Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why Do You Write YA or MG?

The Writer
 Writing MG or YA is the reason we got together. But what drew us to write for kids in these age levels?

  Carmella Van Vleet: I write in these genres because these are the kind of books I love to read. I don't frequently connect with books written for adults. I fell in love with reading with YA and MG books and so it's easy for me to channel my younger self.

It helps that I have teenagers and a front row seat to how today's kids talk and think and what they're going through. But I think I'd write YA and MG anyway. There's just something universal and cool about our formative years. Besides, kids are the toughest and smartest audience around and I like that challenge.

  Debbie Ridpath Ohi: I write MG and YA because, as Carmella says, these are kinds of books that I enjoy reading the most. When I buy these books at bookstores or borrow a pile of these at the library, sometimes I'll get comments from people assuming the books are for my kids, or for market research.

 I write MG and YA because I remember how much some of these books affected me as a young person, in so many different and positive ways. I do read "grown-up" books as well nowadays, but I always end up being drawn back to MG/YA because for me, the latter tend to have stronger stories, more likeable characters and more hope.

  Andrea Mack: I started writing for my own children and my nieces when they were toddlers. Beginning with picture books was challenging, to say the least. As my girls got older (and after many rejections for picture book manuscripts), I decided to try writing a MG novel. Since then, I’ve written four of them.

 Even though my girls are now moving on to reading YA, I think I’ll stick with MG. I like the chance to think like a kid. Plus, I haven’t grown tired of learning about how to write MG, even though my rejection responses are starting to pile up. I just wish I could learn and write faster!

  Christina Farley: I write MG and YA because those are my favorite genres to read. I love how these books strip away all the fat and get right into the story. These books seek adventure, romance, and mystery while at the same time explore life and deal with difficult issues.

  What age level do you write for? What draws you to it?

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