I wrote a novel for Young Adult readers and in turn they gave me something that I haven’t felt in a long time. I’ve been thinking about that a lot. Let’s dissect it a little.
There’s something very freeing about writing for a teen or young adult audience. In a very real way, teens are unencumbered by the restrictions that we adopt over time. They still dream. They still hope. They haven’t had the blood sucked out of their world the way many adults have (you can say you haven’t and I hope that’s true, but get real). Young adult readers embrace books as a conduit to their dreams. They look for the reasons in its pages why something could be so. Not the contrary.
I have written an equal number of true crime and adult crime thrillers. All were dark, haunting, and ultimately very, very sad. All were about how someone copes with tragedy and how justice is not always served.
Envy deals with tragic and criminal issues, but its audience views it as more than that. It’s their book.
Since the first in the Empty Coffin Series has come out, I’ve been inundated with words of encouragement. I’ve met readers who are excited by the power of a book. Even the mere idea of a book. They’ve tweeted about it. Video blogged about it. In the ways that some of us wear a logo T-shirt or drive a certain car to say something (not so subtly) about ourselves. YA readers are unabashed proponents for the books they love.
I wrote a book for young people to entertain them, interest them, make them think. In the end, they’ve made me feel the excitement once more of being the conduit to telling stories that captivate, educate and stay with the reader. I am grateful. Gobsmacked. I’m also ready to give them Betrayal – but in the very nicest way.
Gregg Olsenis published by Sterling