I am moderating a panel this fall at the at New England Crime Bake. It is entitled “High School Murder: Writing the Young Adult Mystery”. My panelists are Beth Kanell, Peter Abrahams, Kate Burak, and Kim Harrington. YA is a very popular sub-genre of mysteries right now, and I am so pleased that it will be a panel at the conference. I bought the books, and look forward to reading them all this summer in preparation.
Because of this reading list and the genre, my nieces and nephews are benefiting from their aunt’s homework. My sister called me one night to tell me that B. spent two hours reading. The next day the reader herself called me, and let me know how much she loved Kim Harrington’s first book in the Sleuth or Dare series. She was thrilled that there are two more books in the series. And she asked for other recommendations of books to read. The sound of her voice brought me back to when I became a voracious reader myself. Was it Caddie Woodlawn? Or Nancy Drew? Not sure, but I do remember discovering how much fun reading is, and getting lost in books.
Do you remember when reading became a joy? When you realized that there authors who wrote a bunch of books you could devour? Do you remember the first time you dreaded finishing a book because you would have to say goodbye to the characters? Discovering that joy–one of the great moments in a kid’s life.
I read a lot, but I don’t always feel the joy any more. In fact, it is rare. I wonder if that is because I am a writer, and I am always looking at craft. Or because I don’t allow myself to just fall in love with reading. To make the time, and dive in.
So for the rest of the summer, I am going to learn from my niece, and find the joy again. I have a ton of books sitting on my Kindle, but am open to suggestions. Any titles you want to pass on?
[Note: If you are a mystery reader or writer, check out the New England Crime Bake. A great conference–purposely kept small. But there is still room.]
J.A. Hennrikus is the Executive Director of StageSource. She has published several short stories, and is working on a novel. She is a huge social media fan, and tweets under @JulieHennrikus. She wrestles with allusions of athleticism, is an avid theatre goer and a proud member of Red Sox nation. Julie is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppies. She is a board member the current President of the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime.