Monday, April 4, 2011

Writing/Reading YA: Obsessed Since 2007

Okay, so there have been times when I didn't leave my house in like a day or two, simply because I was absorbed in writing or reading. My husband thinks I've become completely mental, because I really only become a full-fledged writing/reading book nerd back in 2007. Before I became a writing hermit, I was a shopper, a mover, an always on the goer, now all my free time and energy is put into the literary world. My husband, poor guy, can't fathom this "unnatural" obsession with "imaginary" people, and to be honest, before I became addicted I couldn't either.

I was such a bad kid in school. I liked to skip class (missed 32 days my senior year. Yeah, I know. Shhhhhh Don't tell. That's our secret.)  I copied my homework, and I NEVER read a full book. I was a cliff notes kind of girl when I couldn't get one of the smart people to just tell me what the book was about.Yes, I was one of those annoying people who would say things like, "Why read? I'll just wait for the movie to come out." *gasp* The horror. I know.

What caused the change you might ask. Well, I have nieces that are teens (No I'm not that old, my parents are and so are my siblings. I was an oopise baby.) and we pal around a lot. When I took my niece, Kim, to buy her 14th Birthday present in 2007 I nearly fell over at the mall when she told me she wanted a book. I was like, "OMG WHY?!?!?! I'm offering to buy you clothes and you want a book. Who are you? You can't be related to me!" But she rolled her eyes and dragged me into Waldons Bookstore. I followed with no clue my life was about to forever change.

She looked around, while I was bored out of my skull, until she found the book she wanted. ECLIPSE. It was expensive, near thirty bucks if I remember correctly, and thick.

2006 (Near the time of the Story)
Standing: Kim, Annie, Tasha
Bottom: Alicia

Needless to say, because I love her, I bought it for her. On the way home she was telling me about the story and about how YA books are for teenagers. I didn't even know books had subsections. LOL She told me about all the books she already had at home and I showed a little interest  just to appease her. When we got to her house she shoved four books in my hands and made me promise to read them. I'm pretty sure I crossed my fingers behind my back when I told her I would.

That same night my husband and I was going out to a comedy club with a group of friends. While I waited on everyone to come over, I picked up one of the books that had stared at me from my coffee table for the past twenty minutes. It was MARKED by PC Cast. Before I knew it was 20 pages in and my friends had arrived. I asked my husband if I could take the book, and he was like WTF, why? I didn't realize that was the start of an obsession. One that is still going strong in 2011 with the YA genre.

From then on, I've read every YA book I could get my hands on, and after I went through a couple hundred I had the urge to try my own hand at writing. I'll be honest my first novels were practice ones. I surprised myself that I even finished the things. LOL But now, after three years of solid learning about the publishing world, my writing is finally coming together. It clicks now a little more. I kinda feel like I might have a small clue of what I'm doing now. But I didn't get to this point on my own. When I got serious about writing I started with finding other people who wrote YA for their guidance, and then, I moved on to find an actual critique group that I meet with twice a month (FICTION FLURRY) here in Ohio. 

My point is, if you are new to the YA world. Welcome. The people in this genre are super cool. Most are warm and welcoming and are very supportive of each other. Whether your a reader or a writer, YA can inspire you. Hell, look at me. It made me a die hard reader and it inspired me to try and contribute my own stories to share with readers.

I wanna hear from you guys! What is it about YA that hooked you? How long have you been addicted? Shout out we'd love to hear from you.

Happy Read and Writing!

For YA Book Reviews: Reading, Writing and Waiting


Kristine Asselin said...

What a great story--and great that you have such an awesome connection to your nieces.

I love YA too, but have never really thought about why. Hmm.

Hayley said...

Great story! My story isn't nearly as interesting...I started reading YA when I was about 12 or 13 and twelve years later, I still haven't stopped. I do read "adult" fiction as well, but there's something about YA that keeps drawing me back :)

Stephanie said...

Great story, Annie! And I can honestly say I'm so glad you started writing. :D Your books kick butt.

Catherine Stine said...

I started writing YA when I did my MFA in creative writing. I love that genre because I had many strong experiences and issues when I was 16 & 17, and I guess I'm still trying to figure it all out.

Annie McElfresh said...

Kristine--Thanks for the comment! Food for thought! :)

Hayley--I wish I would've started back then. Maybe I wouldn've came to school more often. LOL I def would have paid more attention in English vs. being boy crazy. LOL

Steph--Thanks! XD I heart you! LOL

Catherine--I think 16-17 was honestly the busiest time in my life, so I completely relate. :)

Mary said...

Thank GOD for your niece!

I've always been a hard-core reader. In high school, it was romances (YA kinda sucked after you were done with Judy Blume and Nancy Drew). Once I started teaching 8th grade, I turned to YA & became completely obsessed. So awesome.