Sunday, June 8, 2014

Author guest post: Why I adore the YA genre by Jodi Lamm

Today I’d like to welcome Jodi Lamm, author of YA novels, Titan Magic series to my blog today. In her guest post today, Jodi tells us about her love of YA – a subject that all lovers of this genre can so very well relate to.

There never seems to be a week that goes by without a negative article about young adult fiction appearing in every corner of the web, which is why I always love writing and featuring guest posts about how awesome the YA genre is and just how much there is to love about it.

And really, we all know that most people who have something bad to say about Teen fiction have limited to absolutely no experience with the genre.  In today’s post, Jodi not only responds to the question about why she writes YA, but also what she loves most about the genre.

Check out her post below, followed by info about her books.

3 Reasons I love YA fiction

The question people usually ask after they find out I write is, "What do you write?" And my answer is something like, "Well, my last book was a YA, Victorian fantasy about a girl who finds out she's a golem."

Then responses start to vary. Most people are interested and encouraging.

But sometimes, and more often than I would have predicted, people respond directly to the genre. More specifically, the YA part of the genre.

"Why would you write YA, when you could write adult books: thrillers, comedies, mysteries? Why not picture books?"
I don't know why, but for some reason YA is a no-fly zone for people who don't typically read it.

Honestly, I don't get it. I love YA, not exclusively, but it's a great treasure trove of literature, and I think people are missing out on some gorgeous stories by dismissing it.

With that in mind, I thought I'd list the top three reasons I personally enjoy reading and writing YA.

1. It's paced for my attention span
I love a good, long read every now and then. I love to baste my brain in a story for months on end, and I have. But I also like to read slowly.

I like to savor every word, and that becomes a problem when the book is a monstrous volume in the vein of Susana Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell (which was brilliant, but a tome nonetheless).

A faster-paced novel that isn't cutting on quality makes slow reading more feasible. I call these novels dark chocolate because they're so rich in language and feeling, you don't have to spend a year reading them to feel they truly made an impact on your life.

And to be honest, I've found as many YA books that fall into this category as books written exclusively for older adults.

2. I appreciate its love of storytelling.
While not universally true, in my personal experience, pure love of storytelling is easier to find in books for younger people.

I have my theories about why.

Mostly, they deal with the way academia has turned its nose up at genre fiction in the past, and how adults in general are better at being ashamed of "guilty pleasures."

Bells and whistles are lovely, and I'd be the last person to complain about hidden symbolism and meaning in a story (I'm sure I gleefully see it where it isn't), but when those bells and whistles are louder than the actual story, I get antsy.

Some of my fondest memories are of sitting around a campfire and telling ghost stories just for the joy of it.

YA (and MG even more so) is like this to me. The story is almost always bigger than its classroom discussion could ever be.

I love that, and I missed it enormously in college, where we would sometimes break from a lengthy, serious seminar on James Joyce to bond over our simple love for Harry Potter.

3. Why not?
I've never understood this new attitude we seem to have, culturally, that we mustn't take stories about younger people seriously. It really is the strangest thing. Since when is the age of a story's protagonist any indication of its quality or merit?

Was Lord of the Flies all fluff because its characters were adolescents? What about The Catcher in the Rye, which would probably be considered NA these days? And Frankenstein was written by a teenager, for crying out loud.

 These have all shaped our culture. They're both important and fun, which is totally possible, I swear. Now some might say, "It isn't the protagonist that makes it YA or MG; it's the intended audience."

To that I say, "So what? I was a child and a teenager, too.

I haven't forgotten what that was like. And most of my childhood and high school favorites still hold up today."

So those are my top three reasons for reading and writing YA. I'm not saying I'll never write a book for adults (or that I haven't already done so and trunked the thing), or an MG book, or even a picture book.

But right now, YA is a rich and varied super-genre I haven't begun to grow tired of.

About Titan Magic
Mute, heartless, and tormented by auditory hallucinations, Madeleine Lavoie never questions why her family has hidden her from the world.

But the night her brother casts her out, she learns the mysterious voice she thought existed only in her mind is no delusion, and no matter how hard she tries, she can never disobey it.

Now Madeleine must find her own voice in a cacophony of powerful tyrants, monsters, and gods.

If she fails, she will forfeit her life and the lives of everyone who loves her.

But if she succeeds, she may finally gain the ability to love someone in return.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR pile

Ebook: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Paperback: Amazon, Createspace

About Jodi
Jodi Lamm is the author of the Titan Magic Trilogy and a little novel called Chemistry. She was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, where she currently lives with The Other Lamm, three furry creatures, a parrot/evil overlord, and a variety of musical instruments. She writes for the love of storytelling.

She’s addicted to fantasy, ghost stories, and anything with just the right amount of eerie romance.

Check out her website here.
Follow her on Twitter.
Check out her Goodreads profile.

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