Great post from Kiersten White about why she writes YA: "Everything is huge and new and important, but you still get to be silly, you still get to screw up, you still get to goof off. I love the raw emotions of adolescence, the slipperiness of self, the angst of trying to figure out where you fit and where you want to fit."
The divine Andrea Seigel is running a giveaway competition for a copy of her new novel, The Kid Table, which will be out from Bloomsbury in September. (It's fabulous. And Andrea is one of my favorite, favorite writers working today.) All you have to do to win is write about what one of her tattoos means to you–it's a pear wearing a thong. You also win a personalized Perler figurine. Contest open until Aug. 24.
The Washington Post has a piece on pseudonyms–which doesn't really go into the forced pseudonym to revive a career or ditch a bad sales record phenom, more and more common these days–from which I learned that JD Robb sometimes outsells Nora Roberts, and The Bell Jar was originally published under the name Victoria Lucas because Plath feared her mother's reaction.
I finally got around to YS Lee's A Spy in the House, the first in her YA series about Mary Quinn, a girl saved from the gallows, schooled and starting life as an operative in a secret women's detective agency in Victorian London. The second, A Body at the Tower, released last week, and Lee went on a great blog tour where she talked about should-be-more-famous ladies of the period and writery topics; you can find links to all the posts at the final Book Smugglers stop.