Saturday, October 23, 2010

team marbury

I wrote an acknowledgments page in two of my books: In the Path of Falling Objects and this one, The Marbury Lens, the one that's coming out in a short two weeks.

I guess the books with no acknowledgments pages are all because of the great big giant me.

The truth is, there is quite a team involved in producing a book, but for this one, especially, I had to ask friends for advice, because I didn't know if I was doing the right thing.

I can say now that I never intended anyone to read The Marbury Lens. Like a lot of things I have written, I started out writing the book for a limited audience of one -- me. My editor asked to see what I was working on, though, and I sent her (I think) around 130 pages or something, and then she wanted more... and I was, like, okay, well I guess some people are going to read this now.

But I didn't know how anyone would react to it. To tell the story I needed to tell required some sexual content and a good bit of cussing. It's easy to put sex and swearing into books as attractors to fringe or "edgy" (I hate that word) elements, but when a writer does that, those content inclusions are -- by definition -- gratuitous, unnecessary to move the story along.

That was my quandary. The sexual content, the language, and the violence in The Marbury Lens (which... YES... is a fantasy/horror/psychological thriller kind of thing) were absolutely integral to the story.

So I asked a group of people who I think are pretty dang smart what they thought about such content issues in YA fiction -- how far is "too far"? And they helped me. A lot. And for that, I am very grateful, because, like I said, I really did not know if I should let anyone read this book.

The group came from a variety of backgrounds: teens, bloggers, librarians, teachers, booksellers, editors, and published authors, too. And their names are listed in the book (but NOT yours, Taco Bell). Here they are, again:

Michael Grant, Brian James, Bill Konigsberg, Yvonne Prinz, Kelly Milner Halls, Adam DeCamp, Nora Rawn, Andrea Vuleta, Nevin Mays, and Lucia Lemieux.

But that's not all on Team Marbury. More to come...