Family Collage

Family Collage
Lots of Love in this Bunch!
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Where Are We Headed With Young Adult Literature?



This morning, when contemplating the topic for my post, I quickly found myself in a dilemma. Did I want to share about our weekend in Gainsville, Alabama (Sarah and Roarke's wedding was FABULOUS!), or did I want to venture off into some literary rambling about narrative voice, setting, theme, etc...? Finally, after opening the mail and seeing my twins' pre-school graduation pictures, I knew exactly what I wanted to share.

You see, these adorable twinkies (misfits at times) inspired me beyond measures during the creation of book #1. In fact, their adventurous behavior helped shape the main characters' traits - yes, they are fraternal boy and girl twins (or at least what I imagine Conner and Carlie's personalities to be like in roughly eleven years). So I kept in mind that one day, when my children surpass the barriers of middle grade chapter books and venture off into young adult literature, I may have very well contributed something of merit for them to select from the bookstore shelf.

My question for you: Where are we (authors of YA fiction) headed with the stories we create? I'd love to know what you think! Tory

8 comments:

  1. Tory, your children's pictures are so cute! Oh my gosh, adorable.

    I'm a bit square, so I find myself a little worried about the more edgy/almost adult books. Although they're "young adult," it seems that many teens read them.

    But then I remember that when I was a teen, I read lots of books that were in no way meant for my age group, and I did turn out to be a square after all. So, what do I know?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog tonight.

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  2. Good question. If we writers knew the answer to that question, we'd probably be published faster, more often, and with bigger advances!

    Seriously, at the conference I just attended, there was an agent panel that discussed the same topic. I plan to put together my notes and write a guest post that I'll link from my blog. Stay tuned!

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  3. Julie - Don't feel bad, my kids think I'm extremely "square," too! But I'm sure you'd agree that all children find their parents to be a little old fashioned and out of tune with the hottest trends. After researching this issue further, I found a really great blogpost regarding young adult fiction and will do my best to forward it along to you.

    Theresa - Thanks for stopping by my blog. I look forward to reading your guest post about this issue.

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  4. Hi Tory! Thanks for following Heather's Odyssey. I love your blog and this is a great post. I say don't write to trends. I did (didn't realize it at the time) and now my agent is having trouble finding it a publisher. Once a house has so many of a certain kind of book they stop buying them and look for the next big thing. Besides, it's time for the trend to change. YA needs something fresh and new! Thank goodness I kept writing and have another book about to be thrown into the submission arena!

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  5. Heather - I'm so glad you decided to follow my blog, and I look forward to witnessing your writing career take off. Your post for today was exactly what I needed to read. Thanks for sharing, Tory

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  6. Hi, Tory,

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I love the picture of your family. So beautiful.

    I'm writing my first YA now. It's edgy. I remember reading Judy Blume's Forever when I was in elementary school, thinking... "Whoa. I am never doing THAT."

    Believe me, it's tempting to sit and knock out another vampire teenage love story, but I'm more interested in the real world. I like stories that present ways in which characters manage the issues my kids are facing today. Right now.

    Luckily, I think YA is big enough for the fantasy to coexist beside the edgy.

    I'm linking to your blog; hope that's OK!

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  7. Hmh ... I'm not sure where we'll be in YA in 11 years. I just hope kids are still reading SOMETHING. I think of how vamps and zombies took over, and I have to wonder if something else will ambush them.

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  8. It's nice to meet you, too, Patty! This is why I'm a huge fan of social networking, getting to meet people like you. I'm enjoying your tweets and look forward to seeing great things come of your edgy YA project.

    Cynthia, I think you've made a great point by stating "I just hope kids are still reading something!" I couldn't agree with you more...just wish it could be one of our books, right?

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