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Friday, October 15, 2010

YA Bloggers Want...Diversity with their Adventure: Lee Wind

Ack, not sure how this happened but blogger ate today's post featuring my friend Lee Wind, who is an author, blogger, and all-around generous guy and advocate for teen lit.

Lee is another one of the amazing folks I met at the Portland Kidlit Conference a few years back, and I'm very pleased to be welcoming him today.
Take it away, Lee!


I love adventure books (like Suzanne Collins' "Hunger Games") and fantasy books (like Kenneth Oppel's steampunk "Airborn") What I crave are teen books with these big adventure arcs where the romantic arc is gay. While there are a handful of GLBTQ Teen books released in the past few years that are genre books - stories not about the character's being Gay, but rather a Gay character who has an adventure - I want more. There's Perry Moore's "Hero" and Hayden Thorne's "Masks" series about gay superheroes, but I want the teen gay vampire books (they don't even have to sparkle in the sunlight! Where's The LGBTQ Teens save the world book? The Teen adventure where Katniss falls for another girl? The Gay Teen Dragonrider of Pern? (How I loved Anne McCaffrey's books when I was a teen!) I like my stories big and my teens heroic - and I'd love to read more stories where the heroism is accompanied by a teen-guy-falling-for-another--teen-guy romance.

I cover all YA books with significant GLBTQ Characters and Themes on my blog, "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I Read? And while there are over 230 books out there, there are so many stories still to be told! It's why I'm a writer... and it's what's going to keep us all reading!

Thank you, Lee, for dropping by! (And I'm sorry about the blogger snafu, everyone...!)
Readers, what kinds of characters and character traits do you look for in an adventure? Do you relate more to characters who are like you, and/or do you enjoy reading from the point of view of someone different? Prize info is coming soon, comment to enter! (US)


  1. I look for a heroine or hero who is too strong, impenetrable, unbreakable, resilient, like a diamond, beautiful to look at, impossible to break. Well, close to impossible, anyway.
    I love to read through the eyes of a character who begins their adventure this way, because it can’t remain true for very long; when a character has reached the penicle of success, through mental tenacity, physical finess, beauty, what have you, where do you go from there?
    I want to know their path in particular, because it won’t be tradional, such as the demigod who thought he was human, or the mermaid who hasn’t turned of age yet, their only way is up, and I want to know where you go when the character is already a hero.
    My three greatest examples are-
    Katniss from The Hunger Games, her first act, saving Prim, well really the first thing we see her do is go against The Capitol to hunt, but saving Prim makes her a hero, we know she has suffered and perservered, but who can change that and how will that affect her Hunger Games?
    Katsa from Graceling, she has a set opinion of herself, killer, murderer, bad guy, strong man, irredeemable, in a way, and I was itching to see where that would take her, are those the traits that make a hero?
    Rosalie Hale from Twilight, yes, I know, what an off-the-wall choice, but Rosalie is the most beautiful, and when you are the most beautiful in a high school you are a hero. She is also the Ice Queen and I want to know how her past has shaped her, and how having Bella enter their lives will change her, for better, or worse.

  2. Character traits I look for are strong decision making, awesome fighting skills, and when they are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in. When characters are like this, it makes a book great!

    ako4eggs at comcast dot net

  3. You know what I like? A strong female protagonist who's not concerned about finding/ securing/ stalking a boy. I even wish that Katniss (of Hunger Gmaes fame) had stayed single longer. The thing about YA lit is that the main characters are usually teens. And, yes, teens tend to be focused on peers and romantic relationships, but I know plenty of strong female teens who say that they don't havr time for a boyfriend right now. They're just too busy being fabulous.

    So, I'd like to see a novel or a series where there is adventure and craziness, but not because a girl is chasing a boy.

  4. I like independent, intelligent characters - ones who go after what they want or what they know is right. I tend to get more lost in books where the characters are like me because I can relate to them more, but I also appreciate reading books where they aren't like me to gain important perspective.

  5. I LOVED Kenneth Oppel's "Airborn". I also agree with what Mrs. DeRaps said: I would love a strong female protagonist who doesn't want to get the guy. Yes, teens are focused on our friends and relationships and gossip, but we've got more than that and I would love for that to be shown.Sure a girl wants a guy in her life BUT that shouldn't be her intimate goal!