Happy New Year!
Did everyone enjoy the last couple of weeks? Perhaps gained a few pounds? (I did--eek!)
Well, with all the celebrating and vacation-taking, I had a chance to look back on the past year and think about all the things that changed in my writerly life. A lot changed, my dear readers. A lot.
For one, I read my first YA book in over 18 years. I know. Pretty pathetic. But I fell in love. TWILIGHT quite literally changed my career. I'd been plugging away for years on rough drafts thinking I HAD to write for adults. There simply was no other option. I was an adult and no one read anything but adult books anyway.
I actually had a reason for this train of thought. I was ten when I stopped reading YA or MG. My only YA experience was SWEET VALLEY HIGH. And as cute as I thought that series was at the time, I knew I didn't want to write anything like it. I grew up on the classics, and I wanted to write a classic.
But one day my friends, my husband, and I decided to go see a movie. Any movie. We picked Twilight. I thought it was great. Like knocked-my-socks-off great. But everyone in the online writing community I belonged to scoffed daily at the book. Garbage, they said. Well, I needed to find out for myself.
READ. IT. AND. LOVED. IT.
I finished the series in two weeks. And read it again. And again. And again. I lost track of how many times I read it.
But somewhere while reading the series I had some serious writerly soul-searching going on. I knew, KNEW, that not only did I HAVE to write YA, but I'd been doing it all along. It wasn't perfect, no. You can't NOT know you're writing something and have it turn out a work of genius. There were major flaws in my then current WIP I needed to address. For one, it was YA trying to be adult. I rewrote the whole thing in first person and found my voice--that elusive creature I'd hated up until that point.
I found some AMAZING betas along the way and started querying.
Now, you might be wondering what all of this has to do with the title of the post. Well, I didn't stop at TWILIGHT. When I started paying attention to all the recommendations from bloggers I'd been following for a while, I realized there were other YA books out there! I read everything I could find and ended the year with about 50 YA novels under my belt. (Yes, I read very quickly)
So, today I'm going to highlight some of my favorite male characters from all the books I've read this year. (I'll do the girls tomorrow)
Say what you will of his creepy stalking nature, I thought he epitomized sexy and the white knight persona. And besides, what girl hasn't dreamed of her ultimate crush showing up outside her bedroom window to spend the night? This boy fulfilled the kind of fantasy few girls are willing to say out loud.
Bad boy extraordinaire. He's everything every girl who ever wanted to find someone to fix could hope for. He's sexy, he pretends his car is broken down so he can take a girl to a sleazy motel, he MIGHT be trying to kill said girl, but he also MIGHT be trying to save her. Who doesn't love such a twisted, complex guy?
Oh sweet, kind-hearted, MAZE RUNNER Thomas. The poor guy just wants to help his friends live through probably the most grueling science experiment in history, but he's forced to not only watch them die right in front of him, he loses the ones who actually stay alive, too. You can't help but feel sorry for the poor lad, all while positive everything MUST work out in the end (though it hasn't yet).
Who wouldn't grow up with a complex when you know you're a "mythological" being who replaced your parents' real child and you have a pretty severe allergy to iron? In a world where people hang knives and scissors above cribs to protect their children from the kind of thing Mackie happens to be, he actually handles it fairly well. Up until he's forced to enter his natural world and try to save another child from the most gruesome death you can imagine. He's dark, twisted, and a refreshing MC to read if you're feeling a slight estrogen-overload.
These are, by far, not all of them, but they top my list. Any favorites you want to share?