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ReMade Extras: Why YA?

The ReMade authors stop by to chat about why they write YA.

ReMade Extras: Why YA?

Y’all love YA. We love YA. Those are two pretty obvious statements, considering where we are right now, but it never hurts to repeat the sentiments.

It might also be obvious to say that YA authors love YA. But it’s always interesting to learn why they love it. Read on for these thoughts from the ReMade authors.

Why I YA

Modern teenagers are so inspiring to me: idealistic, enthusiastic, and so profoundly savvy about the world we live in. Writing YA gives me a way to tell today's kids exactly how amazing I think they are. How could I NOT write for the best audience there is? — Andrea Phillips

I’d like to say something really profound about the importance of being a teenager and the vital things that you can talk about in YA, but that’s not really why I ended up writing YA. My sense of humor hasn’t matured since I was 15. That’s why I write what I write. — Carrie Harris

I don’t think I chose to write YA—YA chose me. I started out writing science fiction and fantasy short stories aimed for adults, and kept getting the same feedback from critiquers: “This feels YA.” Eventually I considered that maybe this wasn’t a weakness I needed to correct in my work, but a strength I should try to develop. As I began reading YA again as an adult, I realized how wonderful it is and that all of my favorite books, the ones that shaped the person I am, were those I remembered from childhood. I want to write YA stories, in all genres, that will affect young readers the same way… and perhaps one day be remembered as fondly when they’re older. — E.C. Myers

Like most of us, I don’t choose to write YA so much as that’s what just comes out. When I was just starting out, a teacher of mine made the observation that all my stories featured either young people or elderly as the main characters. Maybe I just enjoy writing about people far removed from my own age? And since the geriatric fiction boom has yet to hit, I’ll stick with writing the young stuff! — Matthew Cody

There’s something so huge and wonderful about the immediacy of teenage experiences, the thrill of firsts, the challenges of standing on the cusp of adulthood. While I never want to be a teen again (except in recurring nightmares!), I remember so clearly the joys and agonies of those years. Writing those stories—and for that audience—is both a delight and a privilege. — Kiersten White

I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but I cast around for a long time before I found what I was supposed to write. I wrote screenplays (which I love, but not enough to go through that grind) and then terrible short stories and the stray first chapter every now and then. But as soon as I discovered YA as a reader, around the mid-2000s, I felt this intense excitement and recognition. This was the kind of story I wanted to tell, my natural voice. I never looked back. There's such a freedom that comes with YA to mix and match different genre elements, to write characters at an intense and formative period that echoes what we all go through then and over and over in our lives as we define ourselves and decide what kind of lives to live. I love it. — Gwenda Bond

About the authors

Andrea Phillips is a transmedia writer, game designer and author. Her published works include Revision, Bookburners, and A Creator's Guide to Transmedia Storytelling. She has worked on iOS fitness games Zombies, Run! and The Walk and The Maester's Path for HBO's Game of Thrones.
Connect with Andrea on her website or on Twitter.

Carrie Harris was born in Chicago but if you ask her, she’ll say she’s from Ohio. These days she writes books for teens, tweens, and adults while also being the Marketing Director for Evil Hat Productions. Her published works include Bad Taste in Boys and Demon Derby.
Connect with Carrie on her website or on Twitter.

E. C. Myers was assembled in the U.S. from Korean and German parts and raised by a single mother and a public library in Yonkers, New York. His latest book is Against All Silence and his novel Fair Coin won the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Connect with E.C. on his website or on Twitter.

Matthew Cody hails from St. Louis and currently resides in New York City with his family. His published works include the award-winning Powerless and The Supers of Noble's Green series, the Robin Hood re-imaging Will in Scarlet, and his current series The Secrets of the Pied Piper.
Connect with Matthew on his website or on Twitter.

Kiersten White is the NYT bestselling author of And I Darken as well as the Paranormalcy trilogy, the Mind Games series, Illusions of Fate, The Chaos of Stars, and In the Shadows with artist Jim Di Bartolo. She lives near the ocean, where her life is perfectly normal, and gives the world’s most awkward hugs.
Connect with Kiersten on her website or on Twitter.

Gwenda Bond writes for children and young adults. Her books include Lois Lane: Fallout, Girl on a Wire, and Girl in the Shadows, as well as the graphic novel Girl Over Paris with Kate Leth and Ming Doyle.
Connect with Gwenda on her website or on Twitter.

Learn more about ReMade and subscribe to the series here, and check out additional behind the scenes info, images of the characters, and more at the ReMade Tumblr.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.