The Teen Interview Series starts today. It has consumed my thoughts and time for the past few weeks. Questions that I've considered are: Should I post the interviews verbatim? Should I fix grammatical errors if I do? Should I leave the Q&A out all together and write the interview as an informational blog?
I've decided to do what seems natural on an individual basis. The first interview will be posted verbatim. Next week may be different. In order to understand the teen interviewee thoroughly, it's important that we read his/her own words and thoughts directly.
With those questions answered, one remains constant. What is the purpose of interviewing teens?
This can be answered in two ways.
When I began to write my YA novel, DREAM SMASHERS, it was my intention to bring to life the consequences that methamphetamine use has on the family members of the user. We've seen in many stories the effect on the user, but what about the family? What about the children, the parents, the grandparents, the friends? They are victims caught between the love for their family member and the longing to be free of the stranger their family member has become.
Although it is extremely difficult to have an addicted parent, life still goes on. And sometimes all the family can do is let go.
My novel is a resource for teens dealing with addicted parents--no matter the addiction. In that reference, this blog, too, is a resource for teens touched not only be addiction, but also by the thousands of other issues that they must cope with on a daily basis. To show them that they aren't alone and everyone has some demon(s) to overcome.
The second reason is to create a resource for other YA writers. To be honest, my true love is writing YA Fantasy. No matter the YA genre, though, teens are involved. How better to get to know this generation of teens than to talk with them?
It is essential in writing for YA to remain current on the trends and issues that concern teenagers. Without an understanding and a compassionate disposition toward these struggles, writers take on an authoritarian voice and may come across as talking down to readers.
In order to create stories that teens can relate to, it is my intention to understand the struggles that they must overcome in this generation.
Thus, I begin the Teen Interview Series. Stay tuned for the first interview to be posted tonight.
Peace out, yo.