The 12 Gifts of YA, #4: teenagers

two teenagers at a parade

My kid and his cousin, 4th of July, hot and surly at a parade

So maybe this is obvious, but I love teenagers, probably about as much as I love pumpkin malts, so that’s pretty huge, and writing about them is a complete joy.  When I sold my first book, my kid was 9.  Now he’s 14 and he’s one of my target audience members.  But even if he never reads one of my books (which he probably won’t, because he keeps saying “Mom, why can’t you write a normal book?”), I’m still trying to write for him.  I want him to laugh, to enjoy following a character around, and to be sad when the book is done.  I want his friends to feel the same.

But even if it’s not my own kid and his shenanigans, teenagers as a whole are phenomenal.  Sometimes they’re hurtful and out of control, but mostly they’re just confused, silly people running around in bodies that are freaking out.  Watching them discover this crazy world is a delight (and what they love is so random!).  Of course, I am restricted from my kid’s life because I’m The Mom (gag! eek!  ick!  no!), but his friends don’t feel I’m quite that awful.  So I watch and write stuff down.  Not in a creeper way, but I pay attention.

two boys on a jackalope

teenagers and their jackalope, Wall Drug

I love you, squirrelly YA subjects.  I want to write about you forever.

(Care to chime in?  Teenagers, yes?  No?  Only when you’ve had enough coffee? Comment away!)

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4 Responses to The 12 Gifts of YA, #4: teenagers

  1. Love this post. My son is becoming one of my target audience soon and he thinks I write “boring” books. If I added some aliens or dystopian features he would be much happier. :)

    It’s funny that some of his girl friends as in friends who are girls are starting to read them though. Maybe someday I’ll help get him a date. :)

    • kirstincm says:

      OMG, Janet, wouldn’t that be awesome?? He wouldn’t know whether to love you or hate you if you helped get him a date. HA!

  2. amanda says:

    teenagers–yes! there is always so much Important Stuff happening in their lives. also, they often have no filter, which is refreshing (usually). i do think it takes a special kind of crazy to choose to be in their world, though.

    • kirstincm says:

      No filter–I love that part, too, though I love it less when it’s directed at me. I think you’re right about the special kind of crazy, but I fear I fill those shoes. : )

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