I have been writing in the YA genre since my teen years and will no doubt continue to do so well into my twilight ones!
1. My Reading Habits
I tend to read YA fiction books, particularly Fantasy/Paranormal fiction as I find it to be a more exciting genre in terms of interesting, innovative well-paced storylines, relatable characters, and the exploration of ‘real-life’ themes within, and contrasted against, unusual or fantastical backgrounds or situations.
2. My ‘True’ Age
In my head I am still, and will no doubt always remain eighteen. Therefore, writing about characters in their late teens feels appropriate to me as I can relate to how I felt and the challenges I faced in these years.
The character of Vala is very much a younger version of myself, and the instant intense attraction she feels for Elvar, the intrinsic trust she feels upon meeting him for the first time, is definitely something I have experienced.
3. Our Formative Years
We think of our earlier childhood years as our most formative period. However, the transition from teen to adult is also a highly determinative period as we are discovering who we truly are, examining our attitudes and beliefs and finding our place in the world.
This, to me, provides much more scope for character development as my characters are not only finding out who they are and dealing with everyday insecurities and obstacles, but having to manage these while contending with life or death scenarios, decisions and other life-changing crises.
4. The YA Market
The YA market is one of the fastest growing and successful areas of fiction – who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?!! I believe the reason for this is because it has such a far-reaching, wide appeal, not just in the teen demographic, but to adults of all ages.
5. The YA Fantasy Genre
Although ‘Eternal’ is my first professional endeavour as an author, I have written many other stories, all of which have been in the YA Fantasy genre. It is simply a domain I feel most comfortable in, something I can draw upon naturally and express creatively in my writing.
6. The Wonderful World of Fantasy and the Paranormal!
I love all things Fantasy and Paranormal! I have grown up with Fantasy fiction, from the extraordinary, inspiring and chimerical world of Maurice Sendak (especially the forest that grew in Max’s room in ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ and the ice baby in ‘Outside Over There’) to numerous anthologies of ghost stories, Ray Bradbury, Harry Potter, and the supernatural, phantasmal but amazingly lucid and graphic worlds created by Libba Bray in her ‘Gemma Doyle’ trilogy and in Alyson Noel’s ‘Immortals’ series.
7. Paranormal Activity
I have personally experienced unexplained phenomena from a full-scale apparition of a Victorian street child, to scratches manifesting on my arm without cause, ethereal singing, and premonitions, days, sometimes weeks ahead of the actual event.
I also have trusted, reliable friends that have encountered strange occurrences such as mysterious lights, objects materialising and moving through solid walls, strange skin markings, and even what appeared to have been a possession. All of these provide great fodder for the imagination, even more so because they are real, personal experiences that I can draw upon and use in my stories.
8. Character Development
I find the relationships between the protagonist(s) and the important people in their lives more interesting at this time than at any other. Because we are at a transitionary stage of our lives in our late teens, our relationships are usually in a constant state of flux as certain relationships grow and flourish, whilst others die away. New relationships often form at this time as we become more defined about ourselves and what we want from life.
For many, this is also the point at which we form our first serious romantic partnership – something that is exciting to look back upon. Additionally we can explore new possibilities; in my case, the ‘what might have beens’!
9. A World of Possibilities
Because the characters are so young with a world of possibilities at their feet, there is a lot of opportunity for further character growth and future storylines. In the world of fantasy, anything is possible and there are no limits!
10. A World Without Limits …
Fantasy fiction offers the perfect platform for the imagination to really take flight. There are no restrictions or boundaries on what is possible, no laws of physics to abide to, and a landscape of endless possibilities to sculpt, create and manifest.
Often when I need to escape from the real world, I daydream my way into my fantasy realm. It is my hope that my books will enable others to do the same and launch from a springboard into the pool of imagination!