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February 15, 2016

RP Channing: Why YA? #MondayBlogs

The great thing about Young Adult is that it spans genres. There are no holds barred in Young Adult and one is free to “genre-bend” as some authors like to call it.

You can’t do that in PNR.

You can’t do that in Horror.

You definitely can’t do it in Contemporary Romance.

Sure, the main criterion for a YA novel is that the characters are “young.” What people tend to miss is that that’s precisely why YA has such wide appeal.

We were all young once (and, some, fortunately still so.) It’s hard to relate to a character way above our age, but everyone can relate to one that’s sixteen or seventeen.

What’s Harry Potter? Fantasy...and YA.

What’s The Fault in Our Stars? Romance, Coming of Age...and YA.

Twilight. Horror, Romance...and Young Adult.

How many of you have liked all three of the above books? I know I did.

Let’s talk about Horror. Like many people who are not fans of this genre, I get put off by the gore. (Actually, I am a fan of some horror...until it gets too gory.) And what about the people who are fans of old-style Romances, but don’t like the overly-detailed scenes found in much of today’s romance?

Well, YA is a happy medium. You can put anything and everything in YA, you can “genre-bend,” you can make the stories scary, sexy, magical, or sad...and you’ll still be writing to the same market.

I’m all for a scary story, but I hate having nightmares. I love romance, but get put off by all the detail once the bedroom door is closed.

In YA, you can put a bit of everything and still stay within comfortable boundaries.

But there’s more to it: Young adults. There’s a magic we all wish we still had in our antiquated years. A magic that teenagers still seem to possess - hope, the idea that anything can be done about it, excitement. Nobody likes a moping character, and sometimes older characters simply mope too much. YA characters have verve, spunk, sass.

It’s fun to write about characters like that because, ultimately, we all want to be a little spunky and a little sassy.

Writing is about putting dreams on paper, and hoping people are touched by those dreams. It’s about creating possibilities, opening doors. The books that take the world by storm these days are Young Adult books (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight.) When YA fans get behind a story, there’s no stopping it.

When someone says “I’m not into YA,” I think what they’re really saying is “I’m not into Fantasy” or “I’m not into Horror” or “I’m not into Romance.” But it’s impossible to not be into all of what YA has to offer in all its sub-genres.

YA is an open-field, with room for all kinds of stories.

I think people who “aren’t into YA” just haven’t found the right book.

Which is the same for people who just “aren’t that much into reading.” Neither was I, until I read The Hunger Games.

And wept.

Buy Thirst: Blood of my Blood at Amazon

About the Author
R P Channing started writing three years ago, but never published anything even after churning out over a million words of fiction. Thirst: Blood of my Blood is the first book he dared to publish. When asked why, he said, “Because it’s the first thing I wrote that my wife actually enjoyed reading.” When not hammering away (most literally) at his keyboard, he can be found buried in a book, reading anything from romance to horror to young adult to non-fiction to comedy.

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