Thursday, July 7, 2011

YA Decadent Blog Stomp: Bitter Roses

Good morning, Blog Buds!  It's my turn for the blog stomp.  Please scroll to the bottom or click on the Blog Stom icon on the sidebar to the left to learn how you can enter the daily drawings and the Grand Prize drawing for the loaded KINDLE!  
Looking around at all the wonderful YA Authors I hang out with at Decadent got me thinking about why I write Young Adult in the first place.  Well, at first, I didn't.  I had no idea what I wrote.  I just had big stories in my head and I wrote them down.  It wasn't until people started critting them for me over at Critique Circle  , people like Sara Gwen  who was a teenager at the time, that I started getting feedback about having a 'voice' best suited to writing for teens.  Duh.  So, I worked on toning that voice and packaging my stories for that audience. 
So, why is my voice best suited for teens?  My personal opinion is my lack of Bitter Roses.  What I mean by that is Adults seem to go through a change at around age 20 (scientifically speaking, this is the age at which the human brain stops growing) and they begin to look back on their childhood and adolescence either in Bitterness or through Rose-Colored Glasses.  Their ability to Think and Feel as their younger selves diminishes dramatically. (I've seen a similar thing happen around age 40, but that's for a different post.)
This diminishing never happened for me.
Here's a song to demonstrate what I mean:
'When I Grow Up' by the Beach Boys
As I was saying, I still Think and Feel childhood and adolescence, which is undoubtedly why I was a Childcare Professional for years and years before having my own four children and finally becoming a published YA author.
And there's another thing.  My childhood and teens were far from ideal.  I've read that other authors, most notably J.K. Rowling  write for young people as a way to recapture childhood, because their own was not-so-good.  I know I'm nowhere near the calibur of author Rowling is, but I think I've learned something she has too and I've learned to infuse my stories with it.  You can either let Pain fester into Bitterness and end up miserable.  Or, you can turn Pain on its ear and become Empathetic to those who suffer similarly.  This is why the heroine of the Ophelia Dawson Chronicles is an Empath.  It's a supernatural ability for her, but any human can learn empathy by really seeing and feeling for those around her, and then acting in a compassionate way.  I'm not saying I've arrived at that, but my journey in life is taking me there.
Commenters on today’s post are entered to win a Decadent title of their choice. In addition, all commenters will be entered into Decadent’s grand prize drawing. There’s some great stuff to win, so please enter today and enter often!
Kimber An


Jessica Subject said...

Kimber, that is a great way to describe writing for YA. Thank you for the article!

Kimber An said...

Thanks, Jessica!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. An interesting take on writing YA. I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

Julie/J.A. Campbell

Sally A Wolf said...

I know what you mean I want to write mystery/thrillers like Dean Koontz but every time I sit down to write all that I am able to type are stories for my kids.

Misty said...

This was a really awesome blog. Thank you for sharing! YA is so much fun to write. I think even more so now because over the last 10 years or so it's become more layered. It's not just "Goosebumps" or those other simplistic books we've read. They're layered to where adults get something out of them as well as the age group they're intended for.

Kimber An said...

Thank you, Julie, Sally, and Misty!

Anne said...

I know what you're talking about. My father is always saying how much better things were when he was a kid, but I'm sure it wasn't just after the great depression. I, personally, don't feel I view my childhood with rosy glasses or unnecessarily harshly. It had it's ups and downs, luckily no great downs that we don't all have to go through (the death of pets and a grand parent).

Anonymous said...

Writing YA just puts a smile in your heart. You get to create all those amazing places you so often escaped to as a child yourself. Wonderful post. :)

Elena Gray said...

This was a very interesting post! I never thought of YA writing that way.

I like the fact that parents can read YA along with their teens. It's another way for them to connect. Thanks for the great post!


Kimber An said...

A winner has been chosen! I just need to coordinate to make certain she knows and is getting her prize. Then, I"ll announce. Thanks to everyone who stopped in!

AimeeKay said...

I love your term "Bitter Roses".
I'm glad YA has evolved over the years. I like to know what my kids are reading, and the only way to do that is to read it my self, and the newer books in the genre are much more interesting.

Doreen said...

Great post and a really nice site!

Cassandra said...

Love the Ya book stomp!

Hope I can be entered for the grand prize if I'm too late. Thanks!

Sally A Wolf said...

anyone know where we are suppose to go next? email me at

Carl said...

Kimber, my childhood adventures would probably be too painful for folks. And it could have left me bitter. But I am thankful that I have learned to care for me, and in so doing, am better able to be empathetic. And I think one can remain young in heart if one still sees the wonder all around.

Kimber An said...

Thanks, Aimee, Doreen, Cassandra, Sally, and Carl!

BLHmistress said...

You know I agree with another poster here, I am able to connect with my son a lot more with YA - Harry Potter for example we can talk all night about that. And for him becoming a teenager so rarely happens anymore.


Anonymous said...

It really sounds like you do a wonderful job of using things you've learned in your stories. I haven't read anything you've written yet, but look forward to it. Please enter me to win the blog contest. Thank you. lisagk(at)yahoo(dot)com

Danielle said...

I think most everyone has had at least one horrible experience if not a horrible childhood altogether. Mine wasn't pretty. Loveless parents and a mother who was out partying all night while I stayed home and raised my 8 year old brother.

Anyway, because of how I was (or better yet wasn't) raised, I have become a better and stronger parent. I may not agree with how I was raised but I would have to thank my parents for giving me the ability to see how I shouldn't raise mine.

Shannon Leigh said...

Lovely post. I really admire authors of YA. I hope to venture that route one day, but for now, I have to stay where I'm comfortable. Good luck in all your writing endeavors.

Brandy B aka Brandlwyne said...

Hi, Its great that you didn't get "scorned" so to speak. I love YA. Thanks for sharing.