Writing quirky YA books is the thing I do of which I'm most proud. By far.
But these days reading any "book world" tweets or articles makes me want to go listen to break up songs. "Woke Up New" by the Mountain Goats seems especially apropos these days, even though it's about a person.
I've started calling myself a "recovering author" lately. I'm still working and have a few new novels written, but I don't think there's much room for me in the YA world these days.
After five years and a dozen or so books, being published has been about 95% misery and humiliation and I'm having trouble imagining things getting any better. Many of my books were a LOT more fun BEFORE they came out. Fairy Godmofo and Debbie Does Detention were a lot more fun to talk about than Extraordinary* and Sparks. I think there's a market for my kind of books (every school I go into, there are kids who watch Doctor Who and hate Twilight even more than I do), but that's not the kind of kids publishers are aiming books at. Those kids generally don't read out of the YA section much anymore, and I sure as hell don't blame them. Going into a book store or any book event feels like being single at a Valentine's dance.
So now, with no new novels under contract for the first time in seven years, I'm sort of at a crossroads in which every external sign is that I ought to quit. I can't quit writing, and I'm not inclined to give up something that's been my main source of pride and a sense that I'm doing something of value for the whole of my adult life, but if I have to have one more conversation about ebooks, goodreads, how awful most of the blogs are, indie/trad, the decline of chain stores, how to write/sell/promote a book (most of what you hear on, say, yalitchat is a joke), I might well puke.
I have a Chicago history/ghostlore book due every month through the end of the year. Around December I'll have finished every outstanding contract and have nothing due for the first time in nearly eight years. I don't know what I'm going to do next, and I'm open to suggestions. Very open to suggestions.