Over the next few weeks I’ll be asking my fellow YA authors to take a turn here (mostly to give me a rest, but don’t tell them that) to talk about what they love about the genre.
There are lots of reasons why I write and read YA. I don’t write or read it exclusively, but it seems to dominate my choices at a subconscious level. Whenever a story pops into my head, invariably, a teenage character pops in with it. Maybe it’s because I’m drawn to young people in life (or people who have a young outlook). Maybe it’s because I have a misguided attachment to my battered old Converse which means you’ll have to prise them from my cold, dead feet, regardless of how embarrassing my kids find it. Maybe it’s because I’m clinging stubbornly to my own lost youth. I’m not sure I can really say why I lean towards YA – you might as well ask why I like the colour green.
Whatever Freud would have to say, I love to write characters of this age. They escape the constraints that dictate the actions of the rest of us. There’s a whole new world opening up for them, endless possibilities still to be written. I write younger protagonists from time to time under a pen name and, while they have just as much fun, mostly I have the watchful eye of a parent or guardian to take into consideration. Young adult protagonists have more freedom to go out into the world on their own but without the burdens that adults have. It’s a time of massive transition – of finding yourself, who you really are, what sort of person you’re becoming – and for me, that’s so exciting. With a young adult protagonist you can pursue emotional arcs that you can’t with any other age group and your characters don’t have to worry about the next gas bill.
First up on the guest posts it’s the turn of the lovely Jack Croxall, author of Tethers, to talk about Philip Pullman, dodgy electric guitars, and what started him on the YA road. You can catch Jack’s blog post here tomorrow.