Why I Write YA & What Made Me Go Indie
– Guest Post by Miranda Wheeler
Whether or not I wanted to write YA wasn’t a question from me. Young Adult is easily 90% of what I read for entertainment, and has been since I discovered a love for reading in the beginning of middle school. That being said, being sixteen myself, part of me feels that no one understands what it is like to be a teenager than a teenager. Those younger haven’t experienced it, and as one ages, there are inevitable distortions. Besides where my place as a writer came in, there are several elements I really love about YA. Not only is it crafted for an age group I most intimately relate with at this point in my life, but it also has clear differences from other genres. In a purely YA novel, there is little obscenities – the profanity is kept at a minimum (which I have always found to be more effective), any present gore is rarely nauseating, and in most cases, there is no sexual content present – and if it is, it is not overtly graphic. The writer is also simpler – despite a clever darling here and there, it does not get tangled and worn with hackneyed prose like some adult novels – whilst at the same time, the intelligence level of the protagonists, or at least narrator, does not underestimate the reader (which seems pretty common in middle grade, although there are a variety of exceptions). The most important thing for me, however, was the hope. YA readers do not settle with unsatisfied – and rarely indulge in a tragedy. They want a character to fight for something they believe in, to overcome, to fight the odds, to complete the development arc, to deal with gritty things in the most human (or inhuman) ways. There is something mystifying about trying one’s best to deliver that.
Going the indie route was a less black and white decision. My mother is an indie YA paranormal romance author (Bonnie Erina Wheeler of The Erris Coven Series), and it’s fair to say I’m tech support. She’s a smartie – learning as she goes and getting quicker and more independent – but from the beginning I did a lot of assistance in figuring out the publication websites, formatting into templates, and aside from one presently purchased from an artist she wasn’t satisfied with, I’ve done the majority of her covers. She, of course, kept me updated on all of her review processes and what she was learning, and at some point I found myself with a Facebook friends list and a mass of Twitter followers filled with people from the indie world. The most influential pro in going indie was that I knew how to do it, and I had an idea of what to expect. At the same time, I’ve previously been published with short stories in formal magazines and the like, and also through my mother, I know a few people who are actively involved in the traditional publishing industry (those who vehemently are against the indie movements). I’m addicted to literary magazines that boast the importance of a low-residency MFA program and traditional publication (indie isn’t not even on their radar) like Poets&Writers. I’ve read books filled with interviews with agents and publishers cover to cover. Then there’s the satistics. Something around 2% of querying authors get picked up by an agent, and the majority of the 98% are never read. In the traditional world, we hear of Christopher Paolinis and Alexandra Adornettos, but most agents and trad-pub authors frown upon publishing youth. Inevitably, though, there’s something about the indie that really gets to me: it’s rising, it’s the underdog, and it’s scaring the willies off the publishers. There’s something here, in this business, that hasn’t even been tapped – it’s the iceberg that took down the Titanic, and we don’t even have a clue what’s under the water at this point. Why not go indie?
Connect with Miranda Wheeler
A current high school student, 16-year-old author Miranda Wheeler lives with her loving family in her hometown of Torrington, Connecticut. An avid reader, she’s been whipping through books and producing novel-length projects (though none published prior to Something Of A Kind) from the early age of eleven. Having previously released short stories, some published in magazines such as TeenInk and others via “indie” mediums, she has many plans of continuing to write, as well as pursuing other passions and an eventual teaching career. While the official cover is a work in progress and the title won’t be released until the promotional media is obtained, several other projects are in the works: a YA steampunk novella, a YA paranormal romance, and a YA sci-fi-series, in addition to unofficial talks of a Something Of A Kind sequel.
Buy the Book
Something Of A Kind by Miranda Wheeler Tour Schedule:
- October 22nd – Tracey S. @ YA Book Addict (Author Spotlight)
- October 22nd – Buffy @ Buffy’s Ramblings (Book Review/Guest Post)
- October 23rd – Flora @ From the Bootheel Cotton Patch (Author Spotlight)
- October 23rd – Avery @ Author Avery Olive (Book Review/Guest Post)
- October 24th – Nely @ She Writes Again (Guest Post)
- October 24th – Delphina @ Delphina Reads Too Much (Book Review)
- October 25th – Cameo @ Cameo Renae (Book Review/Guest Post)
- October 26th – Brittany @ The Cover by Brittany (Interview)
- October 26th – Daniel @ Parenting from a Child’s Point of View (Interview)