WHY do I write YA fiction?

ImageThis morning as I started running up the trail to the river, a pair of Western Bluebirds crossed my path. They landed in a date palm tree close by, prompting me to stop my run and just enjoy their presence.  I rarely see this bird, and always when I do, they come in pairs. A novice birder, I’m sure I wouldn’t recognize a single female with her drab brown, slightly blue tinged feathers, but the male is a stunning bright blue with an orange chest that takes center stage. Look at me! I always look to the world outside me for clues to my inner world—messages that might help me understand my life. What does seeing this bird symbolize to me? The cliché is happiness, right? Could it be a symbol of love and partnership seeing these two together? Or perhaps a message to move forward on revising my novel—a process that has been trudging along lately. As I get into my run, I think about that novel and why I write YA fiction. I attended a book signing for a group of writers that have a blog (YA Muses), and Katherine Longshore was asked why she writes YA novels. I believe she gave a number of reasons, but one really resonated with me.  It’s that YA fiction is about hope. And I agree–it’s really that simple. There is a hope for the future, a hope that even though you may feel awkward and your life is difficult, there is a future that will get better.

And then my mind wanders again, to this mornings paper. A recent report released by the president’s scientific advisory council that global warming is real and most of the effects will be detrimental.  This is the reason running is awesome for writers, by the way—the stream of consciousness thoughts that come about when you move your body. So back to global warming–that’s kinda a duh sort of finding, right? But there are those that disagree and okay, everyone’s got a right to their opinion. But personally, I think that our encroachment on the world and its inhabitants, including those beautiful bluebirds, can’t be good.  And as my mind wanders, I think about the Avians in my novel First Flight and how they are part of human’s future, and humans are part of theirs—as they come into conflict. I escape into my novel’s story and become enthused to finish it.

Because, there is hope even in a fantasy novel, and that’s why I write YA fiction, and why I read it.  Because we all need a little hope for a brighter future.

And if you get a chance, check out these great sites for writers:  http://yamuses.blogspot.com/ and http://www.katherinelongshore.com/

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