As I’ve discussed many times before, I no longer consider my books about young people to be true YA apart from metadata indexing purposes. They’re books that just happen to feature young characters most prominently.
It has nothing to do with arrogantly thinking I’m so much better, deeper, and more serious than those other people writing teen characters nowadays, and everything to do with mountains of evidence that my style of writing doesn’t comfortably fit into what’s currently popular and seen as YA.
I see my books more as hist-fic which just happens to centre on youths, vs. books about young people who just happen to live in the past. History is more than shallow, fluffy, minor window-dressing to me.
But now we have another major factor at the fore: Woke cancel culture.
Since I decided to go indie in 2014, I’ve gradually drifted away from the trad-pub community. Over the last year or two, I’ve also seriously cut down on the amount of Twitter writing hashtag games and chats I regularly participate in.
The trad-pub virtual community was a friendly, supportive place once. Now the YA corner in particular has become an absolutely toxic clusterwhat over the last few years, and seems to be getting worse on the daily.
At least half of all YA readers these days are grown-ass adults, many of whom proudly admit they only read YA and have zero interest in any books intended for adults. It’s really creepy for an adult woman to announce she swoons over kissing and makeout scenes with teen characters and has crushes on fictional teen boys! A lot of them also start talking in cringey, dated teen slang, like “All the things!” and “So I may or may not be…”
They’re screaming so loudly about wanting to protect the children when they’re the only ones raising the roof over these “microaggressions” and triggers. They’re also rarely part of the group they claim is being so slandered and violated by words on a page.
Even worse, now we have agents and editors getting involved in woke loonery and quickly caving to Twitter mobs. I’m starting a serious cull and unfollowing any agents and writers who are part of Woko Haram.
The scary thing was, none of them were like this when I began following them and read their blogs regularly. Now when they pop up on my timeline, after not seeing them in ages, they’re virtue-signalling their support for woke nonsense.
And of course, they’ve put freaking pronouns in their bios!
This just happened earlier this month. I believe I may have once queried the woke agent in question. Is there any box he doesn’t tick in this word salad mess throwing his now-ex-client under the bus?
It wasn’t enough for Woko Haram, as it never is. Many ranted that he’d not gone nearly far enough, trotting out canned woke phraseology of their own. And they were all baying for Jessica’s blood.
One wokester had the chutzpah to mark up her compelled apology like she were a naughty third grader. Frightening that this loon is a teacher!
The Tweet storm they were all raging against did nothing but point out the foolishness of dismissing old books. Some of the language was a bit strong, but nothing nearly on the level of the mob which was unleashed.
The markups were done by one of the loons in the baying mob.
After Jessica was dropped by her woke agent, everyone creepily began lining up to robotically thank him. Anyone who asked for proof of how in the world these Tweets were racist was condemned. You’re a hero for making such accusations in YA Twitter Land, but a bully if you dare ask for evidence of such a damning claim.
A few months ago, an associate agent was fired because she dared to like, on her personal account, some of J.K. Rowling’s Tweets and other Tweets supporting her. People who bash Ms. Rowling for daring to acknowledge the existence of biological sex get an automatic unfollow and block from me.
All it takes is an accusation from this woke mob, and everyone immediately rushes to believe it and grab a flaming pitchfork. If a character says or thinks something deemed problematic, that means the writer automatically holds that view too. Everything is viewed through a skewed woke lens, with no room for nuance, context, and intent.
I would never query an agent who used a professional Twitter account to virtue-signal. Some have given free critiques or query priority to people who tick certain boxes or show proof of donating to a political campaign!
So many people in this toxic community have shown themselves as overgrown mean girls who never mentally matured past high school.
These snowflakes need to get out of their woke bubble and see how normal people in the real world live.