Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Unwanted Sniggers and Misconceptions

Has anyone else had this charming experience? When you tell someone you read or write Young Adult Fantasy books, they snigger, their eybrows rise or they give you a "What the?" look? I've had this several times when people ask what sort of books I write. I couldn't work out why at first, but, horror of horrors, they think it means I write erotica for teenagers.

Can you imagine? How seedy would that be. I'm very quick to disabuse them of the notion. I've learnt now to say, "I write books for teenagers" or "Fantasy novels". The funny thing is, everyone knows what Fantasy novels are. They think of dragons or Lord of the Rings. It's when you tack the "Young Adult" on the front that is sounds somehow sordid. (To them. I think it's perfectly obvious what I mean. Apparently not.)


  1. What's ROFL? :-)

    I find the comments tend to be, "So, are you thinking of writing an adult book?" - i.e. "When are you going to write a REAL book?" As a teacher-librarian I roll my eyes. As a children's and YA writer, my reply is, "Never! I like what I'm doing, thank you very much."

    As for YA fantasy, I think that right now the immediate assumption is that you're writing a vampire novel.

  2. You need to sell it! Explain that it is often harder to write YA fiction than adult fiction as you need to write for a different perspective. Though I don't know how you get past the damage Twilight has done for the image. ^_^

    *shakes fist and the sparklepires*

  3. ROFL = rolling on floor laughing

  4. Ah. Now I look back at the actual post - ROFL! ;-)

  5. ahahaha! I've gotten that look when I say I read 'fantasy novels,' though... so I usually say 'sci-fi and fantasy' nowadays.

  6. Hi Rhiannon, first off, this is my first visit to your blog! : ) Second, my only daughter's name is Rhiannon - awesome! Third, I too write YA Fantasy and when people ask what I write or what my novel is about, I always end up feeling almost embarressed and find it really hard to explain. Most of my friends think I'm a nut anyway so that's cool, but other colleagues in the writing world (I also write for Luxury Travel Mags) look at me like I'm crazy.