As you know, I love zombie books – so this is a treat having zombie author Rusty Fischer with us today.
Why I Write YA
By Rusty Fischer, author of Detention of the Living Dead
I always love it when a new YA book comes out because I get to take all I’ve done in the past year and start blogging about it for guest posts! So, this time around, I wanted to talk about something I rarely get asked, surprisingly enough -- Why I Write YA:
So… once upon a time, I was a teacher. Naturally, I taught English. But not just that, I also taught drama, history, social studies, school newspaper, computers, you name it, I’ve taught it. I started out in high school, then worked in middle school and was ultimately an elementary school computer teacher before being hired away by an educational magazine about eight years after I started teaching.
I wasn’t the bestest teacher ever. I mean, I tried to be; I really did. But all I really wanted to do was just pass a bunch of really great YA books around to the kids and watch them read. Or read with them. Or read to them. Or have them read to me. I think I would have been a really great Reading teacher, but of all the subjects I taught, that one was never open.
Still, I managed to do a lot of reading with my kids. In Social Studies, we read Number the Stars. In English, we read White Fang. Around Halloween, we read spooky stories, whatever I could buy a class set of with my Troll bonus points!!!
But deep down, I knew the kids wanted more. They wanted different. Most of them had already read Number the Stars or White Fang or Sherlock Holmes or Old Yeller or all the “school approved” stuff.
My favourite moments in teaching were when I’d catch a student borrowing a book from the class library to take home and read, voluntarily and “just for fun,” they’d say; something less educational like one of the titles from my Goosebumps or Fear Street collection.
And, oftentimes, the ones who reached for books from my lending library were the reluctant readers, ones who maybe dozed off while we read one of the classics as a class but really perked up if they found a story about sports or cheerleading or animals or something closer to their interests.
So later, when I left teaching and started writing full-time, first for an educational magazine, later for a book packager and ultimately for my own freelance clients, I made a promise that one day, someday, somehow, I’d find a way to write “fun” books for readers of all ages, but particularly YA.
And so here I am, years later, fulfilling that dream and grateful for every page, every opportunity, to do so. And I hope that, in some classroom somewhere, somebody is reaching for one of my zombie books and sharing a secret smile about something written just for them! And that’s why I write YA!
Yours in YA,
About the Author
Rusty Fischer is the author of Zombies Don’t Cry, as well as several other popular zombie books, including Panty Raid at Zombie High, Detention of the Living Dead and the Reanimated Readz series of 99-cent living dead shorts.
Rusty runs the popular website Zombies Don’t Blog @ www.zombiesdontblog.blogspot.com. At Zombies Don’t Blog you can read more about Rusty’s work, view his upcoming book covers and read – or download – completely FREE books & stories about… zombies!
Maxine “Max” Compton is in detention when the outbreak starts; so are several other students when Max’s best friend Brie storms in – chomping on the thigh bone of their favorite Home Ec teacher, Ms. Watkins!
Brie is a zombie, and quickly starts biting everyone in the room – even her best friend, Max!
When the class realizes what happens, it’s too late; they are all zombies – and they’re no longer alone.
Now a thin grey man in a white lab coat is testing them; making them read, and once they can no longer read, the zombies are led from the room, never to be seen again.
One by one the zombies stop reading, all but a few of them, Max included. Oh, and that cute thug she’s been crushing on for years, Cory Winthrop!
That’s when Max learns that there are good zombies, and bad zombies. And if she’s to survive, she has to pick a side.
Who knew Detention could be this hard… or last forever?