Sunday, July 15, 2012

Why I Write for Teens


The following is an excerpt of an article I recently wrote for the Southwest Sage:

I started writing stories for young people before Harry Potter and Twilight made it fashionable to do so, before there was the dystopian world of Hunger Games, before adults were scouring the young adult shelves and writing blogs focused exclusively on teen titles.

Before there were blogs.

Now teen fiction is hot, but back when I envisioned my first stories, there was no Printz Award to honor books in that murky world just beyond the Newbery but not yet in the realm of adult literature. One friend asked, "Why are you writing for teenagers? You could be putting your work out to a larger audience." Now, ironically, young adult fiction is that "larger audience." With popular teen sales skyrocketing, it is often the children’s section of publishing houses that carry them through recessions and economic down turns.

More and more adults are reading stories with children and teens as protagonists. This phenomenon became popular with Harry Potter when the British publisher marketed one cover for adults and another cover for children. They wisely realized that adults love books with young heroes, but are not always so crazy about the covers. Now with the invention of the Kindle, the adult audience for children’s books is expanding.

To read the rest of the article see page 6 of the Southwest Sage

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