Sunday, March 29, 2015

0 Ann Angel, editor of THINGS I'LL NEVER SAY: STORIES ABOUT OUR SECRET SELVES, on how secrets affect lives

THINGS I'LL NEVER SAY: STORIES ABOUT OUR SECRET SELVES is a collection of short stories written by fifteen talented YA authors, and we're delighted to have the editor Ann Angel here to tell us more about it.

Ann, what was your inspiration for putting together THINGS I'LL NEVER SAY: STORIES ABOUT OUR SECRET SELVES?

I've been volunteering to teach writing to heal and writing as testimony for Untold Stories, a free, two-day writing workshop held each autumn at Mount Mary University, for survivors or domestic violence and trafficking. In working with survivors, I became aware of how these men and women come into the initial healing workshops with such deep secrets that they're practically voiceless. As they move into Untold Stories to write their stories as testimony, they're so empowered by the stories. In seeing these dramatic changes, I wanted to create an anthology for teens that helped them to look at the role secrets play in the lives of fictional characters and also recognize how secrets might affect their own lives.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

This is a collection of short stories from a variety of writers so the stories are diverse and depict such a wide range of events on the theme of secrets.  I loved each story for different reasons. For my own story, "We Were Together," I loved the struggle of writing about a teen boy who loves girls way too much, a boy who's loveable even if he's being a jerk. The toughest and best scene to write was when he has a moment where he can make a decision to own up to his responsibility to the girls in his life or begin to slide down that slippery slope of becoming a predator.

What do you hope readers will take away from THINGS I'LL NEVER SAY: STORIES ABOUT OUR SECRET SELVES?

I hope readers become more aware of their own secrets and I hope they determine when the weight of a secret might mean it's time to let it go, that it's time to speak up for their own lives and selves.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

I have a computer full of novels in various stages of development. More than a few have been ready to go out into the world but I haven't had time to do anything about them because of my teaching schedule and the biographies I write as well as the anthologies I've worked on.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

This is so, so, so cliché, but I'm going to say it anyway: Read constantly, read everything you can, and write everyday even if some days you're just writing a grocery list. You can only be a writer if you write, you can only be a solid or good writer if you read.

What are you working on now?

I'm working on a contemporary realistic YA novel that reflects the myth of Pan and Echo -- hhmm. Do you think the idea that secrets keep victims voiceless played into the idea that a teen might wake up one day and discover she can only mirror what she hears?


Things I'll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves
by Ann Angel
Released 3/24/2015

Fifteen top young-adult authors let us in on provocative secrets in a fascinating collection that will have readers talking.

A baby no one knows about. A dangerous hidden identity. Off-limits hookups. A parent whose problems your friends won’t understand. Everyone keeps secrets—from themselves, from their families, from their friends—and secrets have a habit of shaping the lives around them. Acclaimed author Ann Angel brings together some of today’s most gifted YA authors to explore, in a variety of genres, the nature of secrets: Do they make you stronger or weaker? Do they alter your world when revealed? Do they divide your life into what you'll tell and what you won't? The one thing these diverse stories share is a glimpse into the secret self we all keep hidden.

With stories by:
Ann Angel
Kerry Cohen
Louise Hawes
Varian Johnson
Erica l. kaufman
Ron Koertge
E. M. Kokie
Chris Lynch
Kekla Magoon
Zoë Marriott
Katy Moran
J. L. Powers
Mary Ann Rodman
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Ellen Wittlinger

Purchase Things I'll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves at Amazon
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View Things I'll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves on Goodreads


Ann AngelAnn Angel considers it her good fortune that she discovered the music of Janis Joplin as a bookish teen who would rather paint or write bad poetry. That fan-crush led to writing the biography, Janis Joplin, Rise Up Singing (Abrams 2010), winner of the American Library Associations' 2010 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award. The book also made Booklist's 2011 Top Ten Biographies for Youth and the 2011 Top Ten Arts Books list. It is a 2011 CCBC Choice Book and received an SCBWI Crystal Kite Award and more. Angel is also a writer of young adult fiction and nonfiction with critically acclaimed books that include Such A Pretty Face: Short Stories about Beauty (Abrams, 2007), Robert Cormier: Writer of the Chocolate War (Enslow, 2007). A biography of Amy Tan, Weaver of Asian American Tales was released by Enslow in 2009, and a student's guide to Sandra Cisneros in 2010. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies including, Flash Forward Youth: 65 Short-Short Stories (Persea Book, 2011). Coming in September 2013, Adopted Like Me, My Book of Adoption Heroes (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, UK). Works in progress include young adult novels, a book on trafficking in the United States and more short stories.

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