New Book And More

When you don’t write a blog post for nine months, you have a lot to say.

This post is therefore as big as a baby.
This post is therefore as big as a baby.

I’m really excited to show you the cover of my next book, coming out in May from Bold Strokes Books’ Soliloquy imprint.Frenemy of the People 300 DPIIt’s about two high school girls who hate each other with the passion of ten thousand suns–until they fall in love. You can enter a giveaway here.

Now here’s a photo of a bunch of handsome guys.

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          Oh no wait, that’s me on the left!

This is from a speculative fiction reading at Odradreks Coffeehouse in Queens, organized by Andy Peters and the REZ Reading Series. I got to read with these talented writers: Dan W. Kelly, Tim Fredrick, Charlie Vazquez and Andy. It was really fun and the audience was very nice.

120227_PL_TheSlateBookReviewNext, I am delighted to be underrated! Swans & Klons was listed in the Slate Book Review as one of the most underrated books of 2013, by that same discerning book reviewer Noah Berlatsky who touted me in the Atlantic.

My brother is very brainy, so when he read this, he immediately compared me to Barbara Pym, since both Philip Larkin and Lord David Cecil considered her the most underrated writer of the 20th century (in a Times Literary Supplement article in 1977 that revitalized Barbara Pym’s career). After that my head got so big I could no longer fit through the door. Then he (my brother, not Lord David Cecil) asked me an interesting question: who did I consider to be the most underrrated writer?

As I lay awake night after night, I gave this a lot of thought. I decided only to look within my own genre (QUILTBAG YA), just to narrow it down a little. I finally concluded that the most underrrated writer is Stacey Donovan, who wrote Dive.

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Dive is a beautiful YA novel of the highest quality about coping with a parent’s terminal illness and falling for a girl. That covers why she’s awesome, now let’s talk about why she is underrated. Dive received great reviews when it came out in 1994 from periodicals I would never even dream about, like the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal and so forth. Most writers don’t get that much buzz. But then the book went out of print. The author put it back in print and then it went out of print again. At the time that I mentally crowned Stacey Donovan as the most underrated QUILTBAG YA writer, she had no online presence whatsoever and it seemed that the book was out of print. From a google search it was unclear if she had ever written any other books or was even still alive. So I picked her because even though I know of other YA writers who are equally talented and have gotten less acclaim, they are still starting out on their careers so it would be premature to choose them, while it appeared to me that Stacey Donovan’s career was over. Well, I’m not ashamed to tell you how incredibly wrong I was, because Dive is back in print with a lovely, very contemporary-looking new cover and Stacey Donovan now has a very nice website (or maybe she had it all along but I couldn’t find it even though I was looking.) Still, I’m not changing my pick, because Dive really is that great (I highly recommend it) and I never hear anyone talking about it and they should. There were just seven YA novels with LGBTQ themes or characters published in 1994, and I want to give props where they are deserved to the writers who were on the vanguard. Historical value combined with enduring literary merit is a pretty awesome combination.

I actually have some exciting news, but I am going to keep it behind my back for now and save it for another post very soon.