February 9, 2014
What inspired you to write YA?
|photo credit: Jody Art via photopin cc|
Martina: LOL! I literally just wrote this in the acknowledgements for COMPULSION (formerly BEHOLDEN) that I turned in last month, but maybe it's okay to give a sneak peek. I owe the fact that I'm writing YA to Cynthia Leitich Smith, whose novel TANTALIZE inspired my daughter to come running at one in the morning to say, "Mom, you HAVE to read this book. I just finished it and it's fabulous." -- My daughter has a learning disability and up to that point, she wasn't really a reader. After TANTALIZE, I couldn't STOP her from reading, and as I read to keep up with her, I fell head over heels for YA. As far as why I am writing Southern gothic YA? That I owe to Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, whose BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series reminded my how much I love gothics and quirky Southern characters and the incredible gorgeous setting possibilities provided by Spanish moss and reluctantly aging Southern mansions.
Clara: Reading YA inspired me to write YA. Reading YA inspired me to write, period. I read and loved Harry Potter, of course, but I developed a passion for YA at the book fairs at my kids’ elementary school. They always had a table in the corner set aside for YA novels. UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld was the first YA book I bought, and I loved it. At every book fair from then on, I bought almost as many YA books for myself as chapter and MG books for my kids. Up until I started reading YA, I was not a writer. I’d always enjoyed writing - I wrote stories in my diary as a child, and I took a creative writing class in high school and in college - but wasn’t until I started reading so much YA that I had the desire and motivation to write a novel of my own. That novel eventually became RUN TO YOU. And I haven’t stopped there - I have many more YA manuscripts in the works.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Why do you write YA? Do you write anything in addition to YA? What inspired you?