When I was living in Alaska, I saw a lot of wildlife in the wild. I saw brown bears, black bears, moose, foxes, beluga whales, and other animals while I was hiking – often they were not far from town. It’s an absolutely stunning state, especially in the summer. The one creature I never saw was a penguin because there are no penguins in Alaska. Still, tourists would continue to ask waitstaff, grocery store clerks, and random strangers: How can I see the penguins?Continue reading Why I Wrote ‘There Are No Penguins in Alaska’
Upon release of his fourth installation in the Michael Vey series, Author Richard Paul Evans wrote a letter in response to some fans asking why he would write young adult fiction when they want to read something else. In spite of these protests, the number of comic con attendees that call themselves Veyniacs attests to the popularity of Vey and his adventures.
Evans says that Vey bucks the trend of dystopia and pride that much of young adult fiction subscribes to. Vey himself experiences Tourette’s syndrome, but doesn’t allow his disability to define him. He offers a character that others who experience disabilities can relate to.
This positivity combined with the moral aesthetic of Vey conveys hope that the world needs right now. Rather than focusing on the possible outcomes that lead to dystopia, Evans has created a place where people value loyalty and friendship while trying to make the world better.
While the Vey series doesn’t lack for strong female characters, Evans says that he has come under fire for making a male hero at a time when Hollywood has focused on female heroes of The Hunger Games, Divergent and Twilight. Yet, male role models, even fictional ones, are important to help keep boys reading and involved in life.
Evans makes an appeal in his letter to all of his fans:
“So even if you don’t think Michael Vey is for you, the cause may be. I invite you to join the cause, because this is one where we can make a difference shaping culture. Introduce Michael Vey to your children, your grandchildren, to a neighbor. Purchase a copy or two and donate it to your school or church. Many schools have library waiting lists for Michael Vey numbering in the hundreds. (Trust me, if you’re 300 on the waiting list, you’re not going to get to read it.)”
By buying the books that deliver a message that is uplifting and important to others, readers can make a difference not only in the lives of others but in culture itself. The success of a certain book will prompt the creation of other stories that are along the same lines. For anyone who wants not only more from a certain author but also more of the same type of story, voting with dollars and social media support is a good way to ensure that publishers and movie makers listen to the demand.
This article was originally published at examiner.com. The links have been updated September 2019.
In “The Voyage of the Entdecker” by B.A. Simmons, a small group decides to take on the outpost of an empire in an effort to free the natives and send a message that these seas are dangerous. They realize they are outmanned and outgunned; they will have to use hunting tactics if they want to have any success.Continue reading Two Takeaways from ‘The Voyage of the Entdecker’