Monday, April 12, 2010

More Authors on Writing Young Adult Books

Georgia McBride is a young adult author, a mom, and founder of #YAlitchat on Twitter. She has written Praefatio, a YA urban fantasy series. Learn more about her on her blog. I follow her on Twitter, and on the blog, so I asked her about writing YA books.

Why did I choose to write YA?

I didn’t. YA chose me. Every single character that has every come to me with a story to tell has been a teen.

Are you more careful as far as sex, violence etc. because it is a YA book?

I am mindful that I am writing YA and I think about what I would want my daughter to read (she is now 6) or not. But I’m careful to stay true to my characters regardless. My characters are emotional, vulnerable, sensual, human beings--well not all of them are human. But, I can't censor them in one area and expect them to be fully realized in another. It simply wouldn’t work.

Sandra Cox is the author of Vampire Island and Grounded, both YA paranormal novels. I asked her about writing YA novels:

As to why I decided to write a YA series and why it appeals to me: Basically, because its fun:) I love writing YA/YAH (young at heart). Its like writing anything else, except your heroine is younger and the energy level is higher.

Visit Sandra here.

Linda Palmer currently writes YA paranormal romances including her series, Wolf of My Heart. She gave me some insight into why she decided to start writing for teens. You can visit Linda and get more information on her books here.

I wrote category print books (specifically Silhouettes) for 10 years, 21 books in all. The reason these books are called "category" is because they fulfill specific reader expectations. So I wrote cowboys, brides, grooms, wedding and babies until I coudn't write one single more, much less read one. I burned out totally. In search of something else to read, I stumbled across Meg Cabot's paranormal teen series, 1-800-Where-R-You? and The Mediator (the basis for Ghost Whisperer). These reads were so refreshing after the rut I'd been stuck in that I actually wanted to write again. So I made a list of everything in them I loved: feisty heroine, inappropriate boyfriend (ghost or on probation for some crime), messy family (bipolar illness, step-siblings, half-siblings, divorced parents, etc.), a hint of mystery and a paranormal aspect. Based on my list, I began writing exactly what I wanted to read.

As for the YA aspect, Jacob Black says it best in New Moon: "Age is just a number, baby." Twilight is a YA book, and what 9 to 99 year old female (or male) can resist reading it? The same goes for Harry Potter. I like YAs because I don't have to deal with adult issues such as past marriages, children (either the hero's or heroine's), or sex. Instead, I can write a book that's young in tone, but has an "adultness" (according to one of my editors) that makes it ageless. I still deal with life issues, of course, sex included, but with a younger approach. The YA market is growing in leaps and bounds thanks to some saavy writers. I'm glad to have gotten in on the ground floor of YA e-publishing.

Thanks to all of the authors that shared their opinions and experiences with me during YA Week! ~Moonsanity

No comments: