One agent suggested my novel was young adult. This surprised me because I wasn’t trying to write a young adult novel. The main character is a teenager though. But I never thought I was writing for teens.
Writing for teens…that’s a minefield. Well, it can be. Adults are allowed to read anything without much of the world getting into a snit. Okay, that isn’t entirely true, but you know what I mean. Suddenly what had seemed tamed in my novel then seemed dangerous.
Which isn’t to say the agent was wrong. I just hadn’t seen my novel in that category, and if I need it to be in that category, how will I be expected to change it? And my other novels…will I be expected to be a young adult author?
This is rather putting the cart before the horse. (The printer before in the paper?) The agent who suggested this decided she couldn’t represent my work–too tough a sell in today’s climate.
The thing is though is that I am liberal when it comes to reading. My parents let me read anything I picked up. My grandmother had treated my mother the same way. If you could choose the book and stick with it, you could handle whatever was inside.
Of course, I never picked up anything extreme, like porn. Well, that’s not entirely true. My dad’s second wife had a magazine of stories hidden–sort of–under her pillow. My step-sister showed them to me. I was about 10 or 11. The magazine looked like Reader’s Digest. I read half a page and put it down. The story gave me quite a shock and I knew I didn’t want to (and shouldn’t) read those stories. So, I didn’t stick with it.
Nor did it cause me to rush out and find a boy.
But anyway. Adults worry a lot about what young adults read. And they should know what kids read and they should know their kids. Obviously. We know this and have heard it before.
But it felt different when I thought about being the writer instead of the parent. Writing for adults is so much easier! Right?
Young people are better fans though. Don’t you think? Do you love any book now as much as you loved a book as a teen?