Léna's Lit.Life

Léna (me): Lit, as in literature, Lit, as in light, Lit, as in a little kooky: Life.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What Kind of Author are You?

Many of us grapple with our identities as artists and I am no different. We are all trying to find our way and see where we fit, where we will be able to make or leave an impression, where our interpretations of our environment, world, relationships, heart and minds will make a difference.

So, we label ourselves, thinking that this is the way to find a niche.

This isn't the way for me. Or it was, and now it's not.

YA author.

How wonderful to write my first novel without an audience in mind, just focusing on the characters and letting them develop the way they want to. The characters who happen to be teens.

Then came the querying and I eventually found my way to an agent who represents children and YA books. Score!

Then I landed a contract at FSG Books for Young Readers. Double score!

YA author.

And then came my need to twist myself up in a pretzel to fit that label. Social media and marketing: Who am I? YA author.

And I may be just that.

But.

I started writing with the goal to sell to a YA market. Edges was a "quiet" book, so I needed to write a teen book with more commercial appeal. Didn't I?

Three more novels, but no contracts yet.

Who is the one really pulling my strings?

Me.

I don't have to pigeon-hole myself as an artist, and neither do you. I am more.

I write stories, and that is that.

What kind of author are you?


11 comments:

  1. My nickname is the Story Samurai. Partly, because I have been raised since I could walk as a martial artist, and partly because I "slice through genres". I will write a YA story, then a children's book, then a completely over the top Horror story.

    If I want to write it... it's going to be written.

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    1. I LOVE that! Story Samurai, fully embracing your gift(s)!

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  2. I write what I like to read. At first, I thought I was YA, but I've now embraced the MG/tween "label." The characters are teens but it's safe for readers 10+.
    But the only work I've sold is non-fiction for adults...

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    1. I like to read everything, yet I don't think I could write everything . . .

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  3. I'm still figuring it out. To me that's almost like asking "what kind of reader are you?" If I enjoy reading historical fiction, YA, suspense, mystery, history (nonfiction) etc, what kind of reader does that make me? Having said that, as a writer I know certain themes are near and dear to my heart - for now they show up in my YA fiction, but they could show up in New Adult or Adult fiction at some point too. And I think it's very encouraging in a way that a couple of well known writers who have previously written for adults have just put out YA books. Also having been a visual artist before starting to write, I liked working in different media, just as singers might dabble in different kinds of music, actors act in comedies/dramas/action films and so on. I say "Resist being pigeon-holed!" :)

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    1. Hi Rhiann - thanks for stopping by! The beauty of it is that we are always in the process of figuring it out, and it can change! In this case, I am writing words I need to read, right?

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  4. It's a question writers can't help grappling with in a market-driven publishing world. The good news, as I see it, is that 'Edges' had a clear market that got you publication, attention, etc. Whatever comes next from you may (or may not) be a YA book. You yourself once made the point of writing from a place of authenticity. Isn't that what matters most?

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    1. Absolutely! And all of my posts help me get in touch with that. I'm just a writer among writers! xoxo

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  5. Hi Léna! I wonder if seeing ourselves as "writers" is too narrow. Writing is a piece of the portfolio of creative things we do, as artists. We write. We speak/perform. We create audio and video.

    It seems we are servants of stories and songs. And our job is to help the idea embody a vehicle that propels it. Could be a poem. Or a short story. Or a narrative nonfiction piece. Or even an avant-garde film.

    I love that you are allowing yourself room to serve stories rather than some faceless, fickle "audience". You are a storyteller, not merely a "young adult novelist". And I can't wait to read more of your work!

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  6. Hi Keith! Yes, it's all too narrow isn't it? As if we could contain and compartmentalize our own creative spirit! Let's talk soon . . . xoxo

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  7. I am a writer in book review writing services. I have many experience in writing book reviews. I always collected data in an ethical manner. And i always taking care to submit a work that was previously unpublished

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