A Thanksgiving thank you

One of the things I’m most thankful for this year comes in a body bag:


I’ve received a few different versions of my debut novel in the mail lately: A month ago, it was the shiny new paperback and, on Tuesday, it was the second printing of the hardcover. I haven’t been this excited about a New Edition since Robby, Bobby, Ricky, and Mike were doing their thing:


Uh, I was very young at the time…

A second printing in books is like beating the point spread in sports. For debut novels, expectations are generally pretty low—somewhere between the Lions, who are playing today at 12:30, and the Bills, who aren’t scheduled to lose again until Sunday—so I sort of feel like my book just pulled off the upset.

And that brings me to something that I am even more thankful for: the readers. Specifically, readers of contemporary YA, an army of absolute rock stars willing to, for example, check out a little black book that literally looks like death—and in which not a single character sparkles—written by someone they’d never heard of.

Fans of contemporary YA don’t shy away from the dark corners, and they definitely don’t scare easily. They are willing to look at modern life the way it is and consider not only the good and the bad but also the gray areas in between. And because they are, writers who want to explore the complex, turbulent terrain of high school life can do so without pulling punches or making the whole thing an elaborate allegory involving unicorns.

I’m not sure what the pilgrims would think of all this, but then, have you seen the way they dressed?


So goth, right? And I hear they were big fans of The Smiths (John Smith, in particular).

I know what I think, though. So before the first forkful of turkey (is added directly to my waistline), I wanted to give a sincere Thanksgiving thank you to all the readers of contemporary YA. You (Plymouth) rock!

16 comments:

Michael Northrop said...

Seriously, YA readers are amazing. I feel like I sort of "buried the lead" because, well, because the jokes worked better that way, but when I think about the amazing YA books I've read this year, like Marcello in the Real World, I am just really impressed by and grateful for all the readers who help books like that break out.

Lisa Schroeder said...

I am SO thankful for the readers too, Michael!!

And I love the last joke - you (Plymouth) rock! hahaha

Pam Harris said...

YA readers do rock--but so do YA writers. :)

Michael Northrop said...

Thanks, you two! I am a little concerned that, after today's meal, this particular YA writer may also roll :o

Sara said...

Congratulations on the second printing! And Happy Thanksgiving!

Michael Northrop said...

Thanks, Sara! Happy Thanksgiving!

Bee said...

Thanks to YOU guys for this god-awesome blog!

Shannon said...

As I contemporary YA reader and writer, I agree with the round of thanks for those willing to examine with heart and hope the life we actually live. That being said, I love unicorns!

Michael Northrop said...

Bee: First of all, that is a very cool name. Second, "god-awesome" is also super cool. Third, I am a horrible thief, robbing reality without remorse (but with alliteration), so you shouldn't be too surprised if you see that phrase popping up in future blogs...

Shannon: (Also a cool name.) Oh, yeah, I like unicorns too, I just don't think they should have to be allegorical all the time. Unicorns should be allowed to be unicorns! And teens should not have to be represented by unicorns (except maybe politically; I would vote for a unicorn over my current congressperson).

Shannon said...

Must agree. If it looks like a unicorn, for goodness sakes, please just let it be a unicorn!

Micol Ostow said...

Thankful for the readers - well-said! And I'm thankful for awesome YA writers who write books (like GENTLEMEN) that I devour!

Michael Northrop said...

Thanks, Micol! And like FAMILY, which I am looking forward to!

Michael Northrop said...

By the by, when are we going to see the cover art for FAMILY? I am really curious to see what they do with that!

Melissa Walker said...

FAMILY's cover art is almost as creepy as GENTLEMEN's (maybe even moreso). I'm also grateful for awesome readers and Michael's puns.

Michael Northrop said...

Thanks, Melissa! I figure if I try enough of them, a few will work.

And that is a creepy cover! I just found it on Amazon (Micol, you need to get that on the Books page with the other cool kids). What's creepier than a dead face? No face at all (paired with blood and flowers). *shudder*

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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