sunsetatdaybreak asked: YA Highway has been around for 4 years now, as a writer/runner of it, do you feel like it's getting old and tedious to keep up? Are you thinking it could use a change? (I don't necessarily think this, btw, just wondering what your thoughts were). I guess I'm just wondering in what direction you think YA Highway is going. :)
Good question! I can’t speak for everyone, obviously, but this is something we talk about frequently. Our main goals are to provide resources for aspiring and published writers, signal boost industry issues that need to be discussed, and provide publicity for authors who need an extra boost.
We try to have a little bit for everyone — writers, readers, bloggers, publishing people — which gives us a lot of flexibility. We also add new members occasionally, and we just put out a call for guest bloggers to help us get different perspectives on the site.
So I guess the short answer is — it runs the risk of getting tedious, but when it does, we change it up. And we’re always happy to get suggestions. :)
Do You Like This Author, Check Yes Or No
‘Anonymous asked - Do you dislike John Green? I’m just curious. You don’t seem to take a positive stance toward him, and I can’t tell if its because you don’t like him as an author/person or whatever or if I’m misreading everything entirely lol’
I got this a while ago, and kind of stared at it in terror.
Authors do get a lot of these kinds of questions, ‘do you like so-and-so’ and even ‘do you like so-and-so’s books,’ and they are hard to answer, and I thought I would talk about why they’re hard to answer, and why people ask them, and writerly fears.
Well, this got long, but let’s get the salient point across: no, insofar as I know him (not very well at all), I like John Green. He’s a talented dude (my super hipster favourite John Green book is An Abundance of Katherines), he supports a huge amount of good causes, he’s smart and funny, he’s good friends with some of my good friends so I presume he’s good people. I don’t know him personally, but what I know of him, I like.
"I am always going to be a little scared of every author who is part of YA Highway, from now on."
I’m going to address this, but from my personal blog so that no one is confused about who is speaking, and who I speak for: myself.
First of all, I’ve met SRB. She was kind enough to sign a book for my niece. We’ve chatted once or twice on Twitter. If you search her name on the YAH main site, 16 positive mentions come up. I included her book cover in a Halloween feature and reblog the shit out of her Tumblr. Had I not read this post, I would have been so bold as to call us friendly. I would have had no idea that she is now a little afraid of me.
Second, while Vee is super famous, she’s only one of 13 current Highwayers. We range in age from 19 to 40ish. We live all over the world, write all different genres, and believe all sorts of different things. But more relevant: Only a few of us use the YAH Tumblr, primarily 2 of our 6 unpublished members — me and Sarah Enni.
In other words, we do not speak for the Vees, or any other Highwayer (the rest of which are primarily midlist). Sarah and I have no career crushing powers. We barely have careers at all. And I would venture to say SRB’s friendship with Cassie Clare puts that element on the level regardless.
But I’m not particularly interested in who’s where on the ladder, because I’m well aware of my own location and its perks or lack thereof. I want to focus on this: “I see negativity and hurt and terrible assumptions made about people I know and people I don’t know everywhere. I try not to spread negativity, or to make these assumptions in public. I am still going to talk about things in YA I feel strongly about—and I’m going to try and not seem negative about any authors when I do. But if I do seem negative—know I don’t mean to be, and that I don’t dislike that person.”
So… as a member of YA Highway, I’m not disliked, I’m just… feared. That’s a good feeling.
Look, I realize no one is going looking for our fine print — I don’t flatter myself to think anyone looks for much at all from us. But we do have a disclaimer that explains that no one speaks for the entire group unless clearly specified. We queue things as we see fit, and we don’t check with each other beforehand. Hell, we barely even read each other’s posts on the main site these days — we’ve been at this for four years.
But I write the weekly link round up for YA Highway, so this is something I think about every day. Will someone will be pissed at me if I link to this critical piece? If I report on this thing that happened, will people think I’m condoning it? IS EVERYONE GOING TO HATE ME? All I can do is hope that people believe my motives are good. If I think something facilitates discussion, then I’ll probably share it, even if it’s thorny.
And people are going to get prickly about those thorns — including me, when called out in a blog post. So all I can say is: Yes. Of course I support a member’s right to reblog a critical post. We reblog a lot of things. We try to present all sides of an issue, and I’m fairly sure we reblogged multiple posts from that kerfuffle. Because it’s one we discussed with some contention in our own forum, and one we didn’t reach consensus on.
We didn’t have to. We respect each other’s opinions and agree to disagree when necessary. We extend that courtesy to the rest of Tumblr and the internet at large, and hope they’ll do the same for us. But on a personal level, like Sarah said, “Dislike or hate is toxic stuff, and when you hear someone you don’t know likes you, it’s nice, but when you hear someone you don’t know dislikes you, it’s awful.” Well, when you hear someone you do know dislikes you, that’s pretty awful too.
eta: In retrospect, this post should have focused solely on the topic of the original reblog. My feelings should not have come into play at all, and for that, I’m sorry. #stilllearning
What Was the Best Book You Read in September?
I finally read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I also reread Please Ignore Vera Dietz, which TBH I didn’t like the first time, but this time I was prepared for the semi-supernatural elements and enjoyed it quite a bit.
For our 149th Road Trip Wednesday we want to know: what was the best book you read this month?
Answer this post, or blog about it and submit the link in comments at our site! Then you can check out what everyone else had to say. Warning: TBR piles may reach dangerous heights.