Summer Reading: Rick Yancey Interview

It’s summer, which means I get to catch up on all the books I wind up having to sideline during the school year. First up in the pile is The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey.

Book one in the series, The 5th Wave, is one of the great YA titles of all time. An alien invasion brutally wipes out the majority of humanity. It’s a harsh novel and it’s beyond bleak, but that’s what makes it shine.

Publishers Weekly sat down with Rick Yancey to talk about the sequel when it was on the horizon. There are some spoilers in there, so read at your own risk.

I love this gem at the beginning of the interview:

“The first book also had multiple viewpoints. Some readers loved it, some readers were not so keen on it but, ultimately, I felt it was the best choice of how to tell the story because having multiple points of view dovetailed into the whole unnerving nature of the story itself. The characters don’t know who to trust – ‘Are you really who you say you are?’ – and changing the narrators adds to the unease.”

Brandon Sanderson’s CALAMITY is almost ready to go!

While I was catching up on what’s new with my favorite YA authors this weekend, I found that Brandon Sanderson has the final novel in his RECKONERS series almost in its final form.

The first book in the trilogy, STEELHEART, is hands-down one of the best YA titles in recent memory. Corrupt super-heroes, an underground resistance, and a breakneck pace. The follow-up, FIREFIGHT, was another excellent one.

Sanderson is an unbelievable writer, both in terms of quantity AND quality. His stated goal is to publish at least 2 novels a year.

I love how this blog lets you know just how much time he devotes to writing. He’s stacking story upon story, edit upon edit, and the pace is unbelievable.

Read the whole thing here.

Finding Friends in Fiction

Written by Grant Goodman, 5/14/2015

For many of us, writing comes from frustration and disappointment. We don’t like what our world has to offer. We are haunted by past decisions. We look back at our ever-growing pile of mistakes and wish that somehow we could make them into something better.

I think that many YA authors still remember those scars and, with the perspective that comes with adulthood, they recognize how universal those growing pains are. I really, really wish that more people were like our YA authors. I think that far too often adults overlook the importance of empathy. Yes, it is easy to look at the problems that teens face and outright dismiss them. But that totally misses the point.

This is why good YA lit is absolutely vital. We need stories out there that offer a window into teenage life that teens themselves can recognize as authentic. One of the biggest crises of my youth was thinking that no one else understood what I was going through, not even my friends.

I found friends in fiction, Holden Caulfield, Ender Wiggins and Harry Potter standing at the lead of the pack.

I didn’t have a rich YA landscape, though. I had already jumped into Dragonlance and Stephen King which mostly featured adults.

I’m curious: who are the YA characters you have found yourself identifying with?