Thursday, April 29, 2010

Y is for...

YA, or Young Adult.

Why have I chosen to write for the YA genre?

You might say it chose me. In today's world, it seems that there is very little interest in a novel for grown ups (notice I don't say adult books lol) that doesn't have swearing, sex and violence. The problem is, I'm not the only one to have noticed this.

Years ago, when I WAS a young adult, or a teen, YA books were pretty much limited to a handful of classics and Sweet Valley Twins books. There was so little to read most of us just jumped up to grown up books.

Now, the YA market is inundated with books. I mean, there's really tons of them. Most authors I meet these days write YA. Granted, many of them are still unpublished--but they're all working toward publication. I don't see this as a bad thing. After all, how many of us ever read only one author? There's nothing wrong with a little market diversity.

But I don't consider myself a YA author. Perhaps 4 or 5 of my titles are YA. Recently, the projects that have hit me really hard have been middle grade fiction. For the time being, since we live in the now, my current projects are YA fantasy so I am a YA author.

I bristle at this. It feels like pigeon-holing and I've never been a fan of being categorized--good or bad--by any title. Maybe that's why my other age group projects have so much appeal. I even have a couple of grown up projects in the works--okay, the idea stages. One of the problems of having a prolific brain is I always have ideas, but not always the time to see them through. Gah. Some days I get up and already feel like I've fallen behind.

I'm glad the YA novel market has come so far. And I'm also glad that many people find comfort in reading books marketed to youths--even well into middle age and beyond. We shouldn't be limited to what is considered appropriate for our age level. I've already told the newest reader in our home, my 6 yr old, that she can read anything in my library.

But then, I don't go for those ADULT types of books. :)


Unknown said...

I have to confess that I'm not into YA books. I haven't read many though, so maybe that's the issue. I have read lots of excerpts on various writing sites however. Some were good, some not so good.

I would consider SE Hinton as one of the first to write what would now be considered YA, and I loved her books.

I was one who jumped from kids books to 'adult' books. My novel would be considered adult, but mostly because the protaganist is in his 30s. That's probably the main disqualifier, which is kind of bugs me. lol


I found your post very interesting to read,
although I write poetry I'm always ready to hear and see what authors of books write about.


Raquel Byrnes said...

I just heard from a frient that there is an entire bookclub filled with moms that read YA books because they enjoy the story, the angst, and the drama, without the sex and bad language. Amazing how far this genre has come in just a few short years.

Mel Chesley said...

See... I am hoping I am not falling into the YA category, but because my writing is clean, it very well may. But my MC's are not teens. Okay, well Kayta is like... 19, but still. She's older than her years because she's in command of the army of her father's kingdom. Has been since she was 18 and titled Guardian of the Realm.
I've got ideas that are Fantasy, Sci-Fi (yes SF) and paranormal. Go figure. :D

Grammy said...

Hi, I quite often read the YA books, although I am an old grammy. Love to read them, and love the clean ones. Keep on writing!

Liz H. Allen said...

YA is my favorite genre. But I think, with the times, there is sew swearing and violence. Just not as hardcore as some other books could be. Even Harry Potter had death.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

YA has certainly changed. And I know another author who did not set out to write YA (she wrote a series of five) so you are in good company.