Sunday, October 17, 2010

YA, the Next Big Trend?

Dude, seriously? YA, the Next Big Trend?


In July I attended the Romance Writers of America Conference in Orlando, Florida and the talk was all about Young Adults. Just last weekend, I attended the Heart of the West Writers Conference in Park City, Utah and again the talk was about YA’s. I write romantic thrillers. I have no interest in writing YA or reading it, but many of my writer friends are jumping on the YA train. Even some of the industries biggest authors are breaking into the Young Adult market.

In the upcoming issue of November’s Romantic Times Book Review there is an article about Kathy Reichs breaking into YA. Gena Showalter already has along with Julie Kenner, Artist Arthur, and Maria V. Snyder just to name a few.

At this time in my career, I have no desire to write YAs. The main reason being is that I’m living a YA novel. I have four teenagers. When I read or write, I want to escape my teenage-infused life. Plus, in YAs there are boundaries. For those of you who don’t know me, boundaries and I don’t mix. Give me boundaries and I’ll try my best to bust through them. Ask my mother. I’ve had the boundary aversion since I was a child. Don’t tell me to color within the lines. Anyway, for me, there is only so far you can take characters in a YA. Especially when it comes to sex, murder, violence, all those lovely adult things. Yes, I hear you hollering, “Read Hunger Games!” I’ve heard many great things about this series but as of yet, I’m not enticed enough to pick them up. There again, because kids and teenagers are the main characters. I want to read about hot men and sexy women, characters my age or within a decade or so of my age.

With all the excitement about the YA market what does this mean for those of us who don’t write it? Will we have readers? What will happen to our market? Well, in my opinion, we are going to have more and more readers. Since the YA genre is breaking out so big that means more kids are reading. Hallelujah! Those kids are going to grow up, which means more and more adults will be in need of a good read. So I say, yes! Let the YA market explode, let them cut their teeth on Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games because those same readers are being groomed for what I am writing. And my romantic thrillers will be waiting to thrill them.

Tiffinie Helmer

www.KathyReichs.com

www.GenaShowalter.com

www.JulieKenner.com

www.ArtistArthurBooks.com

www.MariavSnyder.com

19 comments:

Adriana said...

I'm with you - I'm glad SOMEBODY writes it. I'm desperately afraid the next generation is growing up to not be avid readers, and the more they can get hooked as young adults, the better it is for the rest of us. Someday they'll be ready for more spice, and we'll be ready for them!

Lynn Lovegreen said...

I agree that more young adults reading is a good thing. Whether it leads to their reading our stuff later, or just becoming more thoughtful citizens as they reach voting age, literacy is the key to our future.

I am working on a YA historical romance series, so the trend may help me personally one day. But aside from that, I am glad kids are reading, regardless of the genre or format.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Adriana, I'm with you. I'm glad there are talented writers out there who grab the kids attention. I have to admit, there is so much more out there to entice readers now than there was when I was younger.

Lynn, you nailed it with "literacy is the key to our future."

Cindy A Christiansen said...

Here, here, Tif. I don't write YA, but I found the workshop about it informative. It was great to ask young people about their reading habits, ebooks, how they choose books, etc.
You're right! They will grow up, and we'll be waiting! Great blog.

Donna Cummings said...

Great post, Tiffinie! I don't know that I could write YA, because I've never really FELT like I was a YA, even when I was one. LOL I wouldn't even know how to connect with that audience, so I'm really glad others do.

Like you, I'm content to keep writing about the adult side of the reading world. :)

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Thanks, Cindy! For those of you who weren't there, at the Heart of the West Conference we had a YA panel of fairies all under 18. We were able to pick their brains on what they like to read and why they pick up a certain book. Great workshop and a great conference!

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Thanks Donna! Even with my 4 teenagers I don't think I could get the "language" of the kids these days. I can't believe I just wrote that. I sound like my parents. Yikes!

Liz Lipperman said...

I have a confession. I, too, have a YA. Yep, I have one I wrote a long time ago.. They said it was too gritty back then. Now it's not gritty enough, so it will remain under my bed. Besides, they all want paranormal nowadays.

Middle grade is another genre that's getting a lot of attention. Two writers we both know just sold series with 12 year old protags.

I'm with you. Give me a sexy heroine, a to-die-for hero, a PITA (first word pain) villain, a lot of sex and bad language and I'm there. Oh yeah, ...a few gruesome murders, too.

Maybe I can pull out my YA and add all that!! Not!!

Great bog. Tiff. Seriously, dude, four teenagers???

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Liz! No wonder I had so much fun with you in Florida. Birds of a feather. Love, love the PITA Hero. I also love a PITA Heroine. And yes, I have a 15, 16, 18, and while my oldest is 21, I still count her as one of the teenagers.

Kris Yankee said...

Tiffinie, I can't write YA- I do not have the language skills at all. I know; I tried. I signed with CW with a women's fiction manuscript. She couldn't sell it and suggested I try a different genre. Middle-grade was the most likely- I'm living an MG novel. Boy-based, nonetheless. I think I secretly wish I were a 12-yr-old boy, so the stories seem effortless. I'm hoping the one that is on submission (which garnered a request for a full) will be the one that gets me settled someplace. But YA, no way. I've read the Twilight Series (each book could've been 200 pages less, IMHO) and the Hunger Games series. I enjoyed both, but the series I enjoyed most was the Percy Jackson series. Guess I know where I'm supposed to be!

Clancy said...

Amen to that, Tif! Give me adults, and lots of hot sexy situations and I'm a happy camper.

I am glad kids and teenagers are reading though. It breaks my heart when I encounter non-readers (of any age). One of my two kids can't read enough and the other breaks my heart on this issue :(

Whatever it takes to get and keep the youngsters (see how old I sound)reading, I'm all for - as long as I don't have to write it.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Kris, you are definitely channeling a young boy. It does sound fun more fun than all the teenager angst.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Hear, hear Clancy. Thanks for stopping by. You should check out the blog and the Alaska RWA site since you are a fellow Alaskan. :)

Anita Clenney said...

Hi Tiffinie. I don't think I could do YA. I can't do teen-speak. I've been busy figuring out how to make a man from 1860 act and speak when faced with today's modern world. I think writing teens would be even harder.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Anita, I'm living in a teen-speak world that I'm constantly needing translated. You'd think I'd pick it up but it changes so fast, and fast is something that I don't do so well at anymore. Can't wait to read your book when it comes out!

Lesli Muir Lytle said...

So sorry I missed this!

But jic...

I took the plunge and wrote a YA, and it's making the rounds. Then yesterday I sat down and started a new YA series and I'll be damned if it's not first person!

It was very weird, but only for a few pages. Now it's taking off.
So I'm very happy to get your next generation of fans ready...very very happy.

Lesli

Kimber An said...

Seriously.

I'll take J.K. Rowling over Nora Roberts any day of the week.

I'm an Alaskan YA author and my novel, which is set in Alaska, just released last week. My readers will be your readers one day.
;)

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Kimber, huge congrats on the book release and feed those YA readers until they are ready for me!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you! Romance writers are DESTROYING the YA genre. Stick to what you write well-- and let YA writers stick to what they write well. I blame Twilight. Crap writers like Gena Showalter and Sophie Jordan wrote virtual clones of it. So lame.