Thursday, March 24, 2011

Proud to be her editor…

Ashley Hope Pérez has a great guest post on Diversity in YA Fiction. The whole thing is worth a read, but I loved this:

I’ve heard from a few readers frustrated that they didn’t “get” the Spanish the characters in What Can’t Wait sometimes use. They wondered why the book didn’t have a glossary. The answer is that most of my students wouldn’t need a glossary. To include a glossary would have been to say, “Actually, this book is meant as a barrio tour for gringos. See? It comes with a travel guide…”

No. What Can’t Wait has lots to offer to readers of all backgrounds, but I wrote it for my students. My contribution to diversity in YA hinges on the fact that I know my audience, and I care about what they find when they go to the bookshelf.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Does a stock photographer actually have something to teach writers?

Let’s be honest: YA insiders have an uneasy relationship with stock photography. As much as mountains of cheap stock give designers a lot of creative flexibility (does anyone really think covers have gotten worse since the arrival of cheap digital stock?), stock is also perhaps at the root of a lot of pernicious cover group-think. It makes it all too easy to do dozens of covers that are only incrementally different (something for which designers are NOT to blame). At a minimum, I suspect everyone has a stock image or a stock cliché that they feel like they’ve seen two hundred times on various covers (low angle shots of couples lying on their stomachs with knees bent and lower legs up?).

But set that aside and take a look at this brief workshop video from stock photography master Yuri Acurs. I think this guy actually has a lot of valuable insight on world-building and what makes characters stand out. Translate his metaphors from visual to verbal, and you can see how he’d would probably be quite a popular author if he traded his cameras and strobes for a laptop and word processor (although, he’d probably want to dictate to assistants…").

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Big Apple, Bigger Bouffants

You might have seen that the launch party for Kate Hosford’s Big Bouffant was the picture of the day on PW. Kate’s part at New York’s Books of Wonder was a smashing success, and we’ve been marveling at all the creative coiffeur. Here are the highlights:

And the boys got in on the updos too.

Looks like a good time was had by all.

Kate and illustrator Holly Clifton-Brown are hard at work on a sequel, but it will be hard to top this party.


Photos © Tony Mansour

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Unlikeable update

Just a reminder, I’m still taking unlikeable narrators for another few weeks. I’ve gotten a good handful of submissions since I put out my call, and I’ve dipped into a few. I’m disliking what I see—which is kind of the point. And I appreciate all the tips on favorite problematic narrators. Keep ‘em coming.

Photo by L. Marie