Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Speaking the Truth?

The truth?

Lies, I tell you! It's all lies!

Well, sort of. This whole Truth vs. Fiction thing is very confusing. I make up stories for a living, and I'll do whatever I have to—true or not—to keep it interesting. But it always feels true when I'm writing it.

And that's what this book is about.

Back in 2013 I began exchanging emails with expert YA librarian Joel Shoemaker for an interview with VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates). The interview was published back in June, 2014, but my correspondence with Joel continued over the next two years, resulting in this book.

Needless to say, it's a huge ego trip for me. Joel not only read everything I’ve written, but he brought his incisive librarian eye. I learned a lot about my own work from reading the book, and a few things about my family as well. Joel not only read my books, he interviewed my mother, my siblings, and some of my editors. He also spent an afternoon at my home poking through the contents of my medicine cabinet (I mean that as a metaphor, which apparently I do a lot.)

The book provides synopses and analyses of all of my Young Adult novels, an overview of my personal history and family life, a chronology, and approximately one zillion footnotes. There are pictures, including a duck painting. It is 223 pages long, and every page sizzles. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I read a book that touched me so personally. Imagine that.

At $65.00 a copy, Speaking the Truth to Teens will find a fairly small audience. If you're feeling flush you can get it through any of the online booksellers. You probably won't find it at your local bookstore, but I bet they'd be happy to order a copy. And it should be available through most library systems.