Summer's over. Time to get back to work -- as a publisher. I'm still writing; "No Teammates in Motocross," a sequel of sorts to "Motocross Summer." But getting books into readers' hands is "a whole 'nutha trip."
I started after reading a middle-grade" novel about a kid who fell off a roof and sustained a head injury. My granddaughter loaned it to me as she knew I'd worked with TBI survivors for years. What I read resorted to a cliched view of TBI. The protagonist had total amnesia. Otherwise, other than a shoulder-injury, he was fine.
That hardly is a realistic picture. In over 30 years I never met anyone who'd lost all memories of anything. I also had met few people who didn't need therapy to walk. talk. or otherwise regain lost capabilities. This was a serious issue, too. This wasn't going to be a fun read, it should have been an insightful one.
I started my "research" at a local Barnes & Noble as I wanted to get a picture of what was popular in the mainstream. I browsed. First in the Young Adult section. My initial question was were there any books for a kid into motor racing, motorcycles or any other kind of motorized adventure. Yeah -- right! I started looking for any books set in any world of sports. I found one. There was a boy and a girl and a football on the cover. The title was "You Throw Like a Girl" and it more explored an issue than playing any kind of ball.
I browsed and browsed some more. What I saw were mean-looking kids looking over their shoulders at other kids. Some showed boys and girls, many just girls. They mostly were reacting, to something. They weren't having fun.
There also was an entire section devoted to LGBDQ-focused stories. Okay. it's not that these aren't important issues that should be explored (an I won't even go into the whole issue over not making poor little white boys feel guilty). But how do you get a kid to want to read when you keep making them deal with "issues" to do it. How do you even write a LGBDQ novel. What do these kids do that's different from other kids. What, a transgender kid doesn't have interests? Wouldn't THEY enjoy reading about baseball, or a rock band, or going to the moon?
I'm trying to write books that are fun to read, at least to the kids who might like racing, including the girls and minorty-kids who do it in the books.
Any bookstore's out there that get it?