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 6th question is “Is it okay for a YA novel to get dark?”
1) Author #1: Jesse Frankel
YES! It’s fine, but it’s up to the writer to see how dark things can get. As an example, two of my novels–sorry for the shill, but this pertains to the question–The Undernet, and its sequel, Azrael, The Undernet 2, both deal with a cyber netherworld where anything goes, including murder. There is no overt violence in the first novel with the exception of the penultimate chapter, but it is quite creepy. With the sequel, I dealt with the topic of child trafficking. Again, there was nothing overt, but it was quite suggestive. Please remember that the world isn’t the nicest of places at times. Bad things can and do happen. I think that if the writer can depict such things but not go overboard, then it’s fine to go dark–at times. But there must always be a light at the end of the tunnel.
2) Author #2: Roxanne San Jose
Yes so the story could be different and entertaining
3) Author #3: Diane Guntrip
Yes, I think so. The synopsis of both of my books could sound depressing. However, when read, they are emotive and inspiring. Teens do suffer from ‘dark’ thoughts and this should be included in the books they read. It is a true representation of life.
4) Author #4: Katy Mitchell
Yes, I think so. After all, that is part of life, isn’t it? Embracing the shadow! I think it important for a book to have some sort of resolution, but it doesn’t always have to be a perfect ending. In my novel, I explore the duality of light of dark.
5) Author #5: Marisa Noelle
Yes! I didn’t read anything but dark when I was a teen. Whether it’s a horror or something more emotional, teens experience these feelings in real life and therefore they should be reflected in books. I always found that the scarier books took me out of my own life when I needed a break and the emotional ones made me ponder viewpoints I may not have considered before.
6) Author #6: Amy Beashel
Life is dark and, as such, some YA novels to be dark too. There’s a place for all kinds of books but for me it’s important that literature explores the more challenging aspects of adolescence so that readers might be better prepared for the difficulties they or their friends could face. I’m not into sensationalising trauma, rather providing a place in which it can be examined honestly, ultimately providing some solace and, of course, hope.
7) Author #7: T.K. Kiser
Absolutely. Books are places where we confront darkness, giving us tools to do so in real life. That said, I am a firm believer in hope. I like a book that shows a character shining through the darkness. When I face hard times, I want a literary hero in my mind’s eye to remind me that as dark as times may be, light will blaze through in the end. As G.K. Chesterton said, “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”
8) Author #8: K.B. Shinn
I would say it’s not only okay, but it’s crucial to have YA books that get dark. The old grouches of the world all seem to think that a teen’s problems are no greater than “I dropped my slushie and my smartphone died.” For many of us, the darkness comes early. There are teenagers in the United States who are all too familiar with abuse, hunger, homelessness, mental illness, just to name a few. Books that get dark teach readers living in that darkness that no, they’re not crazy, the pain they’re living with is real, but they’re not alone and they can get through it. If you think reading about the darkness is too much, imagine how hard it is to live it.
9) Author #9: Shirley McCann
Yes. YA readers are young adults. They know the world.
10) Author #10: Claire Moore
Absolutely! Mine is very dark!
11) Author #11: Jeremy Smith
As dark as you dare to go and then add a touch more darkness. Then turn the lights out and close your eyes. Then the fun begins.
12) Author #12) Jon Hartless
The world is dark, so YA absolutely should reflect that.
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