Monday, August 20, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway: Feeding the YA Monster by Tiffany Trent


Today I am happy to host Tiffany Trent, author of the YA steampunk fantasy The Unnaturalists. Her book is out now. I have my copy! Do you? If not, check out the giveaway I am hosting at the end of this post.

Please welcome Tiffany!!

Feeding the YA Monster

I remember the exact moment I started writing YA.  I remember that moment because it had a particular feel—a particular crackle—as if the air snapped around me and the world, which had always been slightly off-kilter, suddenly righted itself. I’d been trying to write adult for ten years, diligently chipping away at the same epic fantasy novel because I thought I had to.  I had many, many other ideas, but I shoved them all aside, slavishly devoting myself like Tolkien to this monstrosity that very nearly consumed my every waking thought (and some of my sleeping ones, too).

And then, I was offered the chance to write a young adult series. I took one of those half-formed ideas and threw it onto the potter’s wheel of my imagination. And I realized that the books I loved most were what are considered young adult by today’s standards. I realized that the books I went back to read again and again were books I’d plucked from the “juvenile” shelf or that my mother had carefully picked for me. The Blue Sword. A Wrinkle in Time. The Chronicles of Prydain. The Tales of Nedao. DragonLance.

Oh, there were others more adult I loved—the aforementioned Tolkien, The Mists of Avalon, and so on. But it was the voice and pace of young adult—a world I’d not explored for many years—that just fell into place with a click for me.  

I don’t know why it never occurred to me before. Maybe I wasn’t aware of it as a possibility. I was very embarrassed for a long time about my love of genre and, after a few stings in various writing classes, wrote science fiction and fantasy in secret.  But on the day when I was offered the chance to write YA, it seemed like all my nebulous long toil solidified into a path I could actually walk instead of a bog intent on drowning me.

It isn’t outside the realm of possibility that I’ll one day write something adult—I’ve written a few adult short stories—but YA feels very much like home.  And YA science fiction and fantasy are definitely my favorite rooms in the house.  I think Patricia McKillip says it best here:
I write fantasy because it’s there. I have no other excuse for sitting down for several hours a day indulging my imagination. Daydreaming. Thinking up imaginary people, impossible places. Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps. It must be fed; it cannot be ignored. Making it tell the same tale over and over again makes it thin and whining; its scales begin to fall off; its fiery breath becomes a trickle of smoke. It is best fed by reality, an odd diet for something nonexistent; there are few details of daily life and its broad range of emotional context that can’t be transformed into food for the imagination. It must be visited constantly, or else it begins to become restless and emit strange bellows at embarrassing moments; ignoring it only makes it grow larger and noisier. Content, it dreams awake, and spins the fabric of tales. There is really nothing to be done with such imagery except to use it: in writing, in art. Those who fear the imagination condemn it: something childish, they say, something monsterish, misbegotten. Not all of us dream awake. But those of us who do have no choice.”
And that too is why I write YA. It’s only wise to feed the golden-eyed monster what it wants. Life is much more pleasant that way.  

Thank you Tiffany for stopping by!!

Find Tiffany: Website LiveJournal Facebook

To celebrate the release of The Unnaturalists, I want to giveaway one copy to one of my readers. Check out the giveaway details below.

Giveaway Rules
Must be at least 16 yrs or older
Open to U.S. address only
Following is NOT required
Fill out the form below
one entry per person Contest ends September 3rd 2012 11:59 EST


1 comment:

  1. Thanks again for giving me the heads up about Tiffany's tour! I can't wait to read The Unnaturalists :)



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