Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Featuring Julia Buckley's New Young Adult Mystery: GINEVRA BOND

Please welcome my friend and critique-mate, Author Julia Buckley!

She (and Simon) are here to help me launch my "Year of Young Adult Literature." In my last post, I mentioned that although I'm not currently in school, I'm creating a kind of new school year for myself. I'm adventuring into the young adult genre and I'm excited to learn more about what's going on in the world of young adult books. AND Julia just published Ginevra Bond, a new young adult suspense novel, so I interviewed her about her intriguing new book:

Kathi: Ginevra Bond is your first mystery for young adults. What was it like to switch from writing mysteries for adults to this genre?

Julia: It was actually very fun. It was nice taking a perspective that put me back in touch with my youth--although Ginevra is a very special young adult, and therefore has qualities that I never had as a teenager.

Kathi: Yes, Ginevra, your protagonist, is such an unusual girl! She knows things about people whom she's never met before and is wise beyond her 16 years, and yet--she has the same worries and insecurities as her teen classmates. What inspired the creation of Ginevra?

Julia: I was watching a documentary about people with inexplicable brains--they knew or understood things that the average person does not, and all because, for one reason or another, parts of their brains were being stimulated that gave them these abilities--areas of the brain that "normal" people are not able to tap into. 

Kathi: So what is something Ginevra knows about you?

Julia: HaHa. What a great question. It's true, Ginevra can see people's "barriers" and help them to overcome their problems. So Ginevra would know that I'm a very anxious person, and that I tend to worry a lot. She'd tell me I had to stop fretting and concentrate on all that is good in my life. She'd advise me to take deep breaths.  :)

Kathi: I've read lots of your work and your character names are always interesting. Where did the name "Ginevra Bond" come from?

Julia: I've always loved the name Ginevra (which has the same roots as names like Guinevere) ever since I heard that F. Scott Fitzgerald, long before he met Zelda, was briefly infatuated with a girl named Ginevra King. I liked the musicality of the name, so I chose a one-syllable last name for Ginevra. 

Kathi: What is the best writing advice you've ever received?

Julia: Oh, I've received all sorts of practical advice over the years, but I guess the one that stands out for me now is that you have to tell your story before you worry over revising it. I try to power through a story first, and THEN I go back to tweak and change things. It makes it much more likely that I'll finish a novel if I just keep going and follow that. 

Kathi: Where can readers find you online?

Julia: Thank you for asking! My website is and they can see the Amazon link to Ginevra Bond here:

Kathi: Thank you, Julia, for the wonderful "behind the scenes" look at Ginevra Bond!

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Year of Young Adult Literature

The school supply aisles are mobbed and Labor Day is almost here. I'm not returning to school this fall, but I love pretending I'm starting a new year. It's always refreshing to take these last few days of August to dream about having a new life. 

This summer, I read a lot of young adult literature. Between 2002 and 2004, I studied writing for children and young adults at Vermont College; and focused on writing a young adult novel for my master's degree. It's where SHATTERED came to life. While there, I read a lot of children's and young adult books and have continued to do so. Every so often, though, I go through periods where I only read books from the adult shelves.

But this summer, I got really curious about the beginning of literature for young adults. The only way to define this genre is to say that the books are much less baby-ish, with more sophisticated themes, but not as adult as well, adult books. 

I've been feeling this yearning to know more about the did it start? Looking back from now, 2012, what novels  are considered "classic?" Which one's should I re-read to grow my skills? Who's doing something new? Who's doing something to fall in love with? What work will change me by the last page?

So while all the children and young adults head back to school, I'm launching my new "school year" too. I'm calling it "my year of young adult literature." Join me for learning, new insights, a new world. Isn't that what school is all about anyway? And yes, new friends. I almost forgot the most important thing about school!