Call me pessimistic, but I don't believe in "happily ever after." The girl doesn't always get the guy, and the only miracles that usually happen to me are when I find a dollar bill in my jeans pocket (which doesn't happen as often as I'd like). Because of this, I like my reading and writing just like my desserts--dark (brownies, fudge cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies? Bliss!).
And it's not like I'm eternally grumpy. I love to laugh (Modern Family is hilarious), and I cry from good news on a weekly basis (thank you very much, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition). Also, I'm a school counselor, so part of my job is to smile and make other people feel better. But the other half of my job is spent listening to students share stories about bullying, broken homes, and other things too disturbing to mention. They say write what you know--and my experience shows me that life isn't always butterflies and rainbows.
But this needs to change.
As Quita mentioned earlier this week, we attended the Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Annual Conference this past weekend--and it was mentioned on the agents' panel that YA is much too dark these days. In fact, some of the agents are hoping for a resurgence in "lighter, humorous" YA. I'd like to take a stab at light-hearted, contemporary fiction--I'm even scrapping my original NaNoWriMo idea to go in this direction. But I'm like Carol Anne, I need help "stepping into the light."
This is where you, my lovely followers, come in. Do you have any recommendations for light-hearted contemporary YA? I'm not a fan of cheesy, but I'd like to know there's more out there than just heartache. Thanks!