Hello everyone! It’s time to reveal the answers for the 4th question for May Author Interview featuring 13 Young Adult authors. Answers for question #3 can be found here
Just in case if you are wondering who we are interviewing this month, you can check out this link
and get all your Crime Fiction/Horror/Mystery writers to participate in the next group interview.
So, the third question is “Why do you choose to write Young Adult books?”
I love YA. I always have and I always will, even when other opinionated people think it’s juvenile. I love the excitement and emotional drama of teens. Not in real life, mind you, just in fiction! YA is my primary genre, but I actually do write contemporary romances as well. I have one published so far (Date Shark) and two more scheduled for release this year as long as everything goes to plan.
Firstly, I like to read YA (especially YA that appeals to boys). Because I find it hard to find YA that appeals to boys, I’ve always felt like it was an area where we need more writers to focus. Also, I like YA characters–I like all the conflict and newness to life and experience that they offer (if that makes any sense). I don’t know if I’d be good at writing in any other genre. Regardless of the age of my character, I expect they’d all end up sounding YA.
Actually I do write a lot of other books that aren’t YA. I have a new adult series Shadeborn and a few books that are suitable for all ages. For me the story dictates the ages of the characters, so I always write what is suitable for the kind of story I want to tell. When I do write YA, those books tend to be a lot about self-discovery, first loves and the pressures of growing up. I find those kinds of issues very enjoyable to explore.
It’s just more fun. I like good, clean writing. I don’t want to worry about a lot of swearing or sex, which I think is inappropriate for YA. Plus, it makes me feel young again!
Actually, Dead in the Water is my only Young Adult novel. My other two books (Sideshow, out now, and Conspiracy of Ravens, due for release at the end of June) are both horror novels for adults.
A lot of my favorite books are YA- and also, that is the time in my life when I really became close with books. I love that age- an age of finding one’s self and also testing boundaries.
I love writing YA! Maybe because I had such a sad social life when I was sixteen (and I want to live vicariously through my characters) or maybe because I want to relive the first kiss over and over again! Writing YA is all about firsts; first kiss, relationship, betrayal, breakups, and self-discoveries, etc… I may one day dabble in the exciting new world of New Adult (shh…don’t tell anyone!)
Having spent a number of years working with youth as a Recreation Therapist, I am more comfortable with teenagers than I am writing for adults or younger kids. Also, as a teenager, that’s a time where I felt like I had a ton of growing experiences and emotional episodes to pull from! It’s also an age where so much growth can happen for characters who are experiencing life, some events for the first time. It’s fun to go back to that time in my own life and visualize what it might be like for different characters.
I mostly read Young Adult books, and I have long before the Twilight series. A romantic at heart, first love gets me every time, and I love coming of age stories, too. There is something magical about all that possibility in youth. I may someday write other genres, but for right now, I really enjoy this one.
I’m in love with Young Adult fiction. It’s the raw emotional honesty that gets me. And the innocence and experiences that are quite often for the first time. There’s something very special about that period in our lives. Also I have the maturity of a sixteen year old so it suits me pretty well.
I read YA. It’s my favorite. I like the ability to allow my characters to experience things for the first time, love, loss, hope. It’s all so much fresher and more real at that age.
At the time when I first started writing, I was in high school, so the young adult genre was natural to me, despite me reading mostly adult thrillers. I felt that I could accurately write about a teenager because I was a teenager. Now that I’m older, I don’t think I’ll stop writing YA. There’s just something fascinating about that age group; there’s so much hope and desire and innocence and imagination. It’s like, you’re invincible and you feel you can change the world with just one tweet.
13) Author #13: Michael Thal
I taught middle school for 28 years. The old adage says, “Write what you know.” I know kids. As a reading specialist, I also understand what keeps them focused on their reading. Two of my novels are for the MG crowd—The Legend of Koolura and Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback. Both books are about a very cool pre-teen with extraordinary psychic powers. Kids like that. How do I know? Because when my daughter was 11 years old, she told me what she liked. So I decided to write a book she would read. That was how Koolura was born.
I do write a column and articles about parenting and education. You can find that on my blog athttp://blog.michaelthal.com and my Examiner column at http://exm.nr/1x80d4P.
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