Y is for Young Adult

In the midst of writing adult romantic suspense books (The Conduct Series), I decided to publish a Young Adult novel I’d written back in 2007: Streamline.

It’s been interesting to cross genres so far, and I have a feeling I’m in for quite an education with the upcoming blog tour for Streamline on May 7-12. About 40 YA bloggers will be reviewing my baby, eek!

This story isn’t your typical YA, for several reasons:

1) It’s 129,000 words, when most YA’s are about 80,000. (It started over 200K words(!), so my editor and I have done a LOT of chopping.)

2) It features many points of view beyond the hero (Leo) and heroine (Audrey), including parents, siblings, and coaches.

3) It’s a murder mystery that’s for older teens and adults due to mature themes of abuse, violence, and sexual situations.

4) There’s no love triangle.

Because of these anomalies, I’m nervous about the reception to the novel by passionate bloggers. I hope there’s room for my unique take on YA! Regardless, I’m sure this will be a learning experience that will help me become a better writer.

What’s your favorite genre to read? If you’re a writer, have you crossed genres?

25 thoughts

  1. I think that not typical YA books are needed. I've been thinking that love triangles are becoming disgustingly overrated.As a reader I tend to stick toward Fantasy and YA. Though I do read some romance and contemporary/mystery type books as well.

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  2. Typical. Cliche. Two concepts that certainly won't draw readers. But sadly they do in YA.Perhaps for the same reasons little children will ask to have the same book read to them at night over and over.One of the best YA fantasies I ever read, THE BLUE GIRL by Charles de Lint, had multiple viewpoints — actually from past and present even.In that marvelous book there was nary a triangle in sight. It actually was a book of a friendship between two misfit young girls: one goth, the other a shy scholastic type — both intelligent, both desperately lonely. Boys were on the edges of the story. But friendship under fire was the concept. (Feral faes and human bullies in case you were wondering.)Too late now, but had you thought of splitting the book in two to take advantage of the wordage?

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  3. Roland, I had the same question from a reviewer about splitting the book into two. I did consider it but decided against it because the murder mystery unravels the last third of the story and I didn't want to leave readers hanging. Also, many of those words were unnecessary since it was my first novel. A lot of \”that\”s and adverbs. I decided to focus on tightening what I had. It's still shorter than my first adult novel!Good to hear unusual can be positive! Your comment about children wanting to hear the same story over and over again made me laugh. I definitely like variety.

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  4. Kudos on the lack of love triangle! I am SO over them in the YA universe!And I didn't make it in time to comment on X-Rated, but I must concur with your friend, the writing isn't all that great, but for some reason you just can't put it down. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Heather, that sounds like a smart approach. I find it easier to read whatever I want than to write whatever I want–I like to stick to a genre when writing–but it's always fun to read something from an unfamiliar genre.

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  6. Mary, thanks for following! I heard about your blog from Alex. Unbroken is fantastic. I couldn't really get through Seabiscuit but I couldn't stop reading Unbroken.I like what you say about the difference between adult and YA. That's how I see it too.

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  7. My favorite genre to read generally tends to have some romance, but I like a good zombie western (Cypher Lx's Salt Bowl Death) just as much as I like absurd fantasy (Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next).As an author, I suppose I can't help crossing genres. I haven't discovered yet the genre that fits me best, so I'm just writing as the ideas come. Generally, though, YA is hard, so I avoid it.

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  8. Nicole, I have a verbal diarrhea problem. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Many of the words were unnecessary since it was my first novel. But I also love to get into each character's head. I sit and listen all day in my job so perhaps I have a lot to say when I start writing!

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  9. I recently read a great review about Streamline… I thought it was a must-read, in the deep, thought-provoking read department. Handling tough themes, and doing it right, is something hard to find in YA, and I think more risks are needed in that department. Also, no love triangle! Yay! This is on top of my To Be Bought books. Great post about what is good YA!

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  10. Thank you so much, Ron! Streamline isn't for the faint of heart or bubblegum crowd, that's for sure, but if it struck your fancy, I'm very pleased you plan on giving it a try. Thanks for stopping by!

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