Hello everyone! It’s time to reveal the answers for the fifth question for May Author Interview featuring 13 Young Adult authors. Answers for question #4 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 5th question is “Why do you choose to write Young Adult books?”
I’ve been blessed to get to “meet” a lot of my readers through social media and I love hearing directly from them how my books have affected them. One of the common things I hear when they talk about my characters is how they’ve felt the same way my characters do at times. Sure, my readers may not be faced with being fated to destroy the world, but they know what it’s like to be an outcast. They may not be cursed with hunger for other people’s suffering, but they know what it’s like to feel different from everyone else. They may not be invisible (literally), but they know what it feels like to be the kid no one seems to know is there. It really touches me to hear them say that connecting with my characters made them feel like they weren’t alone in what they were feeling and that things could change for them.
My desire is to get kids and adults reading. Otherwise, I just want to entertain and make the reader think a little. If they read my book, the first goal is achieved. Most seem to enjoy my story, so I suppose my desired impact was achieved.
The Mind’s Eye was my first YA book, published by Clean Teen Publishing. The response was immense! I can’t get over how many messages and kind words I have received from readers all over the world who connected with the story of a young English girl set in World War 2. It’s been a big hit with the American School Library Journal which was a huge, glowing recommendation and it’s continuing to surprise me with the different kinds of people that connect to it, regardless of age, nationality or any other factor.
The impact of my first book, Reluctant Guardian, has been great. So many people have written to me telling me the cried the whole way through. I love that. A book that can make you laugh and cry is a success in my mind.
I wrote Dead in the Water for my students at the school where I work. I wanted to write something for them that was appropriate but also entertaining, something that my little sisters could read (they are teenagers and pre-teens) without too much graphic content or language.
I think some were pleased and really liked the story, but others had a hard time identifying with the setting- as it is a purely rural lifestyle. Overall, I have gotten positive remarks from groups, but the book has reached fans of all ages, which makes me even more proud. I never set out to write a trilogy, but people kept wanting more answers and really became involved with the characters in the first book.
The best part of writing a book is feedback, hands down! It makes my day every time someone lets me know they enjoyed my novel! Before I published The Awakener I had the entire novel up on Wattpad for free reading, so I received feedback from many of thousands who’d read it. I still remember one night my phone chiming I had a message. I pulled it open to see a girl in Africa had just finished reading my book and was in tears over how it was just what she’d needed to restore her faith. That message left me in tears.
I enjoy writing with a purpose so Lingering Echoes has morals and values sprinkled within the emotional and mysterious storyline that touches on family relationships, friendships, love and healing. It’s still a fairly new book so I am eager to get it into the hands of more young adults. I hope the emotions of first-love, forgiveness and trust are topics that young adults can relate with, and that the storyline of Lingering Echoes will resonate with them. Moreover, keeping youth in mind, I kept the book clean of bad language and overly-descriptive intimacy so as not to limit my audience. I’m finding there is a lot of appreciation from readers who enjoy a “clean read”.
Never Forgotten at its heart, is the story about a teenage girl coming to terms with her mother’s illness and settling into a new life in a different country. I am fortunate that I did not experience much grief as a teen, but I know many others have. Since then, I’ve had personal experience with loved ones suffering from cancer. It’s unbelievably painful. Never Forgotten may make you cry, but I hope it will also make you believe in possibilities, in forgiveness, and in the redemptive quality of love.
It’s hard to tell in these still early days but I have some wonderful feedback. My books cover some pretty intense subjects such as broken homes, verbal and physical abuse and issues of race to name a few. I have letters written to me relaying the effect my books had on them, giving them strength and perspective in trying times.
In terms of desired impact I would love The Woodlands Series to spark debates about racism, the female hero and why she doesn’t have to be a warrior to inspire and perhaps treating it as an example of a relationship based on mutual respect.
For Losing Logan, I just want people to get the feeling that it’s ok to love someone and lose them. It’s not the end of the world. Life and love endures, even when it breaks your heart. It’s ok to let go sometimes.
It’s been well received by the nerd/geek community, which is exactly what I wanted. My series takes itself seriously, but at the same time you can see all of the various shows and movies that’s influenced me in some way. There’s little Easter eggs (some are really subtle, others not so much) littered throughout the books and it’s so exciting when a reader recognizes them.
13) Author #13: Michael Thal
The desired impact of The Abduction of Joshua Bloom on young adults is to provide a moral code humanity will need to survive in the 21st Century. I want youngsters to look at society with different eyes—compassion, decency and cooperation—instead of greed and aggressiveness. Here’s a quote at the end of the book that illustrates what I’m talking about: Joshua says, “…the world will be at peace only when the people of our planet love their children more than they hate their neighbors.”
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