The Path of Least Resistance
On to other news, I find that I'm really, really confused about the state of Young Adult Literature. Most of us that are trying to write in this field know that it's been in a state of flux for a long time. The old "12-18 year old" range doesn't quite work anymore, and I don't know if anyone has figured out what to do about it. On one end, we have books that are being challenged and even banned (see Cynthia Leitich Smith's post on Brent Hartinger). On the other end, we have more and more authors willingly opting to publish their YA novels as adult fiction.
I'm not sure how I feel about all of this. Maybe by publishing an upper YA as an adult novel, you can circumvent the whole censorship thing. And we all know that teens are reading adult novels, whether we want them to or not (one young girl at one of my school visits asked me about Zane, an erotic fiction author that she just luuuuves). So if teens still have access to our novels, and if we can sidestep the censorship problem, and if in the process we sell a whole lot more books, does adult publishing become the clear choice?
I'm sure some of you have seen this before, but Publishers Weekly has an article concerning the different publishing options some "YA" authors have taken. The biggest thing that jumped out at me: the 200,000 copies that Prep has sold as an adult novel vs the 30,000 that Looking for Alaska has sold as a YA.
Publishing options aside, for those of you in Austin that are interested in writing books featuring teenagers, Cyn and her husband, Greg Leitich Smith, will be speaking at Barnes and Noble, Westlake, this Saturday at 10:30 AM. Their topic: Writing the Young Adult Novel. Be sure to bring paper, pencil and a creative mind.