The End of the Alligator Days

Hello, dear friends! How was your summer? Mine was lovely–all that I hoped it could be, and soo restorative! I am energized and enthused and ready for the writing and editing projects of the fall. Plus the fun of faires and festivals, pumpkin days and crisp leaves raining from a clear blue sky. I love all the seasons, but fall is my favorite.

And you guys–I’m so excited for this fall! I have some really lovely books I’m editing–I’m always proud of the Red Adept books I’ve helped to shape–and in a giant SQUEE I have a tidy pile of fulls out with agents, for Once Upon a Witness! That’s my fairyland’s witness protection MG, which I think I’ve mentioned before. And then there are a couple editors reading a different MG and a PB, plus all the work and planning that’s already begun for the launch party of my romantic suspense, which will debut spring of 2017–link for all my Lily Black news here. The writing life? Right now it’s da’ bomb. ๐Ÿ˜€

But all that positive activity does bring one shift. I will be moving my Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts to an every other week schedule, just to ease things up a bit. I’ve resisted making this shift for at least a year, but the time has come and so I sympathise with the likes ofย Marvin K. Mooney but must relent. There will be possible posts on the off days, of course, plus the occasional switcheroo to make room for holidays (December, I’m looking at you) but pretty much we’ll stick to that every other Monday schedule.

And now I have a couple books to recommend! A shout out for two YA books I read over the summer:

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I really haven’t read Young Adult much, over the last few years, and when I did it was usually the stuff that could pass as MG. So…I’d kind of mentally consigned YA to the category of ‘great, if you like that angsty stuff and want to read something depressing.’ I cringe, admitting it, but given the reputation it has and the dark, fatalistic bend of some of the books, that was my perspective. But these two books took my preconceptions and scrambled them up like a rubix cube in the hands of a three-year-old, then straightened them all out in a new and beautiful pattern. Yes, they were (both) sometimes angsty, and moody. But there was so much of light, and hope, in each of them! Moreover, the writing was so gorgeous and the characters so sympathetic, reading never felt like it brought on the blues.

The Lost Sun is a tale of sacrifice and heroism in the face of overwhelmingly difficult circumstances. It’s set in ‘the United States of Asgard’ where the Norse Gods and the old Norse way of life has been brought to the Americas, and coincides comfortably with our modern world of cars and television. This juxtaposition provides a mythological framework within which the main character–a young berzerker–must deal with the fact that his father is infamous for having berzerked…in a shopping mall, completely losing it and killing something like a dozen people before he was taken out by a police squad. So the main character attempts to prevent himself from ever becoming a berzerker, holding it back and clamping down on who he is. And then there’s a girl, whose mother is as famous as his father was infamous, and a beautiful, fragile lost god, and a road-trip style quest…and I recommend you read it!

The Fault in Our Stars is much better known, given its bestseller status, but it’s interesting because I could also say of it that it’s a tale of sacrifice and heroism in the face of overwhelmingly difficult circumstances. Cancer, of course, and terminal. I won’t say much more of this one–it’s so famous, and others have said it better–but I will say that it was soo much more hopeful than I thought it would be! The first few chapters were more what I expected, and I might have stopped reading if I hadn’t been curious how John Green was going to pull off a plot when we know up front that the main character is living on borrowed time and has no future. But as the story progresses it lightens, and you come to realize that all we need is a now. After all, which of us, through any act of will or sacrifice, can get anything immediate and useful now, out of our future? Can pin any part of it down? The future doesn’t have a debit card, so you can pull up to a metaphysical ATM and borrow a bit of whatever it is you want. All any of us possess in a concrete way is a past, which we can’t change, and a now. That wasn’t the point of this book, but it was a side bit of insight which I appreciated. Truth, the book had layers within layers of insights, and was brilliantly done.

So, there’s a couple books for you, as my little gift from summer’s alligator days! Please do tell me what you’ve been up to, and what your in-book or out-of-book summer adventures were! I’m dying to hear them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Z and alligator baby 2016 Surfwatch

Me, and a friendly baby alligator I met at the beach. He was super soft and cuddly…so long as he sported that bit of tape around his jaws!

4 comments to The End of the Alligator Days

  • Awesome you have some manuscripts out there. Fingers crossed for you. I really liked John Green’s book.

  • Kudos to you on getting so many manuscripts out in the world! And congrats on your upcoming release! I also loved John Green’s book. I think one of the things he did most brilliantly is infuse humor and lightness as you called it into what could be a dark book. I generally steer clear of cancer books, but I loved that one. And the other one you mentioned sounds interesting too!
    I love YA too, although I haven’t read as much of it of late.

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