Writing

MySpace Books Features Boy Toy

It’s one of those “good news/bad news” situations.

The good news is this: the MySpace Books page is featuring Boy Toy, with a review that reads (in part), “Like Laurie Halse Andersen’s Speak and Sarah Dessen’s Just Listen, two young-adult classics, this is a thoughtful, readable novel about overcoming trauma and its attendant social alienation by learning to talk about an unspeakable act of betrayal and abuse.”

The bad news is that therer are people commenting on the review and it’s MySpace, so it’s like the Wild West. For the most part, it’s folks who haven’t read the book, just jumping in on the basis of the review and saying snotty stuff.

Now let’s get something straight: I don’t mind people saying negative things about my work…as long as they’ve actually read it!

If they haven’t read it… Well, I don’t understand why they would say anything in the first place.

Oh, well. The review itself isn’t bad. If you’ve read read Boy Toy and you’re on MySpace, cruise on over to the review and post your thoughts — good or bad.

Two More Books

It looks like the news has hit Publishers Lunch and Publishers Weekly, so I guess it’s cool to talk about it: Yes, I’ve got a second book deal.

Like the first one, this deal is with Houghton Mifflin (yay!) and it’s for two books. The first of these is Hero-Type. You can find a quick description of it here. The description in PW is…true. But not complete. That’s not all the book is about, though it’s the catalyst for everything that happens.

Hero-Type is a nerve-wracking book for me. It’s a different sort of writing. I mean, don’t get me wrong — it’s still got the hallmarks of the first two books: The small town setting (yes, it’s in Brookdale…and yes, there are references to the first two books), the first-person narration, the present tense.

But the main character — a kid named Kross — is very different from Fanboy and Josh, both of whom were extraordinarily brilliant in their own distinct ways. Kross is a lot less polished than those guys. His diction is different. He lacks the practical and emotional vocabularies that Fanboy and Josh could rely on.

So the book felt very different in the writing. And while it’s clearly written by the same guy, it’s a very different beast that the first two. I didn’t want to just look at Boy Toy and say, “Hmm. Well, that worked, so I’ll do another one just like it.” I wanted to try something a little bit different.

You can look forward to Hero-Type in Fall 2008. Just in time for the election. Ah, delicious… 🙂

As to the second book? Not ready to talk about it yet. But when I am, y’all will be the first to know.

Some More Boy Toy Reactions…

Thanks to Gretchen at Sellers Library, I’ve got some more teen reactions to Boy ToyCheck ’em out.

Boy Toy and BookSense

BookSense has listed Boy Toy on its roster of Fall 2007 Children’s Picks!

The great Jennifer Laughran of Books, Inc. in San Francisco is quoted as saying, “‘Teacher Has Scandalous Affair with Schoolboy!’ Sound familiar? If you think you know what’s behind those headlines, you’re wrong. This novel is shocking, devastating, and brilliant. Barry Lyga is a major new talent.”

Special thanks to Not Your Mother’s Book Club for the heads-up!

Tess Has it Right

So, as I sit here, Boy Toy is sorta-kinda out there. The book was deliberately shipped early to stores, but not everyone got the memo, so some stores have put it out already, and others are waiting on the original (late September) street date before putting it out.

I was going to write a little essay here about how strange and exhilirating and terrifying it is when your book comes out, but then what should appear in my RSS reader but Tess Gerritsen’s blog entry today about… Why, look — the exact same thing!

Tess gets it right and says it better than I would have. Go read her instead.