After reading this interview, I’m pretty sure Libba Bray is going at the top of my “We Need to Be Friends Please” list. This alone gets my vote of awesome:
CultureMap: You say that it was “love at first sight” for you with YA. What drew you to it?
Libba Bray: I just read this great quote by Junot Diaz, he was talking about true intimacy, and he was saying that it was the willingness to be vulnerable and to be found out. That’s what I felt that YA did. It wasn’t pretentious, and it wasn’t hiding its heart. It wanted to be found out…
It felt like those moments when you go to a party and you’re standing around for a long time, going, I don’t fit in here, what am I going to talk to these people about? And everybody’s getting drunk, and then you find this one person, and you end up sitting in some corner talking about all these arcane things.
And then before you know it you’re having a conversation about the meaning of life and it’s four o’clock in the morning. That kind of feeling, that kind of intimacy — I felt like that’s what I got from YA.
I feel like this is the perfect way to describe a career in YA. When I was in college and grad school, most of my fellow writers focused on literary fiction. There’s a lot about literary fiction I like, but it never felt as compelling to me as YA. Like Bray says, I feel that YA isn’t “hiding its heart.” I love that there’s so much heart.