By Lynn Lovegreen
Why do I write YA? Because I remember what it was like.
My young adult years were typical in many ways. My emotions kept me on a roller coaster, thanks mostly to hormones coursing through my body. There were big highs, and big lows. I recall being upset when my current crush didn’t say hi back, or devastated when someone treated me badly. I remember thinking that my life was awful and I couldn’t do anything about it. There were times when the prospect of entering the world out there was scary, and figuring out who I really was daunting. I wouldn’t want to relive those days.
But there were highs as well as lows. I remember the giddy feeling of my first kiss, the excitement of performing in high school plays. I loved the school dances and the fun of Spanish club celebrations. Sometimes life was wonderful. The closeness I felt with my best friends was something I’ve only matched with a few people since then. I have a lot of fond memories, too.
I dig into my younger years when I write. Most of my characters are young adults and feel the same kinds of things I did back then. I am drawn to describe what that was like, hoping it will help a teen reader to say, yes, I’m not alone in this, or someone older to say, I remember that. Whether it’s 1900 or 1980 or today, teens have many of the same emotions. We can all relate.
That is why writing YA or NA is so rewarding. It’s about more than entertainment, although I hope my readers will be entertained, too. It’s about connections. The best compliment I’ve had was a review Julie B. Cosgrove did of Quicksilver to Gold. She said, “This is a great tale of embracing who you are, struggling to achieve your goals, and discovering the value of family.” She got what the character was going through, and that made my day.
When I was teaching, sometimes my students would ask me, “Would you go back to your teens if you could?” I always answered no, because I remember the bad as well as the good. But if my writing can help one young person through their own roller coaster ride, then I’ve done something worthwhile.
Book Blurb for Quicksilver to Gold, released Aug. 21st:
Thieves took their claims…Now she wants to steal his heart. Gold mining is in Jeannie Kelly’s blood. But it’s a dangerous time to be an honest miner in Nome, Alaska—claim jumpers have invaded the territory. Jeannie has set her sights on Clint Tilghman, the strong, quiet man next door to her family’s claim. Clint fights his feelings for the impulsive lady miner, fearing he’ll lose his independence. Jeannie tries to change her tomboyish ways to attract Clint and gain respect from others, but there’s a lot to learn amidst gunplay and bar fights. Jeannie must woo Clint and beat the claim jumpers before summer’s end.
Lynn Lovegreen grew up in Alaska, and still lives there. She taught English for 20 years before retiring to make more time for writing. She enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and family, and hitting targets with a cowboy action shooting club.
Her young adult historical romances are set in the Alaska Gold Rush, a great time for drama, romance, and independent characters.
See her website at www.lynnlovegreen.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.
Her novels Fools Gold, Quicksilver to Gold and novella Worth Her Weight in Gold are available through Prism Book Group or your favorite book vendor.