I never thought I would be a mother. I feel immensely lucky (despite my tiredness!) And wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m fortunate enough to be a semi-full-time mother too (WOG) Sadly though, it leaves me with very little personal time where I can write.
I could be selfish and write in the evenings, but I enjoy sitting with my husband and chattering over a coffee and watching whatever it is on TV. If the night has gone well (i.e.,no teething) I’m sometimes able to wake early and write. Most of the time I’m too tired… So, the only free time I get is when my daughter sleeps. But some days this doesn’t work either. I try not to despair. I make the most of whatever time I get. Even if I wish it could be more.
Nonetheless, part of me is feeling desperate; The KeyMaster will be ten years old this July. I would love for me to finish it and start sending it off to agents in July, but I know it won’t happen – hopefully by the end of the year.
Regardless of when I finish it, I write because I love crafting images with words. However, above all, I want to succeed to show my daughter that dreams don’t always stay dreams.
Whilst munching my way through my banana and ice-cream I’ve been mulling over what I could give up to honour Jesus and his sacrifice. As a Christian, Easter is more important to me than Christmas, and since marrying my husband has passed on his tradition of Easter Egg Hunts mixing them with my own Christian (and Eastern European) ones.
So, during the evening I’ve been wondering what to give up. The usual? Chocolate? Sweets? Fast food? Cheese?! Then, coming to bed I’ve realised most of my evening, the pauses, the times when I’ve been bored, have been spent on Facebook. I only intend to go on for a few minutes but I inevitably get sucked into reading one article about cute animals that leads me to another and then another and then my evening has vanished. It was then that I realised what I needed to give up: Facebook. It encroaches far too much on my precious time with my little family. Essential internet from now on. In theory I should gain masses of time! And be more productive (haha)
I enjoy reading Curtis Brown’s Creative blog and watching their videos but one of their recent posts got me pondering things.
Apparently YA protagonists cannot be older than 17 but 80% of the readership are usually adults (a high proportion being 16-24 in age). Which got me thinking how many of the recent protagonists (Bella, Katniss, Tris – to name those from major trilogies) actually resound with those readers older than 24? Who do they relate to? After 24 are you suddenly expected to read ‘adult’ fiction only? Is there a whole generation who are being overlooked? Can amazing and wonderful adventures not befall protagonists of 18 or (heaven forbid) in their 20s? Nothing of notable interest happened to me until I was 20 and I’m fairly sure I’m not alone. Of course, you can stumble across an odd teenager who stands out and does some amazing things but most modern teenagers are either too obsessed by Social Media/technology or they’re working hard at their studies. I’m a teacher, I know. How many of my students have admitted to spending entire holidays on their games console? Many will go on and do great things in their future, by grit and determination or thanks to an epiphany, but not for many years, not until their mid- to late twenties. (Some later still) Not particularly sexy, I know, but that’s the reality. I understand that as readers we happily ‘suspend our disbelief’ but surely you need a decent protagonist to do so.
I enjoy reading YA books, I like many of the plots but I rarely relate to their protagonists. Bella? Too moody, boring and mean (I didn’t like how she played the boys off one another). Katniss again treated men badly but had a bit more spunk about her (though the final book was weak). And Tris? Dull and constantly had to be the one at the centre of anything possibly heroic, in other words attention seeking: Four was a far more intriguing character.
Could publishers be overlooking a whole new genre of YA readers; where the protagonists are older, less angst-driven, stronger in character, forging their futures and becoming wiser to the ways of the adult world. A Generation X perhaps?