when adult lit writers go ya
Posted by Lisha Cauthen
I went to a book signing for a writer who is fairly well-known, but new to me. She’s primarily an adult author, but was in town to promote her second YA book.
Well, she gave an interesting talk. A little reserved, but perhaps that’s how adult authors are. Then it came time for questions.
There weren’t any.
A sure sign she hadn’t engaged the audience. Which consisted of a few dozen older adults, a trio of college-aged girls, and a homeschooler family with a tween and two teens.
After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence, some pity-questions popped up.
Where do you get your ideas?
What did you read when you were growing up?
How long did it take you to write this book?
What’s the difference between an adult book and a YA?
red alert*red alert*red alert*red alert*red alert
I certainly wanted to hear what she thought the difference was between adult and YA lit.
Here is my reconstituted and paraphrased but fairly accurate rendition of her answer:
“I can’t use such big words in YA. And I have to tone the sex way down.”
That would be a wrong answer.
To be fair, earlier she said the most creative stuff was happening in YA lit. She got THAT right.
But then she said she wanted to write YA because she had something to say to the youth out there.
I have heard of her editor. She is brilliant, and knows the difference between an adult and YA novel. I’m sure she guided the manuscript well. I went ahead and bought the book, told the author I enjoyed her talk, because I did. I bet I’ll enjoy her book too.
But that answer about the difference between adult and YA is stuck in my craw, dames and dudes.
Next week I’ll give you a good answer to that question.