Between The Lines: Introducing The Yes No Maybe So Series

Between The Lines is a sporadic feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which authors and other industry professionals provide further insight into the writing and publishing process in the form of interviews, guest posts, etc. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy as we read between the lines.

Hi everyone! Today I’m so excited to have partnered with my friends at Simon & Schuster Canada to help introduce their new Children’s Publishing Program and forthcoming middle grade series, Yes No Maybe So! With an emphasis on diversity, inclusion and a whole lot of fun, Yes No Maybe So allows readers to determine what happily ever after means to them by offering them the opportunity to choose between a number of different potential paths for the novel’s main character, each with their own unique conclusion!

To tell us a little more about Yes No Maybe So and the first two books in this series, Tara Takes The Stage and Yael and The Party Of The Year, which will be coming to a bookstore and library near you May 8th 2018, Simon & Schuster Canada’s managing editor, Patricia Ocampo, has kindly agreed to stop by and share all the details. Happy reading!

About Patricia Ocampo

Patricia Ocampo is managing editor and children’s book editor at Simon & Schuster Canada. To love Back To The Future and The Carol Burnett Show is to know her.

Getting the chance to create a children’s publishing program is like getting to choose a wand at Ollivanders. I now had the power to create books — the most magical objects in the world — but would those books for young readers be good company, the way my favourite childhood books had been for me?

Two memories jumped out in flashing neon (it was the 80s, yo):

1) The Scholastic Book Fair
The colourful, tissue-thin order forms. Sharing your wish list with friends. The running of the bulls as the library doors finally opened. It was here I discovered Choose Your Own Adventures, my first collective experience. Everyone was reading CYOA books. As soon as you read one, you’d share it with your best bud to find out which storyline they’d like best. Up to this point, reading was a solitary experience. Suddenly, it was something to talk about.

2) Save-On-Foods
Whenever my parents said we were going to the big grocery store — the one that had the dedicated book section instead of those rickety spinner racks — I would zip to the mini-van before they even had their shoes on. I knew I would be coming home with a couple of Archie comics and — if only it were there! — the next Baby-Sitters Club book. I had them all: the novels, the Super Specials, the Mysteries. Even as I loved more “serious” fare like Tuck Everlasting and books for much older readers — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Ender’s Game, and Stephen King’s IT (eek) — my go-tos, my ride-or-dies, were those girls from Stoneybrook. They were diverse, relatable, and dealt with serious issues with humour and heart.

I mulled over these childhood influences and knew I wanted to publish books that combined the best of Choose Your Own Adventures and The Baby-Sitters Club series: books that feel expressly made for each reader even as it appeals to every kind of reader, books to share and argue over.

And so — Accio, inspiration! — I conjured Yes No Maybe So.

In the Yes No Maybe So series, a diverse group of besties at Knot’s Valley Middle School navigate — with the reader’s help — family pressure, school woes, friend friction, and ALL. THE. CRUSHES. Each book has multiple storylines, and readers choose the major plot turns: Should Tara go to her forever crush’s house for rehearsal, or go to the movies with a family-friend-who-might-be-more-than-a-friend? Should Yael try to dance with the cute older guy, or just hang with her girls? If you dislike how your story ends, you can flip back to the beginning and start again.

The first book features Tara Singh, a drama queen torn between Bollywood and Broadway dreams and three crushworthy guys: charismatic Hiro, family friend Rohan, and sweetly supportive Desmond. The second book focuses on her shy BFF, Yael Lewis, as she prepares for her bat mitzvah. Will she dance with Cam, Gabriel, or Eli? Or will she call off the whole thing?

I have had the time of my life working on these books, and I hope readers have just as much fun reading them. Even if just one kid feels about Yes No Maybe So the way I did about my childhood favourites, that would be pure magic.

Title Tara Takes The Stage (Book 1 in the Yes No Maybe So series)
Author Tamsin Lane
Pages 160 Pages
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Genre Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Choose Your Own Adventure
Publication Date May 8th 2018 by Simon Schuster
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Every day before and after school Tara Singh helps her parents at their Indian sweet shop, but the only business Tara is interested in is show business. When a local theater announces a casting call for The Wizard of Oz, Tara is determined to wear the ruby slippers.

As she prepares for the audition, Tara is distracted by some unexpected drama: There is Rohan, the delivery boy her parents hired. Hiro, her forever crush, who wants to rehearse with her. And Desmond, a shy theater nerd who has started lighting up her heart. Can Tara win the part and get the guy?

Yes? No? Maybe so!

Title Yael and The Party Of The Year (Book 2 in the Yes No Maybe So series)
Author Tamsin Lane
Pages 176 Pages
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Genre Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Choose Your Own Adventure
Publication Date May 8th 2018 by Simon Schuster
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Yael is dreading her bat mitzvah. Her loving but clueless mother insists on throwing an epic birthday extravaganza, even though Yael hates the spotlight.

Despite herself, Yael grows more excited, especially when her crush, Cam, accepts the invitation. Then she meets Gabriel, the emcee’s son, whose chill attitude makes her rethink the party plans. Thank goodness her old friend Eli will be there to keep her steady, even though he’s returned from camp a little bit different. Will Yael’s party be the best…or a bust?

Yes? No? Maybe so!

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