Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Stephenie Meyer, the mother of YA?


Do my books have a home? I've promised myself to keep my books clean, but then which genre would they belong?

After reading several YA books, it was like the Heavens opened. No questionable language. Violence. Or even sex.

I've been excited ever since!

I can't help but feel that ever since a single woman braved her talents and pitched them into the sea of publication, that she has opened doors for all YA possibilities. Harlequin came up with a new imprint for teens not too long ago. The YA sections are exploding with books. I've come across more writerly blogs aiming for YA than any other genre. Could it be that Stephenie Meyer created the trend of YA, even though it's always existed?

Let's say she never followed her muse to write her first novel. She never decided  to submit, or she even gave up with her first draft; would YA be as hot as it is now?

I doubt it.

I feel the same with MG. If another woman hadn't have obeyed her integrity, J.K. Rowling wouldn't have opened doors for high adventures for young kids. Would she?

If J.R. Tolkien had decided to take up sea diving instead, would we have developed our fine sense of fantasy novels?

I believe that these great authors were lead by a greater force to open the floodgates, the possibilities for the rest of us. A Renaissance for Writers, if you will.

What are your thoughts?


  1. Hi ELizabeth .. great thoughts - about going our own route, believing in ourselves .. we benefit so much from that belief - as readers, authors and bloggers ..

    Funny things happened on the way to the Forum!

    Interesting to read about Stephanie Meyer .. I'm learning so much from my blogging friends .. thanks - have a good week .. Hilary

  2. I completely agree with you. Although YA was popular before Meyer, I feel like it exploded afterward. The writing world got a taste for what a trend in the teen world could do for books. Since I write new adult fiction I'm hoping someone will do the same for that crowd =)

  3. I love YA, too. It's great to see the boom in the numbers and varieties of YAs available. The main character's self-discovery, wonder at the world and optimism in this genre keeps me coming back for more.

  4. Hi Elizabeth
    I love your blog - thanks for coming to mine. Slightly confused, though. Do we have to audition in some way for the A-Z challenge? Or do you mean you've auditioned for an acting job, and made the first cut? Well done, if so, and sorry to be dense (put it down to nerves, with the words bitten, off, more and chew revolving in what passes for my mind, having committed myself to the A-Z thing!!)
    Thanks again and Happy Writing
    All best

    All best

  5. I totally agree. I never really read YA until I picked up a copy of Twilight. Ever since then, I've been reading like crazy and LOVE everything YA. Reading it writing it. I feel the same way about middle-grade and Harry Potter. I remember making fun of my brother for reading it, and when I picked up that first book, I was hooked and LOVED the entire series. I've gone on to read Percy Jackson, FarWorld, Fablehaven and more! :)
    I love clean books and think it is so important to have clean books out there for teens to read. There is too much crap in the world now, and I commend those who have their characters have standards. Even if they aren't portrayed as LDS in them. :)

  6. Even though I've heard good and bad about Meyer's novels, the reach she has in readership is enough to convince me that she has made a difference to the YA market.

  7. I agree that all three of those authors did something amazing despite their haters. I really haven't read Stephanie Meyer, but that's more because I'm not into vampire books, than her.

    The other two I have read and find that they are powerful in their own ways. I agree that without them some of the genre's that we all right in wouldn't be in the good shape they are in now.

    I also believe that you do have to trust yourself. Write for yourself. Once these things are accomplished, everything will fall into place. Or at least I hope so.

  8. I believe that they had an influence, yes.
    It might also be that they just showed that there is an audience for their things out there, and it takes businesses and economies some time to see that sometimes.
    Nahno ∗ McLein

  9. I think anyone who can create a pop culture movement that encourages kids to read (instead of watch television) is a fantastic person. If they can do that (and still offer good writing), all the better (much better actually)... that's why I like J.K. Rowling 100 times more than Stephenie Meyer.

  10. I like the idea of a Renaissance of Creativity :)

  11. Yay for talented and super hard working authors who followed their dreams no matter what and helped open up the publishing business even more!!

    Your books WILL have homes!!!!! Yes they will!!

    Take care

  12. I agree with you here. Looking around on writer's blogs, it's hard to find a current writer who is not doing YA. The neat thing about this genre though, is that you don't have to be a young adult to thoroughly enjoy it.

  13. I don't think there was any danger that J.R.R. Tolkien would have taken up sea diving. I've come to think that he might have been deathly afraid of the water. Every time something bad happened in his novels, there was water present. Water destroyed the rained at Helm's Deep...water destroyed the marshes on the way to Mount Doom there were undead in the water. Water was just a bad omen. Oh and Osgiliath was doomed because it was a city on the water. I think if you lived in Tolkien's wanted to high tail it out of there as soon as you get wet.

  14. You make some great points. Tolkien fought against the snobbery of the academic world and opened the way for the future of fantasy. Reading his novels started my love of the genre and inspired me to write fantasy myself.

  15. I've always been highly aware of YA because I was an English teacher for a long time. But what's jarring to me now is exactly how much sex and immmoratlity--without any consequences--is creeping in now with books like the Vampire Academy series or even some more literary YA titles I've read. It frustrates me that they operate from the presumption that all teens are sexually active when a recent study from the federal government suggests the numbers are declining.

    Having said that, I think there's a great market out there for clean YA and writers like Janette Rallison, so I'm hopeful.

  16. Tolkien led the way for fantasy and Brooks cemented it further. I can see how one author can make a difference.

  17. I was never particularly aware of the YA genre until I started blogging and hearing about it. It does reflect those elements you suggest of cleaner language and less graphic sex, which is something I prefer in what I read and write. I think labeling the genre is limiting the audience potential, but I can understand why it is done.

    Tossing It Out

  18. I think sometimes there's a temptation to use these popular writers as punching bags, but they've led to explosions in their genres, extra readers, and extra money to pay extra advances.

  19. YA has come a long way. But yes, don't quit and don't give up. Maybe you'll be the next trendsetter. :)

  20. I do believe that one writer can make a difference. It's all about staying true to your own voice and following your muse where it takes you. Very inspiring, thoughtful post.

  21. I believe if you write about what is true for you and not try to second guess what may or may not be popular, youre a winner either way. Ultimately, you've got to like what youre writing and I feel there will always be enough people who feel the same about your writing too.

  22. Hilary, thank you for dropping by. Sometimes I find myself losing courage since I'm in the pure editing stages. It feels overwhelming at times, but I know how it would be once I've reached the other end!

    Sierra, wow, what an awesome thought. Maybe you could be the trendsetter? ;)

    Canda, I do love YA for that reason along with the no content involved, though I know there are a few YA books that are questionable still. *sigh*

    Karla! Sorry to confuse you... You don't have to audition for the A-Z challenge; I was referring to an audition back in January! ;) The A-Z is going to be a challenge all right! Thanks for visiting <3

    Chantele, we're a lot alike! I read a few YA books before Twilight, enjoying the clean contrast compared to adult books: I'm glad Stephenie Meyer proved that books could be bestsellers without questionable content. <3

    J.L., true enough! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)

    John, thank you for the encouragement! There has to be a place for every writer, I guess. We just need to find it.

    Nahno, true! See a need, fill a need. Sometimes things just happen and it grows at accelerated rates.

    Austin, I have no doubt that these authors were inspired to follow their hearts and I'm glad that J.K. did just that as well. Her books are fabulous. :)

    Michelle, thank you! <3 We are in one, aren't we?

    Jennifer, you're so sweet--*HUGS* thank you SO much. ;)

    Maggie, that's right! I will choose a YA book over an adult book purely for clean content and the fresh adventure of youth. Kids, including teens, are still experience life through fresh eyes, untainted by the drudge of adulthood. Ugh...

    Michael, LOL! I didn't really think of it that way, or even noticed for that matter. Either he had a fear or fascination with water. It would be interesting to read his biography. I've noticed something about my writing: there's a usually a cave in there somewhere. Why? Because I love caves. Strange, isn't it?

    Susan, thank you! I didn't know that about him. Did you see what Michael said? Now I really want to get to know him better! :)

    Melanie, well said! I've been feeling vibrations from authors (like the ones you pointed out) who impose sex onto teens, too. It's sad, though, because rather than doing that, parents should have the SOLE rights--and should--to educating them in that area. Poor kids can't get away from the crud of society. :(

    Alex, I like how you said that. Thank you! :)

    Lee, I can see that. I wonder how it would be if we didn't label genres? That would make one interesting library! ;)

    Amie, I agree with you on that. They have set a road for us to follow and even become stronger for it by adding our own specialness. :)

    M Pax, wow, thank you! That's a huge compliment. :)

    Melissa, how true that is. Thank you for saying it. :)

    Amphigora, those are words to live by. Especially when others post bad reviews or knock on you. Bravo!


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