Sunday, May 20, 2012

GUEST BLOG: John Abramowitz talks age in YA

Hello all! Please help me welcome John Abramowitz as he visits Novel Addiction on his Blog Tour. John will be visiting us today (5/20) and tomorrow (5/21) so drop him a line to say hi!

Without further ado - John!

Act Your Age?

When I decided to write The Weaver Saga as a Young Adult series, I did my homework on the genre. I looked around at some of the other Young Adult fiction being published now, to get a sense of what was working for other authors and what wasn't. One thing I noticed is that many YA writers feature exclusively teenage protagonists.
            This made me nervous, since I was already planning for one of my point-of-view characters -- Moira McBain -- to be an adult. Was this a bad idea? Did I risk alienating my target audience by making this choice? I asked myself this question over and over, both during the writing of Weaver and more recently as I wrote The Void. Every time, I came to the same conclusion: I was using Moira as a point-of-view character, risky or not.
            Why? First of all, because she's just a damn cool character. (Who doesn't love a badass, untrusting, take-no-prisoners FBI agent?) But more than that, I decided to keep her because there's no reason that a younger audience couldn't understand her. Many of the challenges she faces are universal challenges, faced by fifteen-year-olds and fifty-year-olds alike.
            I won't say too much about the specifics of those challenges because I don't want to give away some pretty major spoilers, but I will say this: when I was in high school, I remember more than a few teachers telling me about things I would face in the "real world." I also remember deeply resenting such talk, because I felt that my world was every bit as real as theirs. Now that I'm almost thirty, I don't think I was wrong. Few people of any age, for instance, are immune to feelings of inadequacy. The sources of those feelings change, but they are just as pervasive among students as professionals. Family relationships do not suddenly get less complicated because a person reaches adulthood. And so on.
            The main reason I decided to go ahead with an adult protagonist, in other words, was to show I had faith in my readers. To assume that young adults could not understand the problems of an outright adult would be to condescend to my readers. That's not a business I ever want to be in.


Thanks so much for the visit and guest post, John! Check out John's blog (with links to the rest of his blog tour) : On The Bird. You can find buy links for The Weaver Saga there, or stop by Novel Addiction tomorrow when I will be posting them.

Another big round of thanks to John for visiting!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~

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