I’ve read YA intermittently since college. I’d skipped it on my way up, you see, and had to backtrack. There’d been a couple authors, like Tamora Pierce, who I enjoyed, but it wasn’t the first genre I went to hunt up new releases in. A lot of what was being published at the time was contemporary, and a lot of the other fantasy I read in it seemed slimmed down too far compared to what I was reading in the adult section. Fast forward a few years, and a new crop of YA authors started appearing. Not only were their books well written and interesting, but the authors themselves were as engaging as their novels.
I had, until this past November, kept trying to write romances. It was what I had been reading a lot of, especially in 2010. It was what my friends were all writing. It was easy to sell. I’d even sold a short story to an anthology. I recently remembered that I’d never gotten any statements, turned out they had an ancient address for me. When I finally got the statements, I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. The sales were utterly abysmal. I almost have more followers on twitter than the anthology it was in sold copies over the 3 years. I had already been debating changing genres, and written a draft of a YA story, just to see if I could find the passion I’d lost for writing in it. I did. The statements simply confirmed it for me.
I wasn’t going to get anything out of romance. Not enjoyment, not money.
They always say to follow your heart. My heart lead me to YA. It’s full of authors who are funny, smart, and genuinely wonderful people, who know how to have fun. And bake cookies. That’s important!