So...I've decided that I'm on a crusade. A Middle Grade Crusade. (hey--that rhymes!) :) Because when it comes to the Blogosphere, Middle Grade is kind of...forgotten.
And I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with YA. I love YA--and will continue to read YA and talk about YA on my blog. But as a Middle Grade writer--I've realized that I'm really not doing enough to give Middle Grade the attention it deserves. It's a huge category with a ton of amazing books and writers--and it's all kind of flying under the radar at the moment (online at least). So I'm going to do what little I can to change that. Starting today!
First of all, I'm happy to announce that I was lucky enough to be accepted as one of the new contributing members for The Mixed-Up Files Blog!!!! Not sure if you've heard of it, but it's a fabulous group of middle grade writers who have teamed up to spread the news about all things middle grade related. I highly recommend you check it out when you have the chance. (Here's hoping I don't drive them all too crazy with my trademark rambling ways and get myself booted off the team) :)
Secondly, I've decided to feature more middle grade on my blog. Which means you'll definitely be seeing more Middle Grade Spotlights, like I did last Thursday. And I'm also introducing a new meme I've cooked up: Marvelous Middle Grade Monday. (hehe, I love alliteration--if you can't tell)
What is Marvelous Middle Grade Monday?
At least once a month I'll feature a fabulous Middle Grade book or series on my blog on a Monday. It might be a review. It might be an author interview. It might be a giveaway. Or maybe it'll be some combination of all three. The important thing is, it'll shine a light on Middle Grade, hopefully showing people that it's NOT just for kids (or adults who are large children). It's for everyone who loves fun, well-written books.
And I thought I'd start today with a series that's kind of the gold standard for Middle Grade writers: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer.
Honestly, this series doesn't necessarily need my help--it's sold like a bazillion copies and has the full support of the Disney-Hyperion promotion team (I've never seen such an elaborate book tour in all my life--Disney doesn't play around). But I wanted to start here because this was one of the first MG series I discovered as an adult, and is a big part of the reason I ended up as a Middle Grade writer.
Basic premise: 12-year-old billionaire and super-genius Artemis Fowl has discovered the truth about fairies. Namely that they live in a secret, high tech society deep underneath us with a special task force--the LEPrecon--and all kinds of rituals and rules. And he's decided to exploit them, in various schemes to prove his superior intelligence and secure the Fowl family fortune.
The plots keep you on your toes, never quite sure what scheme Artemis is working this time, or whether he's the good guy or the villain. And the way Colfer has reinvented fairy lore and magical creatures is fantastic. Not to mention they're hilarious. Even my husband--who I barely convinced to read MY book (he's not much of a reader, le sigh) has read and loved this series. The books may be sold in the children's section, but they are very adult friendly. Think Pixar movies. (I swear adults love those movies more than kids do.)
And because the books are so very awesome, I'm giving one lucky commenter a SIGNED copy of the newest book in the series: THE ATLANTIS COMPLEX, along with a special flash drive Disney put together with all kinds of cool extras (I'm telling you, Disney's not playing around with their promo for these books).
Yes--that's right! This is going to be one of my simple contests. Meaning there's only two rules: be a follower of my blog and leave a comment on this post by Friday, October 8th. International entries are welcome. And you only have to tweet or blog about the contest if you want to. Easy Peasy. I'll post the winner on Saturday, October 9th.
And if any of you want to start having Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays on your blog, let me know. I'd be willing to link to your posts when you do. Middle Grade Bloggers Unite!!!! :)
Oh, on a Shameless Shannon Self-Promotion Side note (how's THAT for alliteration?): I've done a keynote blog commencement speech thingy (wherein I tried to be inspiring. The odds of me actually pulling that off aren't good) for the end of Iggy&Gabi's DIY-MFA. If any of you would be so kind as to pop over there and leave a comment so it's not like, her most unpopular post ever, I'd be VERY grateful. *bats eyelashes*
And don't forget to leave a comment here to enter for the signed copy of THE ATLANTIS COMPLEX. Good luck!