First order of business: I have a guest post up on Tahereh Mafi’s blog. When you’re done here, check it out. I think you’ll like it. Also, I booby-trapped my guest post to send Skittles through the Internet for anyone who reads it.
Right. So, about YA…
I didn’t always read young adult books. If you consider the story of my life, it’s a pretty recent development, one that I probably would have written down in my diary when I was younger. (Actually, blogs are like public diaries so technically I am making a note in my diary.)
See, I never knew there was such a thing as YA books. In high school, we read the classics. And even though some should have been filed under YA during their time (A Separate Peace, Rome & Juliet, Lord of the Flies, and Catcher in the Rye come to mind) we didn’t consider them anything but Super Special Books We Should Like Because Important People Think They’re Great (or SSBWSLBIPTTG for short).
Incidentally, my love for SSBWSLBIPTTG and others that I read in high school or college led me to only read classics. Seriously. I figured there were plenty and I had to catch up.
It wasn’t until years after college that I started reading current authors—but still not YA. And then.
Then … I don’t remember which book did it. I was sucked in. I am sucked in.
I wish high school me could have supplemented all of those classics with YA. Because they’re fun and real and exciting and exactly how my teen years felt even if I never faced half of the problems these young protagonists face.
(To be clear, I was never pregnant, never met my smokin’ hot guardian angel, never got attacked by zombies or made out with a vampire. There was this one time when me and my classmates had to fight to the death on TV but that’s about as crazy as my high school years got.)
And all of that is why I’m writing YA.
Why do you write for teens? (Or kids. Hi MG writers! I love your novels, too!)