28 September 2014

Why I chose to write for a YA audience



Karen Wrighton
Author of Ascension of the Whyte

When I was young there were children’s books and there were adult’s books.  From a very young age I loved reading and I gobbled up Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven like Chinese food, I never seemed to be able to get enough. I read pretty much all of them before I even started high school.  Then there was little else to read apart from the traditional oldies like Alice in Wonderland and Black Beauty. Eventually I had no choice but to make the big jump into adult literature and I began reading classics like Little Women, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights as well as popular adult fiction such as John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (I loved Science fiction and fantasy even then).

In those days there was little if any literature for the ‘gap’ between children’s and adult fiction and although I was able to make the jump quite easily, many of my contemporaries did not. Finding relatively few books that included teenage protagonists with whom they could identify, many of my friends just stopped reading.  Some of them never read for pleasure again.


When my own children, both keen readers, approached that age I worried that the same thing would happen to them, but it didn’t, because there was a book out there that changed all that, it was called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.  Instead of my children being turned off reading, they were turned on big time, and what’s more the books managed to bridge that ‘gap’ so seamlessly that I could even share the enjoyment of the stories with them.  I thought that this was WONDERFUL, which is why it was the natural choice for me to write for this audience and join the ever growing number of YA authors who are successfully continuing what J. K. Rowling started and encouraging young people not to fall through that gap into the abyss of ‘Never to pick up a book again land’.  However, this is not the only reason that I chose to write for young adults, perhaps the main reason is that, quite simply, I like young people, and I also happen to love to read the books that they love to read; books that produce a tingle down your spine as you read them, books that make you feel like a child at Disney Land, books that make you really BELIEVE in the magic of make believe.  I hope that my books do that, and if they do I will be one very happy storyteller. 

Karen


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