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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Author Insight: An Expanding Audience

Teens are no longer the sole audience for Young Adult fiction. Has the fact that more adults are reading the genre impacted the way you write?

"It doesn’t, not in the slightest. When I write for an age group, I write the kind of book I would have liked to read. I don’t know how to do anything else." - Daniel Marks, author of Velveteen.

"Writing for teens is about exploring the adolescent experience – stuff like the search for identity – and such themes can resonate with adults too. I think that’s awesome, but I’m still very aware that I’m writing for a teen audience first and foremost." - Lenore Appelhans, author of Level 2. 

"It doesn’t impact it. Or it doesn’t impact it much. In my mind, the only difference between Young Adult fiction and fiction qua fiction is the age of the majority of the characters. In Young Adult fiction, you’re writing a book about people who happen to BE young adults, i.e. in their teens. And teens/pre-teens are smart. They’re aware. They know what’s going on. And they don’t like to be talked down to. (Who does?) So, I try to write as directly and honestly as possible. Same as I do with adult fiction." - Lili Peloquin, author of The Innocents

"It does make me think about style, and in a way that has been healthy for me as a writer, I think. I'm writing for a potential audience of “anybody,” so I've tried to develop a storytelling style sophisticated enough to appeal to adults but not so obtuse as to deter younger readers--like the Sesame Street shows I grew up with in the '70s, which I loved as a kid and still love now. Jim Henson was a master of multigenerational appeal." - Steven Arntson, author of The Wrap-Up List.

"I don't think about it at all. My main goal is to tell a good story that touches people in some way. I write first and foremost for me, because it's not fun otherwise. Writing is hard enough, I don't want to make it any harder by sucking the joy out of it. Once it's on the shelves, I think you just have to have faith that it will find the readers it was meant to have." - Lisa Schroeder, author of Falling for You

"I hear from a lot of adults who have read my books, especially my book Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have which is about a fat high school student trying to find where he fits in the world. I think it taps into that universal feeling (especially strong in high school) of not knowing where you belong.  I’m happy that YA is getting a bigger audience, because I think some of the most creative work in the literary world is being done by YA authors. However, I don’t write differently for teens or adults. It’s all as honest and engaging as I can make it." - Allen Zadoff, author of Since You Left Me.

"I try to write in a way that fits my story and characters. If you’re writing teen fiction, you can hope for, but not count on, crossover to an adult audience. If your main characters don’t sound authentic to their time, place, and age, if you somehow try to make them appeal to a different audience, you would risk losing your core group of readers. Of course a compelling story matters most." - Pamela Mingle, author of Kissing Shakespeare

"Honestly? It hasn't. I concentrate on telling a story to the best of my abilities. Whether I’m writing for adults or teens, that doesn't change." - Kathleen Peacock, author of Hemlock.

"I don't think the inclusion of adults in the YA market has changed how I write. I write for teens. Period. But if adults want to read my writing, I welcome them." - Trish Doller, author of Something Like Normal

"My adult readers might identify more with the grown-ups in my books than the teenage protagonists, so I need to make sure the secondary characters are just as interesting as the main ones. Of course, I have to do this anyway!" - Helen Keeble, autor of Fang Girl

"It really hasn't. I don't think about adult readers when I write YA, though I'm happy if they enjoy my books, too!" - Susan Vaught, author of Freaks Like Us

Come back Thursday to see if the expanding audience for Young Adult fiction has affected the way they write!

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