Author of LGBTQ Young Adult Literature Speaks in Cincinnati

Maggie Stiefvater speaks in Cincinnati for her book tour. Photo by Kylie Boyer.

Calling herself a “paranormal fantasy author,” Maggie Stiefvater is well-known for her young adult novels. Her most popular works are the four-part series, “The Raven Cycle,” her stand-alone novel, “The Scorpio Races,” and her newest book, “All the Crooked Saints.” To promote her new release, Stiefvater is currently on tour, for which she stopped in Cincinnati on Saturday. During her talk, she spoke about both her old and new books, played the bagpipes and told some ghost stories.

While popular books featuring queer characters are a fairly new phenomenon, the young adult genre seems to be most eager to pick up the theme. In Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series, the story centers around five main characters, including two boys who are, respectively, bisexual and gay.

Stiefvater received some criticism from fans who believed that she didn’t include enough commentary on the characters’ sexualities; however, a jokingly self-prescribed “subtle storyteller,” she alluded to one of the character’s sexuality in the iconic lines, “Ronan said, ‘I’m always straight.’ Adam replied, ‘Oh, man, that’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told.’”

Stiefvater believes that she can do justice to representation by including the characters, but in the end, she isn’t trying to write queer characters, she’s trying to write characters. If those characters happen to be queer, then that’s how it will be.

Throughout the rest of her series she provides more quotations about the characters’ sexualities, as well as a same-sex kiss in the final book. Currently, Stiefvater is in the works to write a spin-off series entitled “The Dreamer Trilogy,” which will center around the gay character in the original series. The series is also in the process of coming to television through the Syfy Network, though there is no set premiere date yet.

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