Our Masterpieces...Err, Our Novels

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

RTW: Gotta Question For Ya...

Writing Song of the Day: "Question!" by System of a Down

Woo hoo, a little late to the party, but once again it's Road Trip Wednesday!! Here's this week question from the lovely ladies of YA Highway:

Interactive Q&A. Post a question on your blog then travel the highway answering others' questions!

You liked how they flipped it on us, huh? We're the ones asking the questions this week. Let's get this party started:

Pam's Question: Okay, I'm a little obsessed with Publishers Marketplace. By obsessed, I mean I check it at least twice a day to see all the new YA deals. I've noticed that when most people receive 3-book deals, it's usually for dystopians or paranormals. I'm a fan of both genres, but my first love is contemporary, realistic fiction. My question is--

Aside from the Gossip Girl/The Clique/etc. series (though I have nothing against them), can you think of any realistic, contemporary trilogies? If not, why do you think these aren't so popular?

Quita's Question: Just like Pam, I'm also a fan of contemporary YA--but I also teach history, so I have love there, too. *pokes Pam because she's falling asleep* I've written both contemporary and historical YA manuscripts separately, but I'd love to combine the two. Here's the twist--I'd love to do that without using the classic: "Lookie here, I've discovered a letter/journal from the past" method. My question is--

Can you suggest any books that combines both historical and contemporary in a creative way?

We know we can count on you guys. You rawk!! :)


Holly Hill said...

Pam, I can't think of any trilogies, but Gale Foreman's If I Stay is two books.

Quita, umm...Steampunk? lol Or, oh, have you read The Eternal Ones? It has a little paranormal thrown into the mix though. :)

Unknown said...

Pam - trilogies do seem to fall more into the paranormal or dystopian realm. The only example that pops into my head is IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman. Sarah Dessens books are a very loose example too. While all of her stories have different main characters, they all take place in the same town and often a super minor character in one book pops up as the MC in a later book. So they're the same world but not an actual series.

Quita - There are lots of great YA historical's but very few cross over to conteporary. The first title that comes to mind is "Briar Rose" by Jane Yolen. It came out several years ago but is a great book that tells a holocost survival story in the form of Sleeping Beauty.

Leah Rae Miller said...

Pam: I just read Anna and the Frenchkiss which is completely, crazy, awesome! Contemporary YA romance at it's best! I believe Stephanie Perkins has a 3 book deal. She's working on the second book now :)

Quita: Sorry, I have no answer. I couldn't think of a darn one...

Alicia Gregoire said...

Pam: The Jessica Darling series is contemp and was five books. (Though I sorta ignore book 4.)

Quita: The only thing I can think of is if a bunch of kids end up working at a living museum for the summer.

Abby Stevens said...

Let's see...

Pam, THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS series isn't strictly contemporary (the pants are a little bit of magical realism), but they definitely aren't para or dystopian, and there's 4 of those.

Quita, I love Lauren Willig's PINK CARNATION series. They do involve letters as the connection to history, but instead of stumbling upon the letters, Willig's MC, Eloise, is a grad student writing her thesis on women spies and is digging through historical records all over England to learn more about Regency-era spies such as the Pink Carnation, Scarlett Pimpernel, Purple Gentian, etc. The stories weave back and forth between Eloise's antics in modern London (and a maybe-romance with the descendent of her favorite flowery spy) and the happenings of the spies back in 1803ish London and Napoleonic France. I LOVE these books!

KatOwens: Insect Collector said...

Pam- Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen come to mind... but they're more repeat singletons than series. You are so right: it seems to be more about the para/dys books for the multi-deals.

Have to say, Abby- I have that book (pink carnation) in my TBR pile and it's shooting like a rocket to the top after that description. I didn't know what it was about!

Quita- the only ones I can think of involve time travel... so (not YA- the Gabaldon outlander books) or Mandy Hubbard's Prada and Prejudice.

What if it was something like the Butterfly Effect, where the letter/journal actually transports the person... not just that someone has these long interludes reading about something else. I agree the letters/journal thing is overdone (confession: I'm planning it for one of my books!)

Pam Harris said...

Wow, we knew we could count on you all! So many great suggestions so far. :)

Kate Hart said...

Pam - I've definitely noticed that, but I have no more explanation than you do. :\

Quita - I thought I had a good answer and then realized you said didn't use the diary thing. LOL Hm... Sherman Alexie's Flight! Yes! From way downtown. (I'm high-fiving myself.)

Emy Shin said...

Pam -- There are also Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls Books (I'D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU), Meg Cabot's Princess Dairies series, and e. lockhart's The Boyfriend List series.

Quita -- I'm sorry, I can't think of any. : (

Sarah Nicolas said...

pam: I honestly think paranormals have more series potential than contemps because they often have these huge save-the-world overreaching arcs that take a while to get through. I'm surprised no one has mentioned BABYSITTER'S CLUB and its less popular cousin SLEEPOVER FRIENDS and SWEET VALLEY HIGH. But those were back in the day! Ally Carter has a few contemporary series too.

Quita: hmph... Oh, what? Sorry. I was napping with Pam over there ;) seriously though I'm just not a fan of historicals. Sorry :(

Amie Kaufman said...

Pam - good question! I can think of quite a few I think could be a series, but I'm struggling to think of any that are.

Quita - if you're interested in MG historical that combines with the real/current world, I recommend an Australian book called PLAYING BEATIE BOW by Ruth Park. It's an oldie but a goodie.

Sophia said...

Pam- I'm with Sarah Nicolas, I think dystopian and paranormal books are given trilogy deals because they have world spanning issues. The only examples of a YA contemporary trilogy/series I can think of are old ones, The Sweet Valley High series and two trilogies by Kate Cann (Coll and Art, Hard Cash) but those were British as well as early 2000 so you may not have heard of them!

Quita- No examples leap to mind but I know there are some time-travel stories out there that combine the two.
- Sophia.

Racquel Henry said...

Ugh! You guys are putting me on the spot. Lol...I can't think of any off the top of my head, but I do like to go to the book store (sometimes too much) and read the back covers of random novels. If I come across any of these examples I'll let you know! :)