Today’s entry comes from Margot Lloyd, our wonderful head of Young Adult publishing. Read on for some very exclusive sneak peeks at some of the great YA books Wakefield Press will be releasing in the coming weeks and months.
I’m taking over the Wakefield Press diary today to share some thoughts about publishing young adult books in the time of coronavirus.
The first thing I want to say is: all of this is overwhelming. We’re doing our best at Wakefield to not be swept up in panic, but it’s hard.
It’s also reminded me why I love young adult books so much, because they take us back to those electrifying first feelings of finding ourselves when we’re young.
And that gives YA books – even the brand fresh new ones – a sense of nostalgia, especially for us older readers; a sense of the worth in being good people. A sense of safety, and calm.
So, before I say anything else, I want to strongly recommend you keep your intake of non-bullshit news sources and young adult books high over the coming months.
You’ll need both.
Until a couple of weeks ago, it was – at Wakefield as everywhere – business as normal for us.
We were looking forward to the release of Poppy Nwosu’s vivacious and hilarious teen romance, Taking Down Evelyn Tait, on 1 April.
And the first glowing pre-release reviews were flowing in for Gina Inverarity’s cli-fi fairytale retelling, Snow (presciently exploring how a society copes when everything is shut down), scheduled for release in May.
We’d already been blown away by the support for Lisa Walker’s hilarious and lovable girl detective story, The Girl with the Gold Bikini, released in February, and I had just finished the first edit of a fantasy adventure by Mallee Boys author Charlie Archbold, Indigo Owl, due for release in September.
Normally, I could predict the trajectory of these books, to a certain extent. We’d send them out for reviews, get the good word flowing, have an exuberant (always exuberant!) launch, get the author into radio booths and online print, and the books would fly off the shelves and into readers’ arms.
At that point, I’d check in on reviews and get teary-eyed reading about how much people had fallen in love with the characters, or the witty storytelling, or the message behind the action.
But now the launches have been cancelled, and the reviews, interviews and online excitement have been overwhelmed by endless pandemic updates.
What I do know is that these books – these precious, wondrous stories – have already made lives better. They’re funny, they’re riveting, they’re sad, they’re uplifting.
They’re written by the pluckiest bunch of Australian and Kiwi authors you could ever hope to meet.
And they deserve, more than anything, to be read.
So I’ve decided to let slip a little of three of them out into the world for free. A taster, if you will, so you can work out which ones to take into the bunker with you.
Here’s to keeping safe, and calm, and finding the worth in being good over the months to come.
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