What do Authors think about the YA Category| Author Interview

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Today's post is a super amazing author interview. I didn't interview just one author ,but three of them! They will all be sharing their opinions on the YA age range of books. These different authors write a variety of genres some outside of YA ,so they were able to give some awesome answers. Before we get into the actual questions I'm going to give you some background on the authors.

Meet The Authors

J.H. Moncrieff loves scaring the crap out of people with her books—when she’s not busy being a journalist, editor, book doctor, and publicist. In her “spare” time, J.H. loves to travel to exotic locales, advocate for animal rights, and muay thai kickbox.

Ben Marsten is a blogger and social media junky, turned novelist. His hobbies are pretty standard Geek ; movies, video games, and music, though he is an obsessive music collector. He couldn't write without something blaring through a set of speakers nearby. He can be found on Twitter as @BRMarsten and on Facebook as Ben.

Natsuya Uesugi is the author of the grydscaen saga. He has a master's degree in International Management and studied animation and game design. He enjoys skydiving, cosplay, anime and writing poetry. He would like to make a graphic novel of grydscaen someday.

Now that you guys know a bit about the authors we are going to jump into the Interview. Be sure to check the end of the post for all of their social media links.


1.What book are you currently reading?

 JH: I'm reading "We Were Liars" by E Lockhart. It's a comp title--an agent told me my YA psychological thriller reminded her of "We Were Liars," so I thought I should read it. Another comp title she mentioned is "Reconstructing Amelia," so that's next on my list.

Ben: I just finished True Grit. Which I hadn't read in years and always loved. I like that the main character is young, that we see the world through her eyes.

Natsuya: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

2.What genre of books do you typically/enjoy writing the most? Why do you like this genre so much?

JH: I love writing psychological suspense and horror, whether for adults or young adults. I love dark fiction because you have a lot of leeway with the ending. Unlike romance, you don't have to make everything work out in the end. The hero doesn't have to triumph. That's one of the reasons reading them is so exciting! Plus, I kind of like it when I scare myself. Weird, I know.

Ben: I have a personal goal to write one of every genre. But if I had to pick? Fantasy Fiction. Swashbuckling tales are fun to read, and fun to write. I like them because the moral codes of characters in those types of novels are clear and written in broad strokes.

Natsuya: I like writing cyberpunk science fiction with YA characters. I like this genre because it lets me explore technology and its impact on the human condition and it lets me use my skills as a systems analyst and software engineer. I work in cyber security.

3. This is my Favorite Question to ask Authors! Do you have a writing ritual?( When you write do you have to be in a certain room ,or wear a certain pair of pants, Or you only write after a haircut...etc)

JH: If I always wore the same pair of pants when I wrote, they'd be able to walk away on their own! I always light a scented candle when I write fiction, and I've started to give myself stickers on the calendar when I make my word count for the day. I write in the living room, snuggled into the couch. Comfort is key.

BenMusic. When I start a new scene I pick a few songs to set it against. And I listen to those songs as I write the scene or chapter. I can't write until I've picked the songs that go with the pictures in my head. =)

Natsuya: I write in my living room on an old Mac computer with an outdated operating system I got from art school. It is a sophisticated typewriter because the computer does little else.

4. Have you read or do you read YA Books? If so how often and what are your favs? If NOT why?

JH: I have always read YA. There are some wonderful YA books. Of course the Harry Potter series is right up there, but also Judy Blume's "Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself" and Paula Danzinger's "The Pistachio Prescription." I'm looking forward to Kate Boorman's "Winterkill" and the Mockingjay series, which I own but haven't read yet. I also love "The Best Little Girl in the World" by Steven Levenkron. It's a disturbing first-person account of a tween slipping into anorexia, written by a psychologist who treats eating disorders

Ben: I am suspicious of "genre" as a means of defining a book, though I understand why they exist for marketing. Putting the right book in the right reader's hands. I read anything. And, therefore, yes, I read  YA. I quite liked Old Yeller. And Harry Potter - though the Potter books transcend genre, don't they? They were too big to wear YA shoes alone.

Natsuya: I do read YA books because I like characters that are going through the growing pains of being teenagers and finding themselves. This was a difficult time for me as a 16 year old freshman in college, so I like to read others experiences at that time.

5. Do you think adults should  be reading YA?

JH: I think adults should be reading books. I've seen a lot of posts about striving to hit 100 goals in 1001 days, and one woman's goal was to read twelve books in one year. She didn't read one! That shocked me. I can't imagine going through life without a book in my hand. I don't care what genre people read, as long as they're reading. 

Ben: I'll answer these together. I think adults and teenagers should be READING. What they read matters less to me than the fact that they do it. If a YA book makes either demographic happy? That's a good thing.

Natsuya: I do think adults should read YA. We should never forget where we came from.

6. Do you think YA books are good for teenagers? I ask this since your teen years are some of the most crucial years of your life. YA books cover a lot of controversial things like Sex , Love ,drugs ,abuse, emotional issues, suicide..etc and not all situations in these books are handles the best way or follow some of people's beliefs. Do you think that reading these books can do harm to a teenager?

JH: It does a lot of good for people at any age to read books that they can identify with, but it's especially crucial for teenagers. Adolescence can be such a lonely, tumultuous time, and staying away from realistic subjects like sex, abuse, and drugs is pandering to the audience. While I still think there's a place for innocent, light-hearted books, the ones that are going to speak to teens are probably going to be a little on the dark side, because they're struggling with some pretty big life changes and emotions.

Ben: (Same as answer for Question 5)

NatsuyaYes, I think YA books are good for teenagers if they are sophisticated. Dealing with topics that allow teenagers to learn and grow. I deal with drugs and abuse in my series grydscaen that has teenage characters. The books are science fiction and also deal with hackers and technology. The world deals with difficult subjects, we need to provide exposure to these topics so teens can learn how to deal with difficult subjects. However I don't think teens should read gratuitous sex.

7. I have heard someone say before that the YA Genre isn't real literature. Why do you think people think that?

JH: People who haven't read YA most likely think it's childish. Or they've read Twilight (sorry). It takes a lot of skill to write convincingly as a teenager when you're far past that stage. It's an art form. Readers of all ages deserve wonderful books, and those books are definitely out there. A case could be made for calling "To Kill a Mockingbird" YA, because it's told from the POV of a teenager. And, love it or hate it, I don't think anyone would say that book isn't literature.

Ben: Because someone on the internet said it. So it must not be true. =)

Natsuya: Some YA books can be juvenile or badly written. YA that is written well is literature.

I hope you guys enjoyed this interview! I absolutely loved to see what these authors thought of the YA category of books. Be sure to check out all their links and show them plenty of love! Be on the lookout for my next post about the #TBR Takedown 2.0 Readathon.

Ben: Twitter: BRMarsten // Facebook: Ben

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  1. I must admit that I have a love-hate relationship with YA fiction. Some of it is wonderful and indistinguishable from other fiction besides the fact that the main protagonists are young and few other genre tropes. However, some of it is juvenile escapism and like my escapism a little more mature. With that said, I've always felt that people should read what they want no matter their age. Even though I struggle with my feelings towards YA, I find the innocence of Middle Grade refreshing. I know quite a few adults who won't even look at MG because they assume it's not for them. I just say read and read some more.

    1. I personally think of reading as a hobby so, I read things I enjoy no matter how juvenile they may seem. Most of the time I am reading to reduce stress and I don't feel like reading some deep,complex,and meaningful novel. I completely agree that people should just read in general. I actually recently read a middle grade book and i really enjoyed it. I find them to be very light and fun quick reads. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving me an awesome comment!


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