Sunday, December 11, 2011

MEN in YA: Guest Post + Giveaway with Rusty Fischer, author of Zombies Don't Cry

Today is one of the most exciting days in the whole MEN in YA event! Why? Because the absolutely fantabulous Rusty Fischer is stopping by for a Guest Post!!! And not just any Guest Post but the most excellent, brilliant and hilarious Guest Post EVER!!! :D Go ahead and read it and don't forget to tell me what your thoughts were in the comment section below :) And also - don't forget to enter the amazing giveaway! Thanks to Rusty we will have 3 lucky winners!!! :D 

Guys, please give a warm welcome to our most fantastic YA Galaxy Defender, Rusty Fischer!

You Write Like a Girl: Or, How Being a Guy in YA Shapes My Writing
A Guest Post by Rusty Fischer, author of Zombies Don’t Cry

     In my career choices, I have almost always been surrounded by women. I was a busboy for years, always surrounded by waitresses. Some were my age – I was never a waiter because I was too “shy,” and basically still am – but most were a few years to a few decades older.

     It was always fun because they me under their wing and taught me that secret language of women. Whether they were talking to me or about men in general, it was fascinating to hear how they really felt, talked and acted. In many ways, they were just like me and my (adolescent) friends.

     I was lucky to work with so many women growing up because it kind of dissolved that feminine mystique that a lot of guys I knew were intimidate by. But working with so many strong, smart, sarcastic women growing up – and you don’t know sarcastic until you watch a waitress play it up for a table of jerks and then come back to the wait station and dish on them – really helped me feel more at ease among them.

     Later, in college, I majored in English (natch) and every class was dominated by the ladies. Graduating in the early 90s to find the country in a recession, I couldn’t do much with my English degree so I worked at a bookstore; again, major lady time. Then I went back to school to get my teaching degree and, surprise… more ladies! When I became a teacher, the faculty, the staff, the teacher’s lounge, all 90% female.

     Finally I was hired away from teaching to work for an educational magazine, my first experience with publishing and writing for a living, and again: the staff was 85% ladies. So, while I’m no expert in feminine studies, I can say this: I’ve spent a LOT of time with women.

      Fast forward to a few years ago and my decision to finally take the plunge and write my first YA novel. As I began combing my local bookstore shelves, looking for YA zombie fiction – it was a LOT harder to find back then – what I noticed right away was that I would often have to wind through several clusters of teenage girls to navigate the YA shelves. And me being me, I would listen to what they were saying, check out what they were reading, hear what they were gushing about, and why and… bam, it was busboy days all over again.

     So as I sat down to write Zombies Don’t Cry (or as it was called then, Have a Nice Afterlife), there was never really any doubt that its main character would be a girl. And I never hesitated to write freely, openly and honestly in a female voice. (Or my version of it.)

     Since then, I have written ALL female main characters with the exception of one male MC in Panty Raid at Zombie High. And even then, it felt “funny.” I dunno, like I was cheating or something. It was more work than writing my female characters because I had to keep checking myself, “Would a guy say that? Will guys believe this?” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it and love “Toby,” the narrator of Panty Raid, but it just felt easier and more natural writing Maddy and Emily and Lucy Frost and the rest of my female MCs.

     So, I guess I said all that to say this: I LOVE being a male YA author. I love that the very first review I read for Zombies Don’t Cry – I’m talking the very first one out of the gate – said, basically, “Rusty Fischer writes like a girl.” That. Rocked.

     Not because I consciously sit down to “write like a girl” or because I tried to manipulate or trick readers into thinking *I* was a girl, but because it was a validation, of sorts. I’d found a home, a place where I “fit” and where my writing clicked and felt right and good and natural.

     To me, what that reviewer meant was that once she started reading ZDC, she forgot who wrote it – guy or girl, man or woman, x or y chromosome – and just dug the story, the character, the voice, the language, the thoughts… the ride.

     I dunno, I feel like I’m rambling because this is a pretty big issue right here. SO much of the YA genre is female-centric; most of the agents I pitch are women, the editors I work with are usually women, the reviewers and bloggers I can’t wait to tweet and Facebook with each day are lady folk and generally speaking my actual YA readers are girls.

     Which isn’t to say that they don’t respond to male writers or male characters or even male MCs. One thing I love about YA is how sophisticated, diverse and accepting its writers, agents, editors, publishers, bloggers, reviewers and especially readers are; I think they’ll pretty much respond to anything done well, with sincerity and passion and creativity.

     And really, those are the things I focus on most when I sit down to write; not what sex my main character is – or my readers are. But the story itself, the characters and the plot and the setting and how they all fit together, boys and girls. And, generally, when I “feel” a story being told to me by my crazy male brain, the voice I tend to hear it speak in is female.

Go figure.

So, those are my two cents about being a male YA writer. I hope I haven’t bored you!!!!

Yours in YA,

Rusty, thank you so much for the excellent guest post!  
I had a fabulous time reading both Ushers, Inc. and Zombies Don't Cry and can't wait to start Vamplayers! :) 

I hope you guys enjoyed the guest post, for more information about Rusty Fischer and his books, please visit his website: Zombies Don't Blog or/and read my review of Ushers, Inc. or Zombies Don't Cry.

Huge thanks to Rusty for the exclusive MEN in YA photo! <3

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Thanks to the fabulous:
Rusty Fischer
I have one paperback AND eBook copy of Zombies Don't Cry up for grabs! 
But that's not all!
I also have two eCopies of Ushers, Inc. to give away, too! :D How awesome is that!
all giveaways are INTERNATIONAL!!!!
To be eligible to win all you need to do is be a follower of my blog and enter through Rafflecopter below.

Ends: December 28th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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This interview and giveaway are posted as a part of the MEN in YA event (Nov 20th - Dec 20th)
For more awesomeness (reviews, interviews, giveaways, guest posts) please click the banner below!

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Barbara E. said...

I enjoyed the interview and after reading your review yesterday, I'm really interested in reading Ushers, Inc. I then looked up Zombies Don't Cry on Amazon and it sounds fantastic too. So I'm looking forward to reading both books.

rosiepopsox said...

hey thanx so much for the giveaway! and im intering for the zombies dont cry :)

roro said...

i really enjoyed the intrview

there a way little male ya authors

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interview and the giveaway! I've been wanting to read Zombies don't cry for a while now. The cover looks gorgeous!

mimz said...

Great interview! I think there need to be more authors like Rusty Fischer, or more male YA authors as a whole. I can't wait to get my hands on Zombies Don't Cry.

M.A.D. said...

Rusty's books sound awesome, I love learning about more male authors!!
GFC Mary DeBorde [M.A.D.]

Sarah Kalaitzidis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

hey rusty! i think it's awesome that you don't mind writing like a girl! it shows that you're comfortable with your writing and your stories, which means that the readers will probably be more comfortable with them too.

i've been wanting to read both zombies don't cry and ushers, inc for quite a while now, and i'm seeing vamplayers all over the place and it looks incredible. so i really need to get on the rusty train and SOON.

thanks for the great post rusty and evie!!!

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

oh, evie, i commented before i entered the contest...i suppose i'm entering for both books since i'd like to read them both. thanks, gal! <3

Michelle @ Book Briefs said...

Cool! You have the new rafflecopter! Even better than the already awesome rafflecopter. Id like to win ushers inc.

Im going to comment on your review right now :)

Jessica ( frellathon ) said...

For some reason it wouldn't let me leave my GFC name but anywhoo I follow. I won Zombies Don't Cry ages ago and it's been sitting on my shelf giving me the evil eye so finally I had a bit of a break well not really but I wanted to read a book off my own shelf for a change and so I'm reading it now. Rusty you rock and my review shall be a glowing one I already know. That being said I am now dying to read any and every book Rusty has written.

Tammy Cordeiro said...

Wow! What a great guest post! I really enjoyed reading about all that time Mr. Fischer spent with women! I had never heard of these books, but now I can't wait to get my hands on one of them.

Thanks for the great post!

Anonymous said...

DANG! Who is that old dude holding the toy gun!??!!? Seriously, you guys rock; between this and the review over the weekend and all the commentor love, my big head keeps falling over at my desk this morning!!! Thanks sincerely from the bottom of this old busboy's heart!!!!

Kathy said...

A facinating and well written guest post! I love reading books written by male authors, and always wondered how the fan base played into that.

Kathy said...

A facinating and well written guest post! I love reading books written by male authors, and always wondered how the fan base played into that.

Amy said...

What a great guest post. I have been wanting to read Zombies Don't Cry. Thanks for the giveaway.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the guest post. It was fun to see how he had developed his "feminine" voice.

Julie S said...

Thanks so much for the interview and giveaway.

Anonymous said...

I don't really like the new rafflecopter.

Widget signed me in on facebook...

FB Name: Michael Byers
GFC: Mai in Wonderland
Google: Mai Speak
Network Blogs: Michael Byers

Unabridged Bookshelf said...

It won't let me put my GFC name in

Name: Chandra Haun
GFC Unabridged Bookshelf

I am entering to win Zombies Don't Cry, since I already have a copy of Ushers!

I love this guest post! It is very cool to feature Male YA Writers!!

ebaker said...

I'm entering for Zombies Don't Cry! I love how he mentioned that once you get into the book you don't think about the gender of who wrote the book! I think that is so true as long as the book is good then I don't think oh...that writer shouldn't have written that!

Yto said...

thanks for the interview and giveaway. the book sounds interesting and i am happy to read about a male ya author ^^

druidgirl said...

Thank you so much for the giveaway and interview. I think either one of the books would be great

Sarah Kalaitzidis said...

Great review and awesome books! thanks for the giveaway! i would want the Zombies Don't Cry!

Maegan Morin said...

I think that it would be interesting to read a YA from a male author. I'm wondering if you really cant tell the difference lol.

megnate at telus dot net

Maegan Morin said...

Sorry I forgot to say that I would like to be entered for both please

megnate at telus dot net

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giveaway & Happy holidays!

Angela Scott said...

Great interview and great giveaway! I've actually wanted to get my hands on a copy of these books. So great raffler in the sky, pick me :)

They both look like great books.

Shelagh said...

Loved this guest post! I'm often tempted to write male MCs. but I've never been sure if my 'voice' would sound right. It's awesome to hear Rusty's comments because my experience with guys is similar - most of my close friends are guys.

Awesome giveaway!

The Word Fiend

Nedraw said...

I really enjoyed reading this guest post. I am always on the look out for a good Zombie read.
These look awesome so I'm excited to have a chance to win this. I follow both you and Zombies Don't Blog with GFC under Nedraw. Rafflecopter won't allow me to enter my GFC name.

Amanda Nicole said...

I really enjoyed reading Rusty's guest post. I think it's awesome that he feels so at home in YA lit! :)

Amanda Nicole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda Nicole said...

Shoot my GFC and Network Blogs name is Amanda Batta and I'm entering to win the paperback copy of Zombies Don't Cry. :)

LisaILJ said...

I have been enjoying the posts. I like the fact that Male writers are being featured. Everyone knows the male writer rockstars, but I like learning about new authors that have escaped my notice.

Also, the new Rafflecopter is horrible and there was no box to put my info in, so my GFC name is LisaILJ.

Gwen Ee said...

I don't know why but I find myself laughing when he said that he was always surrounded by many women hahaha By the way I think he had really been through a lot like , from working at a bookstore upon graduation and soon moved to education field then magazine etc etc and finally wrote his first book . I think this is something that nowadays teenagers won't really do when it comes to pursuing dreams :(

By the way , I think there is problem with the form so I had better put my information here ,
GFC - Gwen Ee
Email - GwenEe95(at)gmail(dot)com
FB - Gwen Lim Ce

Fara said...

I enjoyed your review on Ushers, INC and put it in my wishlist pile :D. nice interview, by the way.

Fara said...

I'm entering both giveaways :)

Krysykat said...

I love that Rusty is happy about writing like a girl :)

entered on the rafflecopter as Krysta B.
GFC- Krysta Banco
Networked Blogs- Krysta Banco
13th person to +1 post- Krysta Banco
GFC follower of Rusty's blog- Krysta Banco

Bonnie said...

I'm dying to read Ushers Inc! I loved ZDC and am sure I will feel the same way about U.I. I loved this post by the way and now that I think about it I agree Rusty does write like a girl! ;) I loved, loved, loved his writing style and the voice that he gave to his MC in ZDC! Thanks so much for the giveaway hun!

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