The title of this blog comes from something Husband said to me the other day. -BTW, am I the only one who pronounces it Why Eh in casual conversation?- Husband has been doing a long metamorphosis when it comes to my young adult writing. At first he didn’t take it at all seriously, and there was a lot of Why Eh bashing…but through classical conditioning (and perhaps the long nights alone in the dungeon) he has come to the point where he still doesn’t understand it, but recognizes it as an art form.
So anyway, we were having a conversation about YA books, and he teased me saying the way I said it, it sounded like some kind of STD. So I was in the right humor, got the mental image and thought it was funny.
And that got me thinking: When did I come down with YA?
I remember almost exactly – I was 15.
The summer between my freshman and sophomore years was a big one. I was leaving some friends behind me (who really needed to go), and being left behind by others (sob). We did not have “the internet” yet, but when we got it that October, my life changed forever.
My sister was going to college in the fall and I was struggling to identify myself as something other than Charlotte’s Sister.
I was terrified of boys, and had been given a 20-year-old’s body for a nice kick of irony.
During this time I read and read and read. Mostly YA. Christopher Pike and L.J. Smith were my favorites. Books where boring everyday life is suddenly interrupted by the not-quite-possible totally grab me. But there was not enough YA to satisfy me! I sat up from a book one day and said I want to write this stuff! So I sat down at my PowerMac one night and decided to give it a go.
It was bad. High fantasy about a group of redheads who are persecuted for being redheads. (Hmmmmm….) I got about fifty pages in and hit a sex scene. I turned lobster red. All writing ceased.
Now, there are all kinds of ways I know I could have gotten around this …fade to black, promote abstinence, fake it… But what the hell was I doing writing high fantasy anyway??
So I stopped, and then we got “the internet” and my sophomore year began, and I started to become a real person. And that October my life became the plot of a YA novel. Someday I’ll blog about it.
Anyway, it took me years to come back to YA after all that (I know, and years to get to the end of this post!), but I remember that moment when I realized YA is what I want to do!
So…when did you come down with YA?