Reader Question: Writing YA

How did you end up writing fiction for young adults?

The short answer is, I don’t entirely know. It just sort of happened that way!

The long answer:

I started writing novels in my early teens. I wrote about teens because I figured I should follow that “write what you know” adage. At the time, I assumed that once I’d moved into “adult” life–going to university, getting a full time job, living on my own–I’d naturally start writing about adults. Except it didn’t work out that way. I kept writing books, and somehow the characters kept being teens.

I don’t remember ever making a conscious decision to write YA. I’d always loved YA books and continued reading them long after I branched out into adult books as well. My writing style fits the genre naturally–I like compact, quick-to-the-point books. And there’s something about the teen years that resonates with me. It’s such a powerful and emotional time, when you’re figuring out what sort of person you want to be, and how you can be that person. So it makes for emotional, powerful stories for my characters.

And I like writing for teens as well as about them. I think that for a lot of people, the older they get, the more books lose their magic. It’s hard to find more passionate, enthusiastic readers than teens, and I appreciate that.

Hopefully I’ll be able to keep writing for them for a long time to come!


Reader Question: Writing YA — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Megan! My name is Megan, too. I go by Meg, though. 🙂 I, too, started out writing funny fantasy stories with cats and magic, but somewhere along the way I got sidetracked … was told cat-and-magic-stories are childish … and now don’t write YA fiction, even though I really think that’s who I am as a writer deep-down. I resonated with your last paragraph in this entry. “It’s hard to find more passionate, enthusiastic readers than teens” is true, but I never thought about it that way. Thanks for providing that ‘it’s so close it’s right in front of your face’ wake-up call.

  2. I also think there are a lot of writers who are passionate readers of YA. As an adult, I love reading middle grade and YA books. I wouldn’t mind reading an adult book or two but there’s never enough time and I guess my passion is for the middle grade and YA books. There’s so many good ones.

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