Friday 28 December 2012

Felt it needed Spreading

I think this is such a good idea. And because of that I felt it needed forwarding.
It’s a plug for a new website dedicated to Young Adult GLBT literature! It’s from Jeff Erno and without any further ado here it is…..

Here’s Jeff’s article:

There is a misconception that young adult literature is a tiny sub-genre that appeals only to kids and teenagers. Anyone who believes this should take a few minutes to check out J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyers, or Suzanne Collins. Young Adult fiction is hugely popular and is arguably as successful within the mainstream as adult fiction. And like mainstream general fiction, YA books span a wide variety of genres which include romance, horror, sci fi, historical, fantasy, etc.

LGBT characters and themes within YA are increasingly emerging. As an author who writes both adult romance and young adult, I am acutely aware of how well my YA titles do in comparison to m/m. Being that my first published novel was YA, I was at the time concerned that I’d be pegged exclusively as a YA author and that the effect would be negative. The opposite has proven true. At this stage I’m confident that my YA stories have a much broader audience than do my adult gay romances.
But why, as a middle aged gay man, would I choose to write so many stories about young characters? Obviously I need to write books that will sell in order to make a living, but this is not my primary motivation. The reason I’m so passionate about YA is because I became an avid reader in my youth. At that time I yearned for stories that depicted characters who were like me, boys who were attracted to other boys. The gay-themed young adult stories were few and far between, and I just wished someone would write stories about two boys falling in love rather than a boy and a girl.
M/M publishers seem to be aware of the popularity of YA LGBT stories. Several have launched imprints which exclusively feature YA titles. Dreamspinner (Harmony Ink), Torquere (Prizm), JMS (Queerteen Press), and eXtasy (Devine Destinies is this publisher’s non erotic line including YA books). These YA imprints all have their own web pages. Storm Moon, Cheyenne Publishing and Featherweight are also GLBT publishers who release YA books. It wouldn’t surprise me to see more publishers move in this direction because YA LGBT literature doesn’t seem to be a passing fad. Not only is it growing, but it is expanding as it grows. Most YA stories do not contain explicit or graphic sexual content, and for this reason can be marketed to more mainstream audiences.
A successful author of LGBT YA might not even be a real big name in the m/m circuit. His or her audience consists of many readers who are not even aware of the existence of m/m. Some of the most prolific YA authors are invisible to the m/m community even though they continuously produce books about male-male love and romance.
My personal belief is that there is a place within the m/m community for gay-themed YA stories. Some of the best m/m authors (e.g. Amy Lane, JP Barnaby, KZ Snow, etc.) have released YA titles that are simply amazing. Although a YA author does not necessarily need to rely upon the “m/m community” to market their books, the product itself is something that many m/m readers will enjoy. A great story is a great story, regardless the label we place upon it. And a great story about two males, albeit young males, falling in love is, by definition, an m/m title.
Well, for those of us who enjoy both YA and adult-themed m/m erotica, it has been very obvious that there are a multitude of resources on the net for m/m fans. There are also plenty of sites which feature YA literature. But there are few web locations which specifically highlight LGBT young adult literature. The few that exist contain static posts which are often in need of updating. The resource or reading lists they provide are limited or out-dated. So the reader who is passionate about young adult gay-themed stories, has had to do a little bit of investigation in order to dig up the type of stories that they find appealing.
The idea of a single website that focused exclusively on LGBT YA literature came to me around the time of the GRL Retreat in Albuquerque. I had just completed a YA novel and signed a contract while at the retreat. I was privileged to meet several other YA authors and subsequently read some of their published work. Quite frankly, I was astonished that there was so much talent out there that got so little attention in the m/m genre. So I decided to explore the possibility of a web site that could bring together YA authors and readers in a way similar to the way that m/m sites have done for their genre.
So for the past two months we’ve been working on this project. We compiled a list of titles that grew to a number of over 400 and created a reading list. The list contains buy links for each title. We created a “Meet the Authors” page which highlights some of the YA authors. We have a blog upon which we’ll feature one author a week as well as new releases when they become available.
Our site is not designed as a review site. We are not particularly interested in critiquing our professional peers. We will, however, review some of our favorite titles, and we’ve compiled an “Honor Roll” of some of the books we like most. Being that the site contains a blog, readers are more than welcome to post their own comments/reviews of the books we feature.
Our site is officially launching on January 1st, and we’ve named it True Colorz. The effort has been a collaboration of three authors: Madison Parker, Jackie Nacht, and me. When you see the site for the first time, my hope is that you will be impressed with the layout, and 100% of the credit for this goes to Madison. When it comes to web design, she’s a genius. Jackie is our featured events coordinator, and she prepares all of the author interviews and new releases. I’m sort of a content editor, I guess. I do what I can… I kind of got the ball rolling in the beginning and compiled most of the reading list.
Anyway, I’m very excited about the website and how it has evolved, and I sincerely hope that you’ll take a moment to check it out. We’re still actively seeking authors to feature. If you write YA, please consider sending us your bio and back list. We’d like to do giveaways and fun events, and we plan to keep the site as fresh and up-to-date as possible.
Most of all, the site is for readers. We want to provide a unique resource that is extensive and current.

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