At the launch of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist*, both Ros Price (the publisher) and David Levithan (one of the two authors) said some very nice things.
I don't think it's entirely true to say that the book only got published in Australia because Mike and I pushed so hard for it. The book got published in Australia because it's fucking awesome. We just pointed that out to some people (okay, everyone we met), and Allen & Unwin were nice enough to listen.
It is very gratifying to learn that, when it comes to YA in Australia, my opinions count for something. It's flattering. It also feels like a responsibility.
I have a pile of signed books from Reading Matters, from writers who I respect more than I can say. And many of these authors, above their signatures, thanked me for "fighting the good fight".
This is, in part, a reference to David Levithan's amazing, moving, provocative and inspiring talk about "Killing the Vampires" and making sure the right books get to the teens who really need to see themselves on the shelves of their library.
I can't do justice to what he said with a neat summary. You will have to hear it yourselves. It was a talk for librarians, but everyone needs to hear it. At the conference, it received a standing ovation. I was not the only person moved to tears.
And you need to do more than hear it. You need to copy it, you need to put it on your blog, you need to tell people about it, talk about it, think about it. It has a Creative Commons license, so use it as you will.
Help us fight the good fight.