Guest Post: Leanna Renee Hieber: My Adult Vs. YA Titles?

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker
I don’t really look at my Strangely Beautiful and my upcoming Magic Most Foul series as being all that different in mood or intent. The differences are what shelf they’ll sit upon in the bookstore and the rest is semantics: London vs. New York City. 1888 vs. 1880. A large cast of characters vs. a smaller one. 3rd person sweeping narrative versus intimate, epistolary (diary entry) first person narrative. But the Gothic mood, language and Victorian Paranormal sensibility? Very similar.

The obvious difference between my series is age and life experience of the characters and their peer group. A YA world doesn’t have to be populated only with teens, but the reason my Strangely Beautiful series ended up as adult rather than YA is that Miss Percy was the only real YA character in a world of very adult people and situations, so it skewed adult, while it’s still rated PG-13. This changes with Perilous Prophecy, which is teen-heavy by nature of what the series required. In order to keep a book/series YA, there does have to be a teen/young adult peer group for it to sell to a YA market. But Perilous Prophecy, no matter the age of the characters, will sit on the shelf next to the first books in the series, where they were shelved in adult genre fiction.
The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker (Strangely Beautiful)

The coming of age story is a beautiful one. It’s one of the most important aspects of why YA fiction is read by young adults and adults alike; the utterly relatable journey that is ‘coming of age’. There is a breadth of change and conflict in ‘coming of age’. Change and conflict being the key driving forces of good drama and storytelling in all mediums, we must as storytellers tap into this beautifully precarious point of raw power for all our characters and not for a moment shy away from it. We learn the most about the characters as how they each, differently, approach this journey. And we, the readers, always learn something of ourselves too.
The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess (Strangely Beautiful)The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess is a total Adult/YA crossover. The bulk of the characters, of which there are many, are teens, from 18 to 15 years old. The themes are ancient, and the sacrifices are huge. It is a coming of age story for nearly everyone in the whole novel. So it’s the perfect book to merge my career into one seamless, Gothic package full of spooky shivers and aching passion, no matter what shelves these books may sit upon.

Cheers and thanks for everything, Monica, your support and interest is dearly appreciated! Thanks everyone for reading!

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1 comment:

  1. Great guest post! I've often wondered how difficult it was to write both YA and Adult books.


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