September 22, 2006

Bad Beginnings & Banned Books!

Via Big A little A, the UK Guardian blog Culture Vulture is publishing the blog diary of their theater critic and first time children's novelist, Lyn Gardener. She describes publication, so far, as like ' having been pregnant for a monstrously long time' and that the whole thing has 'crept out to resounding silence.' Members of her own family haven't even called. Oy, people. OY.
She goes on to say,

"I know that I am not young enough, pretty enough or well enough connected to attract media attention. What's more, Into the Woods isn't a roman a clef or a chick lit bonk-buster. It is a novel for children. When you tell people that you've just had a novel published they beam "congratulations." When you inform them that it's for 8-12 year olds their eyes glaze over and they say brightly: "So you're the next JK Rowling." Probably not, as I have no desire to write a seven novel series or ever holiday in the Hamptons."
Part of me knows I don't have the looks, the style, or the verve to be a Celebrated Children's Author, and you have to admit that there is a certain type of cachet that some writers seem to sport. (However, they mostly hobnob in New York. Hmm!) Frankly, I don't care. I'm not cool, and never have been, so being a Celebrated YA Author is not high on my list. Just being a Published YA Author would be good. Yet, though I know how Gardner feels, she does have a book out (and her fellow Brits certainly give her no pity! Those who have commented on her blogging have been... well, sort of nasty, in that crisply spoken, don't-let's-pity-ourselves British way), and though it isn't being celebrated with parades, I can imagine the silence is eerie and foretells bad things to come.

On the other hand, it's kind of a way of life for some of us. The looks you get when you finally, reluctantly tell people you're a writer? The responses range from saying "it must be nice not to have to work," to telling you their sad tale of not getting published to asking you to look at something of theirs, to asking, facetiously, where they can find your book. "Amazon?" is my least-favorite query in that line. (I mean, come on. If they have to mock me, could they at least mock me with the name of an independent bookseller?)

At any rate, I look forward to reading more of this blog diary (and then lying down and sobbing quietly as I take it all in). The Guardian makes it a pain in the butt to sign up, but you'll want to stop by and read, if not post your two cents to give the lady some encouragement.

Party list: Banned Book Bracelets? Check. Dish of spicy sweet apple sauce? Check. Library stack? Check. Then it's time for the big bash to begin! I know -- nobody has a party by themselves with a stack of books and some applesauce, but you celebrate Banned Books Week, September 23-30 your way, and I'll celebrate mine!

The ALA wants to know: What's your favorite book? Was it banned? Vote for your favorite banned books, and tell the ALA why it was a great find for you!

Happy Weekend! Celebrate~!


Anonymous said...

I voted for my favorite from the banned list choices (The Giver). Thanks for the link! And I do think that you'll make it to published YA author status one of these days. One of the things that I love about blogging is that it's connected me to so many other people who get it. I mean, I'm not writing a novel, but the whole "I'm an adult who reads children's books" thing gets similar politely disdainful reactions from people. But since I've been blogging, I've met lots of people who don't think it's weird. Comforting, no?

tanita✿davis said...

Frankly, "meeting" you has been the single most comforting thing yet!! You're a tech person like my S.O., yet you still read and relate - like he does! Love that!

I still can't quite grasp why The Giver is banned at all! I mean... okay, so it's a bit dark, but... so's life sometimes. And people are supposed to find that out when?