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Thursday, December 20, 2012

More Author Insight: Social Issues

When writing a book do you include nods to real life problems or social issues or do they emerge organically?

"Big picture, real world issues always emerge organically for me, if they emerge at all, and always as a result of the characters. I could never sit down and say, 'I’m going to write a story about global warming.'" - Sara Walsh, author of The Dark Light.

"I think the message should be secondary to a good story, so I try to let points come out on their own and then I try to solidify them during revisions. But I do think it's important to say things relevant to today." - Stefan Bachmann, author of The Peculiar.

"I don’t set out to write about social issues, but if they come up while I’m researching the time period, I won’t shy away from them." - Robin Bridges, author of The Unfailing Light.

"The main character of Solstice, Piper, has her best friend and her romantic interest in the book. That said, if they didn’t exist, she’d have to do some book hopping to find the right fit. She’s not one to easily form friendships or relationships, so it would have to evolve over time." - P.J. Hoover, author of Solstice.

"If they fit into the characters world, I will let them emerge. Unfortunately, most readers don’t seek out stories specifically about social justice. They look for a good story, and if social justice is a part of that, excellent." - Lara Avery, author of Anything But Ordinary.

"We all write about real life problems. I just happen to cloak mine in the cloth of fairy tales." - Adam Gidwitz, author of In a Glass Grimmly.

"I tend to write (and read) escapism, so I’ve never set out to write my opinion on a specific social issue, but realistic characters encounter the realistic problems of their time, so I think no good book is without a nod to a deeper issue." - Sharon Cameron, author of The Dark Unwinding.

"Many YA books are 'ssues' books. I don’t write those. But one theme seems to always emerge in my stories, though it’s not planned – the challenge for young women to shut out the critical/judgmental outside voices and be true to themselves." - Suzanne Selfors, author of The Sweetest Spell.

"I don't write with a political or educational goal in mind, so if social issues emerge, it's only because they're necessary to the book." - Malinda Lo, author of Adaptation

"I never set out to send a certain message to readers or write a certain theme…for me it’s always about the characters and taking them where I think they’d realistically go. I get to the end of the novel and the symbolism, themes and metaphors are just there and it’s not until that point that I realize what I’m writing about beneath the surface. But I’m sure media and pop culture influence plot elements if only subconsciously." - Julie Cross, author of Tempest.

"Everything I write emerges organically because I write by the seat of my pants and don’t pre-think anything. If a real-life or social problem arises in the plot, it’s because it fits the character at the time." - A.S. King, author of Ask the Passengers.

Find out Tuesday when the authors knew writing had gone from a hobby to a career.

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