YA Books

Young Adult Books
FenCon10 notes

Must haves? Different from general? Do, don’t, why not?

“Do not moderate me.”

YA and why we write.

Michelle Bardsley—one YA series
Rosemary Clement-Moore—YA supernatural mysteries (latest is a psychic girl detective)
Rachel Caine—vampire series for YA, being made into webx Prince of Shadows (Feb 2014)
Amber Benson—actor, writer, Death’s Daughter series “Normal girls went to Barney’s and looked at $60 socks. That’s not normal.”
Beth Hale—YA author, YA scifi novel, Cookbook of Indian food

How much sex is too much in YA?
Nobody knows. The line continually is redrawn.

New Adult (18-22) with all the sex you want.

Depends on the publisher.

Sex in YA was realistically awkward, a big plot point, about decision and consequences—now can be a thing that happens and can be over-romanticized.
Sex a part, but not talked about much, still like society. So now having sex at a younger age and this is evident in their reading. (Really? Younger? Younger than middle school? 35 years ago inner-city middle school/junior high had 75% or more sexually active students.)
Rule (2006) What can I not do? Everything except sex. I had to send the 6th book to 10 self-identified conservative parents for review, because I wanted to have sex in the 6th book.

What drives YA censorship is library and protests.

Do I want to fight that battle?
YA author wanted to have message in book and lots of language. Was asked, do you want to be challenged because of the message or the language? So changed the language because the message was more important.

Beth Hale doesn’t put sex in books because she can’t read it outloud.

What can you not do in YA?
bestiality and boring
… Except now we have werewolves/bestiality…

What needs to be done?
Don’t write as if you are writing a book for young people.

Now have a lot more tech.
Bullying has always existed.
Themes are universal: growing and becoming an adult.

Must remember embarrassment and show that in YA.
Really too mature = me as a teenager
How much are you pulling from life? Much, lots, most
Let yourself go back and remember how you dealt with others, with your younger sibling(s).

Violence? How much gore can you get away with?
Dea Reeves, Slice of Cherry, 2 sisters, daughter of serial killer, the sisters torture someone in the basement, got less flack from violence…

Kids are drawn to violence. Kid deals with violence as an object they haven’t dealt with.

Europe—hungry for places to publish. They don’t like violence, but sex is okay.
Europeans want to know why Americans are so repressed about sex.
European authors, violence is difficult/not done
“all the gun violence”
Violence accepted in US; sex is not.
“Why does Texas kill people?”

How much to put in books?
Characters are American.
Before you decide on violence and sex, what story are you wanting to tell?
“You know how picky I am about my shoes—and those are just going on my feet.” Cher in Clueless about sex.

Children want the truth.
I read all the time. The books gave me a way to figure out how to act.

Discrimination against sex is from adults.
Jr high girls know to give blow jobs to avoid sexual pressure.
What? Giving blow jobs is how to AVOID sexual pressure? What kind of people are these? Don’t they see that the blow jobs are sexual pressure?

More to come.

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