"What is a chode?" I asked this question of my sixteen year old daughter, when I heard her and her friend laughing at the new nickname they'd given one of their male friends. When she told me, I was honestly surprised; mostly because she actually knew what a chode was, and then I felt another grey hair spring forth. Am I really that old?
Writing a YA series has been a great learning and growing experience, but it had also been very challenging to walk the line between what's appealing and relating to today's teens, while keeping them engaged without crossing over into adult. I've read many YA paranormal romance and some authors are much better at this than others. The way I see it, in this day and age, the YA audience could probably teach me a thing or two, so I'm not as worried about writing conservatively as I am about writing a great story, with real dialogue and real life issues.
My goal has always been that the YA audience will identify with my characters. They're not perfect--some of them curse, use alcohol and drugs, have premarital sex, and generally make many of the same mistakes our teens today make. But one message comes through strong in my paranormal romance Until Darkness Comes, and that's the power of love and forgiveness.
Hope you all have a great Saturday. I'd love to hear what you think about writing YA today :)