That should be a given.
Considering how I love reading YA and writing YA.
YAs are actually all I’ve written. Well, actually, my protagonists’ age changed with my age. When I wrote my first book Fantastic Five (which was a rip-off of the Famous Five) at eight, my favourite MC was eight. When I tried my Great Novel of the Century at 10, my goody-two-shoes MC was 10. And on and on it went. Till about the time I turned about 17. And then my MCs stopped turning into my doppelgangers. I turned into an adult-teen (18) but that didn’t change my MC’s age as well. I was growing up and growing on, but guess what? My characters were still teens. Well, technically, I’m still a teen too. And I officially remain so till about the beginning of July, but…my characters aren’t shooting off into their Big Two-Os, too.
What I’m trying to say is, I don’t just write teen fiction because I’m still a teen (which was initially the reason)..I write because I love writing about teens. Why? Well, maybe now that I’m on the threshold of leaving my teens, it’s getting kinda nostalgic and all that blah, but mainly because teens are..fun.
And do whatever they wanna do.
And take no shit.
Because they are neither kids nor adults and because they are a blend of both. Because they are smart and stupid and it’s okay to be stupid sometimes and not give a rational explanation for everything that they do. Heck, teens are fun to write about! This is when you let your hair down (or up, whatevs). These years are crazy and things that happen take on whole new meanings and you can break into tears at the drop of a hat or laugh out loud at the silliest things. And…alright, so I’m not saying these things don’t happen to non-teen adults as well. Look at me. I might be turning 20 next month but I doubt how much that’s gonna change me from from what I am. I still feel the way I felt when I was 16 *shrugs* I still love gummy worms…and don’t shoot your maturity guns at me! And I do love adult books too. And I do have a romantic comedy (my first ever romcom) on my list of WiPs. It’s called Bowled Over and features a 21 year old mad-as-a-hatter female writer..and I love the bits I’ve written because it’s so genuinely different from anything I’ve tried. I generally don’t do comedy. I do, um, sad-funny, I guess. But here’s the thing…this WiP struck me when I was 18 and while I wrote snips and pieces of it, I think I still need a bit of time to write the full fledged adult fiction. It’s gonna come around. Soon, yes. But maybe, not exactly right now.
Because while I’m away from it all, I’m still close to the disappointments and excitements and longings of high school. Of those insane ideas. Of just letting go and caring and not care about the world. Of, I don’t know..still trying to figure things out. I think that’s the best part of writing about teens. Because the characters are at a juncture where they are trying to figure things out, make sense of life and are sometimes gripped with an overwhelming desire to climb Mt. Everest and stand on top and scream, ‘Fuck you!’
In What Was Mine, Ronni is extremely impulsive. She dyes her hair purple, pierces her nose, wants to get a tattoo…all on the spur of the moment. And she’s seventeen. Now if a thirty year old woman does that, no offense meant to anyone, most probably she’d be called a loon until and unless she goes around explaining her behaviour to the ones who question her.*
And when I write about Ronni, I love how strong yet vulnerable she is.
I love it when she’s confused (which probably makes me a sadist).
I love how crazy she can be.
And how mature.
And how stupid sometimes.
*This might not be the case with everyone. And it’s in no way meant to segregate or victimise anybody.