I Read YA Guest Post with Author Mary McCoy: Why I Read and Write YA!

Welcome to the first guest post of my celebration of I Read YA week! I am so excited to have this amazing author as a guest today, order on What A Nerd Girl Says, because she is an awesome presence in the YA community and I love having her as a friend. Please read on to learn more about the epic Mary McCoy!


Mary McCoy is a writer and a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library. She has also been a contributor to On Bunker Hill and the1947project, where she wrote stories about Los Angeles’s notorious past. She grew up in western Pennsylvania and studied at Rhodes College and the University of Wisconsin. Mary now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son. Her debut novel,Dead To Me, is a YA mystery set in the glamorous, treacherous world of 1940s Hollywood.


Add Mary McCoy’s amazing debut novel on Goodreads, and buy it at your local bookstore or on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Book Depository. 

“Don’t believe anything they say.”

Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamorous sister she idolized would return to her–and what their Hollywood-insider parents had done to drive her away.

When Annie does turn up, the blond, broken stranger lying in a coma has no answers for her. But Alice isn’t a kid anymore, and this time she won’t let anything stand between her and the truth, no matter how ugly. The search for those who beat Annie and left her for dead leads Alice into a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets–and onto the trail of a young runaway who is the sole witness to an unspeakable crime. What this girl knows could shut down a criminal syndicate and put Annie’s attacker behind bars–if Alice can find her first. And she isn’t the only one looking

Evoking classic film noir, debut novelist Mary McCoy brings the dangerous glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age to life, where the most decadent parties can be the deadliest, and no drive into the sunset can erase the crimes of past.


When people ask me why I read YA, I always say that I appreciate young adult fiction because it respects the reader’s time. I like that YA gives me complicated human emotions and experiences, fast-moving prose, richly drawn characters, and stories I can get lost in even if I can finish them in a sitting or two.

But it also goes deeper than that. YA is not staring at its own belly button, contemplating how special and clever and wise it is. It’s fiction that’s inviting me as a reader to ask, “What do *you* think?” It’s fiction that doesn’t claim to have all the answers. It’s fiction that encourages readers to figure out how they feel and gives them permission to formulate opinions – even if they’re different from the author’s.
As for why I write YA, I think it’s because the experience of time and place is so strange and frustrating when you’re a teenager. You live on a schedule imposed by someone else, and you don’t get to make a lot of the choices that impact you. That’s interesting to me because I find that – both as a writer and as a person – those limitations suck, but they can also lead to creative breakthroughs and help you punch through, leap over, and sneak around the lousy, boring choices you might make if you had limitless resources.
When you’re stuck in the box that is high school, YA tells you there’s no point in waiting around for someone to rescue you. You can sit around waiting for things to change, or you can turn into Harry Houdini, wiggle your way loose, and astonish them all. You can do it on your own terms, and that’s true whether you’re talking about writing YA or living it.


Thank you so so so much Mary for being a part of I Read YA week! Remember to tune in all week to keep up with all the interviews and posts!

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