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“YA Comes of Age” by Sue Corbett

‘A few concerns are voiced consistently: YA’s transcendence may have come at the expense of middle-grade, which most believe is undersold. Picture books have yet to rebound. And within the YA category, there’s an industrywide case of paranormal fatigue.

“I was at a writer’s conference a few weeks ago and got four different pitches for an angel series in one day,” says Curtis Brown agent Ginger Clark, who was in London last month to shop her agency’s list to British publishers. “Almost all the editors I saw said they are not buying new paranormal. There was some agreement that readers might not yet have paranormal fatigue, but a lot of editors do.”

“Everything in my in-box is paranormal, but the problem is, I’m not interested,” Laughran says. “It can’t be just two shiny guys and a girl anymore.” Instead, the books that are going to be successful, she believes, are the ones that do something different with the paranormal elements. She cites Maureen Johnson’s just-released The Name of the Star (Putnam) as an example. “There’s a paranormal element, yes, but it’s super funny on one page and super scary on the next.”

But just as you’re about to classify paranormal as “done,” a press release from Sourcebooks announces Embrace, “the first in a multibook, paranormal romance saga debuting March 2012.” Another, from Bloomsbury, announces Diabolical (winter 2013), a paranormal thriller trilogy with “a dash of the creepy and supernatural on the side,” set at a premier ballet academy. Goldblatt teases that he can’t yet release the details of a sale he made recently (“waiting on the press release,” he says), but it involved a vampire novel that should have been “absolutely unsellable” these days. “And yet it did.”

With the forecast calling for hardcover YA fiction to continue selling strong, everybody’s on the hunt for the next book with potential to crack the toughest nut: the New York Times chapter book bestseller list.

Many believe (hope?) it will come from outer space; Clark of Curtis Brown has high hopes for a “straight-up science fiction” series she’s shopping titled The Julian Path by Washington Post writer Monica Hesse. But she gushes, too, over Code Name Verite by Elizabeth Wein (Hyperion, 2012), a historical novel about two girls working in Britain’s Royal Air Force during WWII. “Oh, it will make you weep,” she promises.

Historical fiction as the next big thing? Who knows?

“Who would have thought that the next big thing after Harry Potter would be Twilight?” Goldblatt asks. “Followed by… Diary of a Wimpy Kid? Followed by… The Hunger Games? All it takes is one book to start a new trend and no one will see it coming. That’s the fun of what we do.”’

Extracted from “YA Comes of Age” by Sue Corbett [bolding mine]

I’m Seein’ Green

RomanticTimes Announces 2012 Booklovers Convention


I'm a big ball of envy!

RT’s 2012 Booklovers Convention, held at the HYATT REGENCY O’HARE, ROSEMONT, IL on APRIL 11-15, will host some of my favorite authors. AND they’ve dubbed it,

The Year of the Reader at the 2012 RT Convention ~ According to the Chinese calendar, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon but at the RT convention it is without a doubt the Year of the Reader! We’ve got an exciting expanded pro- gram for fans that includes several fun workshops and lots of parties led by bestselling authors and publishers. In addition to the reader program, fans may attend any of the 100 offerings on the agenda, including the popular genre workshops.”

Me, jealous? You betcha! They have “quadrupled the number of fun workshops and happenings … all designed with fans in mind.” *Waah!*

Just a few of the events on the schedule:

NO HOLDS BARRED WITH J.R. WARD & JESSICA ANDERSEN ~ Join No. 1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward and New York Times bestselling author Jessica Andersen for a candid, no-holds-barred Q&A about everything and anything. Get their takes on how to make it in paranormal romance, the value of critique partnering, the business and the craft of writing and the Black Dagger Brotherhood and the Final Prophecy novels. Bring your questions and let’s see where they take us!” *sniffle*

IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT: POST-APOCALYPTIC AND NEAR-FUTURE YA ~ The Hunger Games marked the start of a growing subgenre in young adult fiction. Join our panel of authors whose novels span the breadth of near-future YA. From sci-fi adventure to dystopian romance and zombie survival, these talented authors have it covered. PANELISTS: Ally Condie, David MacGinnis Gill, Beth Revis, Carrie Ryan MODERATOR: Margaret Stohl”

SEVEN MINUTES IN URBAN FANTASY HEAVEN ~ Join us for the most intense urban fantasy hour ever. Authors will find their funniest, most romantic or most action-packed scenes … and have just seven minutes to read them aloud to you! You’ll get a whirlwind trip of different creatures, styles and characters — as well as the chance to win books from all of the participating authors. HOSTS: Lynda Hilburn, Nicole Peeler MODERATOR: Richelle Mead More UF authors to be announced! *waaaaaah!*

”FEVER” PARTY HOSTED BY KAREN MARIE MONING ~ In a rare appearance, meet this star of paranormal fiction as she hosts a special ”Fever“ party for readers. Details are in the works but rest assured
it will be FAN-tastic! One of her biggest fans, author TJ Michaels, is assisting with the plans so stay tuned for an amazing event for readers!”

I wanna play too!

If you are lucky enough to attend, please stop by after, share your stories and brag about your swag, will ya? That way I can live vicariously through you. Think there’s any hope of a 2013 convention in Japan? Oh how I wish!

Upcoming Kenyon Movies, TV Shows and Webisodes!

Sherrilyn Kenyon, prolific paranormal authoress appears to have gone into showbusiness, well her books have.

Posted on Facebook on July 30, 2011:

We don’t have a release date nor do we know who any of the cast will be. Sherri has no control over the casting or the music chosen. They will consult her, but ultimately, it will be in the hands of Amber. She won’t be writing the scripts as she says it’s not her area of expertise and she’s not vain enough to think for one minute that she could do a screenplay justice. However, she will be working closely with the script writer and production staff to keep the movies and TV shows as close to the books as possible.

As always, we will keep everyone posted as soon as we have more information.

Thanks,
Carl
MB Staff

It appears that Kenyon has signed up to a partnership deal with Amber Entertainment to bring her back catalogue to the screen. The first up for adaptation is the Chronicles of Nick which begins with Infinity and will be made into a movie. It’s the young adult spin-off series from the Dark-Hunter adult series which, according to nFamous, will be the second project, turning it into a TV show and the Were Hunters will become an animated series.

All of these series share storylines and characters who all appear in the Dark-Hunter Universe so it’s difficult to see how these books/series, most of which are not suitable for younger audiences (Were-Hunters into an animated series -for children, I assume? That’s not right, surely?) can be split up into separate projects. I understand Kenyon is to be a producer with Ileen Maisel (Inkheart, The Golden Compass) and will be consulted but won’t have full control over how her works are interpreted so it’s hard to imagine there’ll be much left of the originals once plotlines and character backgrounds have been untangled, unravelled, reconstituted and edited enough to be appropriate for the screen. Unless they plan to have some sort of continuity between projects but I worry there won’t be enough left for fans to recognise once we sit down to watch the results.

Amber’s previous projects include transferring the very popular Inkheart (movie) and The Golden Compass (movie) young adult books from page to screen, combined they have 77,000 ratings on IMDB.com with similar average ratings of 6/10, with many critics and fans panning the adaptations. Due to their negative receptions there were no movie sequels despite there being plenty of material as both were part of trilogies. We’ll have to wait and see if the Kenyon projects do any better.

Richelle Mead Series News

Storm Born Comic

Issue 2 is now out!



SNEAK PEEK: There is a 5-page preview from the middle of the issue:

Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5

The Storm Born Comics are based upon the first book of the Dark Swan series, Storm Born, featuring Eugenie Markham, a powerful shamaness. Here’s the first scene from the first book:

The 5-page preview from issue #1: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5

Series reading order:
Storm Born volume #1Storm Born volume #2Storm Born volume #3Storm Born volume #4


Vampire Academy Graphic Novel

This series may have been put to bed last December with Last Sacrifice but the very first book that started it all has been turned into a graphic novel which is due out August 30, 2011!








Bloodlines


SNEAK PEEK: The first chapter of Bloodlines, the first book in the Vampire Academy spin-off series, is now available to read HERE.

It’s due for release on August 23, 2011.








COVER REVEAL: The Golden Lily, book #2 of the Bloodlines series is set for release on May 1, 2012.

A Q&A about Bloodlines by Mead is HERE.

Bloodlines Facebook Page
Bloodlines YouTube Channel


Georgina Kincaid


SNEAK PEEK:The first chapter of the sixth and final book in the Georgina Kincaid series, Succubus Revealed is available HERE.

This one is set for release on August 30, 2011.






And finally, Mead has discussed her future schedule now that she’s having a baby.

So, three Mead books out in August. Will you be buying any of them?



Kitty Norville Series Extended!

Carrie Vaughn‘s Kitty Norville series, which starts with Kitty and the Midnight Hour, has been extended from 10 books to 14!

From Vaughn’s blog:

I’ve officially signed a contract for four more Kitty books. That’s #11 – #14, for those keeping score, though one of those will probably be a spinoff. I’ll update y’all as I’m writing them and know more. Like, I’m currently halfway through #11, which doesn’t have a title yet, and is at the “oh crap, how am I going to pull this all together and I’ve left out an entire plot line” stage.

So, back to work with me.


Series reading order:

Game of Thrones: Season 2 – Winter is STILL Coming!

If you’re still coming to terms with the end of season one, then don’t worry. Filming of the second season of Game of Thrones is now under way! The first episode of which is due to air on April 15th, 2012.


Casting

The Tudors’ Natalie Dormer has been cast as Margaery Tyrell, the sister of Loras Tyrell (aka Knight of Flowers, and Renly Baretheon’s lover and supporter in his quest to take the throne from King Joffrey and the rightful heir, his brother Stannis). Dormer played Ann Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, and after 21 episodes was beheaded in The Tudors so she should used to the brutality of this show. She’s also appearing in this summer’s Captain America: The First Avenger as Private Lorraine.


Author/Screenwriter/Producer

George R. R. Martin, the author of ‘A Song of Fire and Ice’ series of books on which the show is based upon, is also a co-executive producer of the show and wrote episode 8: “The Pointy End“. He’ll be writing another episode, the finale of season 2 which will depict an important event that appears in the second book, A Clash of Kings. [Source]


Location, Location, Location

Although the first season was filmed in Northern Ireland and Malta, Croatia and Spain were scouted as possible locations for scenes in season two although it has been confirmed that Northern Ireland will remain as the headquarters and the base of operations for filming. The casting call for extras able to live and work in NI has gone out so if you’re a strong, rough and tough male with long hair and a beard or a lady with long locks go for it! You don’t just have to be a pretty face either, those with skills in archery and sword-fighting, as a butchers, blacksmiths, farmhands and sailors are also wanted.


Interviews

In an interview available on HBO’S website, the creators of the show David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have given some hints as to what we can look forward to when the second season airs next year:

**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**


BENIOFF: “[…] we’ve got all sorts of worlds to introduce the audience to. From Harrenhal, this legendary and haunted old castle, to Qarth, the city where Daenerys spends much of the season. And on and on.[…]”

BENIOFF: “A lot of season 1 is about characters figuring out who they are and what they’re after. So in Season 2, you see them starting to fulfil their destinies. Daenerys Targaryen started out Season 1 as this timid little girl and ends it as a warrior queen. Now she’s intent on winning back what’s rightfully hers – the Seven Kingdoms. Jon Snow is marching north with the Night’s Watch to find out what the hell is going on up there and unravel those mysteries. His brother Robb is now the King of the North, and he’s on a mission of vengeance to march south and avenge his father’s death.”

WEISS: “And also Tyrion Lannister, along with his sister Cersei, are two of the most central figures in the second season. He’s always had the privilege of being the wry, sardonic presence who stays on the margins of things and doesn’t need to participate in the exercise of power. And now his father Tywin has thrust him into the position where he has to assume power and rule in his father’s stead, which is probably the last thing he’d want for himself. A lot of this next season details the way that he copes with that and perhaps comes to enjoy it to a certain extent. And I think Cersei is under a lot of pressure, as things are spiralling out of control. Her brother Jaime is Robb Stark’s prisoner, and she’s trying to hold her family together and protect her children, as war hurdles ever and ever closer to their doorstep.”

BENIOFF: “And with the birth of the dragons, magic has kinf of returned to the world. We saw glimpses of it in the first season with the white walkers north of the Wall and obviously the dragons being hatched. This is a world where people haven’t seen much magic in the past few centuries, and they’re starting to think it’s just superstition at this point. And in the second season, it becomes more and more evident that there are supernatural forces at work. There are people who try to channel them for their own purposes, and there are those who desperately try to avoid them – or combat them.”

In another interview:

WEISS: “[…] So there are people offscreen in the book who we are going to write onscreen in the show to make sure people who viewers have fallen in love with are still there in the second season.”

BENIOFF: “[..] There’s fluidity in that certain scenes from the third book find their way into the second season just as certain scenes from the second book find their way into the end of the first season. We wanted to make sure those characters stayed in the audience’s mind and didn’t disappear for a whole year.”


The dragons also pose a problem. The CGI budget is going to have to increase but it seems that the dragons are not the only creatures to be computer-generated. An interview with VFX producer Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor revealed they would be “tackling CG creatures with fur, plus CG fire and water”. And fur means direwolves. Yes!


Trivia

  • In episode 8 “The Pointy End” we got an eyeful of Hodor’s goods. It was a fake, a prosthetic. I’m not sure whether I should be disappointed or relieved. [Source]
  • After each episode the show’s creators, Weiss and Benioff, receive a report card from George R.R. Martin to keep them on their toes and ensure they stay on track. [Source]
  • Each episode title sequence is subtly different, as it shows the kingdoms of the world that are featured in that particular episode. [Source]
  • Author George R.R. Martin was asked if he had a resolution or ending to the seemingly endless conflict. He replied that the end would be a cloud of dust or snow being driven by the wind across a vast graveyard full of tombstones. [Source]

  • Whilst we’re waiting for season 2 to hit our screens you can:

  • check out the HBO’s Official Production Diary
  • see whether you have what it takes to seize the throne in the game ‘Battle for the Iron Throne‘.
  • watch the rather touching ‘One and a Half Man‘ video depicting Tyrion and Bron’s friendship. Aww.


  • Or you can take a gander at the Game of Thrones Muppets mash-up posters, illustrated by Yehudi Mercado and their slogan is: “You wink or you die.”




    Pottermore – The Secret is Out!

    The mysterious Pottermore project has been leaked! Hours before the official announcement, a PR exec from StonehillSalt slipped up by sending out a confidential document containing details relating to the event, to several major UK newspapers. Oops. I sense someone’s about to be fired.

    If you don’t want to know what Pottermore is DO NOT SCROLL DOWN.





    Pottermore is…

    …an ONLINE GAME.

    But not just any old online game, how could it be? This is Harry Potter we’re talking about and there’s nothing “normal” about him. The document mentioned a treasure hunt for magic wands to be found in a number of countries. However, this has now been refuted by the PR company who now claim that this information is from an “old plan” which is now “out of date”, and there would be no treasure hunt. Despite this, the game has been developed by another PR company who has previously created games using online-only treasure hunts so who knows? We’ll have to wait for the more formal announcement later today (June 23) for the full official details. [Source]

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away … George Lucas announced plans for a live action Star Wars TV show.

    Did you know about this? I didn’t! Admittedly, I don’t follow Star Wars news like a hard-core fan. But, I was interested when I spotted this article at Attack of the Blog.

    Apparently Star Wars producer, Rick McCallum told Czech Position:

    “Basically, it is like ‘The Godfather’; it’s the Empire slowly building up its power base around the galaxy, what happens in Coruscant, which is the major capital, and it’s [about] a group of underground bosses who live there and control drugs, prostitution.”

    Hmmmm, sounds …. interesting? I’m having a hard time picturing it, but ok. AotB states this “could make hard-core fans happy”, but Team Luke fans maybe not be thrilled because:

    “It takes place between episodes three and four, when Luke Skywalker was growing up as a teenager, but it has nothing to do with Luke,” he said, adding that there is no young Luke Skywalker in any of the episodes.”

    They also state that the project is probably still 3-4 years away, so don’t go priming your DVRs just yet.

    “The TV series is on hold, but that has nothing to do with the Czech Republic; it has to do with [the episodes being] so ambitious. We have 50 hours of third-draft scripts, but the problem we have is there is a lot of digital animation; we don’t have the technology yet to be able to do them at a price that is safe for television. Since we would be financing them, it would be suicide for us to do this [now]. So we are going to wait three or four years.”

    Rumors abound that Lucas has shot 50 hours of footage already. But, according to this EW update on 31 May, Lucas has 50 completed scripts, a Lucasfilm spokesperson says, but he’s “waiting for a different type of technology we can use so it’s economically feasible to shoot the shows.” That makes a little more sense seeing as the hardest of the hard-core fans probably know what Lucas is going to do before he does. 🙂

    I have to agree with E!Online’s Peter Gicas’ post “5 Ways to Keep New Star Wars TV Show From Sucking“. JarJar drove me NUTS! Here are his 5 ways:

    1. Absolutely No Singing: Yes, we know you’ve essentially disowned the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special that was cruelly unleashed on TV audiences all those years ago, but please, please don’t be tempted to turn to that 1978 debacle now for inspiration simply in light of Glee’s popularity.

    2. More Boba Fett: Of course, that special did give geeks their first introduction to the cool, quiet bounty hunter and we’ve certainly been fans of his ever since. So, obviously, feel free to utilize Boba as much as possible. In fact, why not just build the whole freakin’ thing around him?

    3. More Han Solo: When the Millennium Falcon captain replied to Princess Leia’s “I love you” with an “I know” just before getting turned into a piece of art for Jabba the Hutt’s lair, we knew right then and there we would always long for more adventures involving our favorite space smuggler.

    4. Less Jar Jar: Actually, we take it back. Make that, no Jar Jar.

    5. Ease up on the CGI: OK, this last one probably flies right in the face of what you’ve got planned, George. But, remember, there’s a reason why A New Hope, with its now-dated special effects, still holds up even today.

    Until then, be on the look out for the Star Wars films to be redone in 3D. Watch George talk on G4TV about why and how they are doing the conversion to 3D and what the hold up is for the TV show.


    How much more money George Lucas can squeeze out of Star Wars?

    A lot, apparently!


    Some additional information on the TV show can be found at these sites:
    Wikipedia
    IMDB
    Comingsoon.net
    Google’s search on “George Lucas” +”Star Wars” +TV = About 10,600,000 results (0.17 seconds) Go fish!


    J.K. Rowling Fans Squeeeeeee ~ “The Owls are Gathering” & New Clip for HP7 Pt 2

    POTTERMORE?

    You have to hand it to J.K. Rowling! She certainly knows how to get her fans squeeeeein’. She’s announced, “The Owls are Gathering”, for what, we do not yet know. If you visit Pottermore.com, you’ll see a pretty pink site with owls perched on each side of the page. Click on either of the owls and it takes you to her YouTube countdown page, which at my last viewing was counting down from 3 days 11 hours 25 minutes and 20 seconds.

    Countdown to what? That is the big question that has everyone speculating on Rowling’s newest project. While searching for different thoughts on the project, you’re sure to find yourself over at Clube do Slugue and/or the Harry Potter Forum where, for years apparently, they have been trying to guess what Pottermore is all about – online role-playing game? fan site? HP encyclopedia? No one knows for sure. You can subscribe to the YouTube announcement page and follow @Pottermore on Twitter for more official updates. From what I can tell, her official website offers no hints (but it is a fun, interactive site).

    A book or not a book? Well, Rowling’s PR company Stonehill Salt told the Guardian on 16 June that the new project was not a new book. “All we can say is that Pottermore is the name of JK Rowling’s new project. It will be announced soon, and it is not a new book,” said a spokesperson. However, many may remember Rowling’s interview with Oprah in 2010 when she said “[The characters] are all still in my head. I mean, I could write. I could definitely write an eight, ninth, 10th. I could, easily.”

    On a side-note: I saw that interview and was touched by Rowling’s past, her reasons for writing Harry’s story and very much enjoyed seeing deeper inside the amazing woman behind the series. If you missed, you should pop over to Oprah’s site and read the transcript.

    Whatever Pottermore turns out to be, seems we’ll all find out together in … 3 days and counting.
    What’s your guess??

    In the meantime …


    This past week another clip, said to be the final one (we’ll see) until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 premieres on 17 July, hit the web. This one is quite wicked. And, it seems Harry sees dead people.

    I haven’t finished reading the books, so I’m excited to find out how it all ends. Those that have read the books and watched the movies, how well do you think the films portrayed the story? Well done? We’d love to hear your thoughts!


    To test or refresh your HP knowledge, be sure to check out the books or any one of these sites:

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)

    QUIZZES: Are you a Potterphile? and Beyond Abracadabra: Do You Know These Magical Spells?

    HP 101: Character Guide and From Animagi to Zonko’s: The Harry Potter Glossary

    Related Posts @ Random Musings:
    “It All Ends” ~ Harry Potter, the Final Chapter

    New Clip: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

    WSJ Article Spawns #YASaves @ Twitter and Elsewhere

    I’ve been learning how to Tweet. LOL! I feel so old saying that, but seriously, there are too many social networks these days. I can’t keep up.

    On Twitter, I noticed a TON of #YASaves posts and wondered what it all the chatter was about. They are all sharing their thoughts on this Wall Street Journal article by Meghan Cox Gurdon and how “YA Saves”.

    In her article titled “Darkness Too Visible: Contemporary fiction for teens is rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity. Why is this considered a good idea?”, she starts off by saying:

    Amy Freeman, a 46-year-old mother of three, stood recently in the young-adult section of her local Barnes & Noble, in Bethesda, Md., feeling thwarted and disheartened.

    She had popped into the bookstore to pick up a welcome-home gift for her 13-year-old, who had been away. Hundreds of lurid and dramatic covers stood on the racks before her, and there was, she felt, “nothing, not a thing, that I could imagine giving my daughter. It was all vampires and suicide and self-mutilation, this dark, dark stuff.” She left the store empty-handed.


    I don’t have access to big bookstores, but even my tiny book section at the PX here in Oki has more to offer than that. Maybe she didn’t look long or hard enough?

    Then, she says:

    How dark is contemporary fiction for teens? Darker than when you were a child, my dear: So dark that kidnapping and pederasty and incest and brutal beatings are now just part of the run of things in novels directed, broadly speaking, at children from the ages of 12 to 18.


    All things change with time. Maybe people (authors) are feeling the need to write about topics that teens face these days, topics that will spark conversion, get them to a place where they realize they aren’t alone and can find help? Just a thought.

    This first paragraph is how I feel, the second … well, parents should monitor their youngsters reads, as they should monitor their video game, music and movie choices, IMO.

    The argument in favor of such novels is that they validate the teen experience, giving voice to tortured adolescents who would otherwise be voiceless. If a teen has been abused, the logic follows, reading about another teen in the same straits will be comforting. If a girl cuts her flesh with a razor to relieve surging feelings of self-loathing, she will find succor in reading about another girl who cuts, mops up the blood with towels and eventually learns to manage her emotional turbulence without a knife.

    Yet it is also possible—indeed, likely—that books focusing on pathologies help normalize them and, in the case of self-harm, may even spread their plausibility and likelihood to young people who might otherwise never have imagined such extreme measures. Self-destructive adolescent behaviors are observably infectious and have periods of vogue. That is not to discount the real suffering that some young people endure; it is an argument for taking care.


    I’ll stop there and let you read the article in full yourself.

    I’d like to think there are very good YA novels out there that would empower YAs, not turn them into vampire-lovin’, alcoholic, drugged out, cutters who rape others. But, that’s just me.

    This perfectly depicts YA reading for me. Actually any age, any genre, any book – escape from reality… even if only for a short while.


    What are your thoughts?