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 2nd question is “It is said to be crucial for YA authors to find the “Emotional Truth” of the teenage experience. Do you agree?”
1) Author #1: Jesse Frankel
I think that it’s crucial they try to find that ‘truth’…the question is how. For me, it’s reflecting on the days of my youth and the choices I made. Sometimes, those choices weren’t the best ones, and that means my characters won’t always make the right choices, either. Now,, do all YA authors find that truth? In my opinion, no. But for me, I have–or, at least, I think I have–by recalling what I did then, and putting myself in the shoes of my characters. Perhaps that’s not the best way, but it works for me.
2) Author #2: Roxanne San Jose
No, because it is part of life to experience challenges and it is up to that person how he or she handles it.
3) Author #3: Diane Guntrip
Yes, I do agree with this statement. It is vital that books must be written to appeal to the YA audience. To do this, it is important to include subjects that are relevant to the target audience and with which they identify emotionally.
4) Author #4: Katy Mitchell
As a writer, I think it is important to write characters with which your reader can identify with and build a connection with over the course of your story, so yes, I would agree this statement.
5) Author #5: Marisa Noelle
I think it depends on what you want your reader to feel. The teen years are a tricky time of puberty, self-identity and first love, and to read about those things in a novel that can support your own experiences is comforting. It makes the novel stand up above the rest as an emotional connection is formed. Having said that, there are some great reads that don’t look to send a message and are fun and light-hearted. I think those are equally important. We don’t always need to learn something.
6) Author #6: Amy Beashel
Absolutely. It’s the latter years of adolescence that really interest me. That period of life when you’re not quite adult, not quite child, when you believe you should know yourself but that knowledge feels like it’s rooted in jelly. Sometimes too wobbly and sticky to fully enjoy the sweet stuff.
7) Author #7: T.K. Kiser
Stories must ring true. The conflict must be real conflict, and emotion is absolutely part of that. Readers of thirteen or fourteen years old, for whom The Manakor Chronicles are written, are at such an incredible place emotionally. This is the time when you look at what your parents believe and start to challenge that within yourself. It’s when you decide what matters to you, and what you’re willing to sacrifice to get what you want. You decide what sort of person you want to be, what level of importance you give to your character, and how much you value yourself. This time of life is interiorly intense, and I love a story that corresponds to that.
8) Author #8: K.B. Shinn
Absolutely. Teenagers can spot a fake from a mile away, and they hate being condescended to. What I can now see as a typical teen problem felt much more devastating at the time that I was living it, because I didn’t have the insight that maybe it wasn’t that bad. Hearing adult authority figures tell me that it wasn’t that bad or in ten years I would laugh at it meant nothing. To write for a young audience, you have to be able to retain at least in part a teen’s emotional truth: everything is high stakes, everyone is watching you, the world is scary and uncertain, no one understands, and nothing ends–until it does, and then it is devastating. They need to be able to feel like someone who has been through it all is confiding in them, showing that they’ve done hard things before and can get through this one now.
9) Author #9: Shirley McCann
Yes and no. While it’s important to learn the feelings of teenagers, writers need to expand and create their own characters.
10) Author #10: Claire Moore
I think emotional truth is important to respect and reflect the experience of your characters, age is immaterial.
11) Author #11: Jeremy Smith
This is a pile of pants. Emotional truth… what kind of psychobabble is this? Everyone will have a different emotional truth if at all. You can’t lump a YA readership into one. As soon as you dissect someone’s soul you destroy it
12) Author #12) Jon Hartless
That’s a difficult one; my stories happen in an alternative Edwardian timeline, where the term “teenager” doesn’t exist, and indeed the very concept of the teenager doesn’t exist – indeed, in reality, up until the 1950s, you were a child until you were an adult. The emotional experience of my characters is therefore not structured as being teenage, though hopefully they are universal and thus recognisable.
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