Why I Write Clean YA Fiction
Flashback of typical book shopping trip with my daughter:
“I found these four books that I like,” she says.I take the YA books and flip through them one at a time. I struggle to keep a pleasant, straight face as I find page after page of “adult content.” I calmly hand the stack of books back to her.“No to these three. Yes, to this one,” I say. Daughter emits heavy sigh, lays books down in random location, and leaves bookstore.
It was this kind of memory that I had in the back of my mind when my daughter approached me her senior year in high school and said she had a great idea for a book. I said, “Great, why don’t you write it.” Her response was a blank stare. That’s when I offered to write it with her. She smiled and said “Okay.” But, as things often go, I found myself writing alone. Before I knew it, the story took off, and I was writing a novel. I was even more driven to do it when I realized I could show her that a book doesn’t have to be full of bad language and questionable role models to be good. I was determined.
The morning after my daughter finished my first draft of “Like Ice”, she came downstairs and hugged me. That was my validation that I could write good “clean” novels for young adults. Not only that, but I wanted to. Bad.
I’m not writing to be noticed. Frankly, I’m uncomfortable with attention. But I do believe in the books I’m writing, and that compels me to do a certain amount of “get my book out there” marketing.
The truth is, I’m humbled that God has put the desire in my heart to write for young adults.
I’m happy to say that my now college aged daughter has become very selective about the books she reads. I no longer buy her books, or approve them. But I smile when I see her return books because they are filled with too much “worldly” wisdom.