It's the first Wednesday of the month so it's time for the Insecure Writers Support Group!
This month's question is a goodie too!
Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?
There are many reasons why I write what I write.
Primarily I write YA contemporary, although I occasionally dabble in other genres and styles, particularly when writing short fiction. But YA contemporary is my main genre and my real passion.
I love writing for and about teens because the teenage years are such a tumultuous and heightened time in anyone's life. It's the period in which people become who they will be for the rest of their lives and they try on ideas and personas and beliefs until they find the ones that they find the most comfortable.
It's a time of great change as kids grow more independent and start the process of separating from their families. It's also a time where things are experienced for the first time - first love, first heartbreak, perhaps even a first time away from home.
And amongst all this is the hormonal upheaval that teens deal with, making every emotion heightened, every decision life or death.
And teens can be so mature in many ways, while still being children in others. I love immersing myself into this world and these characters because there are so many choices ahead of them, and so many of them will be bad ones. I love to throw my characters into situations they are not prepared for, just to see what they will do, how they will navigate their way around the various obstacles and challenges I throw in their path.
And that's why I write what I write. I keep trying to write a novel for adults, but somehow my heart and my mind always goes back in time to when the characters were younger, to the moments that made them who they are today, the things that shaped the adults they have become. Things that inevitably came before the story I sat down to try and tell...
I have a book coming out next year that sprang directly from this kind of scenario. I sat down to write a book for adults about adoption and abortion and family betrayal, but when I started to write, I began questioning how two of my main characters came to have the relationship they had in the story. And when I started exploring this in my mind, it ended up becoming another YA novel.
Maybe one day I'll actually write that story I initially sat down to write... Then again, maybe I won't. There are too many other characters populating my mind, demanding that I tell their stories. And they're all teenagers.