Dark Middle Grade, Anyone?

There’s a been a bit of a furor on the Internet/Twitter/Author circuit about the Terrible Darkness that’s infecting the Young Adult bookshelves at Barnes and Noble.

I am SO not going to weigh in on this argument, folks. Not that my opinion would make a difference. Let’s just say I’ve been shaking my head a lot.

And wondering what in the world they’re going to think once the Darkness Police get their hands on my current manuscript.

Why do I wonder this? Well, to give you a very vague, non-spoilerish hint…

I was at my dad’s house the other day. I’d dropped in for a cup of coffee and a chat, and he very politely asked what my next book was about. (He’s good that way — he knows all his writer-daughter really ever wants to talk about is ice cream and/or her novels.) When I told him, he smiled, hopped up, and said, “Oh! That sounds great. I think you might need a book I have.” And then he went and got this for me:

A Handy Reference for All Middle Grade Authors. Don't You Have One?

What would those Wall Street Journal folks think of that? We may very well find out.Won’t that be fun?

So… what awesome books have you collected for your research, Writer Friends? Anything scary/weird/dodgy?

(Oh, and my dad is a Methodist minister, so it’s totally all right that he had this book in his library. Don’t want you all thinking he’s some sort of devil-worshipper. Hi, Dad!)


Posted in Children's Fiction, Family News on 06/28/2011 02:45 pm


  1. Love the new page design!


  2. Your page is all beautiful and sparkly! Seems quite a contrast with the upcoming darkness you’ve been promising…

    I don’t know if these fit your criteria for weird or scary, but my family does have two very old books that are a bit dodgy. One is a horrific collection of old southern folk tales (probably right up your alley) and the other is a medical handbook that uses all kinds of now-known-to-be-poisonous substances as cures for whatever ails you–the doctor/author’s own recipes.


    • Nikki Loftin

      Thanks! Vonna, did you scroll down to the bottom? That spooky little town — I loved it! I must read your Southern folk tale book. When will we meet again? Or send me the title. Maybe I can find it.


  3. Since you told us at the Houston Writer’s Conference that we should read 300 books in our genre I’ve pretty much been reading anything YA I can get my hands on.

    Which definitely includes some dark/dodgey material!

    Currently, I’m devouring The Scourch Trials (book 2 to the Maze Runner). Its definitely dark and creepy with lots of gory death and what have you will.

    And I totally love it.

    Does that make me an insensitive brute?

    P.s. Love the new blog make-over ( :


    • Nikki Loftin

      How’s the reading going? It’s daunting, isn’t it? And of course I don’t think you’re insensitive for loving dark stuff. NOT AT ALL. 😉


  4. Oooo… the reading is going good! SO daunting, but, of course, fun too. If I didn’t love to read I’d be in a pretty pickle.

    I already mentioned this in one of your other posts, but I just finished Anna and the French Kiss… Stephanie Perkin’s sarcasm and wit totally reminds me of you! I think you’d enjoy it!


    • Nikki Loftin

      Julie – that book is on my list! Thanks for the rec. Reading Zombiekins by Kevin Bolger right now, though. Got to balance out the girl books with the boy ones. 😉


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