The fabulous Y is up in today's Blogging from A to Z Challenge - and my topic:
When people find out I write - let alone that my genre is Young Adult - it's amazing to hear what comes out of their mouth:
Them: "Oh, you write? What do you write? Have I read anything of yours?"
Me: "I write a lot of things, but I love writing Young Adult - and no, I'm not published...yet."
Them: "Young Adult? Oh, you mean you write kids books? Huh. When do think you'll write something for a-dults?"
Me: "Um, no, not "kids" books - I write about Teenagers."
Then later I'd think back to the conversation, and realize, this is how it translated:
1. People can't believe I write - because everyone knows, only J. K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, and now some woman named Suzanne Collins, is allowed to do this.
2. You can see their wheels turning that I am NOT one of the above.
3. Instantly they assume that since I write, I MUST be published and of course, that they - in all their infinite years of reading - have read something by me, but they just didn't know it was me (this often can result in them asking if I write under a pseudonym, which is a conversation you'll want to steer clear of, believe me. Otherwise, you'll end up with a plethora of suggestions that they deem "cool").
4. Young Adult? Oh, I must not take this whole writing thing seriously. Because if I did, I'd write something real.
Throughout all of the above, what was more frustrating, was for some reason I would dive into this whole conversation on why Young Adult books are so amazing and why I write them - as if I was trying to defend the genre.
However, in the last year, I've been really listening to my reaction to these conversations - and I've noticed my tune has changed. I'm tired of feeling like I have to defend a genre that is SIMPLY ONE OF THE MOST AWESOME GENRES TO WRITE IN. I'm sick of people who are afraid to admit, that they enjoyed reading or watching HARRY POTTER. And how THE HUNGER GAMES movie "wasn't so bad". Or that Young Adult is only for Young Adults.
Ultimately, I think it's because I know, this is EXACTLY what I want to do. It's what I love.
I know I may be in the minority, but I LOVED my teenage years. Sure it had it's drama. Of course I thought I knew the answer to everything, and grew horns and a tail when I was told I did not. And it really sucked when the cute boy, didn't think I was so cute.
But even with all it's awkwardness, all the fumbling through, all the fights and cattiness - man how I loved being a teen. All my friends. Pep rallies. Playing sports. Friday night football games. Going to Homecoming. Hallway and locker room conversations. Great gossip. Passing notes. Getting my driver's license. Partying on a Saturday night - booze included. Skipping curfew. Sneaking out. First kisses. Holding hands. First loves. And the first time.
I've said it before, but I'd do it all over again, if I could. I really would. Even with how times have changed from when I was a teen.
Because all of the above? Yeah, that's EXACTLY why I write Young Adult. And I'm no longer afraid to admit that.