I find myself having to defend my love for YA lately. Why is this? When people ask why YA of all things, I say "Why not?"
The thing I enjoy most about YA is that it's fun to read. I mean, I actually have *fun* reading. Most people I know consider reading as too much work. That's when I say "You're not reading the right book."
I like my books fast-paced and easy to read. Does that make me a dumb person? No. I read to disappear into a book for hours and connect with the characters that are relatable. At twenty-seven, I must admit that I am still very young at heart. The characters portrayed in majority of YA novels are characters that I feel are similar to people I actually know or grew up with, or even similar to me in ways. I'm a big kid and I still dream about living in a magical world or having supernatural powers or being a major bad ass with mad skills. I also enjoy the paranormal aspect where ghosts, vampires, and other mythical creatures exist. These are the types of things I love about a good book. They allow me to live these things that are otherwise impossible in the real world. And what's so wrong with that?
The biggest thing I find myself falling for is the love story. Oh yes, the feeling of first love. Who doesn't remember that feeling? That feeling in the pit of your stomach that flutters when the boy of your dreams walks into your life, or even the boy you'd known all your life who suddenly sweeps you off your feet. Sometimes a book can be wonderful without a love interest, but more often than not you'll find it in YA. I'm perfectly okay with this. Sure, not all love interests have to be super hot or perfect, but it doesn't hurt.
Writing YA is something I can connect with. It's something I can put into words that makes sense. To me, it's real in a way. Not to sound like a crazy person, but I can bring those characters to life, make them believable, because that's who I am. I think, and feel, and understand them. My life is so consumed with adult stuff every day, but once I read or write, I feel more myself than I do in my social life. And why is this? Because I'm a dreamer. I love to imagine beautiful things and interesting people that can express parts of me that I can't express out loud. Because writing these stories make people smile, maybe even scare them a little, and most of all, it makes me happy.
Writing YA is so much more than getting published. Though being published would be a dream come true. That's just being honest. But even if that day never comes, I will still write YA. I will always continue to write and write, simply because it brings so much joy to my life. And I hope, that no matter what happens with your writing career, that you will do the same, because that's what it's all about.