Thursday, October 18, 2012

Q: What do you get when you cross...

...Jägermeister, a BMW 760Si Sedan, and a pair of shearing scissors?

A: Chapter 6!

Okay, okay, I couldn't resist. It was too good not to share. That being said, it also got me thinking about the Young Adult (YA) genre. While I do still consider my audience primarily YA, I would be remiss to not put a "warning" on the book about the mature content and language. (For those of you who don't know me yet, I'm rather partial to the F-bomb.) 

But when I think about my own teenage years, I can't really say they'd be much different than some of what these girls experience. Well, aside from the $180,000 luxury "emissions-friendly" BMW. Oh, and the demonic nemesis. Yeah, I had my differences with a few people, but none of them were ever as evil as my antagonist is about to be. 

I think on one hand, we haven't traditionally given our teenagers (and what they experience and want to read) enough credit. But things are so much different now than they were when I was in sixteen. I was reading Sweet Valley High for God sake. Well, until my junior year when (thankfully) a friend introduced me to the strong heroine and sensual experiences of Skye O'Malley and the darker, more complex Gothic fiction of VC Andrews

It's one of the reasons that pushed me into starting this book to begin with. I wanted to tell a story about these three best friends, but I wanted it to be gritty and real. I didn't want to dumb it down for a certain rating or genre. I wanted to share what some teenagers experience--which is, unfortunately, some very adult and mature situations. That, laced with some really epic mistakes that all great teenagers make!

So, I'm really proud to be a part of this next generation of writers who have the courage and the insight to write what teenagers really want to read. To be honest. To show our flaws and our mistakes and our complications. To write with a certain sense of rawness and humor. To give them the credit that they know how to separate the mature and dark content they read from reality. After all, adults use fiction to fantasize and escape, right? It's no different with teenagers. 

Let's just hope the Jägermeister, BMW, and shearing scissors make the cuts after I'm finished with my classic "shitty first draft" (thanks Anne LaMott!). 

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