Welcome everyone to day 3 of my YA Author blog takeover. What do guys think so far? I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Kim Richardson and Susan Rocan. If you missed their posts, you can find them here and here. Today you get a chance to meet the wonderfully delightful YA author, Emi Gayle, author of AFTER DARK which releases October 31, 2012! Put your hands together for Emi! *applause* *woot woot*
Before I wrote my first YA novel (not-yet-to-be-published), I asked myself a few questions. Why write about a main character who’s a teenager? Did I have an agenda? A plan to somehow teach teenagers about something? Did I want to relive my own childhood? Or was it far simpler than that?
Did I just want a main character who wasn’t an adult, with adult problems, adult issues and adult situations?
It took no time for me to find my answer. I just wanted characters who found themselves in situations adults don’t anymore. Or don’t as much. Teenagers, people in the 16-21 age range-ish—they have lives that are far different than we adults.
Sometimes, it’s a lot of fun to go back into that, to imagine what seems to be a simpler life, yet for the person in it, life can be just as demanding, daunting, and full of fear, trepidation and of the unknown. We adults forget that sometimes as our younger years become ‘back in the day’—a time of no responsibilities, or at least less of them.
So after having written five adult romances, I decided I had to tempt fate. Some might say they have a preference for writing adults over teens. For me, it’s about falling in love with my character no matter how old they are. Thus, I wrote my first YA novel, which, to-date, has only been read by a few friends. Like, however, my progression of writing in the adult paranormal romance genre, I wrote a second, a third and a fourth story.
Mac, in After Dark, the first of The 19th Year Trilogy, debuts this October 31, 2012. She’s one of those last three stories I wrote, and she just so happens to be 18. Tada! YA!
I loved writing Mac, and with her came the problems, issues and situations of a high school senior—one with a pretty unique gift and one major life decision coming up.
Getting Mac out into the hands of the public though, has taken far more effort than writing her story in the first place. You see, from a publication standpoint, a book is a book. YA may be ‘the hot genre’ right now, but going through the submission, read, edit, review, edit, read again, edit, etc. process still had to happen. It’s not about the character, the age, the situation alone. It’s about the whole package in the story. From page one to page 300 or so.
For After Dark, I was just as determined to have it see the light of day as I was my adult novels. That meant all the pre-publication steps and all the marketing, too. WIll I do more, less or the same as for my adult novels? Depends!
Again, because YA is so ‘hot’ right now, I’m getting a wider, larger and more vocal audience. That doesn’t mean I get to sit back and let the audience grow. Quite the opposite in fact. I need to do more! I need to really focus on those who’re finding the cover and blurb; I need to engage with excited, potential readers and bring them into my fold.
Not only do I get to share with them the stories I write, but I share a lot of me, too. This is why I blog a lot about my own teenage years and about my son who’s in his early teens and will, in the future, embarass my girls the same way. Like learning a foreign language, it’s reimmersion into years gone by … with my intended audience.
But, and here is the big caveat … YA isn’t just for young adults. Nope. Did you know a huge portion of YA readers are in fact the Moms of the YA crowd? That means, I have the perfect cross-over marketing opportunity!
My graduate school professors would be so proud!
That isn’t, however, what pushed me to write for the YA crowd. It’s just a bonus that me, as a marketer, looks at and says, “Perfection! I’ve just won the marketing lottery!” When in reality, I’ve won the writer’s lottery. I get to write characters I love no matter their age.
To me, that’s the best part of the whole business.
I get to write.
I get to share.
Hopefully someone will love the story as much as I do.
Thus, to all writers out there, if you want to write for the younger generation, don’t let preconceived notions keep you away; don’t let the lack of publication or acceptance by an agent stop you. Write what you love, and if your character lives, breathes and acts like the younger generation, then … congrats!
You’ve become a YA author!
Wow, Emi, thank you for that amazing insight into your world and I’ll definitely check out AFTER DARK on Halloween.
Okay, guys, you know what to do. Emi will be hanging around for a day or two to answer any questions or comments. She’d love to hear from you so come on. Join in the conversation.
You can also find Emi at any one of the following links:
Emi Gayle just wants to be young again. She lives vicariously through her youthful characters, while simultaneously acting as chief-Mom to her teenaged son and searching for a way to keep her two daughters from ever reaching the dreaded teen years.
Ironically, those years were some of Emi’s favorite times. She met the man of her dreams at 14, was engaged to him at 19, married him at 20 and she’s still in love with him to this day. She’ll never forget what it was like to fall in love at such a young age — emotions she wants everyone to feel.
What eighteen year old Mac Thorne doesn’t know will probably kill her.In exactly eight months, five days, three hours and thirteen minutes, Mac has to choose what she’ll be for the rest of her life.She has no choice but to pick. As a Changeling, it’s her birthright. To Mac, it’s a birthchore. Like going to school with humans, interacting with humans, and pretending to be human during the pesky daylight hours.Once darkness descends, Mac can change into any supernatural form that exists — which makes her as happy as she can be. That is, until Winn Thomas, the biggest geek in her senior class figures out there’s more to what hides in the dark than most are willing to acknowledge.In this first of the 19th Year Trilogy, Winn might know more about Mac than even she does, and that knowledge could end their lives, unless Mac ensures the powers-that-be have no choice but to keep him around.