Or, How Young Readers Keep You in Line!
I’ve been told many times by publishing professionals that authors who write for children and young adults are generally easier to work with, and more modest, less inclined to have big egos, than their counterparts in the adult literary world. Partly, that might be because, as any children’s or YA author will know, people often don’t take you seriously—the idea being that if you write for kids, you must be an overgrown kid yourself, and your books therefore are not worthy of the same attention as ‘real books’ (and yes, people do actually say to you—When are you going to write a real book?) But another reason is the fact that if your ego ever stood any chance of taking off, you’d be brought back to earth and pretty damn fast too, by your readership.
Children and teenagers are honest. If they aren’t hooked into your book in the first couple of pages, they will simply close it. It doesn’t matter how many prizes it’s won, how well regarded you are by the literary world, they simply don’t care if your book doesn’t grab them.
If they like your book, they will tell you with excitement and enthusiasm. And if they don’t, well, they will say so, without any dissembling, or indeed sparing of your feelings. [Read more…]