|graphic by Nina at Nina Reads|
Keeping it Real
How do you keep readers coming back for more? It's the question of the day that Armchair BEA organizers have posted, and it's one I'd really love to know the answer to because this blog is a tiny one, but I still want to keep the readers I do have interested. I know that giveaways, commenting on other peoples' blogs, tons and tons and tons of self-promotion are key, but are there any other tips people out there have that are maybe less traditional/conventional which have gotten positive results?
To me, blogging is about honest. Like I said in yesterday's post on ethics this can be accomplished without being mean, but blogging is me telling the world 'hey, this is what I think.' Maybe someone will hear and pay attention and maybe no one will, but at least I'm offering up my voice, my opinion, my thoughts and feelings. It's the same way I feel about voting: you don't get to complain about the outcome of an election if you didn't even participate in it. That doesn't mean everyone should blog about everything, but if there's an area that you're interested in, passionate about, or have a lot of opinions on and want in on the conversation, then I say find a way to make it happen. Just remember to do so carefully because you never know who's out there and the Internet is forever, there are no take-backs once you post something, even if you take it down it's never really completely gone.
Children's/Young Adult Literature
It's a question I'm asked all the time: why do I read primarily books for teenagers when I'm a grown up? It's a fair question, too. Basically, I think that YA literature is particularly fascinating because it gives us characters whose lives are already complicated by the fact that they are teenagers. It's a complicated time, being not a child but not an adult. Throw in another aspect on top of that to really get a plot rolling and you have the potential for great stories. Sure an adult having cancer and falling in love can be epic, but when it's two teenagers it's happening to like in John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, you get situations that are unique to the teenage part of our lives. And yeah, adults can take vacations in the summer time, visiting beaches and friends, but one reason I love Sarah Dessen's novels and especially her book Along for the Ride is that there's a certain kind of magic in a summer vacation being between school years, between too young and old enough, and in that book between high school in college. People only get to have that summer once in their whole life.
And those are just contemporary books. YA goes in any and all directions in terms of genre, no question too big, no stone unturned. That's why I've said it before and I'll say it again: young adult is not a genre, it's an age group. And at that age, who didn't feel at least a little bit invincible at least once? It's great storytelling that brings me back to my own teenage years, and that's why I continue to read and write YA.
Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!