05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Remembering My Teen Years and Writing About Them

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 didnt say hi back, or devastated when someone treated me badly. I remember thinking that my life was awful and I couldnt 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 wouldnt 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 Ive 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, Im not alone in this, or someone older to say, I remember that. Whether its 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 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.


Diana McCollum said...

Lynn your books sound wonderful. And how lucky you are to live in Alaska with all the wonderful history of the gold rush days. I knew a couple in California, they passed away a long time ago, they were miners in Alaska in the early 1900's. She told me when she got pregnant with her first child she went by mule on a two day trip to the doctor to confirm her pregnancy. Miners were and are tough and resilient. Great blog post!

Sarah Raplee said...

Hi Lynn,

Thank you for Guesting at Romancing the Genres. your reasons for writing YA and NA Romance make total sense. Love your setting and time period!

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Thanks, Diana!

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Aw, thank you, Sarah!

Judith Ashley said...

So glad you could visit with us this weekend, Lynn. Because of those highs and lows during your teen years, you've a wealth of emotions and stories to draw from. If I was asked if I want to live my teen years over again, my response would be a resounding "no". Now my thirties? That was a very good decade.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Yes, Judith, the thirties are pretty good! Thanks for having me on the blog. I enjoyed it!