Another day, another wonderful guest blog!
This time I welcome Rhys Jones, who is the mastermind behind Thirst for Fiction Rhys is one of those rare and mythical beasts - a teenage boy who loves to read, and blogs all about it. I asked him whether he would be prepared to talk about why YA, and here is his articulate reply...
I should probably start by introducing myself: I'm Rhys, and I'm a 15 year old book lover and blogger. Being one of the few male, teenage bloggers puts me in the position of being the target audience of many a YA/middlegrade writer, and through my blog I am able to express my opinions in the hope that someone will find my thoughts interesting and useful- not least authors whose work I critique.
I can't pretend to have read a great deal of "adult" novels- and the few I have are often by writers I know have written YA novels (Dark Matter by Michelle Paver is a good example)- but there is something that puts me off "adult" novels- a certain amount of cynicism that is really quite uninspiring. I'm sure there are many fantastic books for adults out there- but for me, as a teenager, most hold back, almost frightened to pitch radical and risky ideas. Which is why I like the YA genre so much. It's a place where it seems authors are far less restricted and a freedom of ideas can take place. Combine that with the fact that the characters of YA novels are far easier to relate to for someone my age, and you're onto something special.
Recently, I've become scared of the fact that perhaps, one day, I will no longer be interested in young adult novels. For me, that's a scary thought. I don't want to leave this world of fun novels- and though I know plenty of adults love YA books, I'm not sure how that will bode for me in 10, 20, 30 years time. Much like Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, I don't want to grow up, if only for the reason that I find the books I read now so much fun. I'm hoping that my ambition of going into YA publishing will ease that fear.
Unlike most bloggers, I'm not much of a writer, either. My Twitter feed is forever telling me that fellow bloggers and people I follow are writing, and as much as I'd like to be able to write as a hobby, I have neither the stamina nor the time- particularly now, when my blog takes up a lot of my free time. I've been told on numerous occasion that I'm a reasonable writer- and on the one-off event that I do write, what I produce isn't always that bad. YA fiction has affected my writing, if ever so slightly- I now know what works, what has been done, and as a reviewer, I know exactly what I want from a book. Perhaps, one day, that'll all help me craft my own novel- but for now, that knowledge remains largely unused, only on the rarity coming out to critique other people's work.
The fear of losing touch with YA fiction is still with me- but I'm hoping my career path will never shy away too much from reading teenage books. Whether that becomes a reality or not only time will tell- but for now, I'm a happy bunny chomping my way through lots and lots of (often very good) books- books that are daring, radical and a lot of fun.
Thanks *so* much Rhys! Make sure y'all leave him nice comments and definitely check out Thirst for Fiction!