Yeah, like Le Chat Noir. OK, not really, but I'm such a big fan of tie-ins that I had to do it.
A couple buddies of mine have been doing some really great work, and I wanted to call attention to it both to commend them, and also to expose my followers to a palette cleanser.
When I'm writing YA, I try not to read YA. Although I love writing it, I think it's an area in which it's easy to pick up another's voice - especially if what you're reading is strong. So, I tend to read non-fiction, or something adult contemporary to avoid what I call "voice bleeding."
I recommend this approach for a brain kick-start as well. Sometimes being mired in our own market, and our audience's needs / wants (and they are voracious), can make us forget that WE are adults. Really? BBC forgets she's an adult sometimes? Shocking, right?
So here's a breather for you, two puffs of fresh, dark air from some fellow AQC'ers who are making a name for themselves, Pete Morin and Robert K. Lewis, who are also fellow contributors at From the Write Angle.
Pete has recently published UNEASY LIVING on Smashwords, a collection of short stories involving abandonment, grief, loss, and betrayal. My review can be found here. If you have tried, or want to try, your hand at short stories, take a look at Pete's collection to learn how to build a world, deliver backstory, and make your reader care about someone who doesn't exist within a low word count.
Robert has been publishing his short noir fiction at Criminal Element, a community website featuring daily content for fans of the crime and mystery genres in all of their forms. The site features original short stories and excerpts from upcoming crime and mystery novels along with daily blog articles. Again, if you want examples of how to cram a lot of voice into a small amount of words, look no farther. You can find his stories here.