18 Oct 2013

YA Appeal for Adults by K.C Blake

I invited YA author K.C Blake to talk about why adults also enjoy YA books...

When I decided to switch from writing romantic suspense to young adult novels, I had no idea most of my sales would still come from adults. My audience is made up of teens from 12 to 16, and also grown women from 30 to about 50. The other day Suzy asked me why. Why do women enjoy my books even though they are written for teens? I gave this a lot of thought, and here is what I came up with.

1. Romance- What difference does it make if a hero and heroine are teens or middle-aged women? Most girls still enjoy a satisfying romantic read. I learned how to write good romance while working for Harlequin. Everyone has their favorites. I’ve always loved forbidden romance the best, and maybe that’s why most of my characters seem to fall into that category. In Bait, a young hunter named Nick is falling hard for Van Helsing’s daughter, despite a prophecy that says being in love with her will bring about the destruction of the world. In Vampires Rule, a young vampire falls in love with THE werewolf hunter. Their love has caused a lot of problems for them both, but Jack and Silver are determined to make it work.

2. Mystery- I also learned how to write a good mystery, lay out clues, throw the reader off track when necessary. Trying to solve a crime is one of my favorite things. I watch CSI and try to solve the case before the cops do. So, of course, I add a bit of mystery to all my books. In Bait, young Bay-Lee has to figure out why wraiths are killing students before it’s her turn. In Crushed, a teen witch named Kristen needs to figure out who is trying to kill her before they succeed. All of my books have a mystery, and I think a lot of women love the genre as much as I do.

3. Powerful Characters- What woman doesn’t appreciate an alpha male? Add to that a little bit of magic or some other form of power, and you have a hero who is hard to resist. Then there are the women in my books. They don’t take crap from anyone. Personally, I don’t like female characters who sit around and wring their hands, waiting for a hero to save them. In my books sometimes the girls have to save the guys. In Bait, Bay-Lee Van Helsing is about as kickbutt as a girl can get.

4. Fast and Fun Reads- Today’s adult woman doesn’t have as much time as she used to, and finding time to read isn’t always easy. I’ve been told (by editors) my books are fast-paced and fun, easy to read.

5. Mythology- Not all adult women enjoy reading about the mythology of certain creatures, but a lot of us do. I try to change a bit on the mythology of well-known creatures to keep it interesting. In Vampires Rule, for instance, we discover vampires and werewolves were created by a lonely faerie, cursed to live her life alone.

Now that I think about it, there are a lot of reasons women enjoy my books. I read YA almost exclusively. For a while, I was embarrassed by it. I would only read when I was alone, or I would put a different cover over a book I was enjoying. Not anymore. Times have changed. YA books have become exciting, fun, and more complicated than the older YA. If you haven’t tried one, give it a shot. You might fall in love.

Find K.C on her blog.

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