Women Writing the West

If you’re looking for a great YA read, I want to share with you Becoming Beatrice—a wonderful book written by a my fellow Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA alum Frances Wood. The book was just selected as a 2019 WILLA Award finalist! Named in honor of WIlla Cather, one of this country’s foremost novelists, the annual award is selected by librarians and honors outstanding literature featuring women’s stories set in the west.

Becoming Beatrice is a beautifully written historical fiction novel that is intimately relevant for readers today. The
conflicts and challenges that Wood’s determined protagonist Beatrice faces—racism, gender equity, and the timeless urge to determine one’s own destiny—give this story an immediacy that will certainly capture the attention of today’s teens who are valiantly struggling to find their own place in the world. 

Buy this book for your favorite teen.

Adult Point of View in Books for Children

Children’s and YA novels that incorporate adult points of view are all the rage these days. I have a sneaky suspicion that much of the interest comes from the fact that 1 out of 3 adult novelists want to break into the YA market, and what better way to start than by writing from an adult point of view? The problem with this method is that it is often applied badly, and to books that aimed at an audience of far-too-young readers. Point of view—the perspective from which a writer chooses to tell their story—determines the voice of any book. Read more>

“Running for My Life” by Ann Gonzalez

All parents know the primal urge to protect their children, and endure an equal amount of suffering when seeing them suffer. But what happens when the cause of the suffering is the parent themselves? 

In her debut novel, Running for My Life, published Spring 2009 by WestSide Books, Ann Gonzalez presents a story of coping and eventual understanding within a family in crisis. The book is sure to resonate with teens that will identify with the book’s engaging protagonist and her friends, but the issues explored are important enough to matter to many more readers. Read more>