Why I'm loving writing for the young adult market...
Now, where was I? Back to my post. I've been asked several times recently why I moved from writing for adults into the young adult market. It all started with a book I wrote five years ago...before I even knew how to write. Last year, just before going to the ACFW Conference, I found that manuscript. It was called Swarm of the Butterflies and I'd logged fifty thousand words. Not too shabby for someone who'd never written anything. I had no doubt that I could revise it into something saleable and contacted the CEO of Desert Breeze and asked if she'd be interested (Desert Breeze had just opened up a young adult line.) She was.
After returning from conference, I dusted it off and started revisions. Talk about telling instead of showing! It was a mess. Mind you, I absolutely hate editing. I ripped it to shreds and the finished product has little to do with the original manuscript. The name even changed to Mistaken Identity. However, the love triangle, two BFFs who fall for the same guy, remained intact.
That said, because of this book, I fell in love with young adult fiction. I'd been writing suspense, which is heavier and darker. Young adult romance was a breath of fresh air. I was worried at first that I couldn’t get the voice right. After all, how can a 43-year-old woman get inside the head of a 16-year-old girl. I read a few young adult books in first person, hoping to get the voice right. It must have worked. Several teens have emailed me or mentioned in reviews how characters in Mistaken Identity reminded them of someone they knew.
Young adults are smart and writing for them can be even more difficult at times than writing for the adult market. I have to ask myself constantly if a young adult would think or say a certain thing. My editor is good at catching certain words and marking through them and sending me a note such as, "Would a young adult really say that word?" I've learned not to use certain words or phrases.
I'm not saying, I've given up on writing adult fiction. No Siree. My October 15 release is called This Time for Keeps and is a novel about second chances. On the night India McGuire becomes engaged to another man, the love of her life rides back into town after leaving a decade ago without so much as a goodbye. Should she keep the ring and the stability that comes with it or risk everything and follow her heart?
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