Thursday, June 11, 2020

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF A YA WRITER, Guest Blog Post by LM Preston


I participated in a panel of YA authors to discuss the responsibility of the author in writing for the younger generation.  The issue at hand is that YA authors fall into two different camps in reference to what impact their writing has on teens.  Issues like bulimia, cutting, sex, and suicidal tendencies to name a few taboo items affect teen thoughts.  Therefore, it is believed that authors should write about these topics responsibly. 

NO VIOLENCE OR RESPONSIBLE VIOLENCE?

Well, some authors have written books that contain violence that includes hunting and killing other kids, like Hatchet or Lord of the Flies.  Was it needed for the story?  Well some people believe so. 

I believe that in the world we live in (at least the one I grew up in) violence is real and active.  Although, some people have never had it invade their personal space, most kids and adults have.  Kids, in my opinion, are smart and intuitive to their environment.  In most cases have heard news stories that confirm the violent nature of man, and they have become somewhat desensitized to it.

When I wrote my series The Vigilant, I didn’t hold back on what my character Dexter Lewis was experiencing.

NO SEX?

Alright, in writing my upper YA novel I struggled with how to write intimate scenes for the young main character.  I personally don’t see the point in added sex if it doesn’t progress the story.  Yet, when I was a kid, I remember reading stuff that wasn’t YA and I skimmed over the sex parts without embarrassment.

Let’s face it.  Some kids are sexually active.  Heck, their bodies are revved up on hormones that make them think about the opposite sex all the time.  These are issues they don’t mind reading about.  However, in a YA book my personal thoughts are – keep it tasteful.

NO TOUCHY SUBJECTS?

Some would ban subjects like suicide, cutting, and drugs.  These are real issues that our kids deal with on a daily basis.  It doesn’t matter if they are in the inner city or in the suburbs.  All of these things happen, and just about everyone knows someone that is dealing with these issues.

Should a YA author romanticize these things?  My opinion – they should not.  But (yes, there is a but) in cases where they want to show the perspective of a youth caught up with these activities in order to move the story forward, then it makes sense.

For instance, a drug addict, is in love with their drug of choice.  If you ask any of them, they will talk like that drug is better than sex or anything for that matter.  Why do they do that?  Well, because they are hooked on it.  A writer would want to address this realistically. 

MY THOUGHTS

I personally believe that YA authors should write about what kids are struggling with or dealing with.  I don’t believe they should be responsible for the censor of books.  A parent should censor what they want their kids to read.  Also, let’s be honest.  most parents don’t care what their kid is reading – just that their kid is reading.

Also, when I was a teen reader – I didn’t just read YA.  I also read adult books.  I would bet that most teens today do this also.

Lastly, the YA author isn’t the only one that reviews books for distribution.  The process of writing a book, getting an agent, then a publisher, and lastly an editor vets the novel before it ever gets to the shelves.




Scepter of Fire

The Vigilant

Book 2

LM Preston



Publisher Phenomenal One Press

Date Published: May 1st, 2020

Genre: Urban Fantasy/YA

Book Description:

Dexter didn’t like being a pawn. It seems life was taking him there though. His father and he never saw eye to eye, but being captured and tortured for his father’s mistakes gave Dexter too much to think about.

First, the girl he lost, he’d never forget what they did to her. It changed him, and made him see the small city his father moved him to for what is was, a prison for magicals, the damned, and now him.

Too bad, the creator of the void didn’t realize they would be better off if they’d set him free, because now, he was fighting for his life, and someone he’d have to hide his feelings from to protect, not just from those that want to drag them back, but from him -a vigilant.

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Excerpt 2:

“Do you want to escape here? I can help you.” Dex wanted out of this place.
        Nash smiled, “Yes, but now is not the time. We have to wait for her to hatch. I need her for a successful escape. It’s why I implanted a song in the guard’s mind to put her with me.”
        “You manipulated my friend Trey?” Dex wiped a hand down his face. This guy Nash was dangerous. Dex could feel it, only now, Dex felt it was time to stop trying to be the nice guy. He would survive. Finding a way to say his family would start with getting out of here, even if making a deal with this little devil would do it.

        Nash lifted an eyebrow, “I hummed him a tune.”
       “Whatever. You want my help getting out of here? I’m offering as long as we go our separate ways.”
        “I will take your willing help.” Nash cocked his head to the side, “Although, if I wanted it, I could make you give it, you know.”
        Dex crossed his arms over his chest, “Isn’t a free give better?”
        “Oh it is. What will you give me for helping you get free?”
        Dex frowned, “Give you? I got nothing.”
        “Everyone has…something.”
        “What are you? I like to know what kind of creature I’m bargaining with.” Dex didn’t want to give this imp anything.
        “I am many things, yet in part, not a human like you.”
Dex caught a hint of regret in his tone. Dex could swear Nash had a hungry gleam in his eye. Trey had warned him that Nash was pied piper and Rumpelstiltskin. Dex knew the pied piper had something to do with music. He had no idea what a Rumpelstiltskin was, and he had a feeling he shouldn’t mention it to Nash.
        “You need to tell me specifically what you want before I can agree to anything.”
        One side of Nash’s lip kicked up. “Her. The pixie-human. Give me her.”
        Dex frowned, then scratched his head. Why would Nash ask him to give up the pixie-human? The girl wasn’t his to give, he didn’t even know what it looked like.
        “Not mine to give.”
        Nash shrugged, “Then I won’t help either of you.”




About the Author:

L.M. Preston, a native of Washington, DC. An avid reader, she loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl. She is an author, an engineer, a professor, a mother and a wife. Her passion for writing and helping others to see their potential through her stories and encouragement has been her life's greatest adventures. She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing.










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