Our Masterpieces...Err, Our Novels

Friday, February 17, 2012

Free Friday: Shall I Compare Thee...

Reading Song of the Day: "Nothing Compares To You" by Sinead O'Conner

It's hard out there for a writer. No, I'm not just channeling the infamous rap lyrics from Terrence Howard's critically acclaimed movie, Hustle and Flow. I'm talking about competitive book titles. Like Pam discussed last Wednesday, there are always books out there that seem similar to your idea...and when you're trying to sell your book you need to know what your competition is.

And that's where I'm at with my book, In Limbo, right now. My awesome agent, Jennie Goloboy, and I are trying to come up with books to compare to my 1918 interracial love story/adventure novel. Who knew that the search would be so hard? So far, I've come up with the following books as comparable titles:

Laurie Halse Anderson's Fever, 1793 (for the epidemic element)

Karen Hesse's A Time of Angels (it's also about the Spanish Influenza in 1918)

Anna Godberson's Bright Young Things (because it's about two teenagers who leave home in search of something more)

But the major thing that these books are missing is a black female protagonist. Hmmm, isn't this a problem that we've been hearing/talking about for a while now in the YA field? I have Pam to thank (my Alpha reader) for giving me this unique edge to my novel b/c, as I've said before, SJ was once white. Since I made that change, it has made it very hard to find a comparable book that is very close to the premise of In Limbo--which is a good thing, but when you're trying to fill in the competition section of your Book Proposal, it's a little frustrating.

With that being said, do you guys think you can help me out? Know of any YA historicals that have a black female protag who falls for a white boy??


Alicia Gregoire said...

Good luck on finding the comp. I got nothing for you on that. (Except now I can't get that song out of my head...)

Racquel Henry said...

Quita, good luck with this. I can't think of any, but I'll keep my eyes peeled. And maybe it's not such a bad thing that they are lacking black female protagonists. That means that the literary world is waiting for you! :)

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I wish I knew of something! It sounds like we need a book like yours STAT.

Lisa-Marie Jordan said...

I haven't heard of any books like that either. Sounds like you're breaking new literary ground with this book!