Another author guest post for you today. This time I have a great post from Beth Fantaskey, author of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. Beth has a great article about her experience as a YA author, so without further ado, I'm going to turn it over to her.
When I wrote my first novel, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, I was almost astonishingly ignorant about the publishing world. Of course I had heard of “young adult novels,” but I didn’t know that a book about teenagers was automatically considered “YA” – nor that writing such a book would make me a “YA author.”
Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.
What a great world I tumbled into, just by telling a story about two young people.
I’m sure that it’s wonderful to be a novelist for “adult” audiences, too, but when it comes to interacting with readers, getting to know them personally, hearing their opinions – just outright having fun with an audience… I don’t think YA can be beat.
I’ve learned that readers of young adult novels are passionate about books, and their energy is boundless. I’m blown away by the scope of the blogosphere. There are young people out there – who are also busy with high school and college – putting together entire amazing, thoughtful, comprehensive on-line communities, like this one.
Now, I know that there are a lot of bona fide adults who are also excited about books and active on-line. I’m in contact with a lot of them, too. But there’s something about getting an all caps e-mail, time stamped 2 a.m., from a nocturnal teenager who has to let me know “I LOVED YOUR BOOK,” followed by about fifty seven exclamation points, that makes my morning when I wake up to find it in my in-box.
And I love the response to my own website. Right now, readers are helping me plan my main character Jessica’s wedding to her vampire prince, Lucius. Together, we’re choosing things like Jess’s dress, where she’ll get married, and the song for the couple’s first dance. Hundreds of girls are offering opinions – and I’ve added about thirty new songs to my iPod. How fun is that?
I have this theory that younger readers are used to everyone being accessible. When I was young(er!), if you wanted to contact an author, you had to write to the publishing house, and hope your letter got passed along. You kind of assumed it didn’t, to be honest.
Today, nothing separates young readers from a writer except… well, nothing really does. And that’s fantastic, in my eyes.
So keep on writing to me. Share those playlists. Ask for advice about your own writing. Tell me about how you threw my book against the wall in fury when Lucius and Faith…
Well, I won’t give that away.
The point is, I had no idea what I was getting into when I wrote my first novel. But in hindsight, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am one grateful, grateful author.
Great post! Thanks for stopping by to share. If you'd like to learn more about Beth, you can visit her website where you'll also find all the final details about Jessica's wedding. And look for her new book coming out in Sprint of 2010: Jekel Loves Hyde. Love, love, love the cover art on that one.