PW's Q & A with Paul Rudnick contains some interesting nuggets.
I could not agree more with Rudnick about why it's exciting to write YA:
"I love the storytelling aspect of YA books; I wanted the book to be carefully plotted with twists and turns and surprises, and that’s something that’s only available in novels, especially YA novels. It almost seems that in adult novels, there’s so much latitude that it sometimes becomes laziness, and writers can forget about entertaining the reader. Reading YA books is so pleasurable; they really deliver."
The one thing I would add is that YA also seems to matter more. Even when we're telling the stories and entertaining readers, it feels like we are sharing something with them that we want them to know. I don't mean "life lessons," but something more like, "Yeah, life can be like that sometimes. See? Someone else has been there. You aren't alone."
Check out the cover of Rudnick's novel, Gorgeous:
Does this not look like a "girl cover"?
I saw this not long after I read about Maureen Johnson's coverflip challenge. It puts an interesting twist on that concept. Here we have a male author whose novel has a "girly" cover that, given what I've read of the book, suits it perfectly. So maybe the issue isn't so much the author's gender, but the perceived gender of the novel.
And, to get back up on a soapbox I've been on (far too) many times before--why shouldn't a guy read a book written for girls? Why should that be a problem? Shouldn't he be given points for doing some research into how girls work and what they like? Or a book that is simply a good story, with a girl as the main character? Why oh why should anybody think there's anything wrong with that?
Off the soapbox now. But--
What do you think about the Paul Rudnick's cover and Maureen Johnson's coverflip challenge? And book covers in general?
Why do you write for teens? Or, if you don't, why don't you?