For this round of the Blog Chain, Margie wants to know How did you come to write your YA genre (e.g. contemp, fantasy, etc.)? AND (yep, it’s a 2 parter), if you weren’t writing that, what genre would you be interested in exploring?
As usual, Amanda comes before me in the chain and Eric afterward.
I'm in the minority in this group; I don't consider myself a YA writer. (But you still like me, right? Right?) For me, the speculative element of science fiction or fantasy is more important than the age of my main character or my readers. I've written both teenage and adult main characters. I like to plan not just trilogies, but sagas in which the characters I originally started with mature and have children/new main characters to continue the story; I'd like to do that with my current project. So although Across Two Universes could be YA, I think I'm better off marketing it as regular science fiction.
As to how I got into science fiction and fantasy, I started reading it when I was a girl. I went through periods where I explored other genres, but when a friend introduced me to the Star Trek novels, I gradually found my way back to SF/fantasy. At this point, it makes up the vast majority of my fiction reading. I'm a science geek, so that's part of the reason I read SF. I'm also a Midwesterner born and raised. I love the region, yet I must admit it's very mundane at times, especially in the middle of winter, when I'm surrounded by a barren landscape full of suburbs and strip malls and dead spaces between highways. Who wouldn't want something magical or alien to revive you with a sense of wonder?
Ironically, if I could no longer write SF or fantasy, my writing would probably be full of the mundane I try to escape. They say to write what you know, after all. It's hard to imagine writing something without a speculative element. I might wind up writing general fiction or women's fiction, drawing my themes from the challenges of middle age. As Ringo said in A Hard Day's Night, "Being middle-aged and old takes up most of your time, doesn't it?" But I'd still prefer to mix some magic into the mundane world of middle age. Why let teenagers have all the fun, after all? ;)