A few years ago, I stumbled onto FYA via Erin’s Sweet Valley High drinking game. I’m not sure why ended up there—I’d never read a single SVH book, or indeed much YA literature at all—but in its hilarity, I found myself reading more and more posts. Soon, I was checking out stacks of YA novels from the library and enjoying the kinds books I’d missed out of in my teenage years.
Somehow, I got from reading those first SVH posts to writing guest posts to drinking too much champagne in Sarah’s pool and her saying “you should write more for us!” and me tipsily responding “yeah, totally!” to me sitting here, composing this farewell to all of you, my fellow readers and writers of FYA.
FYA might not feel like my baby like it does for Jenny, Meghan, Erin, and Sarah, but it still holds a special place in my heart. In my tenure here, I have read everything ranging from the truly terrible to the wonderfully sublime and watched more teen movies and TV shows than is strictly healthy. I even drank Mike Mullin under the table. But more importantly, I met the most amazing people. I count my fellow FYA ladies as some of my best friends. My life has changed pretty significantly during the time that I’ve been here, moving to another country for grad school, for one. Lee, Megan, Meghan, Erin, Jenny, and Sarah were constants through that (Mandys and Brian, I love you too! I was just later to the game in knowing y’all). With phone calls, letters, video chats, and daily email threads, I kept in better touch with them this year than any of my other friends or family back in the states. And then there’s the greater FYA community; I may not know all of you as well as those ladies, but it’s all the wonderful commenters and book clubs that made me get so involved in FYA in the first place.
So with all that said, leaving FYA was a very difficult and bittersweet decision to make, but leave I must. While writing for FYA has been a fun break from reading about like, stakeholder management theory and ethics for the past year, it has also been really difficult to balance both my master’s degree and writing full time. I want to be able to devote more time and energy to my studies, but I also need to have more time for myself. Like, if I suddenly decide that my new life’s calling is to forage scraps of wool left on the Scottish moors by roaming sheep and knit them into homespun cardigans, I want to have the freedom to do that. Or if I want to take a whole Sunday to eat popsicles in my underwear, I don’t want to have to stay up all night doing work to make up for it. And I want to read so many books, y’all! All those awesome books you’ve been reading for book club this year? I haven’t been able read any of them. So as hard as it is to leave, I’m also excited to move on.
I’m not totally disappearing from the internets, either. I have a couple of writing and art projects in the works. Nothing as cool as Jenny and Meghan’s books, but I’m pretty jazzed about them. You can hear about those on twitter as they develop, if you’re interested. I’m also on goodreads, where Megan no h
has taken to tying me down and forcing me to update my reviews is my personal goodreads manager, helping me to keep with the times. And I’m sure I’ll be back around these parts now and again. Those smutty Jane Austen retellings aren’t going to read themselves, you know.
I’ll miss y’all already, but we’ll see each other soon.