Monday, May 26, 2008

The Top 5 Things I Love About Writing for YA

First of all, I’d like to give a big virtual box of bon-bons to my new friends at The Knight Agency! I’m an imported author ... has a nice ring to it, like “imported chocolates.” So that virtual box of chocolates is from Belgium, then. And very pricey. Enjoy!

Now ... TKA generously invited me to contributed to their YA Week here on this blog, and despite being a bit loopy on Benadryl (helloooooo, springtime pollens!) I will do my level best to be coherent, concise, and hopefully amusing. (Actually, the Benadryl may help with that last bit, I’m thinking. Or ... possibly not. If so, sorry! Blame the allergies.)

Someone asked me in a recent interview what I loved about writing for a YA audience. Being someone who thinks better with my fingers on a keyboard than, you know, with actual speaking words coming out of my mouth, I couldn't think of much. And you don’t get do-overs on the phone, darn it.

But now I have another chance! Will try to be, as aforementioned, coherent, concise, and – whatever that other thing was. Thank you, Benadryl!

The top 5 things I love about writing for YA ...

5. Making sense of it all. High school was hard, but who gets the last laugh? The YA author gets to re-create high school and make sense of it, once and for all. Considerable therapeutic value can be had, not to mention a whole lot of fun.

4. A better class of giveaway. Honestly, I find so many cool ideas for giveaways in the YA world ... Temporary tattoos! iPods with custom skins! Glow-in-the-dark jewelry! FUN! I thought I’d reached the height of promotional fun with custom umbrellas, but noooooo ... there’s a lot more out there.

3. Remembering what I loved about high school and college. It wasn’t just about bullies and mean girls; there were wonderful moments of friendship and love that I think are difficult to experience in the same intensity once you’re mired down with adult concerns. There’s something magical and lyrical about those early strong emotions – the first person you really love, the friends you bond with like a new family. And for my young adult stories, I get to revisit those moments, which is a complete pleasure.

2. Myspace! Yes, I love Myspace. It’s crazy, loud, and bizarre at times, but I still love it ... and if I hadn’t starting writing young adult books, I probably wouldn’t have had an excuse to dive in.

1. BEST. FANS. EVER. OMG. I love my adult readers, but there is nothing in the world like getting a message from someone who has just discovered the magic of reading. My YA fans are so excited and enthusiastic that it makes it a total pleasure to open email every day.

Okay. I’m pretty sure the Benadryl’s starting to wear off, and I don’t want to outstay my welcome ... thanks very much for letting me stop in today, fine TKA folks! I’m delighted to be part of the team. Happy YA Week, everybody!

One last thing: if you haven’t entered my contest for the release of FEAST OF FOOLS (the fourth Morganville Vampires book), please visit my Livejournal ( or my Myspace blog (!

Rachel Caine


Blogger Natalie Damschroder said...

You make a very compelling case for writing YA, Rachel! :) I don't think I have the voice or perspective for it, but I realized a lot of my reasons for reading it are similar to yours for writing it.

BTW, custom iPod skins are cool giveaways for adults, too... :)

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 6:19:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lucienne said...

Great blog post!

I think the reason I like writing it is that through my writing I get to be someone I wasn't in high school - cool, in control, confident. It's fun to view from that perspective. Even more fun to suddenly take that character I'm living vicariously through and shake up her world until she's every bit as at sea as I was then!

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 6:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Elaine Spencer said...

Great post Rachel! We are so excited to have such an amazing new "import" :)

Thanks for the wonderful kick-off to YA week and I can't wait to pick up the upcoming new release!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 9:00:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Deidre Knight said...

Rachel! We are so very excited to have you as part of our TKA family! And you know the truth about all "import editions"--classier, sexier and more pricey! :)

I loved this post. You really nailed it for me here, about the intensity of emotion at that age--that friendship, emotions, love--all of it is so brand new. You're right, it wasn't all mean girls and feeling like a geek (that would be ME, thank you.) There were magical moments in the mix and I love getting to revisit that through READING YA.

As for teens just discovering hte love of reading, that was wonderfully said. :)

Thanks for posting and, again, we are so thrilled to have you as part of our TKA family! Deidre

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 11:39:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Tracy said...

Hi Rachel -- I loved your reasons why you write YA! Probably the same reasons a lot of us beyond our YA years read it (well, okay -- I can only speak for me, and I'm WAY beyond the YA years!). Also, I love to read the same books my teenage daughter does as it gives us something else to talk about -- and it gives me a birdseye view of what's going on in her head.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 6:32:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Liane Gentry Skye said...

Coherent, concise and amusing! By George, you made all three. The books sound great, too. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 6:32:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Melissa Walker said...

Fantastic post, and I heartily agree with everything you said. Who knew those angsty days were really my artistic side blooming?

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 11:52:00 AM EDT  

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