In January of 2012, while still working on the first draft of Runaways, I attended an event at Books of Wonder, here in NYC. The authors on the panel that night were Carrie Ryan, Beth Revis, Julie Cross, Megan Miranda, and Maureen Lipinski. During the Q&A portion I asked this question:
“Do you feel confined now that you’re labelled as a Young Adult author?”
“No,” Julie Cross answered, “because everyone can read YA fiction.”
Then someone (I believe it was Carrie Ryan or Beth Revis, but clearly I’m not 100% sure) expanded on that thought with this bit that has stuck with me ever since:
“If you’re young, you read YA and recognize the things that you’re going through. If you’re older, you read YA and recognize the things that you went through at one time. Everyone has the experience of growing up, whether you’re going through it now or you’ve already been through it.”
Like I said, that really stuck with me, because I finally understood the universality of what I, as a man in my mid-30’s, had felt when reading YA. We’ve all gone through these experiences, had these feelings, whether it was last week or twenty years ago. So no matter if you’re a teenager or someone’s great-aunt, you can relate to the YA protagonist.
If you read YA, leave a comment below telling why. And if you DON’T read YA, leave a comment asking for recommendations. I’m sure we can find something you’d like.
You can find out more about the authors by clicking on their names:
Also, visit Books of Wonder if you’re in NYC. It’s an amazing place.