Why do I write YA? That's a good question. And one I may have some trouble answering.
I think the teenage years are the most important years of your life. This is the period in which you become the person you end up being. You try on personalities, develop tastes, become engaged with the moral and idealogical tenets that will guide your life. It's a time where you develop relationships outside your own family and maybe even fall in love for the first time.
It's a confusing, messy time and any little event can invoke a massive emotional response. Some people change friends like they would their socks, trying different social groups for size. Cliques form and dissolve, bullying is rampant and acts of utter cruelty can be committed.
As a writer, this is dynamic stuff, and I can't get enough of exploring it. Teens are such a contradictory mixture of child and adult, it's a compelling voice to play with. There are so many opportunities to write about things that are really important without getting preachy or didactic. I love writing about the early, clumsy attempts at adult relationships, about the changing dynamic of families as children become their own people. I love it when my characters make the right decision at a crucial moment, but like it even more when, like teenagers do so often, they make the wrong one.
So, while I love adult literature, and read it, I write YA for the dynamism, excitement and wonder of growing up. For the voice that hasn't yet been ground down by the daily grind, for the hopefulness and idealism of youth, and for the opportunity to rediscover the moments that change you forever.
Why do you write YA?