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Archive for February, 2010

Just Ask

“So, what do you do?”

I’ve asked this question more times than my math loathing brain is comfortable to admit.  Last night at a Super Bowl party, I posed this exact question a party go-er I had just met.

“Shannon, what do you do?”

And as the words, tumbled out of my mouth while I was balancing a Styrofoam plate of cheese dip and meatballs, I realized that I was pigeon holing her.  So quickly, I added:

“…not that work is all you do, or defines you…or…er…so?”

My best friend tilted her head and gave me a look that said, “What are you doing? You sound so awkward.”

Awkward or not, we are not simply the title in small print under our names at the bottom of emails. Sure, we write, create, sell and work with press, but we are all so much more.  Maybe you coach your kid’s  t-ball team, have the award-winning recipe for rocky road cake or actually invited the iPad first only to have the idea stolen in the night by some guy named Steve Jobs.

Like Shrek, we are all a bunch of onions!

Just because you answer the question:

“So, what do you do?”

with

“I’m an author for Thomas Nelson.”

does not mean you are limited to writing and creating.

Send me your marketing ideas, questions, contest hopes and dreams!  We are always looking for ways to keep your novels top of mind with readers.

Remember those group projects your professors in college made you do? You know, the ones that were supposed to fine-tune your skills on brainstorming, utilizing each other’s strengths and coming together with the best possible answer? Think of your Thomas Nelson fiction team just like that, except this time you won’t get stuck doing all the work.

(or was that just my college experience…)

Do what you do best, but if you have a question or an idea just ask and we’ll our very best to make it happen!

Cheers!

Ashley Schneider

Marketing Specialist

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I admit it. I’m a YA junkie. There’s probably some kind of clinic or support group for people like me, but, well, I just love it too much to stop.

It may be because I looked like this when I reached my literary maturity:

 

But I sincerely hope not. No, there is something else going on that is drawing me to the YA section of the bookstore, along with droves of other adult and teen readers.

So, the question is really, Why is Young Adult doing so well now? I think the answer is rather complicated, but I’ve distilled it down to three possibilities.

Reason #1: The fiction out there is truly resonating with teens. The world that teens are living in now is way different than the world in which we grew up. The literature that they are choosing to read reflects that. It isn’t “safe,” it isn’t all wrapped up nicely, and it doesn’t always come with answers. The characters in these novels make mistakes—the same mistakes that the teen reader may be making—but the stories show them how to move past those mistakes and make sense of it all while letting them know that they are not alone. And most importantly, the authors are not talking down to the teens. For the most part, they are writing adult books set with teen characters and their surroundings.

Reason #2: Escapism. When teens get frustrated and tired with their world—school, parents, boy/girl trouble—what better way to escape than to a world where all of that stuff is rendered virtually meaningless? Where there are the perfect guys (Edward Cullen), where parents are practically removed from the scene (Hogwarts School of Wizardry), and/or where the pressures of school fade to the background as you try to save the world from impending doom (corrupt the system in Hunger Games). Frankly, those worlds are a lot sexier than ours. And in those worlds, teens make a difference—if the teens in these novels don’t step up to the challenges before them, the world as they know it will disappear. How often do teens feel like that in real life? Probably not as much as they should.  

Reason #3: Cross-over. I’m not the only adult who occasionally (ok, ok, regularly) indulges in some young adult reading. Many adults are working their way back to the YA section. Why? Because it provides an escape for them as well. While most of us would say we would rather swim in an alligator-infested swamp than go back to middle or high school (ahem, see photo of me above), we can also admit that sometimes we would like to replace our everyday concerns (bills, work, children, lack-of-time) with the drama of teen life. And while we can relate to it because we have been there, we have the added perspective of having gone through it all and survived. It seems to be mostly women who are doing the crossing-over. Why? Well, particularly for the YA, it’s the heightened emotions, the memories of first love, and the personal drama that comes with any teen. We like to feel, and that’s what teens do best.

All of these reasons combine to a perfect storm that is garnering a lot of publicity for YA. The more people write about YA, the more people read it, which causes more authors to write it. It’s a great snowball that is providing more literature for the younger reader than has ever existed.

So where does Christian YA fit in? We have some truly gifted YA authors on our Thomas Nelson Fiction roster (and I’m not just saying that because some of them may be reading this), and it is so important that we continue to publish more great Christian YA for the market. Teens are constantly bombarded by worldly things, perhaps more than at any other time in their lives, so we need to provide a Christian alternative to all that madness. We need Christian teen characters who walk their faith in all situations—ordinary or supernatural—and who face the same real, “unsafe” problems shown in the general market YA.

Why do you think YA is booming right now? What are some good, YA novels that you have read recently?

Happy Reading!

Becky Monds,

Associate Editor

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