Malorie Blackman at The Guardian

“I hate being labelled,” she says today, ensconced in the chic café at the top of Waterstone’s Piccadilly, where she’s requested hot water to mix with the cold remedy she’s determinedly sipping on. “Through my whole writing career it seems people have always been criticising me for not tackling racism. But things like even having black characters on covers when I first started was a bit of a political statement, because I’ve had more than one bookseller say to me ‘that book would sell better if you didn’t put black people on the cover’.”

Malorie Blackman is interviewed by Allison Flood at the Guardian about her book, Noughts and Crosses, which can perhaps be described kind of like Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes (the sociology classroom experiment) meets Romeo and Juliet. The Crosses have all the power and influence, and are brown; the Noughts have nothing, and aren’t. An interesting series, and a fascinating interview with an author who didn’t really want to write about racism, because, since she is black, it was kind of…expected.

Book Envy

Happy Monday! Hope you get a jump on some good things this week.

Mondays are usually nonfiction day elsewhere in the blogosphere, but I spotted a couple of great sounding fictional pieces out today — first, Becker reviews The Saints of Augustine at GuysLitWire. An intense book about secrets, honesty, and friendship with two guys in trouble — sounds really, really good.

Next, Colleen’s got an excellent round-up of graphic novels at Bookslut in Training, which include the very intriguing sounding Skim, and Token, both coming-of-age novels focusing on girls, Holly Black’s The Good Neighbors: Kin, which is another happy scary-fairy tale, and a nonfiction from DK Publishing called One Million Things: A Visual Encyclopedia, which sounds like a Christmas gift to me.

Speaking of Holly Black, Reading Rants! Out of the Ordinary Teen Reads reviews Geektastic! Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Black Holly herself and Cecil Castellucci. This book sounds fabulous and includes geeky stories from Holly, Cecil, and the usual suspects, including Scott Westerfeld, John Green, M.T. Anderson and Sara Zarr. The sad news: August 2009 is the release date for this. Yes. I feel your pain. ::suffers::

It’s NaNo Month, which means our writing group is experiencing new and interesting fiction. (Go, S&K! Whoo!) Via Original Content, a great writing idea NaNo writers might try — writing the story backwards, from the ending.

I wish this would work for me, but a.) do I actually ever know how a story will end? Um, no. And b.) I’d have to rewrite it anyway, because my characters generally change too much from the beginning of the novel ’til the end. While this is good, in character driven fiction, it’s annoying for any kind of outlining/pre-writing purposes… would that work for any of you?