbox contest last spring, 14 of the 20 entrants were YA (and 1 MG). In looking back at one of the Drop The Needle Contests at MSFV in May, 14 of 25 entrants were YA/MG (and the percentage was even higher in her second round). The ultimate occurred this week. I managed to get a revamped first 250-words of Parallel Lives into Miss Snark’s First Victim’s September Secret Agent Contest (entrant #6, if you’re interested; why I chose to do a revise is another story). 48 of the 50 entrants were YA or MG. Wow, it can be lonely out there. I wonder if I’m just looking in the wrong places, or if YA/MG writers are that much more sociable than the rest of us (with authors of literary fiction the most hermit-like).

In other news…

The cover for Carrie Butler’s debut, Strength, goes live on Monday, and we’ll have a sneak preview right HERE!

The Catbird returned to school yesterday; oh, how strange to see her alone at the bus stop.

The Magpie seems to have recovered from her case of the Second Week Blues.

Barton’s Women sits and cools; meanwhile, I re-read (am re-reading, that is) Parallel Lives, and all I can say is, I thought I did a better job editing. /facepalm

That’s about it for me for today. Thanks for stopping by, hope you all have a nice weekend. Be sure to stop by Monday and see Carrie’s cover!

9 Responses

  1. Yeah. YA is huge right now. I'm working on a YA fantasy series but only because it's for my granddaughter who's the main character. I don't really care if it sells. She likes it (she read it this summer while visiting and because of her input my Camp NaNo project was a sequel), and since she's the target audience, I'm fine with that.

  2. You're not imagining it. I have always had the same problem and especially when I was looking for an agent and for CPs. I finally posted something on Nathan Bransford's forums looking for CPs who wrote adult stuff and that's how I met Nancy! It's really very strange. I mean there really ARE adult books out there. Where are all the writers? Is there some secret club we're not aware of? Some secret non-blogging code or something? It's very weird. And it can be frustrating!

  3. Found your blog through The Twisted Piece Blog. Cool place you have here.

    Yeah I agree that everyone is writing YA these days. But I don't think everyone is writing it well. I would be one of those not-writing-well YA writers. I wonder if YA writers are more in touch with youth and as such more in touch with technology and social networking.

  4. Thanks for coming by and commenting, HK. I'm sure your writing is better than you're giving yourself credit for. I don't read a lot of YA myself; my kids largely moved out of reading 'ageist' literature a while ago and are more interested in adult fiction, and a lot of the books they're assigned in school is also more 'adult'. There's definitely a ton of it on the market, which is great: it means we have a lot of readers out there.

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