Generally, you know you’re writing a light paranormal young adult (YA) novel when:
** your hero or heroine has abilities and/or characteristics
not explained by science (fairies, ghosts, nymphs, etc.)
** Your target market is young adults between twelve and twenty.
** Your hero/ine fall within the above age group.
I say generally, because the YA genre is a microcosm of the entire fiction market and defies neat and tidy categorization. The Young Adult Library Services defines a young adult as "someone between the ages of twelve and eighteen,” but there are no definitive rule or age limits. Most YA authors secretly yearn for a crossover market where the book is purchased by teens and adults.
To confuse you further, let’s talk about the difference between light and dark paranormal.
Again, no absolutes but in simplest terms, think of dark as the bloody creatures—vamps and shifters. In adult markets, dark paranormal is often sexier, but that doesn’t normally apply to YA. Light paranormal is typically futuristic or fantasy. Again, the lines aren’t clear; worldbuilding in most urban fantasy and dystopia novels are typically dark and brooding. My definition of light paranormal: if you made the book into a movie, the scenery would have sunshine. Every day wouldn’t be overcast or foggy.
What’s your definition?