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Thursday, August 26, 2010

More Author Insight: What they write

In five words or less, how would you describe the genre and age group you write for? Why do you write it?

"Young Adult Urban Fantasy. Challenge." - Leah Clifford, author of A Touch Mortal.

Teens and anyone with $17. (Just kidding!) But seriously - I write for teens about contemporary complexities and challenges because being a teenager is the time in your life when you really start to figure out the kind of person you want to be and CAN be." - Daisy Whitney, author of The Mockingbirds.

"Contemporary paranormal YA.  My books are grounded very much in the real world, with a single 'otherworldly' element.  They’re classified as 'paranormal', but I see that as a jumping off point more than the dominant element.  I like seeing how people think and react and what decisions they make when put in an unusual situation.  So that’s what I write.  Initially, I didn’t even realize my stories were YA, but I like the openness and flexibility people generally have at that time of their lives.  Characters’ reactions are less certain and, therefore, more intriguing." - Jen Nadol, author of The Mark.

 "Misfits of all kinds. I suppose because I identify with them. People on the fringes, who don't quite fit anywhere are the most interesting to me. If you really like marketing labels, you can call my writing YA, but in my mind, the only real rules of YA is that the main character is a teen and plot is important. the lack of rules is why I like it so much. It affords me the flexibility of writing a intimate, realistic book like Struts & Frets, then turn around and write a vast epic story about a demon girl in Catholic school and still be considered writing in the same genre. I feel like YA currently has the same sense of freedom as comics did in the 80's. Neil Gaiman said that they did so much bold work because there was this sense that nobody was paying attention. That they could get away with it because nobody took them seriously. That's where YA is right now. Successful, but not really taken seriously. That leaves lots of room to do the unexpected." - Jon Skovron, author of Struts & Frets.

(I write for the) young and young-at-heart. Why? Because adolescence is the quintessential crossroads. Everything is fresh, intense, impactful, and potentially life-changing. What more fertile soil for storytelling could there be?" - Wendy Delsol, author of Stork. 


"Brave - I have to tell stories regardless if they are teens are not! " - Rebecca Maizel, author of Infinite Days.

"Teens are: Savvy, wise, intuitive, self-aware and far far too ingenious! I love writing for teens because (aside from feeling like I am a perpetual teenager myself) the characters who pop into my head are nearly always young adults. And being a teenager is such an experience in itself. Emotions are heightened, so many experiences are new and, in high-school society, stakes can run so high, which is something I think many adults often dismiss or downplay." - Kelly Creagh, author of Nevermore.


"Funny, sexy romance for teens. I write it because its what I loved to read." - Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF.

"Teens and Teens-at-Heart.  I write for this age group because this was the age at which I discovered gothic mystery, fantasy, and science fiction – and began savoring books that would forever flavor my writing style." - Dianne Salerni, author of We Hear the Dead.

"I'll say that I write for 'everyone who cares about the future'. I write YA because I think it's the most interesting group to write for/think about. Young adulthood is a time when many things are 'firsts'--first loves, first adult experiences, etc. It's also more fun for me to write YA main characters because they are in the position of discovering new things and they are also old enough/strong enough to take action and make their own choices." - Ally Condie, author of Matched.

"Actually, I write in multiple genres. YA Paranormal, adult fantasy, adult mainstream, and juvenile non fiction. I could never see myself tied down to just one genre." - Phoebe Kitanidis, author of Whisper.

"Young, quirky, monster-loving adults. I really don't consider myself a young adult author, at this point - the particular story I had to tell just happened to be one that involved, and thus would probably interest, young adults. I like to think that when I write for young people, I'm just creating stories that *I* would have loved as a young person - I think it's that aspect that I most enjoy." - Lia Habel, author of Dearly, Departed.

"Powerful, supernatural, independent, brave & discerning. I ended up being a writer by accident, but I don't think it's an accident that I write YA urban fantasy. I write YA because that's the voice I have -- and it's a readership I can relate to and respect.  I think one of the reasons so many adults are reading YA today is because we can all remember what those years were like -- struggling to figure out who you are, and trying to be brave enough to be that person when you do. That's the essence of YA literature for me.  And urban fantasy? I can't imagine what else I would write. I grew up on classic high fantasy, science-fiction, and comic books. But urban fantasy grabbed me the minute I discovered it, and never let go. The place where the real world meets the the magical world -- that's the place I want to live. And the place I want to capture in my work." - Kami Garcia, co-author of Beautiful Creatures.

"YA contemporary, 14 and up. I’m not sure that I chose to write for this age group, as much as it chose me. My writing voice just seems to suit YA, and I’ve always been drawn to reading and writing stories set in a realistic world." - Denise Jaden, author of Losing Faith.

"Fantasy for older kids and shameless grown-ups. There aren't enough books like (say) LeGuin's Earthsea, McKinley's Beauty, or Rosoff's How I Live Now in the world. It's my ambition to write one like that someday. I guess I try to write what I love to read." - Erin Bow, author of Plain Kate.

"Contemporary realistic upper YA. Those are the books that spoke to me most strongly when I was growing up, and it's what I still like to read." - Jennifer Hubbard, author of The Secret Year.


Stop by Tuesday to learn about the worst fights the authors have had with their characters!
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  1. Awesome question! I loved reading all the answers from these great authors.

  2. Love this sort of round-up post. Thanks!