Over the last couple of years it seems like there are more authors coming onto the YA literature scene. I believe that authors who are young adults have been around for a long time, and that the issue is that until recently it has been more challenging for them to get published.
What’s different now? While there isn’t a definitive answer, I suspect that changes in the publishing world and the widespread use of social networking are two key components to why young adult authors are getting the recognition that previously eluded them. YA literature has exploded in popularity in recent years, in part fueled by adult readers. (Here’s a blog for moms who like Twilight.) This demand has created competition among publishers to land new YA authors, which seems to suggest that they’re finally willing to overlook the age of young authors. And now that self-publishing – both print and eBook formats – is an easy and affordable option for authors of all ages and across all genres, authors are no longer at the mercy of the big publishers to get their books out to the reading public. The same goes for social networking, which has helped to level the playing field for new authors and self-published authors because they can utilize Twitter, Facebook, book trailers, and blogs to spread the word about their work, connect with their fans and network with other authors. No longer does an author necessarily need a publisher for promotion – one could argue that in the case of young authors it’s just as important to spread the word through social media.
The good news for you – the reading public – is that there are always new authors coming on the YA lit scene, and some of them are barely out of high school. In interviews many of them say that they began seriously writing their now-published works while still in high school, which should provide encouragement for any of you who are aspiring authors.
One such author is Courtney Allison Moulton, who graduated from Mason High School in 2004 and has just released her first novel, Angelfire. Courtney happened to land a contract with a major publisher and will be releasing two more books in this paranormal thriller trilogy. Click here to read an interview in which she discusses how she went about writing a novel and getting it published. You can follow her blog and get her playlist for Angelfire here.
The following are a selection of more young adult lit by young-adult authors:
Jennifer Lynn Barnes – author of The Squad series, Fate, Golden, Platinum, Tatoo and the Raised by Wolves trilogy. Trial by Fire is the second in the trilogy and is due out in June. Check out her website here.
Alexandra Adornetto – author of Halo. The next book in the trilogy, Hades, is due out in September. Watch a video interview with Alexandra:
Ned Vizzini – author of Be More Chill, Teen Angst? Naaah, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story, which came out as a feature film in September 2010. While he isn’t really a young adult anymore (He turns 30 in April) he became a published author while still in high school. His new YA novel is in the works, but no release date has been set yet. Check out his website here.
No doubt that I’ve missed some deserving authors. Share your favorite YA² authors with the rest of us.
-Lynn H., Youth Services Specialist