by Alethea, Kimberly, and Pintip Mermaid
Alethea: Happy Tuesday, everyone, and welcome to Day Two of our Waterworld Mermaid Second Blogoversary Week Celebration! (We should probably have come up with something a lot simpler than that.)
Today we’re kicking things off with our YA Mermaids: Kimberly MacCarron, Pintip Dunn, and MOI.
Interestingly enough, it was Kimberly who planted this whole “group blog” seed in my head during the Sara Megibow talk during that original WRW Retreat back in 2011.
Sara was telling all the authors in the audience that they should have a blog, because if she read as far as page 10 of a manuscript, she’d Google the author. Kim, sitting next to me, mumbled some snide comment under her breath about how she didn’t have time for such nonsense.
Either directly before or directly after that, she’d asked for a show of hands from published authors, and then grilled me about being a member of the fashionable w clubs that were popping up on the internet, like the Apocalypsies and #2K12. I was forced to admit, in front of everyone, that I had applied to be in both of those groups, and neither of them wanted me.
I suppose my brain jumped to the next possible conclusion…which was: If no one wanted me in their Super Sekrit Club, then I’d just make one of my own!
Pintip: One of my favorite things about that first retreat was the genre table during the Saturday luncheon. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, it was. Each round table was labeled “Historical,” “Romantic Suspense,” “Paranormal,” etc., and you just sat wherever you wanted.
I, of course, made a beeline for the YA table, where I was lucky enough to sit with Kim and Tara Kennedy. I’d met them both earlier that weekend, but this was the first time I realized they wrote in the same genre as me. In order to appreciate what a big deal this was, you have to understand that I’d never spoken to another YA writer before. Ever. In fact, before going to that retreat, I barely knew any writers, period. It was such an amazing feeling to connect with other people who not only had my same crazy passion for the written word — but who also loved the same stories I did!
In so many ways, that first retreat changed my writing life. Without the encouragement I’d received, I may not have entered any RWA chapter contests. Without entering those contests, I may not have met my agent. Moreover, that first retreat introduced me to so many fantastic writers, many of whom I am now fortunate enough to call my dear friends.
As writers, we build our stories around turning points. I can say without an ounce of exaggeration that the 2011 WRW retreat was a turning point in my writing career. Fingers crossed for a happy ending!
- Kimberly: Well, it kind of sucks to go last because Alethea and Pintip managed to steal all the good stuff. J What I can add is that YA—Young Adult—is a strange beast. Many think of it as one genre, but it’s not. It crosses just about every genre, but it’s written, produced or marketed to adolescents or young adults. As long as the
- protagonist is of that age, it’s a young adult. Alethea writes beautiful books based on fairy tales. Pintip writes futuristic stories about the choices
- that define teens.
- I write contemporary stories with loads and loads of romance. They sound completely different, and yet there’s a common thread that unites them. They are coming-of-age stories told about young adults who are trying to discover and understand who they are.
The thing I love most about YA is that magical element that seems to appear in all of them. Whether we’re talking about frog princes, or other planets, or falling in love…there’s magic. Our teen years are filled with magic in many ways. There are possibilities every day.
When I’m not writing YA, I’m reading it, and at first I wondered what that meant. I read them because I still believe in the magic, in the wonder, in the possibilities. That’s why I read it, and that’s why I write it. I love getting lost in a book, but I especially love getting lost in the story.
I’m not sure why everyone else reads and writes YA. But I’d love to know.
Why do you like YA?