All Because of Chickens

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Morning Musings: September 19 2015 - Why are we writing this genre?

Hi and here’s to the start of a fantastic weekend. Hope the week went well for you.

Today we want to explain…Why we write MG/Tween/YA/New YA.

It never dawned on me, but I guess this was the first genre I wrote…attempted to write. Lea, close your eyes, I’m mentioning (drum roll to no surprise) Nancy Drew type stories. Thinking back to my childhood my Barbies always went on mysteries or took their camper to other planets (aka Lost In Space). I never once took them down the nightmare lane even though I love that genre now.

Let’s visit with a few Musers

I actually write in a few different genres and categories (age groups.) I write middle grade because I am truly a kid at heart and I like reading books in this category. I wrote time travel (In a Pickle) because the topic has always fascinated me. So much can go wrong! My recent projects have tended toward the grown-up side of the spectrum, some speculative/fantasy, some not; but I plan to visit MG and YA and children's in the future. So many pots (90+ projects in the think tank at the moment), only so many burners.

I started writing YA because I was in a children's writing workshop and then after writing my first novel the next character was a fifteen year old. The next one which I am still not finished revising is a sixteen year old boy. So I keep having these characters and enjoy writing about them.

I think there is a way to go back to your own life and rewrite those years as you might have wanted to live them from an older perspective. That is part of the reason I like writing YA. Also the themes in each novel coincide with a teen's life. Also I have read a lot of YA and wanted to write my own ideas.

To be honest, I wrote EARRINGS after seeing the lack of diversity in my bilingual classroom.  I also was doing my own research into my Mexican roots and was a grad student in bilingual/bicultural education.  My Chicano Studies classes opened my eyes to another part of history that textbooks don’t cover.  I learned to embrace my Mexican heritage and became passionate for having protagonists that mirrored not only my second language students but me as well.

I started at the beginning though with writing poetry.  Poetry helped me deal with my abusive background.  My poetry has been in numerous magazines and in chapbooks.  I think this is one huge reason why edgy subject matters also appeal to me.  When I was asked to write a letter to my sixteen-year-old self for DEAR TEEN ME, I was amazed at how many others had been through similar experiences.

Right now though I’m toying with getting out of my comfort zone and writing a mainstream diverse romance.  I love to think outside the box and challenge myself.

The reason I write fantasy stories is because that's what I love to read the most...and why I like to read in this genre is because for me, it is the most captivating. It transports you to another place, and even if it takes place within our own world, there is still some element of the fantastic that makes the world distinct from the world we live in. And I find magic can be more 'real', or at least more true, than our own world, because it touches a higher level of reality, something beyond what science can explain to perhaps a higher kind of science. And I love the adventures in fantasy stories, and in writing them, the ability to create amazing new things.

I write YA because it's a time of change. It's a transitional stage between childhood and adulthood, with lots of emotions and feels and expectations. My MC's are poised at the edge of having responsibility and still wanting the freedoms of childhood. The demands of life from friends, family, and the world and the character's reaction to these demands are a lot of fun to play with to discover the inner strengths (and weaknesses of my characters.)

Why do I write YA/New YA? I write in this genre because I like to read it. In a good YA/New YA book, the character's emotions are close to the surface. They experience life with the curiosity of youth, the commitment of someone who still believes, and the dogged determination of someone untried and inexperienced with failure. They aren't jaded. It makes me remember what it was like to be that age.

Keep reading and dreaming. If there’s anything you’re curious about just drop me a note:


  1. Now I know all about you, ladies. Great posts. Writing for MG and YA is fun and also challenging. Keep writing.

  2. Very interesting to see the reasons behind the writers. Like Beverly said here in the comments, writing for this category is fun and challenging. Keep your pens on the page! ~Beth

  3. I showed this to my daughter (13) and her answer was - well, who else is going to write for us.


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