A Note:


I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles. And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Guest Post with Leah Cypess

Instead of the usual, I have an author stopping by Book Faery!  If you've read the book Mistwood, then you know who Leah Cypess is.  But if you haven't, I have a little bio, courtesy of Leah's website:

"I wrote my first story in first grade. The narrator was an ice-cream cone in the process of being eaten. In fourth grade, I wrote my first book, about a girl who gets shipwrecked on a desert island with her faithful and heroic dog (a rip-off of both The Black Stallion and all the Lassie movies, very impressive).

However, I took a few detours along the way to becoming a full-time writer. After selling my first story (Temple of Stone) while in high school, I gave in to my mother's importuning to be practical and majored in biology at Brooklyn College. I then went to Columbia Law School and practiced law for almost two years at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, a large law firm in New York City. I kept writing and submitting in my spare time, and finally, a mere 15 years after my first short story acceptance, I am going to be a published novelist. I am very excited about this!

I live in Brookline, Massachusetts (right outside of Boston) with my husband Aaron, a researcher and doctor at the Joslin Diabetes Center, and our two daughters."

Lately, I feel like I’ve seen a lot of articles and blog posts predicting “the next big thing” in YA literature.  Given that my blog reading tends to be erratic (and inversely proportional with how much writing I’m getting done), maybe this has been a hot topic forever and I just happened to notice a recent discussions. Nevertheless, it got me thinking about trends in YA, whether and when the next one will hit, and what it will be.

My preliminary conclusion: I have no idea, and neither does anyone else.

The guesses that get tossed around the most seem to involve new types of supernatural creatures: werewolves (unless werewolves are over already?), angels (ditto), unicorns, mermaids, etc.  What I think, though, is that these guesses miss the mark; what’s actually happening is that we’re in middle of one huge trend, “magical type of character,” and while the trend may go through phases, none of these types of characters are going to be the next BIG thing. And I think it’s great that this trend seems to have settled in to stay (says the author whose main character is a shapeshifter). But I don’t think it’s going to give rise to the “next big thing.”

The supernatural creatures trend focuses on a “type of character”; and the next big trend that hit afterward was totally different, a “type of world” trend – i.e. dystopia. Specifically, modern-day dystopias usually feature worlds with advanced technological abilities and oppressive governments. (As opposed to the dystopias I grew up reading, which were all about post-nuclear-war mutant-ridden anarchies. Someone could write a great dissertation about that difference).  Steampunk was supposed to be another “type of world” trend, though it doesn’t really seem to have come into its own… maybe because the “type of world” slot was already taken?

So if I had to guess, I’d say the next new trend will be a new category of different; maybe a “type of magic-system” trend (possibly based on non-Western magic, which would be cool), or a “type of plot” trend (mystery puzzlers, or quests, or ghosts looking to move on) or a “type of situation” (i.e. time travel).

Like I said, though, these are all random guesses; and the reason trends are so hard to predict is that what starts them, usually, is a book.  A single fabulous book that makes readers think, Wow, I want to read more stuff like this! and makes writers think, Wow, there is so much I could do with this concept. And that book has to be published at the right time and hit people the right way. There are many fabulous books that don’t manage to start trends; nobody knows, for example, why mid-grade fantasy took off with J.K. Rowling and not Diana Wynne Jones, or why vampires became so hot because of Stephanie Meyer and not L.J. Smith.  Which is part of the reason why, despite the fun I’ve had writing this post, I can’t predict the next big trend. And why, even more than I want to find out what it’s going to be, I want to read the book that starts it.

Leah's Writing:

Everyone tells Isabel that she is the Shifter - the ancient shape-shifting creature who has protected the kings of Samorna for centuries. They need her to be the Shifter. Prince Rokan risked everything when he rode into the Mistwood to summon her to his side; Ven, the magician's apprentice, has devoted his life to studying her legend; and even Princess Clarisse, who fears and hates her, depends on Isabel's powers to further her own plans.

But Isabel doesn't feel like the Shifter. She feels like a lonely human girl, beset by flashes of memory that do more to confuse than to help her. If she is the Shifter, why can't she change her shape? Why doesn't she remember what made her flee the castle so many years ago? As she is drawn deeper into a web of magic and assassination, Isabel will have no choice but to look for answers. But her search will lead her to the one question the Shifter hasn't faced in a thousand years: where does she come from, and what does she really want?

You can expect to see my review of Mistwood posted within the next few weeks.

Leah also has a number of short stories which you can locate at her website under the "short stories" tab.


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