Hey, today’s my birthday! It’s also the birthday of one Edward Cullen (June 20, 1901), from a little-known series called Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, as well as Jackson Meyer (June 20, 1990), the time-traveling protagonist of Julie Cross’ Tempest Trilogy.
What other book birthdays do you know? What characters do you share a birthday with?
The big news broke yesterday that my next novel is The Silence of Six for Adaptive Books! Here’s the announcement from Publisher’s Weekly Children’s Bookshelf:
Appropriately enough, I’ve been silent on this for the last six months. ;) They say you should challenge yourself with each book, and I really have been pushing myself with this one. It’s so different from Fair Coin and Quantum Coin, which is fantastic because one of the things I love about YA is I can write pretty much anything I want. It’s been a fun project, and an eye-opening one as I looked deeper into not only what is possible with technology, but what is actually happening in the world right now. Scary stuff, and I’m sure I’ll be discussing that more here in the future.
Thanks to everyone at Adaptive Studios, especially Perrin Chiles and Marshall Lewy; they’re are a savvy creative team who have been great to work with. I’m learning a lot. Also thanks to Eddie Schneider, Kristy King, and Tiffany Schmidt! Many more thanks are sure to come–we still have a lot to do before November!
I have exciting news! I’m going to the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop this summer!
Launch Pad is a “crash course” in astronomy for professional writers and editors. By learning about modern science from guest lectures and observing the stars through telescopes at the University of Wyoming, we can share that knowledge with others through our own work. I was first introduced to a lot of the science I love through books I read as a kid, like William Sleator’s Singularity and Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, so I know how effective fiction can be at educating as well as entertaining. And I hope to pay that forward with my own stories.
I’ve wanted to attend Launch Pad ever since Mike Brotherton founded the workshop, and I’m thrilled that I’ll finally be able to participate with a truly talented group and an impressive roster of instructors. I’m also bummed that I’m going to miss my favorite convention, Readercon, but… Launch Pad!
We need diverse books because the only book character that looked like me when I was a kid was Claudia Kishi, who admittedly is awesome.
Happy May Day, everyone!
Today is the first of three days of online campaigning for more diverse books! It seems appropriate to begin this on May 1, because May Day has become known in the U.S. as a day for promoting change. “Mayday” is also an internationally recognized distress signal, and we do need help. Mayday. Mayday. Mayday.
The call for diversity in books means we want to see books written by and about people of all races, genders, abilities, sexual orientations, cultures, religions, shapes, sizes, and more. Traditionally, diversity has been underrepresented in publishing, because supposedly diverse books don’t sell. It’s hard to sell what isn’t there or is hidden. We need to change that too, so we not only need to see more diverse books, but we need to buy and promote them too.
#WeNeedDiverseBooks has been trending for the past couple of days on Twitter, and we hope it continues to generate interest, along with the other phases of the campaign. Today, check out http://weneeddiversebooks.tumblr.com and share and submit photos telling everyone “We need diverse books because…”
Visit Facebook for more info on the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign and find out how to spread the word and get involved. And follow along on Twitter and Tumblr from May 1-3. Thank you!
Photo by I.W. Gregorio
Today, I was honored to speak to some amazing teen writers and readers at the Little Flower Teen Writers Festival about the importance of diversity and how to approach writing from perspectives other than their own. I promised to post some links to read more about this topic, and I hope these are useful to anyone interested in reading and writing more diverse books, even without the context of my presentation.
Art by Tina Kugler/ tinakuglerstudio.com
Read More About It
Writing the Other: A Practical Approach by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward, Conversation Pieces vol. 8, Aqueduct Press, 2005
Diversity in YA – http://diversityinya.tumblr.com/
Rich in Color: Reading and Reviewing Diverse YA Books – http://richincolor.com/
Articles & Data:
2013 Statistics, Cooperative Children’s BookCenter, University of Wisconsin – http://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/books/pcstats.asp
Diversity in 2013 YA Best Sellers –
Kid Lit’s Primary Color: White –
Diversity is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing –
Want More Diversity in Your YA? Here’s How You Can Help –
We Are Still Not Doing Enough for Diversity in Kidlit –
Where’s the African-American Harry Potter or the Mexican Katniss? –
We Need Bigger Megaphones for Diversity in Kid Lit –
Why Hasn’t the Number of Multicultural Books Increased in Eighteen Years? –
Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is –
Why We Need Diversity in YA Fiction, Plus Book Recommendations –
My Take on Diversity in Children’s Books While Growing Up: