A note from Headbuzzer: This week, author Maria Padian will be visiting on our blog! Maria is the author of Out of Nowhere, and this post is her final post! It's not goodbye though - say hello to Maria on Twitter @MPadian, or stop by the board we set up for Out of Nowhere to chat about it!
On Writing for Young People
By Maria Padian
Here’s something you won’t often hear adults say: I love teenagers.
Well... I do. Which is ironic, because I certainly didn’t love being a teenager. But I love writing for them. I love standing in a room full of them, reading one of my stories to them, and listening as they laugh and cry and gasp along with me.
Teenagers don’t read with pencils in their hands, carefully taking notes or marking the text. They read with their hearts, with eyes open and wondering and willing to follow you into the darkest and loudest and funniest and scariest places. They want daring stories, and characters who say shocking things, or who stand up in a crowded room and yell, “The Emperor has no clothes!” They want the truth, even if it’s delivered like a punch on the nose. They want to lock into plots like they lock into a wild roller coaster, feeling that drop in the stomach when they peer over the edge, screaming the whole way down, then, as the ride comes to a close, declaring, “That was awesome! Let’s do it again!”
The books and stories I remember loving the most in my life were the books I read as a teenager. I spent hours in college “studying” James and Joyce and Woolf and Eliot… but it was Charlotte’s Web that made me cry, and Johnny Tremain that kept me up all night, reading with a flashlight under the covers.
As an author, my dream is to write for people who read with their hearts. And that’s why I love teenagers.