I'm 15 going on 16 and it shows how I spent most of my afternoons as a teenager, sitting in a park (though this was not taken in Scoville Park from Ballads of Suburbia. Sometimes we changed up our park-going routine and went to Mills Park, which is where I am here) and when I wasn't getting into trouble, I was writing.
Yeah, those zines were kind of intense. I was probably proudest of my last one, Do Not Go Quietly Unto Yr Grave. I wrote that one after graduating high school early and moving into my own apartment in Madison, Wisconsin, when I was seventeen. I reflected a lot on the life I left behind, friends with drug addictions and problems not unlike the ones my characters in Ballads of Suburbia go through. And I also put a short story in one of my zines for the first time. Those short stories were odd, not very good really. Full of image and metaphor-- my current obsession with existentialist philosophy very evident in them. But they were about restless kids sitting in diners, girls struggling with friends and boyfriends were teetering on the edge of something--addiction, depression. You can definitely see the early themes that would become this:
So, my love for writing was definitely honed in my teen years and I think that might be why I write YA!