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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why do you write for teens?

I touched on this subject in my last post expressing my love for writing for teens. I started writing my first novel when I was a senior in high school and didn’t even know it then, but it was the start of my first young adult novel. That book may be deep in the recesses of my filing cabinet, but it was the beginning of my love for all things teen.
A couple of years later while earning my BFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College, I took a children’s writing class. There I started a novel about a fifteen year-old girl which helped me find my voice. Over the years, I went on to finish that novel, which may be resurrected at some point, but also remains tucked away.
It wasn’t until I started teaching middle school that I decided to get more serious about my writing and even several more years until I joined a children’s critique group. To tell you the truth, I never thought why teens because that’s what I wrote, plain and simple. It’s the spot on the page where my pen magically fell. Whenever I mulled around book ideas, they always featured teen characters.
I still carry around my teen years with me because those years hold so many emotions, good and bad. I’m filled with stories from those years, many things that can’t wait to hit the page—the funny and the not-so funny. In addition, I’m definitely still a teen at heart. I read mostly young adult books, love teen movies and music too. I still feel very connected with those years and hope that readers are able to identify with my characters and know that they’re not alone, that there are others who might be going through the same things as them. Books provided great solace for me growing up and as an author of teen fiction, I hope to do the same.

Note: The picture above is me at 16 "working" on my etiquette skills:)!


deewana said...

sounds like you've been living on the other side of the mirror of my life! i just published my first book, written entirely in a teen voice, but looking at the 'adult" world from a kid's perspective. why did i decide to do it? because books and stories were part of what taught and formed me as a youth, i understand their potential to guide and influence (in positive and negative ways), and feel, as a parent and a professional writer, an intense need to provide as many young people as possible with good guidance in an entertaining form. if you wanna check out the book, www.eloquentbooks.com/LetSlipTheDogsOfLove.html. if not, keep up the good work. kids need al the help they can get, especially these days.

Danielle Joseph said...

Very cool, thanks for commenting. I am going to check out your book now!

Jan Blazanin said...

Great picture, Danielle! I'm envious because I've never been able to blow a decent bubble.