Hello everyone! We are behind schedule for the July author interview as we had difficulties to get the last three authors to send in their answers and we had to find new authors to replace the three authors who had signed up earlier for the interview. Nevertheless, I am happy to finally be able to publish the answers from all of them for the interview series.
It’s time to reveal the answers for all 12 questions answered by 12 author participants in the July Group Author Interview, in the 12 genres, 12 authors, 12 months and 12 questions series! Thank you for the support from the 12 Young Adult authors who have participated in this group author interview.
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So, the 4th question is “When writing your YA book, have you tried getting input from real teenagers?”
1) Author #1: Jesse Frankel
I have. A few have responded in a most timely and decent manner.
2) Author #2: Roxanne San Jose
Yes so my readers can relate to the story.
3) Author #3: Diane Guntrip
‘Dear H’ was written over a period of 15 years. It began life as a short story to satisfy a desire to write. There was never an intention to publish the story. Years later, the story developed and became longer. When I thought I had completed it, I gave it to my neighbour’s two granddaughters to read. They were both 12 years of age at the time. One of them read the manuscript five times over that weekend. They both urged me to have it published. I explained that it was not an easy task and the book was forgotten. Owing to family issues the book was not published for another two years. By then, I had added another 2,000 words. When I decided to self-publish, I gave the manuscript to some more young people to assess their reactions.
4) Author #4: Katy Mitchell
I have lots of people reading my drafts and making suggestions. For example, someone suggested that I should introduce a kiss to the end of one chapter. And I did!
5) Author #5: Marisa Noelle
Yes. I always do. Not only is my eldest now a teen but I also have teen beta readers and I canvas the teens of family friends when I’m not sure about something.
6) Author #6: Amy Beashel
I have a few go-to teenager beta-readers who’ve been brilliant at responding to my random requests regarding slang and cultural references etc.
7) Author #7: T.K. Kiser
I love talking with teenagers about The Manakor Chronicles through school visits and my contact page. In one book club, the teenagers had a thrilling debate about which prince they would pair Carine with, and shared their well-articulated arguments for each one. On another occasion, when discussing The Firebrand Legacy, a young man described a weapon idea. His idea will make an appearance in the third book of the series.
8) Author #8: K.B. Shinn
The sensible thing to do would have been to have real teenagers beta-test my book, but my first real teenage audience came right after I self-published. My mother was the librarian at my old high school, and her book club read my work. I was surprised and pleased that they liked it. If I could do it all over again, though, I would have plucked up the courage to ask them their thoughts before I published. Who knows, it might have even made a different story.
9) Author #9: Shirley McCann
Yes. Mostly grandkids and their friends.
10) Author #10: Claire Moore
I have two children and have lots of friends with children – so they have read the book and given me feedback.
11) Author #11: Jeremy Smith
Yes. And each one gave me a different response that usually conflicts with the previous ones.
12) Author #12) Jon Hartless
No; I tend to feel my work is more of a cross-over for both YA and beyond; see the “universal experiences” comment above. Thus teenagers, young adults, the middle-aged and over can all (hopefully) find something recognisable and get involved in the story and characters. Besides, it would look *very* dodgy for a middle-aged bloke to be chasing after teenagers…. even if it just for literary input!
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