Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Miss Subbing for Pubbing Speaks

Tip of the Day: make sure to check back next week for a post on trying to figure out when to put a manuscript down for good.

Today I interviewed our own Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing about how her job as a librarian and being at the forefront of YA books changes her other job as a writer:

Q: Do you think being a librarian affects how you approach writing a novel?

D: Being a librarian has affected my reading, my critical analysis of the books I've read, so therefore my writing -- but I'm not sure how much.

The reading part is bc I have so many choices of what to read since they are all there in front of me for the taking! So I read a ton, and what I pick up often has to do with the wonderful covers more than ever before (I'll pick up a book like GENTLEMEN that I've never heard a word about simply bc the cover is so intriguing -- and the book was fantastic!).

The critical analysis part comes from lurking on librarian listservs, hearing what other librarians say abt certain books -- and what their teens think -- and getting a ton of review journals and reading more review websites than before I was a librarian. So not only am I hearing what my peers have to say abt books, but what the "larger professional community" says as well. Then there's me just talking to teens to see what they think about certain books. And watching what they check out.

So when I go to write my own YA work, I have all these things in the back of my mind -- yet I'm not sure that it changes HOW I write knowing these things. I know they up my own standards on what is good in my own writing, which has got to mean something. I also know I don't have a faerie or vampire book in me and those seem to have sold well the past 3-5 years or so, despite how badly the teens want more of them.

I suppose I have self-censored a couple of times due to my librarian background. Recently I made the "older man" who had sex with a 15yo girl 19 instead of his original 20 bc 20 just sounded so much more scandalous and would libraries be afraid to put that book in their libs due to the age? My CPs seem to think he should be 20 though so we'll see.... I would buy the book with the 20yo character for my lib, but would other libs in more conservative areas? I'm not sure. I guess I could start throwing my synopses out on the listservs and asking the librarians if they would buy my book for their collections!

E: Thanks for stopping by today Deena. I agree being an avid reader definitely helps and being around so many books all day makes it easy to get inspired.

--Emily, Miss Querylicious


Kate Fall said...

Sigh, I'm so jealous of your job, being around books all day. I'm sure talking to people and thinking about what you like in a book does impact your writing somehow.

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

ooo...me too. I can imagine how much has just become part of your cognitive landscape (that sounds so formal...).

I know that my inner critic gets sharper with more reading and that has got to at least "inform" my writing process. But like you, I'm not sure how much. What a great job, though!

DeenaML said...

Thanks for the interview question, Em! And it is a great job. :) I know I'm lucky!

Lisa Schroeder said...

Yeah. I still want your job. Sigh.