“Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that’s what makes you strong.”
Sarah Dessen is a New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen Young Adult fiction novels. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She has won numerous awards for her novels including the ALA “Best Fiction for Young Adults,” and the Margaret A. Edwards Award.
Dessen worked on her first novel, That Summer, while waitressing in her hometown in North Carolina. She has also taught at the University of North Carolina. Dessen’s work deals with the change in youth’s personality as they go through tragedy or loss. She writes about isolation, emotional distance among family members, and a progressive change in people’s personality, among others.
Dessen has a new novel, Once and for All, that has been released just last month called about a woman who helps brides perfect their special day, despite having lost her first love in a tragic accident. She may have a second-chance at love when she meets someone new.
Julie Strauss-Gabel, publisher of Dutton Children’s Books since 2011, is known for her harsh editorial letters that tear an author’s work to shreds. She is also known for her knack of spotting talent and transforming it into the next breakout star of young adult fiction. (In this week’s New York Times young adult best-seller list, five of the ten spots are held by novels she edited, including John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns.)
In 2014, revenue from adult fiction and nonfiction sales fell by 1.4 percent, while revenue from young adult and children’s books rose by a whopping 21 percent from the previous year. Meanwhile, adults aged 18-44 made up 65 percent of young adult fiction buyers, purchasing the books for their own reading pleasure.
“We’re in an era where the definition of a young adult book is completely up for grabs, and people are willing to reinvent it,” says Strauss-Gabel. “There’s no one saying ‘You can’t do this in a book for children.‘”
Julie Strauss-Gabel, pictured here with John Green.
To read the full New York Times article on Julie Strauss-Gabel and the future of YA publishing, click here.