This week I finally finished Writing & Selling the YA Novel by K.L. Going. It takes me a long time to finish non-fiction books, but when they are writing books I always do…eventually. This book was fun and helpful and nicely organized. It had nice overviews on the different elements of writing and it was wonderful to actually read a book about YA fiction for the first time ever. But I was amazed to see how much of the info was already out of date just since 2008. Things have gone from “most agents do not want e-mail queries” to “most agents do not want paper queries”. And of course e-books were still a miniscule percent of the market back then and now book store chains are going out of business if they don’t offer an e-reader. First and second graders in my boy’s school are getting Kindles and Nooks for Christmas and the doubters are widely considered to by a bunch of quacks. My very favorite part of this book though was where she interviewed teens about their reading habits and preferences concerning the different elements of writing. I loved to see what Bob in Mississippi thought about character, or dialogue, or drugs in fiction.
I also read How to Break a Dragon’s Heart by Cressida Cowell. I cannot say enough good things about these books. They are hilarious! True, there is a character named “big-boobied-bertha” a show stopper for some parents, and the threat of human sacrifice (being fed to an enormous dragon), and a mention of the ancient practice of leaving weak infants out on the rocks to die. Which sadly is what happened to Fishlegs Hiccups best friend, but on the good side he was adopted when his little boat floated onto the isle of Berk. But the horrifying nature of these plot elements is counteracted by the constant sarcastic wit that makes her writing absolutely delightful. One of my absolute favorite series of all times, despite Big boobied Bertha.
It’s Frappuccino Thursday!