Our Masterpieces...Err, Our Novels

Monday, November 2, 2009

YA Vs Adult Lit

Workout Song of the Day: "Charmer" by Kings of Leon

So I've submitted the first few pages of my WIP to a very respectable agent, expecting to receive another "Thanks, but no thanks" email in my inbox. Needless to say, I wasn't too thrilled when I saw a response from said agent. However, after reading the email, I received somewhat good news.

The agent was playing catch up with her current clients and could not take on anything new. But she was impressed by the few pages that she had seen, and asked that I try her again some time in January. If I could've done cartwheels at that moment, I would have been flipping across the floor--but I usually pull a back muscle just from sneezing.

Then she added something quite interesting--she suggested that I consider turning my work into a YA novel. I scratched my head. One of the main themes in my novel deals with homosexuality--would I really be allowed to sell this to teenagers?

Apparently so, as YA is getting edgier these days. My cousin and I started researching all of the information that we could find about this genre, and noticed that it doesn't just involve babysitting snafus and possibly crazy boyfriends (yes, we were fans of Ann M. Martin and R.L. Stine). YA now delves into much heftier issues, such as suicide, cutting, and yes, homosexuality. This should make perfect sense to me; as a middle school counselor for the past 4 years, I have dealt with all of these issues. Why, then, do I feel that this topics are too "dark" to write about for a younger crowd?

As I consider revisions (and start catching up on YA reading), I leave with you more info on YA literature. I would also love it if anyone could provide me with reading suggestions for any YA novels that really push the envelope.

Vandergrift's Young Adult Literature Page
YA Literature Review
Young Adult Literature Resources
YA Highway


M. Hockaday said...

The Vandegrift's page is awesome! Thanks for posting that one. It is really helpful and offers a lot of information. Especially the part about "Interpret current research on young adult reading, information needs, and library usage and apply it to selecting materials for young adults." I think understanding the market will do wonders for deciding what to write about.

Pam Harris said...

You're right...the Vandegrift's page is awesome. But you left out the part in which you're in awe over my own awesomeness. And my alliterations are just awful.