Appealing to Young Adults
by Ela Lourenco
What does ‘young adult’ mean? Some argue it’s the twelve to eighteen age group, others argue it is fourteen plus… It isn’t very well defined. In this day and age of internet access, social media etc., it has become ever harder to determine who is old enough for what. So how does one tailor a book for an indeterminate age group with varying levels of maturity and a whole host of different interests?
My daughter read the first few chapters as my ‘tester’, her only criticism being ‘is this all you’ve written?’ and ‘when will you finish the book so I can read it already?’ She then proceeded to stand over my shoulder (literally) so I would ‘crack’ on with it!
Encouraged by her obvious enjoyment of my story I realised something – I remembered that excitement and frantic frenzy born of sinking nose deep into a really good book. Realising this unlocked something inside me – writing for the YA audience was not the complex tricky minefield I had convinced myself it was – rather it was true freedom. Liberation from the constraints of adulthood and complete immersion into a world where one is no longer a child but still retains the wonder and thirst and magic of one.
Young adult to me means the ‘age of magic’ – not quite child nor fully grown, but that wonderful in-between place that bridges the ever-present awe of magic with an ability to understand the world around you. As I wrote, I remembered. I remembered ideas and thoughts long dusty in my mind – I remembered the crazy vivid imagination that had been mine before ‘I grew up’ and as I embraced my newfound ‘childhood’ Dragon Born flowed with increased pace and ease, followed by Child of Fire and then my newest release Awakening (book three of five in the series).
All YA writers will have their own views and opinions as to how to write for young adults, and there is certainly no one right answer, but for me it was returning to a time and mind-set long past which helped me to recapture that sense of awe and belief in magic – in order to write for young adults, in my mind I became one once more, and I plan on never leaving it again!
Book Three of the Dragon Born Series
The Royal tournament, the Karnac, is fully underway. But there is deception and betrayal at every turn. Unseen dark forces are at play, both within the school grounds and out with. Even the Gods are unable to help when a new threat looms over them all.The very existence of Azmantium depends on Lara fully becoming the Child of Fire and casting aside the Shadows lurking in every corner of her beloved planet.Can she overcome the challenges that await? Will the Shadows cover the world in darkness? Only Lara and her friends can change the fate of Azmantium.
About the Author:
Ela Lourenco is a lover of all things fantasy, magic and mystery and loves nothing better than cooking up new tales – that is when she isn’t nose deep in a book herself! Nomadic by nature, she has now settled down in Scotland with her hubby, two daughters and two cats.
Ela also runs creative writing workshops for children and is passionate about helping those with learning difficulties to get ‘back to enjoying stories’.