Writing for Young Adults- Fantasy for the Rest of Us

When you think about young people (teens, tweens, middle-graders) you can’t help but think of the word “trends.”  What’s the latest in clothes, games, gear, gadgets, actors and singers, and even books.  Many authors try to ride the wave of trends, and now with instant publishing for ebook readers, it’s becoming more and more possible to fit a book into a trendy theme, topic or genre.

For a while, it may be vampires, then it might be zombies, and then it might be dystopia.  Who really knows what is coming up next?  What’s an author to do?  I think writing to the market is precarious at best, even though there are many writers who have already succeeded in doing so.

The question that I have to ask myself is this:  Ultimately, am I writing to make money, or writing for my readers?  At the risk of sounding flippant, I think the answer is “Yes.”  But seriously, even though I make my living as a writer, as others do selling real estate, managing an office, etc., I still feel that my primary duty is to my readers, regardless of their age.

For that reason, when I write YA Fantasy, I try not to write in such a narrow way that only a handful of people can enjoy.  My hope is that people who read all other kinds of fiction will enjoy my version of YA Epic Fantasy.  But I run the risk of incurring the ire of the elite, the proud and the few purists of certain genres.  Make no mistake, I have never intended to upset those readers who hold my writing up to the standards of J.R.R. Tolkien, etc., but I want to just tell a story that will resonate with people who’ve never even heard of Lord of the Rings, and possibly introduce them to a wonderful genre which they might not have otherwise read.

Based on the feedback I’ve gotten for Once We Were Kings, I think it’s working.  If you’re not too uptight about epic fantasy being exactly proper Tolkien-like writing, then there’s a good chance you might enjoy my book.  Many readers have told me that they never read Fantasy, but did enjoy Once We Were Kings.  And still others who read fantasy, have told me they enjoyed it and would recommend it as an introduction to the genre for readers young and old.

I hope you’ll give it a try, and I welcome your thoughts.  Please connect with me through my social links below:

Guest post by Ian Alexander, bestselling author of “Once We Were Kings.” Winner of the 2011 International Book Awards, Joshua Graham writing as Ian Alexander, wrote this book at the request of his then 6-year old son who is a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind.  The request yielded not only the first book ONCE WE WERE KINGS, but a series, the sequels of which will soon be released.

ONCE WE WERE KINGS is a Young Adult Fantasy novel, but has been enjoyed by thousands of readers world-wide from young adult to senior.  It has been a #1 bestseller on two Religious Science Fiction & Fantasy lists on Amazon and is available in Kindle Edition and Hardcover Edition as well.  
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  2. Young fiction is again a great category.... go ahead... and i must say nice choice on category


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