brandy says hi.

writer. copy editor. sometimes tap dancer. library addict. my debut novel, POINTE, will be released by putnam/penguin on april 10, 2014.
arssociety:

Ten Rules for Writers by Zadie Smith
1. When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.
2. When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.
3. Don’t romanticise your “vocation”. You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no “writer’s lifestyle”. All that matters is what you leave on the page.
4. Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can’t do aren’t worth doing. Don’t mask self-doubt with contempt.
5. Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.
6. Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.
7. Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.
8. Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.
9. Don’t confuse honours with achievement.
10. Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.
via The Guardian

arssociety:

Ten Rules for Writers by Zadie Smith

1. When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.

2. When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.

3. Don’t romanticise your “vocation”. You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no “writer’s lifestyle”. All that matters is what you leave on the page.

4. Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can’t do aren’t worth doing. Don’t mask self-doubt with contempt.

5. Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.

6. Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.

7. Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.

8. Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.

9. Don’t confuse honours with achievement.

10. Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.

via The Guardian

(via stephanieoakes)

The Rejectionist | Sarah McCarry: How to Publish Writers of Color: Some Basic Steps for White Folks In the Industry

There are brilliant, amazing, innovative, and groundbreaking writers of color everywhere. EVERYWHERE. ALL OVER THE PLACE. Why are they not submitting to traditional publishers and agents? IDK, maybe because traditional publishing is an industry made up of nearly entirely white folks from upper-middle-class and wealthy backgrounds who routinely reject work by writers of color as “unsalable” or because “we already have one of those” and who do not bother to publicize or get behind any of the handful—literal handful, folks, come on—of books by writers of color they do manage to publish every year, thus effectively ending those writers’ careers when their books tank. I wouldn’t submit, either. (For the record, 100% of the people who have submitted directly to Guillotine have been white.)

So how do I find writers? The Internet, obviously.

(Source: diversityinya)

If you’re a member of a community and have the community’s needs and interests at heart, it’s not asking a lot to shine your spotlight on these issues. You lose nothing, and you have everything in the world to gain — both for yourself and for your community — when you use your voice to call for art that reflects a society in which diversity is simply reality. That is how you become an asset.

from We Need Bigger Megaphones for Diversity in Kid Lit.

I rounded up and talked about some of the pieces written recently on diversity and representation in the kid lit world and asked why those who have huge megaphones in the community aren’t helping to amplify those voices. 

(via catagator)

diversityinya:

A Diverse Dozen

Looking for some YA books that just happen to have characters of color, LGBT characters, and/or disabled characters? Here’s a diverse dozen titles with something for every reader — contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, and mystery too. (Descriptions are from WorldCat.)

Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac (Tu Books) — In a world that has barely survived an apocalypse that leaves it with pre-twentieth century technology, Lozen is a monster hunter for four tyrants who are holding her family hostage.

Pointe by Brandy Colbert (Putnam) — Four years after Theo’s best friend, Donovan, disappeared at age thirteen, he is found and brought home and Theo puts her health at risk as she decides whether to tell the truth about the abductor, knowing her revelation could end her life-long dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer.

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth (Arthur A. Levine Books) — Seventh-grader Lewis “Shoe” Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield from the local Air Force base, but in 1975 upstate New York there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and Whites–and Lewis is not sure that he can rely on friendship.

Fake ID by Lamar Giles (Amistad) — “An African-American teen in the Witness Protection Program moves to a new town and finds himself trying to solve a murder mystery when his first friend is found dead.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (Simon & Schuster) — Lara Jean writes love letters to all the boys she has loved and then hides them in a hatbox until one day those letters are accidentally sent.

Pantomime by Laura Lam (Strange Chemistry) — Gene, the daughter of a noble family, runs away from the decadence of court to R.H. Ragona’s circus of magic, where she meets runaway Micah, whose blood could unlock the mysteries of the world of Ellada.

Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books) — In an adventure reminiscent of Homer’s Odyssey, fifteen-year-old Odilia and her four younger sisters embark on a journey to return a dead man to his family in Mexico, aided by La Llorona, but impeded by a witch, a warlock, chupacabras, and more.

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina (Candlewick) — One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away?

Rogue by Lyn Miller-Lachmann (Nancy Paulsen Books) — An eighth-grade girl with Asperger’s syndrome tries to befriend her new neighbor, facing many challenges along the way.

More Than This by Patrick Ness (Candlewick) — A boy named Seth drowns, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.

Prophecy by Ellen Oh (HarperTeen) —A demon slayer, the only female warrior in the King’s army, must battle demon soldiers, an evil shaman, and the Demon Lord to find the lost ruby of the Dragon King’s prophecy and save her kingdom.

Far From You by Tess Sharpe (Hyperion) — After Sophie Winters survives a brutal attack in which her best friend, Mina, is murdered, she sets out to find the killer. At the same time she must prove she is free of her past Oxy addiction and in no way to blame for Mina’s death.

Want More Diversity in Your YA? Here’s How You Can Help

diversityinya:

Within the last few weeks, the  New York TimesEntertainment Weekly, and CNN have all published articles examining the lack of diversity in children’s and young adult literature — and next month, School Library Journal plans to publish an entire issue devoted to diversity. While all this mainstream interest in diversity is to be applauded for bringing more people into the ongoing conversation about diversity, they still largely fail to tackle the problem of how we can change the status quo.

We at Diversity in YA obviously don’t have all the answers, and we aren’t the first people to talk about these issues. This conversation has been going on for decades. What we do have are ideas for how you can change the status quo right now. If you’re an ordinary reader, you don’t have to wait to show your support for books that show the world as it is. Here are five ways you can help make positive change right now:

1. Look for diversity. 

Make a conscious effort to seek out books to read that feature characters of color, LGBT characters, and/or disabled characters. They may not be front-and-center at your local Barnes & Noble; you may have to look around a bit or go online to find them.

2. Support diversity.

Support the diverse books that are published today by buying them, by checking them out at your library, or by requesting that your library buy them.

3. Recommend diversity.

If you use Goodreads, Facebook, social media, or have a blog, talk up the books you love that happen to have diverse characters. Tell your friends! Word of mouth is still key in bringing awareness to books. And remember: You don’t need to recommend them solely for their diversity — they’re great books to enjoy, plain and simple.

4. Talk up diversity.

When discussions around diversity in literature occur online, join in the conversation if you can to express that you do want more diverse books to read and that the issue is important to you.

5. Don’t give up.

There will always be people who dismiss “diversity” as meaningless. They are the reason we must keep fighting for representation. We’re all in this together.

* * *

Want a list of diverse YA books you can get started reading right now? Here are a dozen YA books of all kinds (contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery — something for everyone!) that happen to have characters of color, LGBT characters, and/or disabled characters.

Want even more book lists? Here’s a link to all of our book lists.

(via nitatyndall)

penguinteen:

Today we welcome Brandy Colbert to the Penguin Teen Author Spotlight! Her wonderful novel, Pointe, combines some of our favorite things - ballet and some super dark plot points. If you’ve been looking for that realistic fiction tale that will have you turning the pages as fast as you can to see how everything will turn out, you’ve found it. Gripping, emotional, and heartbreaking, we promise you won’t regret picking up Pointe.

Name: Brandy Colbert          

Novel: Pointe

Available: now!

Who’s your favorite author, living or dead? This changes all the time, but right now it’s a cross between Aimee Bender and Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie.

What’s your favorite thing about your book? I never thought I’d be able to write a book that covered both dance and abduction/child sexual abuse—two things I deeply care about, but aren’t typically connected—so that’s pretty special. And the fact that people are reading it is even more special.

If you could spend one year on a deserted island with one character from literature, who would you choose? I’d probably end up arguing with most of my favorite characters, so I’ll say Rose from The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. I’d have a lot of questions for someone who can taste emotions of the people who prepare her food.

Where do you write? In my bed. I’ve done so since I was a kid, when I was writing stories with notebooks and pens. It’s terrible for my posture, but apparently very good for my writing.

Who is your favorite hero or heroine of history? The Little Rock Nine, who were the first black students to desegregate an all-white high school in Arkansas. They were tormented from the first day they tried to walk up the steps of their new school, endured unbelievable verbal and physical abuse, and stayed strong through it all.

Do you tweet? What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever tweeted? I do tweet (@brandycolbert), but some of my funniest tweets are ridiculous exchanges with friends. On a good day (“good” being relative), you might catch me wondering about unattended cupcakes in a public restroom, or talking about my obsession with Tonya Harding documentaries (more, please).

What is your favorite season? I live in L.A., so we don’t really have traditional seasons. But I’m from the Missouri Ozarks, and growing up, I always loved spring: Fresh Air. Flowers. Warmth. They all agree with me.

If you could teleport anywhere in the known universe right now, where would you go? Anywhere that has a cat café.

Do you have any writing rituals? Silence. And nighttime. I can’t write at coffee shops or listen to music while I’m working. Just me and the words, preferably when most people are sleeping.

What is your idea of earthly happiness? I keep threatening to move to a tiny beach town on California’s Central Coast, but I’m not ready to give up the city yet. I feel very lucky to have a life in Los Angeles, and publishing a novel is my lifelong dream, so I’d say things are pretty great.

What is the best concert you’ve ever been to? A Tribe Called Quest at the Wiltern in 2006. I got really into their music just as they were breaking up in the late ’90s, so I never thought I’d get to see them perform. They put on a killer show. Q-Tip wore gold lamé high-tops. I was happy. (But my first concert ever was Tina Turner, when I was six years old, so few can compare to that.)

What are you currently working on? More dark YA contemporary, which I hope to share more about in the near future!

……………

Thanks, Brandy! We can’t wait to read what you have coming next!

You can find Brandy on Twitter and her blog.

Add Pointe to your “to-read” list on Goodreads!

Purchase Pointe from your favorite retailer.

bookpatrol:

Painting by Max Ginsburg. Used as cover illustration for  ”THE FRIENDS” by Rosa Guy.

bookpatrol:

Painting by Max Ginsburg. Used as cover illustration for  ”THE FRIENDS” by Rosa Guy.

(via stephanieoakes)