09 March, 2012

Creepy Hollow Blog Tour: On Writing YA

Today, please welcome author Rachel Morgan to The Eagle's Aerial Perspective! She's the author of Guardian, the first book in the Creepy Hollow Series, which is an awesome novelette that I will be reviewing on the 15th.

But today, she's here to talk about writing Young Adult.

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On Writing YA

Hi, my name’s Rachel, and I write YA (“Hi, Rachel”). I’ve always written YA, even when I didn’t know that’s what it was called. I wrote it when I was young and didn’t have the perseverance to get past the first few chapters, and I write it now when I’m, uh, not quite as young, and have the self-discipline to get myself to the end of a story. But it’s only recently that I started thinking about why I write YA.


Reason #1: The YA voice is the one I relate to the most. I mean, I’m technically not a young adult anymore. I’m an adult (in age, anyway!). But I don’t really feel like one, and when I sit down to write, it’s a YA voice that comes most naturally and easily to me. I don’t have to try and be formal or proper. I can just relax into the language.

Reason #2: I love writing about firsts. When you’ve kissed someone hundreds of times, it’s not that exciting anymore, but the first time . . . Well, it’s a kiss to remember, for good or for bad! And the first time someone holds your hand, the first date you go on, the first time your heart is broken, the first time you sneak out of the house to do something you shouldn’t . . . Life goes on and you can forget what these things feel like, but pick up a YA book and an author can make you remember exactly what that moment felt like when you were first there.

Reason #3: Everything is a big deal when you’re that age. Everything just means so much more! Good things aren’t just great, they’re epic. And bad things aren’t just terrible, they’re the end of the world. Having passed through the YA years, it’s a relief not to feel everything so intensely anymore. But I sure do enjoy writing about it!

Reason #4: I find it fascinating to look at a person (real or imagined) and examine all the things they’ve been through in life that have shaped them into the person they are right now. That must be why I love origin stories and prequels. With YA characters, that process is still happening.

Perhaps one day I’ll write an adult book. Or a middle grade book. For now, though, my true love is YA.

If you're a writer, what age category do you write for?

~  ~  ~

Rachel Morgan is the author of Guardian, the first novelette in the Creepy Hollow series. She was born in South Africa and spent a large portion of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making. These days, in between teaching mathematics to high school children, she writes fiction for young adults.

Buy Guardian from

The Creepy Hollow Series

Author Info





-----The Golden Eagle

42 comments:

Jai Joshi said...

That's a great point about how when you're a young adult everything is a big deal. It's so true. It also means that writing for that age makes everything a more enjoyable or momentous.

Jai

Jamie Gibbs said...

I have a love/hate relationship with YA. I think I made the jump from MG to adult fiction and only had a passing backward glance, so I've not been much exposed to it. I've come across a few YA novels recently that are just amazing, though. Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking trilogy is my favourite.

Rusty Webb said...

Good stuff. I tend to write for me, and I'm pushing 40. Of course my sensibilities skew a bit younger, but still, it's all for me.

I've got a teenage son and I can't agree more with number 3. Every little thing that happens is either the greatest thing in the world, or he's struggling to continue living. It's so dramatic.

....Petty Witter said...

Great post. I found the comment about Rachel writing YA before she even knew that's what it was called interesting. One of those recently new genres, when I was growing up there was a huge gap in the market between children's and adult fiction with nothing really suitable for teenagers/YA in between.

Rachel Morgan said...

Thank you so much for having me, Eagle!

Jai - I very clearly remember how BIG a deal some silly things were!

Jamie - my relationship with literature went more like MG, adult, then YA. And now I pretty much only do YA!

Rusty - that's a good thing you say about writing for YOU. I think we should always write for ourselves first, rather than trying to please some other audience.

Petty Witter - I don't remember there being anything called YA when I was young. In fact, in South African book stores and libraries I still don't ever see "Young Adult". (Is that what it says in the rest of the world?) The labels are more like "Teen Fiction" or "Youth Fiction".

kirstenlopresti said...

Great reasons! Here's another: It seems to me that the books we read when we're young make a big impression on us. We tend to remember them, more, and they can have a big influence. Keep writing!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That was so long ago for me, I just don't think I could relate to it anymore.

Peggy Eddleman said...

I can totally see the draw for writing YA-- that's why I read it! It's MG for me when it comes to writing, though. It's what I do best.

Rachel Morgan said...

kirstinlopresti - That makes it seem like quite a big responsibility to write YA. I hadn't quite thought of it that way!

Alex - Hmm... does the fact that I relate to YA really well mean I haven't grown up much?!

Peggy - May as well stick to what you're best at :-)

Stephen Tremp said...

I wrote mainly for the 18-49 age group but I think there is the element of YA in my books. I don;t use any F-bombs (but there is mild swearing) nor do I exploit children in any of my writings. So I can see junior high kids reading my books.

Good luck Rachel with your tour and with Guardian!

Lydia Kang said...

No need to convince me--I love YA! Thanks Rachel!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I liked writing about firsts, too. Something about the innocence.

Sarah Pearson said...

You've listed all the reasons why I love to read YA. I'm not exactly sure what my writing genre is yet :-)

Rachel Morgan said...

Stephen - 18-49 years is quite a large gap, but I guess that makes your audience really wide :-)

Lydia - Yay, another YA fan! Thanks for stopping by.

Diane - Yes! The innocence! That's exactly it. (Why didn't I think of using that word in the post..?!)

Sarah - Maybe you like to write in multiple genres?

Belle said...

I well remember my young adult years and you described the feelings exactly. I can see where this time of life would be lots of fun to write about.

Cherie Reich said...

Wonderful points about YA. I think that's why I enjoy writing it too. I do write some adult (especially with my shorter works) and I have a MG novel in my head, but I do love YA.

Pat Hatt said...

Never really thought about how it is a time for first's and could be used like that, but yeah very true. Although I tend to stick to the more 20-30 range with my characters, as often whiny teenagers can annoy me..haha

MyTricksterGod said...

Sometimes "first" and never-again-after is a good thing, fortunately.
I remember the first time I went to the dentist...
The first time I got pushed off the roof of the house...
the first time I caught my mom and dad... well...
To be young again... Ah... even though some people would debate that 21yrs is still pretty young, when memories of putting in a videogame while living under a roof with all your necessities taken care of forever haunt you as you wake up in the middle of the night wondering if your phone will be shut off, you come to conclude that being 21yrs isn't at all young.
Ah, to be young again.

on a side note, you're never to young to get revenge (yes, I'm looking at you dear cousin that pushed me off the roof, your day of reckoning is nigh whence I pay my sprint bill, MUAHAHAHAHAA!)

Baur said...

Neat blog!!! And i'm you 951'st follower :)

Carol Kilgore said...

I've seen Rachel EVERYWHERE this week! Much luck with this series.

Happy Weekend :)

tfwalsh said...

Loved your reasons for writing YA... makes so much sense.

Rachel Morgan said...

Pat - Ah, yes, need to try and steer clear of the "whininess"!

MyTricksterGod - I have tried to block out ALL dentist experiences, never mind just the first! And does the "first time" you got pushed off a roof imply you've been pushed off multiple times? 'Cos that would really suck!

Belle, Cherie, Baur, tfwalsh - thanks for visiting the post and leaving a comment :-)

Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, I've never thought of those reasons before. Firsts would be cool to write. However, I don't hear YA voices very well.

Traci Kenworth said...

I write YA too and I think I would choose to say for the same reasons as you. It just "fits" for me.

Deepali said...

Hey Rachel!
I liked your reasons for writing YA - never thought of it as all the firsts that you can write about!

Some of my fav YA novels were never actually called YA when they were released - like Diana Wynne Jones and her creative novels :)

Dee from e-Volving Books

Naina Gupta said...

Great post. Even though we have all passed the YA stage of life, it must be helpful to those readers out there to read about someone going through the exact same thing as them and feeling that everything will work itself out in the end.

Rachel Morgan said...

Clarissa - YA voices are the ONLY ones I seem to hear!

Traci - it's good when you find your writing "fit" :-)

Deepali - I don't think I've actually read anything by Diana Wynne Jones... Just checked out her bibliography on Wikipedia, though, and the book titles look cool!

Naina - Yeah, there are some books I've read as an adult that I WISH had been around when I was a teen. I would have completely identified with some of them!

Geojour said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
shelly said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful post.

David P. King said...

Rachel is everywhere! Thanks for hosting her, Eagle. It's like getting to learn a little bit more about her with each stop. :)

Rachel Morgan said...

David, I hope you're not getting sick of me yet ;-)

DWei said...

Good interview, though I'm not sure if her books would appeal to me. I think I've outgrown that style of book. :P

The Golden Eagle said...

Rachel: You're welcome! I'm happy to have you here on my blog. :)


Thank you for coming by, everyone!

I'll take a back row seat and let Rachel do the talking here. ;)

Lynda R Young said...

I also write for YA for similar reasons.

Shelley said...

Really nice guest post! I don't really write stories, but if I did I think I would write YA because I am one! :)

Gwen said...

A published novelette writer! Oh, that's so cool as I've gone one of my own I'm shopping around. Great guest post.

Also, you've been tagged on my blog.

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Rachel! :) I like your reasons, and I totally relate to them! I love both YA and MG--reading them and writing them!

Thanks, Golden Eagle, for introducing us to Rachel!

Scarlett Clay said...

Enjoyed this, thanks for sharing this interview! I agree, the 'first's are powerful in stories!

Rachel Morgan said...

DWei - No problem, we don't all have the same reading tastes :-)

And thank you, other lovely commenters :-) (Linda, Shelley, Gwen, Dawn, Scarlett)

Talli Roland said...

Yay Rachel!

I'm not a huge reader of YA, but I do enjoy the odd one every once in a while. For me, it's more about the story than the genre.

Madeleine Maddocks said...

Great post interview. I enjoy YA that is dynamic and has characters that I can root for and Guardian certainly does this.

Look forward to seeing you over at mine tomorrow ;O)

Rachel Morgan said...

Talli - for me it's mainly about the characters...

Thanks, Madeleine! Also looking forward to being back at your blog :-)