So you can imagine how honored I was when he wanted to be a part of the TMAS blog tour. And he liked the book! ("It really is that good," he said. Wow. Thank you, James!)
Plus I keep running into him at conferences...here we are at ALA 2010: LK Madigan, me, Amy Brecount White, Harmony, Tiff, and James:
I'm very pleased to be able to focus on James today as he tells us what he would like to see on the YA shelf.
I'd love to see more mainstream GLBT fiction. I go to Lee Wind's blog every so often and notice that a lot of books mentioned there are from smaller presses or even self-pubbed. It's heartening to see GLBT characters more and more in YA books as supporting characters, but I want to see them take the spotlight more. Maybe I'm just not looking as hard or something but it seems like GLBT main characters are fading away.
Gay YA authors like Brent Hartinger, Alex Sanchez, and David Levithan haven't published much in the way of GLBT literature in the past few years (aside from Levithan's collaboration with John Green on Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which was amazing and I was happy to see it made the NY Times Bestsellers list, apparently a first for a gay YA book). I was also happy to see in the Little, Brown YA bag from BEA a book called I Am J by Cris Beam, which features a transgender protagonist and looks really interesting. What these books do is give hope to GLBT teens that they can find love just like everyone else. It's hard to realize that with little representation.
My Top YA faves include:
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (started me on my YA love!)
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers (a hard book to swallow, but just so amazing)
In Your Room by Jordanna Fraiberg (a cute romance done really well)
Burned by Ellen Hopkins (my favorite of all her books)
Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe (absolutely hilarious, as is the sequel)
Thank you, James!
Readers, do you think GLBT characters are fading away? Do you think a wider variety of characters are finding more of a voice in publishing, or less? I'm curious about this and would love to hear from some of you.