6 thoughts on “Contact Me

  1. Since the MC goes back in time, it’s a study in contrasts. Her best friend swears, her best friend is experimenting with sex, and her best friend eventually goes back in time to help out the MC when information is discovered that may put her in danger. The MC is completely respectful of 1600’s protocols (although they swore a lot back then, too!)

    I wrote it knowing that I didn’t want to try to “be” a 15 year old girl but to tell a story about one. You can say my characters don’t text enough and don’t use enough of the words teens use, but they text enough for me and teenspeak would change between now and publish date anyway. Mostly I’ve had the moms of teens read it, women ages 35-55 who like it but don’t care that the MC isn’t buried 24/7 in her phone because that’s not super interesting te read about anyway. They call me out when I have the girls say things too “old” but don’t usually have a “teen alternative” word.

    Anyway, it’s been a fun read for the betas so far and when it comes to marketing or publishers I’ll have to choose carefully.

    Thanks for the input! I really appreciate it!


  2. I have a question for you. I recently wrote a story about a fifteen year old girl who has a few adventures in the 1600’s. Is it YA if it involves a teenager or YA if it is written to a teen audience?

    I ask because different people have different opinions on that. They also differ on what can be in YA.

    No sex, for example (like teens don’t have sex.) I’m not talking graphic porn stuff, but hey, you know, tasteful and appropriate and sometimes awkward sex that most adults went through when they were teens.

    Another example was the F word. Like teens don’t swear.

    My novel has sex and F bombs (and the S word, too, sometimes) plus a great story with interesting characters, but if sex and F bombs are taboo for YA books, then it’s not going to be marketed to YA’s even though the MC is a fifteen year old.

    I’d love your thoughts.



    1. Hi Dan:

      You’re right. There are many opinions on this topic and I guess it boils down to doing your research as far as publishers who will accept edgy YA manuscripts.

      I’ve seen quite a few books with sex and the f-word. The bigger houses are accepting more and more as diversity in books is becoming bigger and bigger. Prizm Books, for example, accepts edgy and explicit books, but I don’t know much about them so I can’t recommend them.

      A very popular YA book, IF I STAY, is filled with swear words. So is WHEN MR. DOG BITES. John Green’s, LOOKING FOR ALASKA, talks about a teen boy’s first bj. I just read an ARC of a YA book called FIRSTS where the main teen character has promiscuous sex as a way to teach boys how to be romantic, not just sexual, with their teen girlfriends. It was awesome.

      I think if there is a reason for it, that it’s not in the book just to have it in the book, then it’s ok. I mean, you wouldn’t take a sweet little Christian girl and have her spewing the F-bomb every page unless there is some reason for her to be that way (rebelling, lost a loved one, suffering from a disease, etc.)

      As for your book, I have to wonder if the language is true to the time and how she would be treated should she use such language in the 1600s. As for what is YA – it is usually written about a teen or teens for teens (avg 16 to early twenties, though some people include kids as young as 12 – 14 in the group). YA novels deal with problems specific to teens. The main characters think like teens. They don’t have the wisdom of adults. They are impulsive. They rationalize differently. Teens have to be able to relate to the characters and their situations, and the method to solve the problems have to be believable.

      Chuck Wendig wrote an awesome blog post about this very topic.


      Bottom line, Dan, the publishing industry is speculative. What works for one publisher won’t work for another. Do your research. Make a list of YA publishers you think you might like to sub to, and then look at their published books. If you see where they publish edgy YA, then bookmark them. Once you have a shortlist, start looking at their track record, how long they’ve been in business. Are the books doing well? Investigate. Learn. Hit up Absolute Write. Preditors and Editors. Writers Beware. Get a copy of Writer’s Market if you don’t already have a copy. And when you’re ready, sub your work. If it’s good, someone will bite.


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