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I wrote my first young adult novel this year. A young adult (YA) novel is a book that will most likely be enjoyed by children 12-18 years old. Since all of my previous books had been written for a younger audience, I did a lot of research before and during the process.
Some of this research involved reading books about how to write the novel. I read tips like – include a teenage protagonist, write in the present tense and in the first person, keep the pace fast, and don’t be afraid to touch on risky topics like sex and drugs.
Most of my research involved reading other young adult novels.This was, of course, most valuable. I passed some of them to my children for their opinions and I quickly came to the conclusion that YA novels could be divided into three categories: books the parents like, books the teens like, and those books that meet the approval of both sides.
Of course, both audiences are important, as you really want teens to love your
book, but you have also want the parents to be willing buyers. Some
books for younger readers have been wildly successful despite being embraced reluctantly by many parents, for example, the Captain Underpants Collection. And I’ve
read a few award-winning YA books that I am quite sure would not appeal to
I aimed at getting Another Day smack in the middle of these two interest groups and if I stray off center, I should be a little to the right!