So I was thinking the other day. I know, amazing, right? I was thinking about the fact that in a year and a half my book is going to be on shelves. Printed. Bound. Glossy, beautiful cover. Dedications. Acknowledgements. And my words plastered all over the sweet smelling pages. And then I realized, HOLY CRAP! People are going to be READING my book!
It's not that I'm not proud of my book. I'm damned proud. But I live in a small town. Everyone knows everyone more or less. And as word got out that my book was going to be published, I noticed a common theme among my congratulators. They all think I write Young Adult. "I'm going to buy two copies for each of my granddaughters!" my husband's secretary said. "My little sister loves fairies! If you have fairies in your book she'll read it for sure!" a high-school student told me. "Tell your daughter I'm so happy for her!" my mom's collegues said. "She writes for children, right?"
Wrong, wrong, wrongski.
It's not that I have anything against YA. I actually occassionally read it. And two of my awesomesauce crit parters write YA. You see, I was NEVER a conventional young adult. Having a baby at 16 sort of cuts you off from things like going out, angsting over a guy, the fact that Becky So-and-so is wearing the dress I wanted to wear to prom. Yeah, I was angsting over things like dirty diapers, a crying infant who refused to sleep until well after 3 am. Finishing highschool with my graduating class while taking two years worth of classes in one year. A husband who was in the Navy and living clear across the county from me. So to say I can't relate to teenagers is a bit of an understatement. Not that I didn't get into a little teenage trouble (obviously). But my experimentation and experiences were cut short. And, honestly, I don't regret ANY OF IT.
I've been reading "adult" books since I was 16. And this young mom was into the hard stuff: Dean Koontz, Kathleen Woodiwiss (I likes my historical romance), Shakespeare (ya, he turns me on), and Anne Rice to name a few. So when I started writing it was natural for me that I would write for an adult market.
I can really swear it up in my novels. Yep, nothing enhances a sentence like a few artfully placed F-bombs. And sex... well, I can go a little further than a YA writer can in the sex department. I can tell my story from an adult perspective and I can connect with an audience I get. And I can write in my comfort zone.
So, what's the problem, you ask? I'm afraid of dissapointing people. "I don't write for kids!" I've been putting the disclaimer out. "PLEASE, do not buy my book for your granddaughters." "Attention all highschool students: you will NOT find my book in the school library." I told a mother at my volleyball awards ceremony this year that I wrote "Adult Urban Fantasy" and she looked at me like I'd signed on to ghost-write for Penthouse Forums. In a small town, people are curious. I assume some people will read my book out of sheer curiosity if not for their personal enjoyment. And when they dive in, I just hope I live up to their expectations and they still think that I'm as sweet and personable as I've always been.
I am not my characters. Well, not really. I wish I was sometimes. My heroine is tough, foul-mouthed, and unapologetic, not to mention tall, gorgeous, and not afraid to cut your head off with her katana if you cross her. And while there are things about Darian that might remind some people of me, she's not me. And I'm not her. I'm a storyteller and that's my job. To create extraordinary characters for your reading enjoyment. Just... not for kids.