First, a confession: It used to be that I relished the opportunity to write my blog at YARN. Especially in the months after Elena was born, it was the only real writing I was doing. Now that I’m writing a book, however, I have to admit that this blogging thing has become quite a lot more difficult. Not only do I feel like all my words are getting funnelled into TINAWM (as well as a novel I’ve found myself poking away at), it’s hard to think beyond the topic of the book (writing) to write a blog about writing. But seriously, this is not a complaint, and I really do understand that for a writer-editor, this is a high quality problem. I suppose I’m asking you to forgive me and bear with me–because in about a year you’ll be getting an earful, or a bookful as the case may be, of my writing.
I also hope that you are writing, if you’re a writer. And that you’re drafting, revising, and polishing something up to submit. We’ll still be reading submissions all summer long, even though we won’t be publishing anything new until September. Like many literary journals, we here at YARN use the summer to rest, rejuvenate, and prepare for a great Fall season.
But that doesn’t mean you’ve heard the last of us till Labor Day. No, no! Lourdes and Julia will continue their excellent Facebook and Twitter coverage of YA writing from the news and blogosphere, and–dum, diddy-DUM!!–we’ll be bringing you a “Blockbuster-Free Summer Reading Exchange,” right here on YARN.
What is the BFSRE? Well, I was inspired by your overwhelming response to my blog, “Consider this as you shell out $10 for the Hunger Games.” I kept asking myself how YARN could pitch in to help remedy this problem of blockbuster novels getting all the media attention while excellent but smaller, quieter books languish away on the shelves.
I wondered how YARN could somehow mimic my favorite part of working at an independent bookstore years ago: recommending lesser-known books to patrons–and then seeing them come back for more recommendations! Not only is it fun to talk about books with other book lovers, it brings attention and sales to books that need it.
This is what we came up with: We’re going to dedicate a whole YARN page (or more, if it becomes necessary) to the BFSRE. There, YARN staffers will recommend some of their favorite YA novels that are NOT blockbusters, which means NO “Hunger Games,” “Twilight,” or anything else on the New York Times Bestsellers list. Listen, we love them, too–but they are not the point of this project; they don’t need our help.
But our staff is just here to get the ball rolling. Really, we want YOU, Readers, to tell us what lesser-known YA YOU are reading, or what you have loved, and why, using the Comments section on the page. Please consult the current NYT Bestsellers list to make sure your suggestion isn’t on it, and try to stay away from classics like Judy Blume or S.E. Hinton, too, since obviously those are perennial blockbusters in their own way. Also, if you are a writer, please don’t just post about your own book–we’d love to hear your recommendations about other books, and if you happen to add the url to your own book in your signature, we promise not to delete it 🙂
Remember, part of the point here is to bring attention to writers and books that haven’t gotten enough of it. We hope, also, that a dialogue will start on the page about these books, and why we love them.