With words and images, the best of picture books draw you into to the story. They lead you into new rooms. Once there, you join the community of children gathering around Miss Rumphuis. And while you listen to her “stories of faraway places,” you help yourself to a cookie.
Everyone’s taste is different, of course, but my favorite fairy tales are ones that are irreducibly strange. When I was drafting my new novel, The Glass Casket, I kept thinking back to the fairy tales that appealed to me as a child. They were often lesser-known Grimm tales, the ones that had not been sanitized—their strangeness muted by a series of cheerful bowdlerizations.
Amanda Romine Lynch is a writer and blogger who grew up in Florida. When she isn’t writing about Anabel and Jared or chasing her children around, she blogs about raising her three beautiful boys and attempting to be friendly toward the environment in a world of disposable diapers over at her blog, The Semi-Organic Mom.
There’s a not-so-new reality in book publishing these days, and it’s this: you have to work as hard at promotion and publicity as you did on writing your book. And while authors do have more responsibility to market themselves than ever before, a publicist—in-house or freelance—is an excellent resource, one every author should make a point to tap.
Young-adult fiction, commonly called “YA fiction,” has exploded over the past decade or so: The number of YA titles published grew more than 120 percent between 2002 and 2012, and other estimates say that between 1997 and 2009, that figure was closer to 900 percent. Ask a handful of young-adult fiction writers what exactly makes a YA novel, though, and you’ll get a handful of conflicting answers.