Editor & Writing Coach: Making Words Behave Since 1996
That’s all I would have wanted to know when I was a member of the YA demographic, but now I’m more interested in this article, “Maisy Dee’s ‘The Recipe’ and sex in YA lit.” Especially this part:
Tell me a bit about your journey with this book, and why you ended up self-publishing it.
Self-publishing allowed me to make all the creative decisions regarding the book and its packaging. Once I decided to go out on my own, I had a lot of fun with it, because I was lucky to know both a fantastic editor, Deborah Bancroft, and a top notch book designer, Jonathan Lippincott, so I had the resources to produce a really professional-quality book.
I love my work, I really do, no matter what I’m working on. But it’s a true honor to work on a book that, as the mother of daughters, I feel really proud to have been a part of. And for someone as gracious as Maisy Dee — I mean, really, who credits their editor and book designer (and, later in the article, her illustrator) in an interview of this length? Maisy Dee, that’s who.
So Mazel Tov to Maisy Dee! And for parents who would like their teenagers to get the idea that sex is important — but not so important that it can’t be funny, too! — this one’s for you. Here’s my favorite scene, in which Craig is talking to his Dad about the possibility of having sex with his girlfriend, Emily:
“I’m afraid I won’t know what to do, sort of. I kind of wish I had gotten some experience with someone I didn’t care about so much.”
“So you could blow her away with your expert moves?” teased Dad.
“Something like that,” I muttered.
“I’m not so sure Emily would appreciate your having had lots of experience. If you care about her, why not share these times with each other?” And as an afterthought, “Uh, I mean, when you’re both ready, like when you’re older.” I could tell Dad was trying to be the encouraging, confidence-building parent without, in fact, encouraging me to have sex with my girlfriend in high school. He wasn’t totally succeeding.
“But what if I’m terrible, and she thinks I’m totally lame? I don’t want her first time to suck.”
“Craig,” he sighed, “sex isn’t a performance, it’s a conversation. It’s a way of expressing feelings between two people. The main thing is to communicate with each other and listen to your partner. You’ll guide each other through it.”
We hiked silently for a long time. We passed the tree line, and reached the bare rock at the top of the climb. I took a 360 turn to take in the view, which was beautiful. Emily would like this, I thought. The next time we hike and she doesn’t have a game, I decided, I’m going to bring her.