Making It Real by Pushing Boundaries: Writing for TeensThanks so much for having me back on Seekerville, Mary. You guys are all so much fun! Since we're talking about teens today, let's have a slice of pepperoni pizza, some cheese sticks, and a soft drink. I'm sure there's someone out there like my strange self who would rather have "real" food than eggs, toast, and bacon for breakfast. Ha!
Teens won't read sugar coated books that don't ring true to life. If I wrote a book about a nineteen year old who refused to kiss her boyfriend, they wouldn't read it. I'd have insulted the reader's intelligence. Teens want to read novels that recognize their struggles through characters who are real. That said, how far is too far when an author pushes boundaries?
In my latest release, Shattered Identity, I tell the story of nineteen-year old, Lexi, who is living the life of an unsaved young woman. With a character that age, real life changes. A nineteen year old has different choices to make than someone years younger. That said, without being graphic and going into great detail, the reader learns that Lexi has been spending the night with her older boyfriend. In addition, Lexi becomes pregnant. I show the consequences of Lexi's actions in what I hope is a thought provoking scenario. My goal is to make teens stop and think about the consequences of their actions.
Lexi enters into her relationship with Zack too quickly. She comes from a broken home and he makes her feel special, like a princess. At first, he's the man of her dreams, but soon she learns that he can be abusive and he has secrets. My sweet, elderly father-in-law tells my step-daughter often, "For every action, there's a reaction." In this book, I show clearly the consequences of unwise choices and hope young women will pause and take the time to get to know someone before entering into a relationship.
How do we teach teenagers to do the right thing if we don't acknowledge the struggles they face? How do we teach them about love if we don't write about it? If touchy subjects aren't addressed by Christian authors, how will teens learn to make the right choices?
I'm giving away two downloads of Shattered Identity. Please answer the following question for your chance to win. "Just how far is too far in pushing the boundaries when writing for young adults?"
Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.