Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Wednesday News:

Copyright reform is necessary and like Pamela, I’m not sure what the answers are. It would be great to get a large group of people in a room with various points of view and interests to hash out what would be a workable framework that would both protect individual content creators yet avoid imposing such huge fines that relatively innocent content sharers have the opportunity to remedy the wrong without being pushed off the internet. Hubspot

When the late author, the alter ego of Theodor Seuss Geisel, was penning his beloved Beginner Books for Random House in the 1960s, he’d have his editor in chief, Michael Frith, over to his house, where they’d work until the wee hours. And when they’d get stuck, according to “Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel” by Judith and Neil Morgan, Geisel would open a secret door to a closet filled with hundreds of hats. Then, he and Frith would each pick a different hat, perhaps a fez, or a sombrero, or maybe an authentic Baroque Czech helmet or a plastic toy viking helmet with horns. They’d sit on the floor and stare at each other in these until the right words came to them.”Collectors Weekly

Shoes Smart Bitches

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks working on a visual art piece that celebrates my love of romance novels. My work is pair of high heels that have been decoupaged with romance novel covers (both old skool and recent releases). They are entirely functional and I have plans to wear them … pretty much everywhere . Essentially, they were for an assignment and will be in a small exhibition/showing that was organised by my tutorial tomorrow night (part of the assignment criteria included distributing the work) but I’d actually rather share them with romance readers because I know they’d have a deeper appreciation for them. And did I mention the title of the work? I’ve called them “The Sole of a Romantic”.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Keishon
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 08:40:58

    YA fell 23.5%. eBooks declined 36.2% in the YA market and 29.3% in the hardcover m YA market. YA sales appear to have been down (albeit only slightly) ever since September.

    Everyone flooded the market with copycat books. I know I quit buying YA novels long time ago. Well, since I started reading mystery three years ago.

  2. Darlynne
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 09:49:56

    @Keishon: I’m with you. Although the stories seemed fresh initially and went in directions adult fiction tended to overlook, the great stumbling block for me remains TEENAGERS. Having been one, watching my sister deal with six of them at a time, I can only take so much angst and sullenness.

    The question I often asked was “why?” Was a particular story better for being peopled with YA characters? Did it sell better (apparently, at least for awhile)? Was the book’s conflict greater because teenagers generally speaking have less agency than adults? Ultimately, I just grew tired.

  3. Keishon
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 11:45:04

    @Darlynne: I will try to answer because I am one of the intended audience for that question. It’s not so much the age of the protagonists but the stories themselves. Yes, I guess for the stories the author wants to tell the age for the situation might be more impactful. I read only a select few of authors that I enjoy who write YA well with a diversity that addresses significant social issues like depression, abortion, etc : Sarah Dessen, Megan Whalen Turner and Melina Marchetta. I also enjoy C.K. Kelly Martin’s work too and she writes mainly from the male POV. I loved The Lighter Side of Life and Death which was a page-turner for me (and full of angst and would drive you crazy I’m sure!). One thing YA is not: it is not about re-living one’s teenage years.

    Edited to add: Turner writes mostly fantasy stuff that gets dark as the series progresses. She’s great but her novels are pure entertainment.

  4. Janine
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 12:10:06

    It’s sad that YA sales are down but as Keishon says, it was the inevitable result of publishers flooding the market with books that try–and often fail– to capitalize on the success of other books. I haven’t given up on the genre (last year, Cashore’s Bitterblue was my favorite book of the year) but it is getting harder to find the great books.

    @Darlynne: I actually wrote a whole op-ed on the topic, “Why I Read YA.”. I named several reasons why YA appealed to me even though I am an adult. The ages of the characters aren’t the main reason, except inasmuch as they make it easier to read about some dark topics and still retain optimism. There are more reason I gave for my love of YA, but that piece was long, and I’m not going to summarize it all here.

  5. Darlynne
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 12:19:14

    Don’t get me wrong, I read and enjoyed a lot of YA fiction; I’ve just found it more of a struggle than previously. For example, I started The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress, an Edwardian steampunk that should have been a no-brainer for me, but just couldn’t connect with the teenage characters. OTOH, Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series makes me hop up and down with glee over the adventures of her now-13-year-old protagonist, September. Same with Susan Cooper, Hilary McKay, Philip Pullman, etc.

    As I type this, it occurs to me that my problem may be one of intent on the author’s part: Is the story about these characters or is the story about being a YA character, and in my head at least, those are two completely different things. Thanks, Keishon and Janine! I’m sorted.

  6. Ducky
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 18:28:04

    I am glad YA is falling. I don’t want to read books about teens or the equally whiny and entitled new adults. I only liked teenagers when I was one and even then not always.

  7. loonigrrl
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 19:37:29

    Even though I read Twilight and Hunger Games when they came out, I feel like I was late to the game when it comes to YA. But I really enjoy it- it’s the genre I read the most right now. I’m even in a YA book club for adults. There are some copycats out there, but I’m still discovering some really good books all the time.

    @Janine I’ve got Bitterblue on my TBR list. I really really enjoyed Graceling and Fire (recent discoveries for me).

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