The Thursday Book Beat: Booktubers & YA Authors Team Up For Anthology

This week, I’ll be filling in on the book beat and tackling the book news of the last few days. Bloomsbury is putting together an anthology that pairs a booktuber with a young adult author. The booktuber will provide a prompt for a story that the author will write from the perspective of a famous villain. Grammy-nominated singer and YA fan, Ameriie came up with the idea and will be editing the anthology which is due to be out in July 2017. I think it’s an interesting idea and we’ll have t see how it all pans out when it releases. It’s great seeing celebrities like Ameriie who are such fans of books especially young adult and I wish good luck to everyone involved.

Margaret Atwood (aka Canada’s National Treasure) is getting her book, The Handmaid’s Tale, adapted for TV via Hulu. It’ll be a ten episode series that’ll debut in 2017 and Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men) will be playing its lead. The Handmaid’s Tale is the only Atwood novel that I’ve read and I really enjoyed it. Do I like the idea of a series? Right now, I’m not excited for it and will have to wait for a trailer. In more adaptation news: BBC & Netflix are adapting Richard Adams’ Watership Down for film with talents like John Boyega and James McAvoy already signed on. Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series has also been optioned for television.

Bookslut is closing and Vulture did an exit interview with its founder, Jessa Crispin. I disagree with a lot of what she says in the interview but it’s something to check out since I’ve seen people discussing it. Another discussed interview is the Maggie Stiefvater which is also at Vulture. Her final book in The Raven Cycle series, The Raven King, was released last week and became a #1 New York Times Bestseller but people weren’t happy when she called the category of YA as a “bullshit distinction” but you can decide for yourself:

Why do you think the story and the characters of the Raven Cycle fit into the realm of YA?
The thing about YA is that — am I going to say this out loud? I am going to say it out loud: It’s kind of a bullshit distinction. I didn’t have YA when I was growing up, but now YA has evolved into something quite specific: a story told from a teen’s point of view. So I feel like it’s YA because we say it’s YA — that’s what it comes down to. I could give you a big, overarching thematic statement about how YA is about coming-of-age stories and learning who you are, but I’m 34 now, and I’m still doing those exact same things. So the question I wanted to ask with the Raven Cycle as far as genre goes was: Can I just tell a story? Can I get away with it in the YA section? And the answer is yes because YA is whenever you say, “This is a YA book.”

When do you think the YA label became so specific?
I think it’s when it started to make money, to tell you the truth. I haven’t been in this business as long as other folks, but when I first started there were no rules because nobody was paying attention to us — we were the crazy kids over in the corner writing weird things. But once it started making money, people who weren’t YA readers started writing about YA and telling us what it was.

–Vulture, “The Raven Cycle Author Maggie Stiefvater on Why YA Is a ‘Bullshit Label'”

Lastly, Jael Richardson who is the founder of the FOLD (Festival of Literary Diversity) writes about diversity (or lack of) in Canadian publishing. This will be the first year for the FOLD and it’ll be happening this weekend (May 6th, 7th and 8th).

Ardo Omer

Ardo Omer

Former WWAC editor. Current curmudgeon and Batman's personal assistant. Icon art by Diana Sim.