Why switch to the young adult genre? Why now?

OMG COVER NEW eBookOver the past several months I have been asked that question by readers of my books. I suspect they had either become adjusted to what I would write or unknowingly made the journey with me as I moved from romance to women’s fiction and then to adult suspense. With the right story basis and plot combined with likeable characters this all seemed very logical to me.

So I’ve been honing and re-honing my response as time passed and the perspective of our first book, co-written with my husband under the name of Bob Kat, OMG, really made our mission with these books clear.

I had better than average success writing for readers in other genres and I could have continued to do that. This has not been a career that has made me wealthy but it is a career where I have proved over the course of 24 books and more than 3 million in sales that I have the talent to tell stories. Readers become engaged and are entertained. I had taken a few years off from writing books and Bob and I had the pleasure of living in Parker, Colorado for several years. While there we became aware of what seemed like a tremendous rush of teenage suicides and other young adult issues in the greater Denver area that just tore at our hearts. We talked about what was happening and why and what we could do to help. One real advantage of not being 20 something and writing young adult fiction is the ability to see the big picture as well as the issues and put them in perspective. At first glance it’s easy to see the visible stresses and issues of trying to make it through the middle and senior high school years. But today’s youth, with adults voting pot legal and drug and alcohol abuse prevalent, has some underlying trends that must be addressed.
With the amount television and film seen by teens today combined with the subject matter being far edgier than our generation or our kids generation experienced, teens have a distorted view of reality. Problems aren’t laid out with a bow on them and they don’t get solved in 30 minutes or two hours. Issues today are more complex and the information flows thousands of times faster with Twitter, Facebook and emails than any generation before. The popularity of genres like vampires, werewolves and zombies seriously distorts the reality of life.
Bottom line, we believe that teens today could use some role models whose talents are their intellect and logic and with team work and sacrifice they can overcome obstacles, figure out what’s happening and work to solve the mystery. And in the process no zombies or vampires were harmed.

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