Last night on ANTM James St James simply stole the show in something large, billowy, and dotted, perfectly accessorized with a megaphone and sandals. But he is more than just a pretty face, and is written up in the latest Publishers Weekly in advance of his second book Freak Show, due to hit stores – wait for it – in Spring 2007.
Young Adult’s boundaries had to expand for the books to remain relevant, says Mark McVeigh, a senior editor at Dutton. “The lives of kids today are barely recognizable from the childhoods anybody over 30 led in the way they approach sex, drugs, alcohol, parental attention or the lack thereof,” he said. McVeigh sought out James St. James, author of the adult nonfiction title Party Monster (Simon & Schuster) and signed up Freak Show (spring ’07) a YA novel about a Florida teen drag queen. “It certainly could find a place on an adult list, but James wanted to write a book for kids,” McVeigh said. St James is not alone. A long list of writers established in adult fiction – Walter Mosely, Joyce Carol Oates, James Patterson, Ridley Pearson, Alice Hoffman, Francine Prose – have published novels with juvenile imprints this year.
In spite of that amazing line-up of boldface, I personally think James is a better writer than all of them, and the prefect voice – with a nod perhaps to Dennis Cooper and J T Leroy – to turn YA into something less Harry Potterish and more real. But do we really have to wait till 2007?