Fictionist had the opportunity to ask author C.C. Hunter a few questions! Hunter’s new book, This Heart of Mine, came out February 27. In lieu of writing a hefty summary, check out Hunter’s book trailer below:
Want to hear more? There’s an excerpt of This Heart of Mine at the end of our short Q&A! Check it out!
1. Do you think the line between YA and adult is blurring further? Why or why not?
Hmm… Good question. I think certain things are becoming blurred, but I also think there are certain tropes and themes in young adult (YA) novels that will never go away.
I think a lot of adults started reading young adult novels because the genre was less guideline specific than say regular romance. In YA, you can have a romance, but you can also deal with a wide span of other life issues. In a way, young adult is similar to women’s fiction in that the novel could include anything as long as it tells a story and holds the interest of a core audience. A good question is, has the genre changed because writers and publishers are now aware that the audience includes both teens and adults? Maybe a little. As I write, I’m aware that my audience spans across the age boundaries. While I get into the mindset and skin of young adult, I attempt to approach subjects in a way that will appeal to teens and adults alike.
One could also ask if the genre is changing because our young adults are changing. Today’s teens are educated in all kinds of issues. From drugs, depression, death, sex, homosexuality, transgender issues, and eating disorders. You name it, most teens know about it and deal with it in some aspect of their lives. Writers no longer have to avoid certain subjects and some don’t. I think the biggest change happening is not that the books are dealing with some of the tougher issues, but that the characters are aware of the issues. Even a book that does not deal with some of the harder subjects, it will probably have a reference to them because these issues are the norm for young adults.
I while I believe the blurring is happening, I think there are core threads and themes found in most young adult novels, and I think a lot of writers try to stay true to them. It’s not just the age of the protagonist that makes a YA. It’s the theme of first times. First loves, first kiss, first sexual experiences. It’s the theme of change, self-discovery, and finding one’s independence. However, there will always be writers willing to write for a certain audience. If the market moves toward the sweeter-themed and less issue oriented books, writers will be there to produce them.
2. What do you think is the biggest problem or obstacle facing the YA publishing/writing community today?
First, the publishing industry is changing. But the biggest problem in the YA industry may be the blurring that you are seeing in books. Writing books that teens can relate to, but subject matters that appeal to a larger audience. Some of the more popular books out today are dealing with hard issues and deciding where to cross the line and where not to cross the lines can be hard. Then again, teens are and have always been a tough audience.
3. What’s the easiest way to brighten your day?
To have a good writing day. One where I get so deep in the story that the characters practically write the book for me. And knowing I have a good dinner and glass of red wine waiting on me at the end of the day helps, too.