Posted in YA fiction, Young Adult Books

Kill That Noise – Leave YA Alone 

hardjealousearthworm

 

Hey nerds, today I’m going to lay some shit down because I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with a certain something: posts disparaging young adult fiction.

Whether it’s a boring dad-dude telling us how uncomplicated our stories are or posts on how easy it is to write/make money off young adult books- the think pieces taking a crap all over YA need to do one more thing: stop-for-fucking-ever.

The New York Times posted an article calling some YA “paranormal lunacy,” and while that might’ve made a cool new wave band name, it actually sets my face on fire with how insensitive it is.

The article mentions some kick ass books that I’m super excited about but you know the thing where you shouldn’t put something down as a way to celebrate another? The whole,
“She’s special, not like other girls” thing? Yeah the people who keep writing these posts don’t know how to say, “this is good,” without also saying, “this other thing though? It’s actually diarrhea.” They also don’t know that the “not like the other girls” trope is bad and we all make fun of it. Most likely because they don’t actually read the kinds of books they’re bashing.

A NYT piece glossing over an entire genre (SFF) as wacky and not worthy of being taken seriously, is akin to getting super pissed off about a satire article because you didn’t scroll to the end, then sharing it on Facebook. I know you only read the headline, you useless paperclip, and now your Aunt Helen does too. Be ashamed.

It’s time for people who write think pieces to actually think for two minutes, maybe three, before insulting an entire community of hardworking writers. Many of whom are trying to break into an industry where we are historically and overwhelmingly underrepresented. Otherwise, your article is less of a think piece and more of a piece of something else. And frankly, we’re tired of everyone’s shit.

Interview librarians, booksellers, I don’t know perhaps YA authors who celebrate rather than bash their peers. Authors who actually read YA and didn’t crop up just to tell the rest of us how badly we’re doing it.

This is not against any of the authors in The New York Times and the important issues they’re tackling head on. I support them. But I don’t support the assumption that genre fiction is not also capable of carrying that weight. It ignores books like SHADOWSHAPER (which talks about gentrification and self-image among many other things) THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE (mental health issues) and yes even thought it’s not fantasy, HUNGER GAMES ( because if kids killing one another to survive in a dictatorship is not gritty, I don’t know what is.) It ignores these books in favor of the regurgitated, “Wasn’t Twilight terrible?” argument we’ve been hearing since K-Stew sighed her way through all five movies. And these are just three of many, many examples. All lumped under one label that fails to recognize their depth, their complexity, their worth.

And always with the Twilight bashing. It’s such an easy/predictable target at this point. Not only are you clueless about YA bu you’re also unoriginal. Pick a struggle. (Also you probably read and loved Twilight you lying piece of stale potato bread.)

A more interesting approach would’ve been how the current sociopolitical climate in our world is informing some of the books that are being published. How great it is that YA writers are helping kids understand movements like Black Lives Matter. Or that writers of color are being published and doing amazing work. No where in any of those scenarios do other writers (of an entire genre) need to be insulted.

But of all the crappy, misinformed parts of articles like these, the part that’s really the rocket up the ass, is how they disrespect YA’s intended audience. Yeah, remember teens? They’re reading those pieces too, desperate for info on their most anticipated releases and in the process being told the other books they love are garbage juice. Or the teen writer who just mustered the courage to write that paranormal novel and is now too embarrassed to keep going. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but teens kind of love that stuff you call “lunacy.” Way to go you spam-email -of -a-human.  Your Aunt Helen might think your post was no big deal, but it matters to us. It hurts writers. It annoys us and angers us and we have to read a new article about how clueless/useless/shallow we are every other week. So to sum it up, I respectfully and not so respectfully disagree AF with everyone who dismisses all the wonderful layers contained within YA books. You can fight me, Aunt Helen.

 

Posted in Books, Uncategorized, Young Adult Books

Book Trailer: The Tragedy of Loving Jamie Clarke

I’m happy to share a trailer for the new YA contemporary romance, THE TRAGEDY OF LOVING JAMIE CLARKE by Rebecca R.Cohen. Book trailer and cover by me 🙂

You can preorder it now on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019DFLYQ6/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_SaBCwb0MG6KPA

 

Posted in 3 Gifs & An Author, Authors, Blog post, Books, Uncategorized, YA Series, Young Adult Books

3 Gifs & An Author: Necole Ryse

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WELL HELLO THERE. Happy you’ve come to visit the Rad/dom blog today and excited to share my latest 3 Gifs & An Author interview with Necole Ryse! Necole is the author of The Birthright Series, and book one The Legacy is out now (go buy it duh). If you want to get to know Necole and more about her book, keep on scrolling.
 
 
 1. Describe your book The Legacy, in three gifs.
youcantsitwithus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PLL shh
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Clueless
 
2. Describe how your main character would deal with a breakup in 3 gifs.
 
 Cry incessantly
 cry
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Avoid him at all costs
avoiding
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Crush on someone new
crushaladdin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. Three hardest things about being an author.
 
Actually writing
  nick-miller-writing-nothing
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Staying off Instagram
ineedhelp
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanting people to love your work
begging
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. Describe the most exciting scene in your book . ​
 
 
stalker u haz one
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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 tumblr_m6k6jolkSh1qg7xjvo1_500
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. Top three snacks foods while you write.
 
I  have unhealthy obsessions with pizza, popcorn and soda
Jennifer-Lawrence-Wheres-the-Pizza
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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BONUS QUESTION:
If your book had a soundtrack, pick the top three artists you’d choose to be on the album.
Drake
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Bruno Mars
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Beyonce
giphy2
 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Necole Online!

Twitter/Instagram: @necoleryse

 
 
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Nineteen-year-old Raevyn Jones has never worn a designer gown. She’s never had access to unlimited champagne or chauffeured limo rides. But when she is dropped in the midst of the Black Ivy League—against her will—she has to pretend that everything is normal, as if she belongs. When her new friends start to question her sketchy past and her shaky legacy at Benjamin Wallace Fitzgerald University, Raevyn realizes she will have to rely on her street smarts more than ever before. Raevyn starts to receive cryptic text messages and emails from an anonymous sender and she soon discovers that not only does someone want her to leave B.W.Fitz–someone also wants to end her life.
Posted in 3 Gifs & An Author, Authors, Blog post, Books, YA Fantasy, ya novel, YA Series, Young Adult Books

3 Gifs & An Author: Lara Whatley

 
LW
 
Hello! Happy to be posting my first ever 3 Gifs & an Author interview where authors answer my questions with gifs or memes! Today I have author of YA fantasy book THE LAST PAGES Lara Whatley on Rad/dom. Get to know her and her book below, enjoy 🙂
 
 
 
1. Describe your book, The Last Pages, in three gifs. 
 
 
 
2. What are the top three things that distract you from writing. 
 
 
Internet….
Sleep
 
 
3. Three favorite things about being an author. 
 
 
Happy endings
 
 
4. Describe your favorite character.
 
Leon has to be my fav, he is quite the character…


 
 
 
​5. Top three snack foods while you write. 
 
 
 
BONUS QUESTION: 
If your book were made into a movie, the top three actors you’d choose to star in the movie.

India Eisley for Kale Barlow

Eddie Redmayne – Leon

Brant Daugherty – Colum

Thanks Lara for participating!

Visit Lara online:

blog: larawhatley.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelastpages

Twitter: @LaraEwrites

Instagram: LaraEwrites

Buy her book:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Pages-Chapters-Time-Volume/dp/0990353818/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_3

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22008448-the-last-pages

 
 
Want to participate in the next 3 Gifs & an Author? Email me at Claribelortegaauthor@gmail.com
Posted in Authors, Blog post, Books, Claribel Ortega, Empire Witch Series, Literature, Publishing, Witches And Wizards, YA Fantasy, ya novel, YA Series, Young Adult Books

Writing Diverse Kidlit: The Riddle of the Timekeeper

DivYAfront

I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by DiversityYA on my book Emerald Kipp & The Riddle of The Timekeeper. Read the interview below and please let me know what you think! Also, please note I will NO LONGER be releasing EKROTK at New York Comic Con. I am going to begin seeking agent representation for this manuscript SOON, so for now it is under wraps 🙂 My pubslush is still on for The Skinwalker’s Apprentice though, so follow the link in the article to donate! Hope you enjoy the interview 🙂


1) Can you tell us a little more about Emerald Kipp & The Riddle of The Timekeeper? What inspired you to write it?

Riddle of The Timekeeper is about a teen witch living in New York City during the nineteen eighties. She’s rebellious, pierced and pink haired and early on we find out she’s kind of lost and confused about what her future will bring. She’s one of only two witches living in New York, the other being her aunt Nora. On her last day of High School, which was a struggle to achieve in itself because of her penchant for trouble, her aunt vanishes before her eyes. Emerald then receives a message from the past, “Find The Timekeeper, Solve The Riddle,” and she is introduced to a NYC she’s never known; equal parts magical and dangerous.

I really wanted to write a story about New York that not only incorporated magic, but also history. There are many characters pulled from the headlines so to speak, like Goody Garlick who was accused of witchcraft on Long Island a good thirty five years before the Salem witch trials and even The Timekeeper himself who was inspired by  New York University’s beloved John Votta. He was nicknamed The Timekeeper because he stood on a corner of Washington Square Park yelling the time to passing students. I took inspiration from these real life people and weaved them into my alternate, magical New York City.

2) Many of your characters struggle with mental health issues. Was that a conscious choice, or did that just happen? Why is diversity in fiction important to you?

One thing I wanted to explore was the real world ramifications that being a witch would entail. For Emerald, the only other person who she can identify with fully is her aunt Nora. Aside from that, her mother passed at a young age and her father abandoned the family shortly after. Many times we find these tragic characters who have been through so much, yet mentally they don’t seem affected in the same way any of us would be, despite the inferences that they are very much human in addition to be extraordinary.

Emerald is the manifestation of what I believe would happen to someone who was dealing with the death of a parent, with abandonment and with being so completely different they felt they had no where to turn.

Diversity in fiction is important to me because as an author of color I know first hand that having a character you can relate to in a book as a kid can be a great thing. I have always been a reader, I was obsessed with books as a child, but rarely did I find a character that looked like me, that came from any of the same kinds of neighborhoods I lived in. The books that I could identify with (Like The House On Mango Street) I read close to a million times. They were important to me because I could see myself in the pages, and it made me feel like I was understood in some way.

It’s my hope that readers feel they can identify with my characters, and that it helps them realize they’re not less than because of how they look or what they’re struggling with.

3) How did you prepare for writing about mental health issues? How did you conduct your research?

Read the rest of the article here.

Posted in Authors, Blog post, cover reveal, Publishing, Uncategorized, ya novel, YA Series, Young Adult Books

Cover Reveal: THE LEGACY!!

Hey pals, today I have the pleasure of helping the amazing Necole Ryse reveal her cover for THE LEGACY, a book a lot of people are calling a more diverse Pretty Little Liars. You should check it out & pick up your copy on Amazon today! Necole is pretty cool I mean, she likes Criminal Minds AND Harry Potter, that’s too many cool points to calculate. I definitely recommend this book to all of you,  I am half way done with it and it’s GOOD 😀 Check out the rad cover  and learn more about Necole below! (Plus buy the book, duh!) ❤

The Legacy

by Necole Ryse

Summary: 

Nineteen-year-old Raevyn Jones has never worn a designer gown. She’s never had access to unlimited champagne or chauffeured limo rides. But when she is dropped in the midst of the Black Ivy League—against her will—she has to pretend that everything is normal, as if she belongs. When her new friends start to question her sketchy past and her shaky legacy at Benjamin Wallace Fitzgerald University, Raevyn realizes she will have to rely on her street smarts more than ever before. Raevyn starts to receive cryptic text messages and emails from an anonymous sender and she soon discovers that not only does someone want her to leave B.W.Fitz–someone also wants to end her life.

 

Available now!

On AMAZON

Connect with Necole Ryse 
About the author:

Necole Ryse graduated from Towson University with Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications. Bored with life as an adult, Necole decided to follow her dreams to write fiction and she hasn’t looked back. She enjoys chocolate covered pretzels, Criminal Minds marathons, and all things Harry Potter.

 

Posted in 1980s, Authors, Blog post, Claribel Ortega, Empire Witch Series, Indie Authors, Literature, Witches And Wizards, YA Fantasy, ya novel, YA Series, Young Adult Books

For Once, The Heroine Saves Herself

I was recently feature on the Pubslush blog for my book The Skinwalker’s Apprentice, read the excerpt below and follow the links to learn more about my Pubslush Campaign for NY Comic Con!


Screen-Shot-2014-06-26-at-10.32.45-AM

The Skinwalker’s Apprentice 
By: Claribel Ortega 

It had been a long day, and Emerald was finally back in her room.As she took her army jacket off, one of her safety pins caught on her t-shirt and she yanked it, ripping a hole through the white fabric. She put her finger through the hole of the shirt and sighed, shaking her head. Serves me right, she thought. She slid one sneaker off with her right foot and kicked it in the air, then did the same with the other, not bothering to check where it landed. They’d put themselves away, she thought.

Since her room was the only place she could use magic, she used it freely, enchanting every last thing from her socks to her wallpaper. Her walls were covered with posters of her favorite bands, and they all came to life as she entered the room. One drummer in a black and white poster twirled his drumsticks in an infinite loop, while the guitarist shredded his guitar midair, legs splayed out to his sides. The little wallpaper that was showing from underneath her posters, swayed as if the flowers were in a breezy meadow instead of an apartment in downtown Manhattan. Her mint-colored robe laid lazily on her bed, its fluffy sleeves turning the pages of her precious Vive Le Rock magazine as if it could actually read, or see for that matter. Emerald shook her head and smiled, just as her slippers plodded out from underneath her bed, stopping at her feet.

“Not yet,” she dismissed the slippers, and they shuffled back into the darkness underneath her wrought iron bed. Records lined the shelf to the right of her bed, and a record player sat on the sill of the bay window that looked out into her backyard.

She looked at her record collection and twisted her mouth in thought. Before she could make up her mind what to play, a record flew off the shelf, slipping out of its sleeve and floating over to her stereo set. The needle settled on the vinyl disk and ‘Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops’, began to play.

She peeled her jeans off and left them on the floor, walking to her bathroom. One giant advantage of living in the boarding house: a private bath. She stepped into the white tiled room and ran the tub with hot water. As the room steamed up, she looked at herself in the mirror. Emerald wasn’t ugly, but she wasn’t pretty either. She was just strange looking, different, but not in a bad way, she thought. That never bothered her, Emerald liked being unique. She just didn’t like the problems that came with it. She felt misunderstood, like nobody knew who she really was. When she looked at herself in the mirror, besides blue hair and emerald green eyes, for which she was named, she saw someone who stood up for herself. She saw someone who wasn’t afraid to speak up, who defended people who didn’t know how to defend themselves. She knew she was a loyal friend and that she had a selfless heart. Well, she did most of the time, she cringed, remembering how she’d reacted to Seneka’s news that afternoon.

But somehow she had become a nuisance, a rebel, and the girl who always had too much to say and didn’t know when to quit and shut up. None of the great things she thought about herself mattered as much as the awful things everyone else thought about her. Those things seemed to weigh heavily in her heart, and to take up all the space in her brain…

Read the rest of my Writer’s Corner spotlight on the Pubslush Blog Here

 

 

Posted in 1980s, Advice, Blog post, Claribel Ortega, Empire Witch Series, Indie Authors, Literature, Publishing, Witches And Wizards, YA Fantasy, ya novel, YA Series, Young Adult Books

Desperately Seeking Agent: Just like the Madonna movie, but sadder

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My first book, The Skinwalker’s Apprentice, was self published and the next book in the series was picked up at a twitter #pitmad event. I wasn’t expecting to get signed (I only had a partial MS for crying out loud) but a small press signed me almost immediately. That was a few months back, and now I find myself contract-less. What happened? Things didn’t work out. It sucks, but it happens. In my rush to get a contract, I didn’t stop myself for that oh so crucial moment of asking ” Is this the right choice?”

Turns out it wasn’t, not for me, so now I find myself sort of back to square one. While I don’t have a contract, I have gotten much closer to finishing my book (two weeks from editing phase woohoo) and I’ve met a lot of amazing readers who’ve gotten their hands on the prequel and loved it. Does anyone know who I am ? Not really but Big Ang follows me on Twitter. Has J.K. Rowling called me for a lunch date. No freaking way. Do I have publishers knocking down my door? Negative.

None of that really matters though, because it was doubtful I would get any of those things with the path I was on ANYWAY, so why not follow my gut?

I  made a tough choice for the good of my (crosses fingers) longevity as an author as opposed to something that felt more like instant gratification. It was hard & yes I feel slightly embarrassed for some reason even though it was my choice.

Despite feeling slightly defeated at first, I now feel a lot happier with where I’m at, and know I made the right decision. I feel I am doing the right thing for my career as a writer, as I embark on something I’ve only ever done twice during #pitmad…querying agents. It wasn’t nearly as scary then because those agents REQUESTED my MS. Now I am just going to find someone (or a few someones lets be honest) who I think would be the perfect match for me, and send them a “please love me” email. I am nervous, and know from my author friends that rejection is as imminent as it is un-pretty.

In the wise words of Coldplay, “If you never try, then you’ll never know,” or something akin to that, so I’m going to join the throngs of crying authors and query my little heart out.

So, for any authors who are at a similar crossroads, I want to tell you you’re not alone (cue cheesy music). Sometimes it’s hard to swallow your pride and take that step backwards. Sometimes that step backwards is the only way to get on the right path. So, here’s to finishing Emerald Kipp & The Riddle of The Timekeeper, to writing an awesome query letter, and to getting my dream agent. (cue slow claps)