What Would You Ask a YA Writer?

Next week, I’ll be travelling to the Killer Nashville conference for the first time. I’m excited not only to have been nominated for the Silver Falchion Award for my YA novel, It Should Have Been You, but to participate in several panels, including one I’ll moderate, called “Coming of Age: Writing YA Mysteries, Suspense & Thrillers.”

To prepare, I’ve been brainstorming questions with my fellow panelists, Sheila Sobel and Alison McMahan. Here’s what we’ve come up with so far:

  • What drew you to writing mystery/suspense/thrillers for young adults? How do you see this as different from writing for adult readers?
  • Young adults are making the transition between childhood and adulthood. In addition to the young adult protagonist(s) solving a crime or dealing with a threat, in what ways do the challenges of growing up figure into the plots of your books?
  • As YA writers, we’re a lot older than the characters we write about. How do you make the voices of your characters authentic-sounding?
  • Can you share what sparked your interest in the premise of your latest book? And can you briefly describe your project?
  • Since you began reading or writing young adult literature, what changes have you seen in books for this age group?
  • Tweens and teens are not the only folks reading YA books. What is the appeal to adult readers?
  • Can you speak to the trend of YA books getting turned into films?
  • What haven’t I asked you that you wish I had?

Speaking of this last question, I’d love to get your input. If you were meeting with a trio of YA writers, what would you want to ask them? Please weigh in, and let me know what you’re curious about!


Leave a Comment