Hopefully you found this page because we met at Teen Author Boot Camp (2019) in Utah! If so, welcome! I'm glad you're here!
As promised, below you'll find my presentation slides, resources, book recommendations, and-because help should be easy to find-a few national numbers you might want to have access to. Be well, and keep writing!
In my opinion, here's a few that did it right. But, if you're looking to dive in, pretty much anything Laurie Halse Anderson (she did it right first), Patrick Ness is another favorite (because all his stories have a point), and Lauren Oliver continues to deliver, her most recent novel shows us what it's like to live with someone who hoards. There are some newer reads--like Girl In Pieces (Glascow) and Made You Up (Zappia)--that are hard, but beautiful reads.
If you want to dive deep, and I think you should, here are some of my favorite autobiographies-which are wonderful resources for understanding.
PRO TIP: If you're looking to understand an illness/condition/trauma, look for an autobiography from someone who has experienced it.
Pay attention, because this is the most important part. If you want to write about the human condition, about growth, and change, and love and loss and anger and grief and bliss and despair and loneliness and potential; if you want to capture all of that--you have to grow yourself. Taking care of yourself, challenging perspective, leaning into difficult emotions, and letting yourself (metaphorically) bleed unto the page; this is the author's job. And to do it well, you need to take good care of yourself, grow in insight, deepen, give your soul room to breathe. If you're ready to do that, I applaud you. Here are some books that helped me along the way.
I'm still on this path, by the way, and there's no end in sight. For me, that's a beautiful thought. Good luck on your journeys. I'm rooting for you!