Wednesday, May 7, 2014

IWSG - The Accidental YA Author

IWSG—Insecure Writers Support Group, coming together on the first Wednesday of every month for a virtual pat on the back. 

I like the YA genre. My bookshelf proves that. But I am not a YA author. Writing for a younger audience is different from adult.

Or is it?

I've said before that genre designations are confusing. Take mine, the speculative fiction/urban fantasy/contemporary fantasy genre. Yeah, that one. The Magic Withheld trilogy is set in modern times, in the real world, in urban and rural settings about characters doing impossible things.

It is an adult novel. Little cursing, no explicit sex. But I wrote it for an adult audience.

So why are fifteen-year-old boys falling all over themselves to read it?

I marketed it to adult men and women. I didn’t try to use YA lingo or follow the normal well-traveled path of popular youth-oriented novels when I wrote it.

So why are kids in Middle School reading it and writing book reports?

Holy Jehoshaphat.

I had a young man come up to me and blurt out how much he loved it. How he'd read it so many times that he knew every line. I sure my expression was the epitome of surprise/shock listed in The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi:
the mouth falling open, a hand flying to the chest, fingers touching parted lips, an incredulous stare or dazed look. 
Not that there is anything untoward about my storyline. I felt RL Stine was iffy when my daughter was in school and I don't think my books cross that line especially in Wilder Mage.

But that’s the first book. Things kinda heat up in the next one in the series, Mage Revealed, to be released October 24th.

Uh, eek.

So how do I face parents or the winking school kid when it comes out?

* * * *

Insecure Writers Support Group: The Final Frontier.

These are the continuing voyages of the Ninja Captain, AJC. His mission, to explore all new writing venues, to seek out new authors and new blogs. 

To boldly go where no blogateer has gone before.


  1. Aloha,

    I just think it's *awesome* that the kids *are* loving it and long may the comments and book reports be positive :)

    GOOD LUCK with #2 and beyond :)

  2. It's an awkward one, but if you've written it as adult fiction and marketed it clearly as such, then you've really done all you need to when it comes to making it clear to the reader what might be within.

  3. UPDATE:
    In the news today: A parent objects to the book Nineteen Minutes as required reading where his kids go to school. According to him, it has an extremely graphic description of sex in it, porno-level.

    So what am I worried about?

  4. I hope you truly don't have anything to worry about at the schools, Huntress. I'd like to see your book do well. Best of luck!

    co-host IWSG

  5. How do you handle that kind of response? Consider writing full time and forgetting whatever the day job is. Wow. Congrats.

  6. Have you seen what the kids read these days? I'm sure it won't shock anyone.
    Get excited kids are reading your book! That's awesome. Hey, I never even thought to market my first one to women since it was science fiction, so I was equally stunned when half my fans turned out to be women who'd never read a science fiction book until mine.

  7. How did you find this out?

    I just saw something yesterday talking about how the show Supernatural was created with a male fan base in mind. And the creators were shocked when it took off with female fans. I think it doesn't matter who you thought was going to like it so long as those who do like it find it.

    And I've seen girls toting around 50 Shades at school, so I wouldn't worry.

  8. That's great you have readers!

    I was reading "adult" books when I was still in Jr. High (middle school), so the fact you have young fans doesn't surprise me at all. Congratulations!

  9. I think it's pretty cool that fifteen-year-old kids fall for your stories! I've never looked at any one age group or gender as a homogenous reading group and would instead just write for the fifteen-year-old I remember myself being, and hope that some kids are similar to the way I was. Adults are crazy about Harry Potter, so why can't younger people read adult books as well? It's all good! :)
    Kirsten @ A Scenic Route

  10. Hmm, I need to read your novel. I'm getting tired of the YA genre themes. Just because a novel features a young adult, doesn't mean it fits the YA genre.

  11. Kids will always read older reads, think about the story not the audience, plenty of adults read YA right? I know my parents gave me Wilbur Smith when I was about 12 ;) If its an awesome story people will read it, and in the age of the Internet I wouldnt worry too much about "heated" scenes :)

  12. Well, that's rather awesome!! :) I do feel like YA crosses so many age ranges these days, which is a good thing.

  13. That would be a pleasant surprise for me too. I suppose a look at the reviews will tell you what the boys find fascinating about your book. .

  14. Perhaps best not to question! Your book is finding readers - sounds like success to me.

  15. I write for adults too and have found an audience with teen girls. When I write, I now have them in mind and find myself wanting to drop little life lessons. Must be the mom in me!

  16. well, your doing something right, keep at it.

  17. I was reading Stephen King when I was 11 or 12. I remember us passing V.C. Andrews' Flowers in the Attic around in 8th grade...and that was way adult. I think it's children's nature to want to read grown-up books.


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