Sunday, August 15, 2010

Insert Your Own Title Here

Because it's summer, which means I'm too lazy to come up with a proper blog title, much less a thoughtful post. Fortunately, I have awesome authors who make hilarious videos:

Lisa's Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) is now in paperback, by the way! And Bobby the Brave (Sometimes) will be out next month. More on that (and all our fall releases) soon. (And did you know you can friend Arthur A. Levine Books on Facebook?)

Speaking of the fall, I'm going to speak at three different SCBWIs in the next three months:

I'm having a lot of fun giving my "Twenty-two* Revision Techniques" speech (*the number varies depending on the time allotted and how fast I talk), so that's likely the one you'll see at these events. (The book version contains a whole twenty-five!)

Martha Mihalick posted a very true and well-done "Editor's Choose Your Own Adventure" here.

Finally, I loved Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, as a lot of kidlit people did/do (I saw it with a colleague and ran into a party of two agents, two authors, and at least one other editor as I left the theatre). Why? Because it's everything most of us are looking for: It's got great characters; it brilliantly captures those characters at a key moment in their emotional development (in this case, that twentysomething "What the hell am I doing with my life and will I ever make a relationship work? Thank God for my friends while I figure it out" moment); the book art is unique, emotionally charged, and efficient; and -- the key thing, I think -- it has great moral development and consequently a really good character-plot structure, as Ramona and her seven evil exes force Scott into a place where he has to grow up and be a better man . . . exactly like the outline here, actually. The videogame stuff is all window dressing on that. And it's hilarious, besides (especially if you get the videogame stuff). Highly, highly recommended.

ETA: I forgot the other thing I wanted to say about the greatness of Scott Pilgrim: The fantasy served as a metaphor for a larger emotional situation or problem, as happens in nearly all good fantasy, I think (Fellowship of the Ring = World War I, Moribito II = coming to terms with the past, Harry Potter = facing death, the Chanters of Tremaris series = multicultures trying to work as one, etc. Quite often when I turn down a fantasy, it's because it's not going for this metaphorical level, so it just feels like the problems of some oddly named people in a made-up world). In SP's case, it's about working through the baggage of past relationships and figuring out how to establish an honest basis for moving forward in a new one.


  1. Thank you so VERY much for the writeoncon link love! Martha's blog post was SO freakin' awesome. I think I've read it fifteen times, just to soak up all that knowledge!

  2. Love Lisa's movie! (Loved WriteOnCon!) Can't wait to see (and also read) Scott Pilgrim. Great post!

  3. Thanks for the shout-out, Cheryl! And I am in total agreement about Scott Pilgrim. I wish the movie'd had a little more of the emotional underpinning from the books, but so enjoyable! (My theater was AT LEAST half full of children's publishing people. Did yours also burst into laughter at the M. Night preview?)

  4. Really enjoyed your insight about fantasy as metaphor, and how all good fantasy addresses some larger question. Guess that's true of all great fiction-- easy to forget, though!

  5. Looking forward to meeting you in Boise!

  6. Thanks for the info on Scott Pilgrim. I'm inspired to take number one son out for a date now that I've heard these good things!

  7. Thank you for introducing me the wonderful information.And .....Totally boring.!