Sunday, May 30, 2021

Send Me a Postcard, Drop Me a Line...

 For some reason, the lyrics to that Beatles classic get me thinking about how to write good Young Adult literature.

Not just the mention of postcards and lines, or points of view, but the central refrain itself: Will you still need me, will you still feed me, When I'm 64?

Philip Pullman said, After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world. 

Hear hear. I think equating stories--whether reading or writing them--resonates with many. It does with me. And so, will you still need me, will you still feed me, resonates too. The David Rose Series is Young Adult Fantasy, and I must here proffer a confession: YA has never been my natural writing voice. The series was inspired by my children and represents a promise I made to them long ago, but finding that balance required of good YA(in my opinion), can be quote elusive, and I profoundly admire those who have mastered it. I say it's a balance because good YA, I believe, should appeal to young and older readers alike. Middle, tweens, teens, young adult, adult. I mean, why limit your audience? There is no shortage of adults who love great YA literature. One must not deviate too drastically, I rather think, from tried and true YA tropes and techniques, but I have admittedly in the D Rose series pushed the literary envelope a bit and "written up," as it were. Not too much, I hope, and I am grateful to have received good feedback from young readers, in whom I retain great faith. You don't want them running endlessly to the(actual or online) dictionary, but is it so bad if they make a few trips, here and there? I still do, and am typically delighted to do so. My hope is--and our dear readers, as ever, shall be the ultimate arbiters--that the magic and adventure and darkness and light and story which imbue the series, will make it a fun read, and that the literary overlay will challenge and engage and offer something different from typical YA.

In any case, I hope young and older readers alike will enjoy the series. And that readers will need me, and I may still nourish them, as Pullman might say, when they're 64. 

Here's a look back at a piece I penned for the legendary Katie Weiland a few years ago, about what makes great YA. I hope you enjoy, and as always, thank you for your support.

Write On!

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