Monday, June 4, 2012

The Definition of Unputdownable

So I left off last time with this question: What do I write?
Well, I write teen. Usually fantasy adventure, occasional dystopian or historical. I’ve written about fairies in Ireland and resistance fighters in an alternate history of WWII Europe. I’ve written about a ghost of a girl watching her man die on Omaha beach. Did you know there’s a fairy portal in the backwoods of Kentucky? Neither did I, until I created it in my imagination.
Writing is imagination, for me at least. And I love it because it takes me away, to my own world.
So, why teen books?
I write teen because I haven’t really grown up, at least in my mind. I work 9-5, I pay my own rent and all that adult stuff, but I love the escape of teen fiction. There is something about the bravery of what teen authors are doing that really intrigues and entices me.
Just pick up Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” or Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler’s “The Future of Us” and you’ll understand.
And the teen genre—or young adult as some refer to it—is rising in popularity. Hunger Games, anyone?
As Lev Grossman, author of “The Magician," said in his New York Times article:
“Statistically speaking, most adults were young adults at some point in their lives, and some of us are still processing that experience. Young adult novels can be as powerful as anything out there. Read John Green's “The Fault in Our Stars," about teenagers with cancer. I did, and I'll be surprised if I have a more wrenching, emotional reading experience this year. Bottom line, there's one thing that young adult novels rarely are, and that's boring.”

If there’s one quality that I require in my reading (which I can hopefully exemplify in my writing), it’s that the books I read are unputdownable.

un·put·down·a·ble [adjective Informal]
(especially of a book or periodical) so interesting or suspenseful as to compel reading.

That’s what teen books are to me. So that's why I read and (am attempting to) write them.

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