Today is January 1st. As fans of young adult novels, we know the importance of firsts: first novels, first meetings, first kisses, first break-ups, first prophecies, first curses, first magic spell. They carry a sort of hefty weight to them. It is a symbolic sort of thing that authors like to whip out to let us know that something is important.
But firsts feel important to us, too. Our first kisses, first break-ups, first magical spell – they are the first times we are experiencing things, first time we go running headfirst into something. We all remember the first time we read our favorite book; it is a hard spot to return to, because you will never experience it quite the same way.
Today is the first day of 2017. No matter what else happens, today may set the tone for how the year will go; that is the sort of symbolism we attach to days like this. It’s why New Year’s resolutions are so popular; it’s why people feel so guilty about setting goals. We want our firsts to matter.
So this is what we say, on the first year of 2017: we stand with you.
Given the political climate of 2016, no matter where you look, it can feel like a tide of hate is sweeping over the world. Between the presidential election in the United States, the vote to leave the European Union in Great Britain, the ongoing attack in Syria, Russia’s interference in – well, everything – it can feel like there is no hope, that there is nowhere to turn. You are one person facing the monster that is the universe; what can you do in the face of it?
But you are not one person. You are one of many good people, smart people, brave people who are fighting a fight that is bigger than them and that is bigger than you. The monster seems undefeatable, but all monsters do; and as with all monsters, it is not one gigantic Cerberus, snapping at you, but a thousand tiny hateful and terrified pixies, swarming together to form something that looks bigger than it is.
You may be scared; we are, too. You may be frightened; we are, too. There is a fight ahead, and you may feel that there is nothing you can do.
But you have a voice. You have power. You are not alone. You are never alone.
We here at YA Interrobang want you to know: we stand with you. In the following year, we are more committed to ever to pushing the stories that inspire change, pushing stories from voices so often shoved to the sidelines, and pushing the stories that will rekindle the hope in your heart. We will not stop fighting.
And neither will you.
Authors To Follow
YA Interrobang stands with you, but we do not stand alone. These YA authors have actively been talking politics for some time – politics about how to better represent marginalized voices, how to better fight for marginalized voices, and how to better fight the tide of hate that seems to be washing over the world.
Let’s Get Lost, Never Always Sometimes, North of Happy
Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City. He attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Adi moved to Monterey, California. He is the author of several YA books, including Let’s Get Lost, Never Always Sometimes, and the upcoming North of Happy. He now lives and writes in his hometown. Visit his website or follow him on Instagram and Twitter.
Girl on a Wire, Girl Over Paris, Girl in the Shadows, Fallout, Double Down, Triple Threat, Blackwood, The Woken Gods
Gwenda Bond writes YA and children’s fiction. Her novels include the Lois Lane series (Fallout, Double Down, and, coming in 2017, Triple Threat), which bring the iconic comic book character front and center in her own YA novels, and the Cirque American series (Girl on a Wire, Girl Over Paris, Girl in the Shadows), about daredevil heroines who discover magic and mystery lurking under the big top. She and her husband author Christopher Rowe will launch a middle grade series, the Supernormal Sleuthing Service, in 2017 with The Lost Legacy. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter.
99 Days, How To Love, Fireworks
Katie Cotugno is the New York Times Bestselling author of 99 Days and How To Love, both available from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, as well as Fireworks, forthcoming in 2017. She studied Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College and received her MFA in Fiction at Lesley University. Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Mississippi Review, and Argestes, among others. The great loves of her life include child’s pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston with her husband, Tom. Visit her website or follow her on Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter.
Something Strange and Deadly, Truthwitch, Windwitch
Susan Dennard is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series and the bestselling Truthwitch series. She worked in marine biology before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Salvage, Sound, Blight
Alexandra Duncan is an author and librarian. Her YA sci-fi novels, Salvage and Sound, are available from Greenwillow Books. Her short fiction has appeared in several Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy anthologies and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. She loves anything that gets her hands dirty – pie-baking, leatherworking, gardening, drawing, and rolling sushi. She lives with her husband and two monstrous, furry cats in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Court of Fives, Poisoned Blade
Kate Elliott has been writing stories since she was nine years old, which has led her to believe that writing, like breathing, keeps her alive. As a child in rural Oregon, she made up stories because she longed to escape to a world of lurid adventure fiction. She now writes fantasy, steampunk, science fiction, and YA, including recent works Black Wolves, Court of Fives, and Cold Magic. It should come as no surprise that she met her future husband in a sword fight. When he gave up police work to study archaeology, they and their three children fell into an entirely new set of adventures amid dusty Mexican ruins and mouthwatering European pastry shops. Eventually her spouse’s work forced them to move to Hawaii, where she took up outrigger canoe paddling. With the three children out of the house, they now spoil the schnauzer. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter.
The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secrets, Forest Born, Book of a Thousand Days, Dangerous, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
Shannon Hale is the New York Times best-selling author of fifteen children’s and young adult novels, including the popular Ever After High trilogy and multiple award winners The Goose Girl, Book of a Thousand Days, and Newbery Honor recipient Princess Academy. She also penned three books for adults, beginning with Austenland, which is now a major motion picture starring Keri Russell. She co-wrote the hit graphic novels Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack and illustrated chapter book The Princess in Black with husband Dean Hale. They live with their four small children near Salt Lake City, Utah. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter.
The Girl from Everywhere, The Ship Beyond Time
Heidi grew up in Hawaii where she rode horses and raised peacocks, and then she moved to New York City and grew up even more, as one tends to do. Her favorite thing, outside of writing, is travel, and she has haggled for rugs in Morocco, hiked the trails of the Ko’olau Valley, and huddled in a tent in Africa while lions roared in the dark. She holds an MFA from New York University in Musical Theatre Writing, of all things, and she’s written books and lyrics for shows including The Time Travelers Convention, Under Construction, and The Hole. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Imogen Howson “loved reading so much that I not only read in bed, at the table and in the bath, but in the shower and – not so successfully – on my bicycle.” She lives with her partner, their two young adult daughters, three cats, two hamsters, and one tiny dog near Sherwood Forest in England. Visit her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
A Thousand Nights, Spindle, The Story of Owen, Prairie Fire, Ahsoka, Exit Pursued By A Bear
E.K. Johnston had several jobs and one vocation before she became a published writer. If she’s learned anything, it’s that things turn out weird sometimes, and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Well, that and how to muscle through awkward fanfic because it’s about a pairing she likes. Her books range from contemporary fantasy, to fairy-tale reimaginings, and from small town Ontario, to a galaxy far, far away. She has no plans to rein anything in. Visit her website or follow her on on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.
Origin, Vitro, Kalahari, The Forbidden Wish
Jessica Khoury wrote her first book at age 4, a fan fic sequel to Syd Hoff’s Danny and the Dinosaur, which she scribbled on notebook paper, stapled together, and placed on the bookshelf of her preschool classroom. Since that day, she’s dreamed of being an author. When not writing, Jess enjoys spending time with family, playing video games, and spending obscene amounts of time on Pinterest. She is very passionate about orcas, Spanish soccer, and choosing the perfect font. She is the author of Origin, Vitro, Kalahari, and The Forbidden Wish. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.
Personal Effects, Radical
E.M. Kokie is the author of the young adult novels Personal Effects (Candlewick Press, 2012) and Radical (Candlewick Press, Fall 2016), and contributed short stories to the 2015 anthologies Things I’ll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves (Candlewick Press) and Violent Ends (Simon Pulse). Visit her website or follow her on Twitter. You can also find her at thepiratetree.com, a collective of children’s and young adult writers interested in children’s literature and social justice issues.
Sarah Darer Littman
Backlash, Want To Go Private?, Purge, In Case You Missed It
Sarah Darer Littman is the critically acclaimed author of Backlash, Want to Go Private?, Purge, and Want To Go Private?. When she’s not writing novels, Sarah is an award-winning columnist for the online news site CTNewsJunkie. She teaches creative writing as an adjunct professor in the MFA program at Western Connecticut State University, and with Writopia Lab. Sarah lives in Connecticut. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter. She also covers politics specifically over at her secondary Twitter account.
Asylum, Sanctum, Catacormb, Allison Hewitt is Trapped, Sadie Walker is Stranded, House of Furies
Madeleine Roux is the New York Times bestselling author of the Asylum series, Allison Hewitt is Trapped, Sadie Walker is Stranded and the upcoming House of Furies. Follow her on Tumblr and Twitter.
Far From You
Born in a backwoods cabin to a pair of punk rockers, Tess Sharpe grew up in rural northern California. Following an internship with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, she studied theater at SOU before abandoning the stage for the professional kitchen. Now a full-time author, she lives, writes—and still bakes—near the Oregon border. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook.
Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys), The Reece Malcolm List, Ink Is Thicker than Water, The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions)
Amy Spalding grew up in St. Louis, but now lives in the better weather of Los Angeles. She received a B.A. in Advertising & Marketing Communications from Webster University, an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School, and currently manages digital media planning for an advertising agency specializing in indie film. Amy studied longform improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, and can be seen performing around L.A. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.
Jenn Marie Thorne
The Wrong Side of Right, The Inside of Out
Jenn Marie Thorne is a YA author currently living in Florida, but who has also lived in Tennessee, New Orleans, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and the UK, and writes about all of the above. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.