Saturday, July 13, 2013

Why YA?

Remember that time that I decided to be a responsible, regular blogger and then I had a baby and real life said, 'Haha, that's cute. She thinks she's going to get stuff done."? Yeah. Well, that's my excuse as to why I'm so late getting this post up.

The fabulous Hannah Courtney put together an awesome YA event at Edmondson Pike Branch of the Nasvhille Library at the end of June, and kindly invited me to attend. She lined up authors: Sharon Cameron of "The Dark Unwinding" and the upcoming "A Spark Unseen," Kristin Tubb of "The 13th Sign" and "Selling Hope," Courtney Stevens of the upcoming "Faking Normal," Heather L Reid of "Pretty Dark Nothing," and Amanda Havard of "The Survivor Series," including "The Survivors" and "Point of Origin."

I'd totally intended this event to be my big "comeback" for my blog, but unfortunately, I forgot my voice recorder at work. Once I got there and realized my error, I downloaded an app onto my phone, thinking that would solve my problem. But, not having had the chance to try it out before the event, I didn't realize until halfway through that this particular app only records 5 minutes at a time.

So! Instead of the fabulously detailed post of the event, I hope you will still enjoy some random photos and the only part of the interview I got to record properly: each of the author's responses to why they chose to write YA/Middle Grade:

Sharon Cameron: "It's something I feel really strongly about. First of all, I naturally started writing in that age group because I never really left it in my reading. I read adult stuff, but I never left the 'kid' portion of the library. I always wandered there first. But I think even as a teen and a 20-something, I realized that something that I think it absolutely true and that is the fact that young adult literature is where all the amazing storytelling is going down, I think. Not that there aren't wonderful adult books and wonderful middle grade books, but I think there is such a boom of creativity and just amazing storytelling, where we're really focused on amazing stories, amazing characters -- I think Young Adult is where that's going down, and that's where I want to be."

Amanda Havard: "It has a huge appeal to me because they're trying to navigate all that (new emotional territory) and they're making all the decisions that are going to start affecting the later decisions, good or bad. Not to say that you're going to make decisions that are going to ruin everything -- I'm not saying they're all that high stakes -- but it's the formative years, right? It's the formative moments and … you're really seeing them become something, so I've always been drawn to that age group."

Kristin Tubb: "I think that the readers in that particular age group … are really open minded, and I love the idea of trying to present new ideas and new possibilities that may be the first time they're seeing this idea or it's something that they're not jaded against yet, not biased against yet."

Heather L Reid: "I think it was just the voice that came from me. I remember high school so clearly: the sights and the smells and the friendships that I made there. I keep coming back to that and the lessons that I learned. … Like you were saying, it's such a formative time and the storytelling, the things you can say to this age group is so important. ... They're not as jaded by life and they have more of an ability to go on a journey, sometimes.They're not letting their adult selves keep them back."

Courtney Stevens: "I came from a youth ministry, so I spent all my time invested in this age group. This is the age group I love and I love them for a million reasons. They have so many questions. They haven't fallen in love yet, and so when you get it, you get it for the first time. Or they haven't been in that kind of pain yet, so they really have no idea what to do with it. I needed books when I was that age, and so I think I find it a real gift to be able to give back to that age."

I also wanted to point out Courtney's awesome shirt from the back:

I had a fantastic time and can't wait for Hannah's next event -- and I promise to do my very best to actually be prepared next time! ^_^

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