Friday, December 28, 2007

Introductions

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."

--J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

Let's skip the lousy childhood tales, but provide some sort of introduction, since not everyone who will be participating on this blog knows each other. Rather than create many posts for this one topic, jump into the comments section here and introduce yourself. Maybe tell us who you are, where you are, and whatever other information seems relevant (what YA you like best, what you do for a job, what you're working on, etc).

17 comments:

Amanda said...

I live in Minnesota (and dream of moving back to Boston), where I stay home with Callum, who is 19 months old. In the past 10 years I have worked as a children's bookseller for both B&N (in Mankato, MN, where I met Matthew, my husband, who is in his 11th year with B&N) and The Children's Book Shop (in Brookline, MA), and as a children's librarian. Like many people on this blog, I got my M.A. in Children's Literature from Simmons College, in Boston. I write book reviews for KLIATT, Voice of Youth Advocates, and Horn Book Guide. I read almost solely realistic fiction when it comes to YA.

ericalina said...

i'm an editor for the juvenile trade division of houghton mifflin. i've not yet edited any YA books -- mostly non-fiction (go TRACKING TRASH! and EMI!) and some upcoming middle grade novels. I have a bachelor's in English with a concentration in writing from Simmons. I worked at the Children's Book Shop (where I met Amanda and Leo) for 5 years. I am not a fan of fantasy. I go for the realistic stuff. The last (HMCO) YA book I read was BOY TOY. The last (non-HMCO) YA book I read was BEFORE I DIE. My dream is to edit the perfect dog book.

Cassandra Mortmain said...

I'm an aspiring children's librarian, current children's bookseller (at Curious George Goes to Wordsworth), and former regular/de facto employee at the Children's Bookshop in Brookline Village, which is how I know Amanda. And, possibly, Ericalina- if she remembers me.

My actual name is Margaret, but my google identity is a good place to start with "what YA I like" as its taken from one of my favorite YA novels, I Capture the Castle. I definitely enjoy realistic YA, although I tend to go in more for comedies (Louise Rennison!) and upbeat coming of age stories (Joan Bauer, the aforementioned Dodie Smith, JOHN GREEN) than problem novels- although I can adore those too. Unlike Amanda and Ericalina, however, I also adore YA Fantasy, from the slightly-trashy-but-satisfying (Tamora Pierce) to the unbelievably brilliant (Philip Pullman) and everything inbetween (Garht Nix, Lloyd Alexander, Patricia C. Wrede, Libba Bray, etc.).

Just over 6 months out of college (Kenyon College in Ohio) and only clocking in at 22 years of age, I think I might be both the youngest and least qualified member of the group, but I promise to work hard at my posts so I won't drag down the blog's intelligence level too much :)

ericalina said...

ha, margaret, i do remember you and you are hardly "least" qualified!

Jen said...

Wow, it's like a book shop reunion here! Afer working at a few educational publishing houses around Boston--as well as every other Sunday at the children's book shop for the past six years-- I'm moving to Dayton, Ohio in five days, and can't wait to begin my new job. I'll be supervising the reading/language arts editorial group for Mazer Creative Services, and doing a lot of work with classroom materials.

I also got my M.A. in Children's Literature at Simmons, which is where I first met Amanda (and Jess and Bindy and others).

I want to read whatever you folks want to read. YA isn't usually my first choice (I read a lot of middle grade books), and am looking forward to expanding my library.

Julie said...

Nice to meet everyone! I live in Minnesota, where I had the pleasure of working with Amanda at a public library for a year. I'm in my second year as a reference librarian at a college in MN and I also have a degree in theology, which almost never comes in handy, even in Trivial Pursuit. I mainly read current "adult" fiction (Ann Patchett, Richard Russo) but am finding that I want to read YA more and more, mainly because I can't usually put them down. The newest Libba Bray is waiting for me at home and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

I am visiting family in PA right now and just picked up a copy of our first book today - it looks great and I suspect it will carry me through a few connecting flights on the way home. I also write (mainly fiction) and am planning on doing it more regularly this year - we'll see how that goes...

rebecca said...

Hi, I'm Rebecca. I have an MA in CHL from Simmons, and I know many of these folks from there. I live in Cambridge. I review for Kirkus. I also write critical children's lit articles now and then. The published ones have been about either fat politics and children's lit, or queer theory and children's lit.

Love fantasy, love realism, love historical fiction, love archetypal fiction. Hate horror and graphic novels. Love YA, love middle grade, love picturebooks. Am woefully ignorant about childen's poety and early chapter books.

Cassandra/Margaret, you work at Curious George? I'm in there all the time, wandering around to see what the final version looks like of books I reviewed in ARC format. We should figure out who we are. :D

Leo Landry said...

Okay, so I live in Easton, MA and I too worked with Amanda (and Jen, and Erica, etc...) at The Children's Book Shop. Now I write and illustrate books for little ones, mostly picture books but a few early chapter books, too.
I mostly like to read middle grade books or any age fantasy, and am off of realistic YA lately (except for Louise Rennison but isn't that really fantasy, anyways?) but I'll give this a try.
And so far, I seem to be the only boy here!

Jess said...

I now live in Toronto (after moving from Boston to Maine to Ohio) and work off-and-on as a freelance writer, and I'm also completing my first YA novel (after working on it for about 2 years). I also work with and tutor--as a volunteer--elementary-school kids. I met Amanda, Bindy, Rebecca, and Jen while at Simmons College for my M.A. in Children's Literature. I'd say my favorite genre is realistic YA fiction, but I read just about anything and everything and there's no genre I don't like, although I don't know nearly enough about picture books! Since I've never had a real scientific method for finding great new books to read, I'm excited about everybody's suggestions and about the book club in general.

kc said...

Hi everyone! This is fun. I live in Jacksonville FL because my sister lured me down here under false pretenses ("The summer heat is rejuvenating, really!") Just kidding, I do like it here, I'm just not sure how much longer I'll stay. Anyway, I'm from PA (Julie, where's your family? Mine's in the northeast...) but got my MA in children's lit at Simmons like many others in this group. I'm an educational writer and a writer of YA, with my debut novel (a fantasy called GRACELING) coming out in October 2008 with Harcourt, woot-woot! (My apologies to the fantasy non-fans in the group!) Fantasy #2, FIRE, will come out in October 2009, and I'm currently slogging through the beginning of fantasy #3, which will never come out because it is going to kill me. I also write realistic stuff but don't anticipate having the time to focus on it much until these fantasies are a bit more under control. As far as what I love to read, I tend to like all genres, and am so excited about that this group! Nice to meet you all.

kc said...

btw, didn't mean to be mysterious about my identity. i'm kristin, and go by kristin or kc.

Dawn said...

Hey there - I'm Dawn, and I'm yet another one of those Simmons M.A.-types. I have a special love for young adult novels and though it's not my current paying gig, I'm working on writing my own. I live in Somerville, MA, work in Brookline (a stone's throw from the Bookshop)and when I get around to it I update my blog dedicated to representations of sexuality in young adult novels (avengingsybil.typepad.com). So happy to be a part of the Misfits!

Sharona said...

Hello all-

I'm Sherry and have similar resumes to all of you: MA in Children's Lit from University of Surrey Roehampton, MLS from Simmons, have worked (still! Just this past Sunday!) at The Children's Book Shop in Brookline and The Lion and Unicorn in London, all that good stuff. I'm currently a children's librarian for Boston and work in Allston, by far the most beautiful library around.

I read everything except sci-fi (am currently in that last crazy push to read everything that might possibly win the Newbery or Printz) but I will unfortunately warn you that I do not have a computer at home so though I may be lurking around, I may not post very much. But I promise you I'll read everything that's chosen!

Cassandra Mortmain said...

I can also do Sherry re-con, as I have a computer, know Sherry well, and live around the corner from her library. Maybe some of my post will be interviews with Sherry!

Also, I clearly need to got on getting my MA from Simmons. I feel so left out!

Dana said...

Hi there, All. I'm Dana. I live in New York City right this minute (though my brother thinks I will not be satisfied until I have lived in all the cities in Baseball's AL East after stints in Boston and Baltimore). I, too, am a Simmons girl, a few classes short of the MS in ChLit. My resume looks a lot like the ones you guys have! I have taught preschool, been a children's librarian in schools and pub. libraries, been an editor,etc. I am excited to be part of a group that is as crazy about children's books as I am! Never been on a blog before, so I apologize in advance for any technological mistakes I make when I post. I will be lurking at first to get the hang of it. Love to all of you I already know, and a hearty hello to those of you I don't!

Julie said...

Hi KC - I married into the PA family - they're in Bethlehem (and also Nazareth - love those Moravians). So it was Christmas in the Christmas City, which was fun. Is Bethlehem anywhere near where you're from?

kristin said...

hey there julie-- ha! those town names always crack me up. i'm from the middle of the country in NE PA, near the susquehanna river, about 25 miles from scranton. i've never been to bethlehem, but it's been recommended to me as a nice college town (i'm currently shopping for nice college towns in PA :)