Are You Young at Heart?

Is this something I can read, too?

You’d be surprised how many adults have asked me that very question in reference to my book. I like to smile and tell them, “Only if you’re over twelve.” And hey I’m going to be honest here—– most of the adults I know are over twelve—- at least in terms of chronological age. But how many adults are still young at heart? All of them…at least that’s my hope.

I guess the thing about young adult novels is the fact that a lot of adults actually do read them as well. I’ve had university professors tell me they read young adult fiction, teachers, seniors and people from basically every walk of life.

So here’s the good news, people….You don’t have to be a young adult to read and enjoy young adult fiction!! All you need is a love of reading and a willingness to read stories that involve young people. There is some pretty terrific young adult fiction being produced every year. Two of my favourite authors of young adult fiction are Barbara Haworth-Attard and Carol Matas. I haven’t read all of their work but what I have read I have enjoyed immensely.

If you like to read but don’t have a lot of time then perhaps Y/A fiction is for you. Some of us just can’t seem to tackle a five hundred page novel. It just seems to be too daunting a task and if you’re not an avid reader I’m sure the mere thought of starting can be a bit overwhelming.

What I’ve been finding is that many people have bought  Bitter, Sweet simply because I wrote it. Some of them scarcely read for enjoyment at all, so when they tell me they’ve read my book I really do feel quite honoured to think they would give up their time to enter my make-believe world. I happen to think it’s quite possibly the most supportive thing anyone could do. Our time is precious. One lady stopped me in the mall one day to thank me for writing the book. Talk about a humbling experience!!

Not only are people telling me that they’re buying the book for their kids/grandchildren but for themselves, their parents and their grandparents, as well. So are you young at heart? Do you find yourself reaching for a young adult novel when you have a few moments to spare? If you’ve never read a young adult novel perhaps it is time. You might be quite surprised. You might actually enjoy it!

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  1. My daughter writes YA novels (Shari’s agent is Michelle Andelman of the Lynn Franklin Agency). I like reading her stories… and not just because she’s my daughter! A good story is well structured with a good plot and interesting characters, regardless of the age of the intended audience.


    • You know Carol, I’ve never considered getting an agent. I’ve heard it’s not an easy feat. But sometimes I wonder if it would be to my benefit to have one. I really don’t know a whole lot about it. One author told me it took her 13 months and over a hundred queries to get one and this was after she’d had a few books published.

      I really like to read YA novels and I have quite a few on my list to read this winter.


  2. Oh yes, Laura, def young at heart 🙂

    I do read YA, not on a monthly basis, but a few per year. Mostly YA fantasy. How does it feel to know your book is on my Christmas list (which only my husband will read, but still…). A little local book store carries some copies of Bitter, Sweet.

    I am actually thinking my next book will be a YA, but I still have not decided. I have to wait to see what happens when I sit down to begin writing it.


    • I’m glad to hear you admit to being young at heart, Jennifer. When I stop to think that I will become a grandmother in 2010 I can scarcely think that I’m old enough for that. But I know I will always remain young at heart so it really won’t make me feel old…It will be a wonderful experience and I can hardly wait.

      It’s exciting to know that a local bookstore in your area carries come copies of my book!!! And knowing that my book is on your Christmas list..well, that is such a touching thought!!!

      I’ll be anxious to see if your next book is a Y/A, as you say, sometimes we just don’t know for sure until we sit down to write.


  3. I’m so glad you wrote this article, Laura. I’m just beginning to see a children’s book come alive in my head. I don’t know anything about children’s books. I’ll learn tho.


    • You’ll definitely learn, Joylene of that’s I’m sure. I find it helps to read in the genre you intend to write in. Best of luck!


  4. donthangupthequill

     /  December 29, 2009

    I have a friend who’s a young adult librarian, and she tells me what books I should read in that genre. I also reread books that I loved as a young adult.

    I never thought of writing YA. I’m more of a contemporary kind of girl.


    • It must be wonderful to have an insider who can recommend books, Gayle and hey, you never know you may find yourself writing a Y/A romance novel one day!!


  5. Because I sometimes buy my books used at library book sales, I don’t even know the age group for which the author wrote. Then I’ll go to a bookstore and see several books I’d read on the YA shelf. I had no idea. So I guess it doesn’t matter as long as it interests you.

    I have four novel ideas for after I finish my current one and one is definately a YA since my mc is a teenager.


    • I LOVE library sales! Not that I need more books but I just can’t ignore a book sale…

      You’re right, Tricia, as long as a book interests you it really doesn’t matter. —-Four novel ideas! Wow!

      Will this be your first novel with a teenager as your MC? I hope you enjoy it!


  6. I love to read, but have not allowed myself much time for that since reading to my four children years ago. Now I read to my grandson when I have the chance and I am beginning to read more again for myself, especially since I am once more taking my own writing dream/goal more seriously.

    One author I know whose work I enjoy is Budge Wilson. I have thirteen of her twenty plus books. She lives in Nova Scotia and writes mostly for young to teen readers, but I don’t limit my own reading by age – 🙂 – especially since I am most interested in writing for children. But I do read adult books, too, and have finished two since Christmas. Since I usually read Christian books it was rather eye-opening to see what language is included these days in an otherwise good story. Makes me wonder .. is that the trend?


    • I also love Budge’s writing and have several of her books. I saw her at Word on the Street but I was too shy to introduce myself.

      We both had work in Nimbus’ first Christmas anthology. I felt very privileged to be published in the same book with her..She’s remarkable.


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