Saturday, November 27, 2010

What the heck IS this?!?

Well, obviously, it’s a blog. Specifically, a blog about the intersection of YA literature/media and the vast, mysterious world of psychology, mental health and mental illness. Or, wait. Maybe YA literature/media is the vast, mysterious world.

There’s no more vibrant, creative, eerie, heartfelt, gut-wrenching material than what’s being churned out by and for teenagers. Books, movies, video games, music, social media, lots-of-stuff-I-don’t-even-know-about-yet … wow.

And then, how often does that material deal with, I don’t know, REALLY powerful emotions? Life-changing, sometimes life-threatening, situations? Bullying, suicide, depression, anxiety, violence, romantic and sexual stuff (including sexual identity and orientation), peer pressure, drugs/alcohol/cig use, alienation … oh, not to mention a little thing called figuring-out-who-the-heck-you-actually-are-and-what-on-earth-you’re-going-to-do-with-yourself?

Uh, isn’t that what it’s all about? Stuff teens deal with every day?

Yeah. So that’s what I’ll be talking about here. If you happen to be a teen or just love all things YA, I hope you’ll be talking about it with me (or this will be kinda boring). 

Now, why am I the one to do a blog on psychology and YA lit/media, and WHY would you want to talk about this stuff with me?

I’m a psychologist. A mental health professional. And yes, I see clients. At some point, if anyone’s interested, I’ll talk more about that work, but for now, I’ll just say this: I have the incredible good fortune of working with truly courageous families who have enough faith in a better future that they decided to stick their necks out and come see me. I witness their hard work and bravery every day, and I’m honored that they’ve given me the opportunity to help them. I take their trust in me very seriously.

And I have another profession. I’m pretty new to it, but it's important to me. In November 2009, I decided to write a book. It really was that sudden (and no, it wasn't NaNoWriMo. It was just me doing a post-birthday time-for-a-new-hobby thing). I'd never taken a creative writing course or written so much as a haiku in my spare time. But it was like this wave rolled over me, and in that first month, I wrote a 97,000-word novel. If you're wondering if it was good ... well, let's just say it sleeps with the fishes. Fishes who reside in a trunk somewhere.

After that, I wrote another. And another. And another. And I rewrote and connected with the online writing community and revised and banged my head on my desk and rewrote. And I queried literary agents. And ...

As of November 19th, 2010, I am awesomely proud to be represented by the fabulous Kathleen Ortiz at Lowenstein Associates. Very soon, she’s going to be shopping one of my books to acquiring editors at publishing houses.

Whoa. This is for real. I'm a writer!

Being a writer these days isn’t just about holing up and churning out some novels. Our world has changed—and continues to change—at light speed. We’re all connected, no matter how far apart, through technology. Scary! Fantastic! Now writers can connect with other writers, editors, agents, and our audience as easily as typing 140 characters. And, as I thought about it, I realized I had something to say, to contribute, and, as always, to learn as I went along. It’s a dizzying opportunity, and one I’m really excited about. Let’s see how this goes …


  1. Welcome to the blogosphere, Dr. B! ;-)


  2. Oh ... and please remove your word verification. lol

  3. Yay Sarah! Love the blog and welcome to the world of blogging:)

  4. Congratulations and welcome to the world of blogging. I'll be looking forward to your diagnosis of what makes a young person tick. (I've got a 5 yr. old going on 17 and I need all the help I can get.)

  5. Anne--that's so funny. Though I do see older children, I specialize in early childhood (the under 6s). Kids are so sophisticated these days, aren't they?

  6. Welcome to blogging. I look forward to visiting your site and congrats again on getting an agent!

  7. Congrats! And welcome to the blogosphere :) Can't wait to read your posts!