Why YA? by Sydney Salter

I started writing as a teenager, pouring thoughts, ideas, musings, laments, rants and stuff that happened into a series of journals. 

Life seemed to offer so many choices and consequences back in those days. But now I am living with those choices--married to a man I met at College A, having not attended College B, writing in a suburban living room, not on the cliffs of a churning sea, or an urban cafe. 

A pair of cops just walked out of my teenage neighbor's house, so maybe I'm in the right place after all?

In my YA writing I like to explore the possibilities. I like to watch my characters make different choices than I would have or could have made, or sometimes survive their struggles with more grace than I possessed at a younger age. 

I use every bad thing that ever happened to my teenage self in my fiction, too. That's cathartic! 

I also really love teenagers. I liked parenting teenagers (though I do sleep much better now that they've made it through those years). I love watching the teens in my neighborhood speeding around late at night, parking in front of my house outside the view of their parents, in a way that brings back memories. I love all the real, raw emotions of the teenage years.

I have things I wish I could have told my teenage self.

The lives of teenagers are so dynamic, full of so much growth and so many mistakes--the opportunity for storytelling is endless.  


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