This is my second entry for the TRR GLBT Madness Hop! This hop will last four days, from the 27th to the 30th. Please join us in supporting all the blogs that are included! As for Just Write and SO Gay, today we are focusing on Books of the Next Gen! And just for commenting on this blog hop, you could recieve a copy of my first story, which has never been published! Exercising His Options is a story of a closed minded man named Enver Mann who takes a journey that blows his mind, and opens up his options.This story is so hot you will not want to read it in public. And you can WIN YOUR FREE COPY before the masses get it! ***CLICK ON THE LINK AT THE END OF ARTICLE TO GO TO THE NEXT BLOG INCLUDED IN THIS HOP***
Yesterday on the blog I wrote about exploring the M/M catergory and how excited I was to find so many different authors to read. Today's entry is about the exact opposite. I've had a passion for YA Lit (Young Adult Literature) since I learned how to read. I think I went from preschool books to YA books and got stuck there. But it was a stuck that I loved. With ADD and possible ADHD, YA was always a great mix, because of the pace and energy of the storytelling. So, I wore out R L Stine, Bruce Coville, and yes, even J K Rowling and Stephenie Meyer.
But when I dived into M/M reading, I found out quickly, the well was pretty dry. There were some authors who ventured into writing YA, but they did it under different names and houses (understandably so) so that the younglings wouldn't associate the hot erotic writings with their more youthful yearnings. But still, finding books where the GLBT wasn't represented as the sassy gay friend (The House of Night series) or the generic relative (Bruce Coville's Skull of Truth) was difficult. So, I stopped looking for a while.
Then at OutlantaCon earlier this year, I was introduced to two of the best books that I have read this year: Hollowstone by Denny Upkins and Changing Jamie by Dakota Chase. I had the opportunity to listen to panels with both of these authors and decided to give these books a try. I was incrediblly happy I did. So, I want to take a moment to introduce you to each of these books.
Hollowstone by Denny Upkins is a story about a boy, Noah Scott, and his journey through life and death situations while still facing the perils of simply growing up. When I began the book, I was a little confused. I thought I was going to be reading about a lead gay character, but instead I was pleasantly surprised that Upkins chose the unconventional route. Instead of preaching about homophobia, stereotyping, and social elitism, he lets his lead character (who is African American)speak of the issues and weaves characters and situations around this character to show his thoughts on these subjects. It doesn't come from a place of anger, but rather righteous indignation of having to live through it all. And come out the better.
Very similarly, Changing Jamie by Dakota Chase is a simple story of growing love in which one of the characters, mainly Billy the best friend, both create and propogate the drama, but the story does not proselytize to the audience. The main attraction to this book was the fact that it's subject is one that many both inside and out of the GLBT community won't talk about, much less write about. "Bug chasing" was and is one of the least talked about subjects even within the HIV/AIDS community. So to read this brilliantly written, deeply insightful book that has lovable characters and a sweet plot, it does exactly what I hope a great YA book would do: teach or reteach an important lesson, wrapped in a fast paced story, so that the audience comes out more knowledgable, and maybe even, enlightened.
These two books have changed the way I view YA Lit, especially YA with GLBT characters, and they give me hope that there is a whole new generation of youth that will be taught by ingenious books without even realizing they've been changed for the better. And they have taught me what I want to strive for when I write YA Lit. Thank you to Denny Upkins and Dakota Chase for those lessons.