I had a recent visit to Borders, where I took in the post-Twilight (or post-apocalyptic?) view of the Young Adult section.

I have to say, I’m sad and somewhat concerned that the type of fiction I want to write seems to have little place in the YA that’s popular now. A general once-over indicates that half the books on the market now are either 1.) about vampires or 2.) about teenage girls in relationships with supernatural beings. Carrie Jones’s Need seems to be a perfect example of this blatant pandering to Twilight audiences; just replace vampires with fae.

I’ve come to realize that I am less and less interested in what seems to drive current YA: this aching desire to be loved, and the obsession with reaching sexual maturity at any cost. If I had known how little that stuff was going to matter to me after it was achieved in my own life, I think I might have been a happier teenager… Because there are so many other journeys beyond this quest for a soul mate, which I feel is a misleading concept anyway; harping on this theme really does not encourage healthy self esteem. I’m worried that since I have such little patience for this subject, that my writing is not going to be considered “accessible” to a YA audience. Am I going to have to write for adults?
Sigh. Alas, adults don’t buy as many books. I’m going to be obscure. Oh well, I should just accept it now.
If I do write for younger folks, I’d like a more quaint “once upon a time” tale like Clive Barker’s Abarat — a series which has unfortunately been marketed very poorly in spite of its brilliance. Are we going to see an end to the epic delay of the third book? It’s kind of a shame. Is this kind of book on its way out? Are we doomed to angsty teenage lust instead?

Maybe it isn’t all bad; I did see some encouraging things at Borders. Reading the first few pages of Lauren Kate’s Fallen (a teenage girl/fallen angel romance) at least proved that authors are still capable of decent prose, even if they want to follow this tired subject; clearly Meyer wasn’t held to this standard. Shiver (a teenage girl/werewolf romance) seems to be another example of at least something which is decently executed; are these actually good, I don’t know yet… I plan to read both of them eventually, but currently I am on Laura Whitcomb’s A Certain Slant of Light — a normal BOY, ghost-girl dyad which will hopefully prove to be more interesting.

Happy Fictioning, everyone.

Advertisements