Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A High School Visit



This Saturday I traveled to a local arts magnet high school to talk with some teens who loved writing about writing. I was supposed to have inspired them and I think I did, but more so meeting them and discussing why they loved writing and reading inspired me.

I haven't written YA in a while. I'd been focusing more on my NA and Adult books and seeing them reminded me why I wrote YA in the first place. Why it's important to share my work with teens.

Their response to my books cemented that they need people who understand them, they need books that speak to them, they need authors who write like they are listening.

My two YA books Pretty Amy and Dear Cassie came from this place. I wrote them because I wanted to give that feeling to teens, because I wanted to explore the issues I had as a teen. I'll admit that before spending time with the students on Saturday, I had forgotten that.

I had become caught up in selling books. Those two things don't have to be mutually exclusive, but for me they felt that way. See my YA books tend to be hard reads. Not really the kind of book you pick up on a whim, or to read at the beach, or on a lazy Saturday. My YA books make you feel like your heart has been ripped out, they are emotional and dark and unflinchingly truthful and for some people that can be a tough sell.

I guess I was tired of being a tough sell.

I see now that my essence is these books. They are my heart. The work I was meant to share.

I have one more book to write in the Pretty Amy series and I only hope I can continue to write books worthy of the teens I visited with on Saturday.

I only hope I can continue to write with my heart first.

3 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about the tough sell. It's hard work selling the not-so-pretty stories. It's why I self published after being traditionally published the first time, but it's where my heart lies. I can't help it.

    I think that's why I like doing the teen visits. They remind me why I write what I write. :)

    Good luck to you and getting back to that essence.

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  2. Bet this visit will fuel the writing of the last Pretty Amy book...

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  3. I hear you about tough sells. But if we don't write with our hearts why do it, right? Best of luck to you!!

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