I saw a headline the other day (and I can’t find it now—sorry!), bemoaning the loss of Lindsey Vonn to the 2014 US Olympic Team, because she was the most recognizable face on it. In other words, there aren’t any other big name super stars racing/skating/sledding to give us viewers a reason to tune in.
I feel bad for Vonn, mostly because her knee troubles sound incredibly painful. But I also feel bad for her because she is getting older and there aren’t many second acts in the lives of sports heroes; you get a small window through which to shine, then it closes pretty much forever—if you’re lucky, you might get to re-emerge as a sportscaster like John McEnroe, but those opportunities are rare.
It might seem strange to be writing about sports in a YA lit journal. But it’s a metaphor, people!
Imagine: A publishing season WITHOUT Oliver/Green/Roth/Levithan/Bray/and Company.
WHAT WOULD WE ALL DO?????
We’d do exactly what viewers of the 2014 Olympics will do: Discover new talent. Root for the underdog. Find new faves. Be amazed. And surprised.
My heart beats faster just thinking about it.
It’s a reminder of how important it is for all of us readers to find new talent on our own initiative. Because it’s unrealistic to think that all the major, current YA writers will very temporarily tear their writing ACL’s (what would that be, anyway, some piece of our right brains responsible for bending and flexing?), and make sudden room in the market for new stars to shine. The market is always going to be crowded, stuffed full of awesome stuff to read.
It’s a reminder to dive headlong and deep into that market and get excited about new things, unique things, unknown things (not the thing the media is telling us is the next big thing). And the adventure of finding them where we least expect them.
Have you already discovered a lesser known voice you want to let everyone know about? Let us know right here in the comments section!