All Because of Chickens

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Refresh: Saturday Morning Musings - Age let's us get away with more

Morning, Musers.

The statement – writers of MG/Tween/YA can get away with more because of their audience’s age – true or false? Why? Your reaction to this.

I consider this to be completely false. It is a mistake to assume that just because MG/Tween/YA readers are young, they are less discerning than adult readers. Since fiction for this age group often involves a teenage hero or heroine, it is imperative that writers of stories for this age group ensure that their characters and settings are realistic because their readers will be experts about their world and their peers. 

In some cases this is true. For YA especially, they can handle intense emotions and some sexual situations. That doesn’t mean full out porn, but if it’s right for the story then a YA book could go further than kissing. I don’t write books like that, but if I were writing about older teens I might infer that there would be some kind of sex. However, for younger readers I feel only kissing would be fine. Also, discussion of psychological problems, such as eating disorders, would work with this audience. Though I haven’t written any of these, discussion of gender identity and same sex romance would also be subjects that would be fine for this age group. The whole thing is not to get too graphic in any way in a book for this age group.

Oh, I think this is definitely false. Young readers aren’t naïve. In many ways, I think you get away with less writing for this audience. Thinking back to my own teen years, that is when I poured over books, underlined favourite sections, doted on things characters said. As an adult, I don’t do this. I read a book, enjoy it, and when it’s done, I pick up another. Young readers notice everything. They’ll google facts if they think you are mistaken. They blog about books, vlog about stereotypes and clichés, cause an online uproar if you kill a beloved character. Don’t be fooled. They’re a tough audience and I love them for it.

Keep reading and dreaming. If there’s anything you’re curious about just drop me a note:

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Refresh: Saturday Morning Musings - Industry failing the genre?

Hi, again, Saturday Musers.

Now as part of the small publisher industry, maybe we shouldn't be asking this...then again, maybe it's the best question we could ask:

Would you say the publishing industry is failing our MG/Tween/YA audience? How?

The larger mainstream publishing houses are reputed to follow the trends and to avoid taking risks with new writers or writing. This could limit the types of books available, thus failing readers. However, smaller, indie publishers often give unknown writers a chance, ensuring that overall, there is a wide range of books available for readers and so, I think that one way or another, the industry is serving our audience well.

I think there are too much horror and dystopian stories as well as stories of great loss. I don’t think we are providing the right role models for these kids. People like Cassandra Clay create characters that do despicable things in the name of trying to do good. I think we need characters that will not be committing violence or doing unethical things. I feel kids want a good story with which they can identify. As authors we have a responsibility to give them that and also to help them to become better people. Teens are very vulnerable to changing ideas and that is why our role is so important.

No, I don’t think so at all. The variety of books available to younger readers today is amazing. It seems when I was a girl, I read every teen book I could get my hands on, from the classics to those “squeaky clean romances”, as our school librarian used to call them. I eventually sought out adult books to fill my insatiable reading appetite. Now, I can’t keep up with all the great YA books available. Whatever the subject matter you’re looking for, you’re bound to find something to satisfy your reading needs.  It’s wonderful.

Keep reading and dreaming. If there’s anything you’re curious about just drop me a note:

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Refresh: Saturday Morning Musings - Do we need HEA endings

Howdy...remember to smile!

Hope you're feeling great this morning. I know some of us work on Saturdays, but when it's a day off it feels wonderful.

We're talking HEAs today...Most romance books have the Happy Ever After ending, is this a requirement for our audience?

I think a 'Happy Ever After Ending' is usually required, but from time to time, it is necessary to contravene this so that it doesn't become a rule. I think readers would become bored if they always knew the outcome of a book before they started, so from time to time, a sad ending is necessary.

I don't think this is necessarily true. Yes, devoted romance readers want HEA storylines, yet the audience is changing. As romance crosses generas more ending options open. Some romances were never meant to be forever, but what becomes important at the end is what the characters learn about themselves and each other. I think the key is an ending that is positive in some way even though it might involve heartbreak.

Not necessarily, but many of them do like it if they have an ending that is satisfying to them. It doesn’t always have to be happily ever after, but it does have to leave them feeling good. Most of them prefer if there is a happy ending, though.

As much as I love a tragic ending, I do think it’s kind of a requirement *if* you want to leave your readers happy. “Happy Ever Afters” are preferred by most people, not just young adults. My husband, for example, hates books and movies with sad endings.

A famous author of a best-selling YA trilogy killed off her heroine at the end and it left a huge percentage of her readers furious. It was a risky move, and although I didn’t mind the ending, it seemed her target audience was left fuming mad.

There is always the exception to the rule, but I think everyone wants that little spark of hope, even in a sad ending.

Keep reading and dreaming. If there’s anything you’re curious about just drop me a note: