Welcome to Book Blog Love November! All this month, I’m featuring book blogs that I love and the fabulous female(s) behind them. (Curl Up with a Good Book Sunday and my regular posts resume in December.) Each day in November, I’ll spotlight a different blog whose content ranges from reviews to author interviews and events to book tours. All the bloggers graciously agreed to answer 7 questions about themselves. YA features predominantly in some, and in others is merely part of what they cover. So stick around and get to know these great chicks and the blogs they pour their hearts into. I bet you’ll see some old favs and make some new ones.
Presenting: Vee and GayYA
1) Describe your blog and tell us why you chose that name for it?
GayYA is child-of-queer-book-love blog run by two teenagers. We formed in April of 2011 after Jessica Verday was asked to change her m/m story in the Wicked, Pretty Things anthology to an m/f pairing. The reaction from the YA community was incredible and made it clear to us that there were tons of fans who loved queer YA and they needed a place to talk about it and be heard. We are a blogsite with a purpose – we want to promote LGBTQIA+ Young Adult books, prove that there is a market for them, provide a resource to help people find queer YA, and create a place for everyone to open and participate in discussions about everything related to queer YA.
We decided on GayYA because after the fiasco of April 2011, two of the most popular hashtags and phrases going around were #YesGayYA and Gay in YA. We thought that taking a recognizable term like that with a lot of force behind it would help a community form—and we were right! But if was able to take all I’ve learned and bring it back to that decision process, it would’ve been something more inclusive, something that didn’t try to label the entire queer community as Gay.
2) What are 3 things about you that would surprise people?
The fact that I’ve recently turned seventeen seems to be a thing (or when I was sixteen, the fact that I was sixteen)– I get some of the strangest reactions when I tell people this.
I am a huge Shakespeare nerd. Like you literally have no idea. (But if you want, I’m more than happy to talk about it! ;))
I’m not sure if this will necessarily be a surprise, but I’m a huge believer in fandom and the benefits and wonderment it has for the people involved. Like. HUGE.
3) Why do you love YA? And conversely is there anything that drives you nuts about it?
YA has been part of my life ever since I can remember. My sister was the admin of a popular site and forum for Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, and most of my young life was leading up to the moment when I could finally read the series and join the forum. So… it’s not really that I have a specific reason for loving it. It’s just an irrefutable part of my life.
There are a lot of problematic tendencies in YA. I would go through and point them out, but I think the all-encompassing one is that authors will include problematic things because they’re “realistic.” And I just. That’s so unfair to this generation of teens, and is frankly inaccurate. Sure, there are places where it still goes on, but they are becoming less common, and there’s no need to reinforce it.
4) What book would you fight a zombie horde to save?
Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff
5) If you had a theme song, what would it be and why?
Serious one: “Battle Cry” – Angel Haze feat. Sia Mostly it reminds me of the work I’m doing with the site and the community that has formed. Although there are definitely some verses that do not fit…
Non-serious one, but probably more accurate: “I Ship It” – not literally This is just literally my life. Literally. (Except the siblings thing. No no no to that. Twincest really IS that bad.)
6) What fictional character would you want to date and who would you want for a best friend?
Seth from the Wicked Lovely Series. 5 years later and he is still bae.
Best friend would be Ella from Just Girls by Rachel Gold.
7) What has been the biggest surprise/delight of your blogging career?
Honestly, it was when we put out a call for volunteers and dozens of people responded—professional editors and graphic designers, and also people willing to dedicate time to all of the random piddly things we needed to get done. When you’re behind the scenes on something like this, you sort of forget about the entire community that is there for you. It was just amazing to get so many people on board who were excited about building this up with us.
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