Thursday, April 29, 2010
Seekerville Welcomes Zondervan Debut YA Author Melanie Dickerson
What do you think of when you think of Young Adult (YA) books?
I think of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, a favorite of mine that brings back great memories both of reading it when I was younger and reading it to my daughter. So many of my favorite YA’s are sweet romances, like the romance of Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe in the Anne of Green Gables books. And my favorite books of all time are Pride and Prejudice—and all the other Jane Austen books—and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
In addition to these classics, nowadays Young Adult readers have Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Which I have to admit, I picked up in the library one day, opened to a random page, and started to laugh out loud, it was so irreverently funny. Forgive me, Jane.), not to mention a proliferation of vampire stories, not begun by the phenomenally successful Twilight but certainly perpetuated by it.
A recent article in The Los Angeles Times titled “Young Adult Lit Comes of Age” called the YA genre a “juggernaut of a trend.” It also said, “Where adult hardcover sales were down 17.8% for the first half of 2009 versus the same period in 2008, children's/young adult hardcovers were up 30.7%.”
I recently got an email from Amazon.com with the subject line: Spring Reading for Teens. Here were some of the titles:
Burned (House of Night Novels) Spirit Bound: Vampire Academy Book 5 The Carrie Diaries The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Shadow Souls Fallen The Reckoning (Darkest Powers Book 3) The Dark Divine
Anyone for a little light reading?
Ah-hem. Anyway, after I got over my dismay at the “dark” subject matter, I got to thinking, is this really all that different from what I was reading as a teen? I can remember reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the originator of all the vampire books. I also loved a good ghost story, and I didn’t mind the violence in Ivanhoe, or the dark subject matter of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Still, it does appear there is a serious fascination today with vampires, werewolves, zombies, and other “paranormal” characters.
Not only has the subject matter changed, but the audience has changed as well. Here’s a quote from that same article in The Los Angeles Times:
“It used to be that the only adults who read young adult literature were those who had a vested interest -- teachers or librarians or parents who either needed or wanted to keep an eye on developing readers' tastes. But increasingly, adults are reading YA books … Attracted by well-written, fast-paced and engaging stories that span the gamut of genres and subjects, such readers have mainstreamed a niche long derided as just for kids.”
Out of curiosity, When was the last time you read a YA? What are your favorite YA’s, whether they’re classics or new titles?
Besides the ones I mentioned above, here are three more of my favorite YA’s:
Beauty by Robin McKinley
Christy by Catherine Marshall
A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson
Please leave a comment because I will be giving away a copy of my new YA, a medieval romance, The Healer’s Apprentice, autographed and hot off the presses—when I get my first copies in a few months.
You can view the official trailer for The Healer's Apprentice here.
When destiny sleeps, it can only be awakened by true love’s kiss.
In this historical romance loosely based on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, a woodcutter’s daughter becomes the town healer’s apprentice. Rose’s job is to care for the sick and injured in Hagenheim Castle. But Rose gets sick at the sight of blood and is more suited to making up stories than sewing up wounds.
Lord Hamlin, the future ruler of the region, is injured and Rose must overcome her squeamishness to save him. He is everything that is noble and good, but loving him is forbidden, as he’s already betrothed to a mysterious woman in hiding.
With two noble-born brothers vying for her affections, Rose learns that the people of Hagenheim are not always who they seem, and her own heart can mislead her.
You can preorder The Healer's Apprentice here.
Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama. She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine. She now spends her time writing, daydreaming, chatting on the Seekerville blog when she should be working, and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama. Visit her on the web at www.melaniedickerson.com or at her blog Melanie Writes.
The Healer’s Apprentice … Fairy Tales Do Come True