I love seeing Scorpion Rules on this list of LGBTQ books for teenagers. It's such a fresh list too. Apart from Aristotle and Dante, which frankly it is impossible to rec too much, it's not at a list of the usual suspects. Some of these weren't even on my gaydar.
To my queer readers -- especially the young bisexual women and the young enby people who've reached out to me -- I see you. You matter. Your stories matter.
I love hearing from my readers. I wish I had time to answer each and every question people sent me personally, but there are also those pesky new books to write. Sometimes I end up pointing people to previous interviews I've done. Here's a list of those, which you might find handy, particularly if you are a student writing a paper about my books. (With the White Pine nomination for The Scorpion Rules, this is happening more and more.)
This list isn't meant to be comprehensive -- it's just what turns up in an hour or so of Googling. But it's a place to start. I hope it's a help to you. I'd still love to get a note!
About The Scorpion Rules, The Swan Riders, and the Prisoners of Peace world generally
A Backward Story: How the Scorpion Rules got started, where I got the idea of hostages, and what I think of real-world AI, among other things.
To narrow that down a little.... Last night was THE big night for kids' lit in Canada tomorrow: The TDs! Swanky party, $140K in prizes, and the chance to see what kids book people look like when all dressed up. I spent it the evening trying not to nibble off my nail polish, as THE SCORPION RULES was shortlisted in both the categories for which it was eligible: The Amy Mathers award for teen novels, and the Monica Hughes award for science fiction and fantasy.
And it WON, guys. It took the Monica Hughes -- which makes me the first two-time winner of the award. (It's five years old.) I'm so thrilled! I read the whole list this year and it was amazing. In fact, I went up to the stage with EK Johnston's speech in my pocket, because Kate -- a good friend -- was in Miami, touring with another book. I was more ready to give her speech than mine.
But I gave mine.
Huge congratulations to the other winners, including Susan Juby for teen fiction, Kevin...
Y'all -- THE SCORPION RULES is officially up for the Forest of Reading's White Pine Award. The Forest awards, run by the Ontario Library Association, are the grandmama of all of Canada's readers' choice awards, which means thousands of high school kids will read these books. (Any teachers finding me here? I live in Kitchener/Waterloo, and I absolutely do school visits all over SW Ontario. I'll go farther afield if we can work something out. Drop me a line.)
I'm honoured to be keeping company with rocking writers and friends E.K. Johnston (she has two titles up!) and Lena Coakley. And Tim Wynne-Jones is one of my writing heros. And you can bet I'll be running through this list alongside the teen readers. I already had Calvin on my pile.
It's a big day here in Canadian Children's Book Land: our shortlists are out. THE SCORPION RULES is up for not one but TWO prizes: The Amy Mathers Award for teen books, and the Monica Hughes Award for science fiction and fantasy.
In other words, the book is now up for both of the prizes its eligible for.
And Simon & Schuster Canada sent me author flowers!
The Monica Hughes jury says:
“Harrowing yet humourous, pulse-pounding yet passionate, Bow’s novel is an exhilarating mix of themes and tones, forever keeping the reader guessing… A fast-paced, tightly-packed, emotional read… Bow deftly propels the story toward a hopeful and poignant culmination… Searingly intelligent, note-perfect in tone and mood, and consistently provocative, The Scorpion Rules is powerful, deeply insightful science fiction.”
The Amy Mathers jury says:
“A dynamically imagined dystopian world, where children are the commodity and artificial intelligence is the highest power… Bow has crafted a novel that is original, c...
Happy Canada day! Let's talk about the end of the world.
I get both points (from Canadians) and odd looks (from everyone else) for setting The Scorpion Rules in Canada. But the truth is I had three very good reasons.
1. I live here. I was born in the States moved to Canada not long after university. I have dual citizenship now. My first book (a book of poetry called Ghost Maps) was largely composed at St. Michael’s monastery and retreat centre in the Qu'Appelle valley in Saskatchewan. So when my mind went to "monastic school," it went there.
It looks like this. If you've spent some imagination time at The Precepture, it might look familiar.
(I was at St. Michael's attending the Sage Hill writers' retreat and workshop. I highly recommend Sage Hill. It changed my writing life.)
2. In a world where water is power, Canada is a superpower, with about one fifth of the world's fresh water supply. Though, only about a third of that is renewa...
You guys want to hear the love theme from The Scorpion Rules?
Like many writers I create playlists for each of my projects. I use mostly instrumentals -- otherwise my goldfish brain will occasionally just transcribe the lyrics into my notebooks. And I haven't shared many, because I write for young people and my musical tastes are Super Not Cool. For The Scorpion Rules and The Swan Riders, for example,things are heavy on the bluegrass. (Apparently in the future, we've lost the Atlantic seaboard, the principle that collective punishment is wrong, and the electric guitar.)
But The Scorpion Rules was a little different than my other books: it has a love theme. A theme about waking up and having your heart fall open -- terror and joy. And the above is it: "The Pilgriming Vine" by Basia Bulat.
Tomorrow I'll know if there's silver in your eyes
Crossing down on your cheek
And tomorrow I'll know by the rubies in your voice
They've been calling your name to me lately
You have been one of them wai...
So my book and I had a good day yesterday! We're both in Ottawa, attending the the Canadian Library Association national conference -- specifically smoozing at the lunch where the CLA's Book of the Year winners are honoured. The CLA gives three book of the year awards, one for children's books (illustration)one for children's books (text) and this one, for Young Adultbooks.
I was thrilled to see The Scorpion Rules alongside Kenneth Oppel's The Nest. Have I told you guys about The Nest? Before this award I re-read it -- a third read, and yet I STILL ended up finishing it while standing in the middle of the hallway, because I was carrying it from room to room reading with my nose in it, and there's a point toward the end where it just stops you in your tracks. It is smart and scary and so so human. You really need to read it. I also got to meet Sydney Smith, who is the illustrator the wordless picture book with a story byJonArno Lawson. It was such a treat to get to walk alongside the il...