YA ain’t gonna believe this

I have a confession to make. I love young adult fiction, also known as YA. Imagine that. Me. A guy for whom the word hard-boiled was invented. But still, I appreciate the talent it takes to write YA and make it interesting. I appreciate the dedication to the craft. And I appreciate that sometimes YA is more fearless than adult fiction.

That brings me to three young women I’d like to tell you about. First up, Stephanie Sinkhorn, whom I’ve known for … well, heck, it’s been years. I’ve watched her grow from a girl into a woman. Along the way, she became a talented writer. Here, read this story: Chasing Shadows, and tell me that’s not talent. The story took runner up in the 2010 Katherine Paterson Prize for YA and Children’s Literature. And she deserved it. Way to go, Stephy. If you want to catch up with Stephanie, you can find her at Maybe Genius.

I met Lauren Ward on an internet message board late last year. I was pimping my novel, Prodigal, hoping to get some people to buy it. Long story short, I think Lauren was surprised by the quality of the work in the first chapter, which you can read here: SNEAK PEEK. Lauren has her own site at yaylaurenward.com, and she normally posts a new short story every week or so. Some of those stories are excellent, and I’m looking forward to her first YA novel coming out. She’s got an agent from a pretty high-profile agency, so you know something good is going to happen for her. And soon. She’s worth a read, so please take a look at her. You’ll be able to say you knew her when. Also, I have found her query letter advice to be uber-helpful.

And last but not least — and the person who got me thinking about this: Hannah Moskowitz. I ought to hate her. I really should. She’s young. She’s brash. She’s talented. And she’s already had one book published, with more on the way. Here’s the thing: someone that talented and that self-effacing, you really have to like. I’ve no interaction with her except briefly on twitter, and through reading her blog. But what I see, I absolutely love.

And here’s one of the reasons why:

Watch that video. Listen to that voice. That kid right there is smart. She knows what she’s talking about, and I think she sounds fearless. I envy that youth and fearlessness, and I admire it. Writing without fear is a hell of a noble thing. So this girl, whom I’ve never met, wrote a book called Invincible Summer, that’s due out this spring. I’ve got no idea what it’s about, but I’m going to buy it and read it, because I want to support writers who are fearless. She deserves that kind of support.

All three of these YA writers inspire me, for various reasons. I appreciate them for it, and one day soon, I think you will too.

4 thoughts on “YA ain’t gonna believe this

  1. Funny, Hannah is a pretty big inspiration to me as well. I started following her on Twitter…2 yrs ago maybe and I treated myself to her book Break as a Christmas present to myself (I hope you’ve read it! It’s amazing) and I was blown away. Then to find out she’s a young college student and able to pull good grades and put out that kind of work? I was envious at first, here’s this kid who’s accomplished what I want to at such a young age, but decided rather than be envious, I’d use her as a role model. If she can do it with all she’s got going on, then so can I! 😀

  2. This is the best. It’s nice that my laptop screen has that border around it cause it’s like a built-in frame! I am also of the (common sense) opinion that Steph S. and Hannah M. are amazing so this is a lot like being in the cool kids club, only this time my dad doesn’t have to try to convince me that all cool kids clubs stay home and play with a globe on Friday nights.

  3. Okay, I’m here, I made it! Thanks so much for this. I really appreciate the support and the props. They give me the warm fuzzies 🙂

    And yeah, Hannah is something else. Every time I hear something from her I think, “WHY WASN’T I THIS SMART AT 19.”

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