Young adult authors Lisi Harrison, Amy Goldman Koss, and Robin Palmer all spoke at the LA Times Festival of Books back in April. Each promoted their current books and shared some insight into writing, teen readers, and their process. The following are a few quick tid-bits from their half-hour panel:
- Robin Palmer writes books that re-tell common fairy tales, and with this genre she’s discovered that her heroines need to be strong: “Your prince isn’t going to come out of the woodwork and save you. You have to save yourself. Be your own hero!”
- A common theme in young adult literature is the struggle to be accepted and liked by your peers. We all do this. Even in our adult lives. It is a universal theme.
- The more serious a book is the funnier the book can be. We often mix comedy with tragedy. Tragedy + Time = Comedy.
- “I like to read books with a lot of sugar. It takes the edge off. It helps me to enjoy life more.” - Amy Goldman Koss
- “I don’t like to work within the normal rules of science fiction.” - Lisi Harrison
- When writing for younger teens it’s important to say away from S-E-X. This is because this audience doesn’t have it. It’s not something they worry about yet.
- Be sure to self promote! Have a blog and post chapters on your blog.
Lisi Harrison is the author of the Clique Series, Alpha Series, and Monster high.
Amy Goldman Koss is the author of The Girls, Side Effects, and The Not-So-Great Depression, among many other books for teens.
Robin Palmer is the author of Little Miss Red, Geek Charming, and Cindy Ella.