Party like it’s 1984.
You may have heard a little about the YA Smackdown Event taking place TOMORROW in California.
You may have read Gayle Forman (Team Contemporary)’s blog post on the subject here.
Or Kami Garcia and Margie Stohl (Team Paranormal’s) post here.
And, after reading both their posts, I have come to several conclusions.*
First, we’ll begin with Team Contemporary, since Gayle was the first to issue the smackdown. Gayle called me out on, among other things, taking the easy way out by not setting my novel in Detroit and having my Society be too dreamy (food delivered right to the people, etc.). She also asked why I had to have the Society to keep Ky and Cassia apart–wouldn’t a case of bad acne suffice to create drama?
This, from the author of If I Stay and Where She Went, both of which starred a hot boy who did not have a single zit. And she did not hesitate to rip out our hearts and throw them against the wall and then, like her characters, she wove music throughout the entire experience (with her gorgeous, poetic writing) so that we came back for more in the second book. Really, Gayle? I could take your point about keeping it real but how real is Adam? (Never mind that nice guys are everywhere in the world; let’s pretend that’s not true). My challenge to you is: Write a Book Three that keeps it super real. Have Adam have crazy acne and also be a nose picker. Are you woman enough?
And Gayle and Margie, on their blog, accused me of not figuring out that paranormal is the place to be. Not only did they do this, they also said I did not go to BYU. Home of the Jimmer.
Jimmer is mad at you, Kami and Margie. Very, very mad. Please do not come back to this state unless you are indeed prepared to make restitution in the form of funeral potatoes.
Not only did I go to BYU, I am firmly from Utah, born and raised. (Except for those five years living in upstate NY, where I first became aware of Jimmer, and a brief stint in London, which was amazing but had very little basketball.) So there, Margie and Kami!
And how dare you challenge me, you who took a certain Utah small town and turned it into Gatlin? I know your roots. They are dangling all over the place. I am on to you–you take scenes and characters and make them so achingly real and lovable and hateable that we recognize them even when swirled in the drama of paranormal-ness. And you do it all with a magical spell of dark, beautiful writing pierced with shafts of light, like golden raisins in one of those carrot salads also served at funerals.
So, it is ON, ladies. I will see you tomorrow, Thursday, at Diesel Books in Brentwood, California. At high noon. Or, actually, 7 p.m.
*Conclusions not scientific, or really even relevant. It should also be noted that the smackdown is all firmly tongue-in-cheek, as I love contemporary and paranormal novels just as much as I love dystopian novels. Heck, I even wrote contemporary novels for years! Although, I did just use the word “heck,” so perhaps that is why my career doing so has come to a temporary halt.