Tuesday, October 30, 2012

We debated this morning about posting while so many of the people we follow on twitter are in NYC or PA dealing with some cold and wet conditions with no power.  We feel so helpless.  Sending our thoughts to all of you is all we can do.  For now.

If you were following twitter yesterday, you either felt like you had first-hand information, or were totally faked out by photoshopped pics and rumors.  But...

Some joked around (honestly, this is a coping mechanism, what else can you do?):

Others checked that behavior:

Come on, they weren't all bad.
Big news in publishing...Penguin and Random House have merged companies:

These tweets from earlier in the week seem like ghost ships:

(We love reading books like this...and one day hope we can make an agent feel this way with our stories too)
The winner of ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD is Susan Francino!!!!  Send us an email weheartya(at)gmail(dot)com with your address so we can send it out to you.  Thanks for commenting!!
Friday, October 26, 2012

“Balance Your Opposites.”

This advice was scribed by author Kristina McBride on the cover page of her novel THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES at a book fair in Ohio a couple of years ago. At the time, I remember thinking that it was a great turn of phrase. After reading the book—a heartwrenching story about a teenage girl whose best friend returns two years after being abducted from a neighborhood park—its meaning hit me on a deeper level.
There really is a delicate balance to everything in life, and anytime the scales tip too far in one direction… you could be headed for a crash landing.
Last winter I ended up writing two manuscripts simultaneously (not something I set out to do). Book #1 is rather dark—the story of a girl trying to maintain her integrity as she’s thrust into a life of depravity. Book #2 is more upbeat—a love story set in a beautiful mountain town. Book #1 sort of came at me full speed, without much planning or plotting. But after several days of crazy inspiration, I realized that writing Book #1 was starting to make me sad.
So I did what any sane writer (is that an oxymoron?) would do—closed the document and started work on my much lighter Book #2. I never thought I’d write two stories at once. But alas, switching between these two manuscripts was the perfect solution. My opposites were completely balanced. Thanks, Kristina!
Have you read THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES yet? What about other good books that deal with contrasting issues? Life/Death. Quiet/Loud. Safe/Scary. How do you keep your balance in life or literature?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Okay, no.  We're not getting political.  Even though we think it's important to have informed discussion about  issues facing our country, there's no way we'd try to persuade you to believe one thing or the other.  We've refrained from tweeting all the (hilarious) tweets during the presidential debates.  They're all over!  No more debates and twitter hijacking/hijinks.  But we had to include just this one because we believe funny people usually have something completely sane to say in serious times:

The best way to express your opinion?  VOTE.  If you're 18, register your cute self and get involved.  Please and Thank you.

Authors Talking about Writing:

If you have no idea who Ed and Lucy are, you MUST RIGHT NOW go and read GRAFFITI MOON!!

Other Lit. Peeps Rocking the World:

If you don't know who Anna and Etienne are...HOW HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING WITHOUT THEM?!?
LOL.  This is essential to being a writer.  Or musician  #guitarface 

And yes, Valerie, it DID make the twitter roundup.  Because DON'T CALL VAL and WEDGIE are tagging the internets with our mind graffiti:

Oh yeah, if you've made it to the end of this post (and why wouldn't you?) and you feel like commenting, you could win a paperback of ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by Kendare Blake.  Just in time for Halloween!  So comment away with either what you're going to be for Halloween this year or your favorite costume from the past.  Winner announced next week.  xx
Thursday, October 18, 2012

On Monday, October 15th, John Green spoke at the Main Library in Cincinnati, Ohio to kick off Teen Read Week. Kristan and I met up early for crêpes and ate as we walked the remaining block to the library.

As we sat outside, scarfing down the last of our dinner, we watched the people walking in and tried to guess which groups were there for John, and who had just chosen an unfortunate time to borrow a book. Sometimes it was difficult to tell, but in most cases, it was obvious — if not by the quirky clothing or the books clutched tightly in their hands, then by their nervous, excited energy.

Inside, the place was packed. Anywhere you stood, there was at least one pizza john shirt staring creepily in your direction. There was evidence everywhere of Doctor Who obsessions, and a ukulele player sang Britney Spears songs in the back. There was even a girl dressed up as one of John's books. We managed to find seats only about ten rows back, which seemed too good to be true. It was. See the column in the picture below? We're directly behind it.

The kids there seemed excited not only to be in the same room with one of their favorite authors, but also to be among so many people that loved the things they loved and shared the same interests. It's amazing to think this is only a fraction of the community that has sprung up around John Green's books and video blogs.

John spoke first about why we still read books when there are so many other forms of entertainment available to us, and how today's teens are reading more widely and passionately than ever before. 

"I want to argue tonight that despite all of the terrible things that you’ve heard about the vapid apathy of this generation of teenagers and how they do nothing all day but look at tumblr, […] that, in fact, today’s generation of teenagers is, in many ways, the best informed, the best read, most thoughtful group of teenagers the world’s ever known."

He spoke about how today's teens are reading thousands of words everyday on Tumblr, Twitter, and in YouTube comments — more words a day, he said, than he ever read as a teen. But then he went on to say this text-based interaction is insufficient. That, while literacy is great, it's not enough.

Holding up one of his books: "These words are just meaningless scratches on a page, until someone makes them real."

He pointed out that when we read books, we have to make the worlds within them real in a way that we don't have to with other forms of entertainment/reading. When we read books, we are put into times and situations and cultures that are foreign to us.

"That’s one of the things that reading can give us, and I think it’s one of the things that we most crave. We crave feeling outside of ourselves. […] When I read a great novel, I feel like I am seeing the world out of someone else’s eyes. I feel like I have a life outside of my own — if only for a little bit — and I can imagine what it’s like to be someone else with a complexity that I could never imagine what it’s like to be even the people whom I love the most, who are closest to me."

Then John took questions, the first of which asked why he has chosen to write YA.

“I really like teenagers, but not in a creepy way. [The crowd laughs.] I find them really interesting because they’re doing a lot of important things for the first time: they’re falling in love for the first time, they’re experiencing grief for the first time — in many cases, at least — and they’re almost always for the first time grappling in a sovereign way with the big questions of our species.”
“In my experience at least, when you treat teenagers as if they aren’t stupid, they won’t disappoint you. I think when you credit anyone with intelligence, they tend to rise to the occasion.”

Both John’s faith in the intelligence of his readers and the teenage struggle with the “big questions” became evident later when a young girl from the audience asked, “I was just wondering why you think people suffer?”

Instead of skirting the question or giving a nice neat answer as I saw many adults do when I was a teen. He answered with seriousness and honesty, explaining how he cannot imagine we live in the best possible world and that he tries not to look for a reason because it just makes him angry. Then he countered that while there is tremendous suffering in the world, there is also tremendous joy.

“For me the saving grace of the question of why people suffer, the place where I find hope in that, is that even though we all suffer, even though we will all have terrible pain that we have to live with in our lives, there is also going to be moments of great fulfillment.”

“So my answer to why people suffer is I don’t know, but I am very very grateful that even though we suffer — and I don’t want to diminish it — even though there is terrible pain in the world, for now, for today, we are very lucky to be observers of the universe.”

In conclusion, I think one of the big reasons this community of teens has sprung up around John's work is because he doesn't water down his answers for them. Anyone could have heard him speak that night and wouldn't have been able to tell whether it was meant for teens or adults (baring some of the goofier questions about mermaids and cannibalism). And he doesn't hold back in his writing because his readers are younger than he is. He makes an effort to understand them and admits when he doesn't.


John made a brief mention of his day trip to "Single N-Double N-Single T Cincinnati" (as he put it) in his video this week:

Update: For anyone interested, you can watch the entire speech on the library's YouTube channel.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kristan and Steph went to see John Green last night at Cincinnati Public Library (it's about time he came over to these parts!!) and, if you were about on twitter, @weheartya tweeted up the best quotes at #johngreencincy.  In case you missed it:

If you haven't seen John speak at readings or conventions, it really is one of the best experiences ever!  I mean, it feels like you've just hung out with your funniest and cleverest friend.

Some writing stuff:

Sarah Rees Brennan, you are officially the funniest:

Oh yeah, some dude jumped to earth from THE EDGE OF SPACE:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

So, yeah, this post is late.  But chances are you haven't noticed.  3pm is the new 8am--just so you know.

What's been happening on twitter this week?  Writers have been writing, and as usual, inspiring us (and making us laugh):

The best of the funny:

Word, yo.

We absolutely encourage this kind of behavior:

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about us

Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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