Ultimate YA

Ultimate YA is an organization that promotes young adult literature (YA lit) and reading. We feature one YA lit author per month. Each feature includes a short bio of the author, as well as fun facts and an interview. 

In addition to our features, we post quotes and memes of the week that relate to books, writing, and/or reading. We also post anything else that we find interesting regarding reading and writing.

Are you interested in being a guest blogger? If so email ChinLin at chinlinpan@ultimateya.com.

If you are an author and would like to be featured, send an email to lizmiller@ultimateya.com. If approved, then pay here for the feature.
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Dear followers, friends and the rest of the world,

This month marks our first month featuring a MALE author.  Whoa snap!  Who’d have thought that we’d be so inadvertently sexist?!  Lucky for us all, that is now over.  Furthermore, what is also lucky, is that Sean Beaudoin is awesome!  As an example of Sean’s fabulous wit, here is something off his site written from the perspective of the main character from his book Going Nowhere Faster (which I highly recommend):

Some Advice I, Stan Smith, Can Give You, The Potential Reader:

1. Ask your mom for some cash. If she says no, slip a twenty from her purse and buy this. Or, even better, have your best friend pretend to faint by the register and stuff this in your sweatpants while the clerk freaks out and checks for a pulse.

2. My therapist, Dr. Feldman, says #2 isn’t very nice or funny. He says stealing is “Off the hook”. He says a lot of things. Ignore him.

3. Someone keeps vandalizing my bike. What kind of person vandalizes a bike? On the other hand, what 18 year-old still rides one? My mother believes in karma. My father believes in math. I believe that some big-forehead game show host should knock on my door and give me a Ferrari. And one of those enormous cardboard checks. When someone with a cardboard check knocks on your door, answer it.

4. If you buy this and bring it into the school cafeteria and stand on a table and read parts of it out loud in a hammy Canadian accent, your popularity will increase exponentially.

5. Pick a phrase. “Love is like a rock” for instance. No matter what question anyone asks you, use this phrase as an answer. Do it for two full weeks. When every single person you know is finally, amazingly, incredibly furious, give in and blame this book.”

Currently, I am reading Sean’s most recent book, Fade to Blue.  I’m almost halfway through, and I think it’s awesome too!  So, listen to Stan and do what you can to pick up Going Nowhere Faster!  And you could also check out Fade to Blue…

Enjoy, and stay tuned because tomorrow I’ll be posting Sean’s mini-bio!!!


Liz Miller

Via YANews:

Cover for Gone, the third book in the Wake trilogy, by Lisa McMann. Out 2/9/10.

Our first Featured Author’s second book, Fade, just came out today!  Check it out!  (You can buy it on Amazon, your local bookstore, or any where else you can find it)

Her next book, Gone, is due to come out next February.

Lisa is active online and can be found on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter,
Goodreads, Shelfari, and her blog.

You can also discuss Lisa McMann’s books, her interview, or anything else about her with fellow readers on our own Facebook page!

1. Why did you choose write books for young adults?

I’m not sure. That’s just how it worked out. Whenever I sat down to write
a novel, the characters all seemed to be young adults. I just really
resonate with YA and I’ve always loved it. Teens rock.

2. What is your favorite book? Your favorite author?

ACK! These are the hardest questions ever and the answers change every
day. If you want to see what I’m reading or what I’ve rated, check out my
goodreads.com page.

3. How did you feel when “Wake” became the bestselling paranormal
novel for teens?

When WAKE hit the New York Times bestseller list, I was shocked and amazed
and thrilled to pieces. It was the best feeling ever. (And it still is!)

4. With which character in your stories do you identify yourself most?

I can relate to all of them at least a little bit, but one of my favorite
characters and the one I think is most like me is Captain. Except she’s
way cooler and funnier than me.

5. Some authors work during the day. Some at night. What is your
typical writing day schedule?

When I’m writing, I write intensely from about 8:20 a.m. until 3:20 p.m.
(when my kids are in school). I can’t get much accomplished after that
point in the day — my brain is fried by then.

6. “Fade” is expected to come out February 24, 2009. Would you give
your readers a sneak peek of what is going to happen?

Actually, the date got moved up slightly (yay, right?) to February 10,
2009. And WAKE comes out in paperback on January 6, 2009. They are both
available for pre-order — just check your favorite online bookseller.

What’s going to happen? Well…here’s what will go on the front cover flap:

For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams.
They’re just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no
such luck. Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High,
yet nobody’s talking. When Janie taps into a classmate’s violent
nightmares, the case finally breaks open—but nothing goes as planned.
Not even close. Janie’s in way over her head, and Cabe’s shocking
behavior has grave consequences for them both.
Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability. And
it’s bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a Dream
Catcher sealed, but what’s to come is way darker than she’d even

7. What advice can you give to an aspiring writer?

Never try to rush it. If you don’t have patience, this is the wrong
business for you. When you are writing, one of the most important parts of
the writing process is to put the book away for a while and then come back
to it so you can re-read your work with fresh eyes and fix the things that
are broken.

I get a lot of email from teenagers who are writing novels and they want
to be published by whatever age — like 18 or something. I suggest putting
that goal aside and make a new goal to be a really GREAT writer, no matter
how long it takes. It’s very hard to get published and sometimes it takes
many years of writing practice novels before you get it right.

8. Your writing style is different than any I, personally, have ever read because it is entirely written in the present tense. Did you have a particular reason for writing it this way?

I think it’s the combination of present tense and third person that seems so different. I didn’t set out to write it that way — it just came out like that. The first bit I ever wrote about Janie can be found on the top of page 68 — that was written before I really even knew what the story would turn into. It fit nicely in that section of the book, though.

9. What do you do when you encounter the dreaded writer’s block?

Read and watch movies. Seriously. Nothing is more motivating and inspiring than that.

10. Do you see any other storylines in the future; other characters that visit you in dreams/etc that are just waiting to come out of your pen?

I get a lot of my ideas when I’m dreaming or half-awake. I hope there will be many more characters and storylines coming to me that way.

11. How much of your personal life to you tend to bring to your stories?

Not a lot. I don’t base characters on real people. Just some of the small details might come from something I’ve seen or heard or experienced at some point.

12. How long did it take for you to get published? How difficult was the road to getting published?

WAKE is the third novel I wrote but the first one to get published. I’m lucky in that I write quickly, and I’ll always be glad that I was able to set those first two novels aside when things weren’t selling and press on with a third one. That said, I wrote WAKE in the summer of 2006, got my awesome agent in September of that same year (so, REALLY quickly), and got a two-book deal with Simon Pulse in January of 2007. It all went very quickly and like I said, I was lucky.

Well, that’s all that I can think of for now! I would like to thank you once again for giving us this opportunity to get to know you and ask you these questions. The experience has been awesome! :)  Thank you once again!

Thank you so much, Liz! It’s been fun!

1.  “Money was tight when I was a kid. In eighth grade I had two pairs of pants. They were the exact same color — blue and white pinstripe. So it looked like I was wearing the same pants every day! Soooo embarrassing.”

2.  “I have been in two car accidents in my life, and both of them happened in the same week when I was a senior in high school (neither of them was my fault).”

3.  “I played the violin from 4th grade all the way through high school. My mother made me — I wanted to play the drums.”

4.  “I drink Diet Coke for breakfast every day.”

5.  “I’m ambidextrous in most things like sports but I always write left-handed.”

6.  “I tried really hard in school but I was never a stellar student. I was a solid B- except in English and literature courses, where I mostly got As (but not in penmanship — blech!)”

7.  “I have two older brothers and a younger sister. My sister and I get along really well now but I could.not.stand.her when we were kids.”

8.  “I love teenagers and I love old people and I love the connections they can have with each other, like Janie and Miss Stubin. You’ll find teens and older folks in many of the stories I write.”

Lisa McMann was born and raised in western Michigan, near Lake Michigan, where the winters are snowy and the summers (and the beaches) rule. From age 12 she babysat and picked blueberries in the summers to make money for school clothes. At 15 she worked in a printing company part time and then at 17 got a job at a children’s bookstore called Pooh’s Corner. She worked there on and off through high school and college and eventually became the manager.

Meanwhile, she married a singer named Matt and they had two children, a son who is now 14 and a daughter, 11.

After the kids were born, Lisa went into real estate. She sold houses for seven years, and wrote short stories as a hobby. One of them won a $10,000 prize and that’s when Lisa started thinking about writing as a career.

In 2004, Lisa, Matt and the kids all moved to Arizona. It was the perfect opportunity for Lisa to transition into writing full-time. She wrote two novels before WAKE (she calls them her practice novels); they remain unpublished at this point. She thinks one has potential and the other is a disaster. She wrote WAKE in the summer of 2006, found an agent quickly and got a 2-book deal with Simon Pulse in January of 2007.