It was never my intention to write YA. I was always a strictly hard-core fantasy kind of girl. Swords. Dragons. Played D&D. You know, that kind of writer. And all adult, all the time. Not X-rated or anything. Just for adults. Because I used to think adults got it. And me.
Not so, as it turns out.
Fast forward to several years (and a lifetime) ago. My darling niece handed me Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and told me I had to read it. I rolled my eyes. A kid’s book? But, honestly, I haven’t looked back. There are so many fantastic stories and amazing writers in the YA field (and Middle Grade), their adventures so beautifully wound around great characters that I was hooked. So much so, I rarely read adult anything anymore. Or write it for that matter.
So why do I write YA? It was like a light bulb went off in my head. Here was my chance to explore the socially awkward girl I was (and still am and always will be), to examine the pain and tears and, quite frankly, more pain of being a teenager who was never quite like everyone else. Add to that the life-long wish to be more than normal, to be paranormal, and I felt like I came home.
Every time I write a book in this field I get excited like I never did before. Opening that Pandora’s box of emotion fills me up with possibilities and empties me out of old negativity. And as hard as some of it is to write, the catharsis is brilliant.
There is a second answer to this question, however. The voices. Syd. Fresco. Henry. Emily. They get progressively darker and scarier. And more insistent. No, I’m not quite ready for a straight jacket and injections twice a day. But now that I’m listening to them, it’s impossible to say no. They have things to share and I’m the only one who can write for them.
Fair enough. About time someone paid attention, I say.
Patti is a writer and independent filmmaker on the East Coast of Canada. She has a passion for Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction that drives her to write full time and sometimes even through the night. Her YA novel Fresco (Etopia Press) is due for release this summer and her Middle Grade novel (Acorn Press) comes out Spring 2012. You can find Patti all over the Internet (at least it feels that way to her):