This whole festival thing came together by accident really. I am on holidays for two weeks and in all honesty I was just being lazy and collecting guest posts so I didn’t have to write two weeks worth of blogs… I had asked the wonderful David Estes months ago if he would guest for me and as the time got closer and I noticed the male dominated theme of my posts it all just kind of fell into place.
The Men of YA and NA Lit
There are not enough. Male writers, male readers, and good strong male characters are completely under-represented in YA and I want to celebrate those that do exist and are doing great things for our beloved YA category. I refer to it as YA but I include mature YA and NA, I just don’t want to have to type it out every time!
Please note that this is just my opinion, but I feel really strongly about the lack or outright hatred of reading that is present in male youth. When I was younger, I lived for reading and I found strength in the books I read, the characters that I related to and the authors I admired. I don’t feel that young men are encouraged to read, nor do I feel that they are nurtured in a healthy way if they do express a love for reading.
This has to change and I hope by highlighting all the great male writers and readers, it will inspire a young man to pick up a book and find the solace in that book that I found many years ago.
Recently, I discovered a website dedicated to male readers called guysread.com and I instantly fell in love! This site covers all genres both fiction and non-fiction, from fantasy to biography, and everything in between. The book featured when I first visited the site was a fictional prequel to Halo, which is amazing in my opinion. The absolute most important thing I want to impress on youth, both female and male, is that you do not have to read ‘smart books’, or classics, or deep literary fiction to be a real reader.
Read about things you are interested in and maybe those books will lead you to other books that you had no idea you could love.
It takes all kinds and no one book or kind of books is superior to another. The thing I am most passionate about is encouraging people to read and write. However, because I write and love YA fiction and my focus is youth, I have decided to stick to that theme otherwise this festival would go on for months!
Over the next two weeks we will look at all the different kinds of male influences that are present in YA from authors, to bloggers, to reviewers, to readers, to our favourite fictional heart-throbs.
My only disclaimer is to remember that this is for fun and every post is the opinion of the author not to be confused with absolute truth or exclusivity. Please be active in the comments and feel free to add your own favourite authors, books or characters. Please post links to your own reviews and blogs but I have placed a pretty heavy filter on my comments so any comment with 2 or more links will be marked as spam.