Most new authors start out writing the kind of books they like to read. It’s no surprise then, that teen writers often place their stories in the realms of fantasy and the paranormal, magic, other worlds and dimensions, alternate histories, as well as distopian and apocalyptic societies. Such imaginative settings make for some of the best-selling books (electronic and paper) in the teen and young adult categories.
Yes, most of the big-name authors of teen/YA fiction are adults. But Christopher Paolini started writing Eragon when he was only fifteen. He published it with his parents’ company when he was nineteen and it was picked up by a major publisher the next year. Eventually, the four books of the dragon series would sell more than 50 million copies.
He’s not alone. Samantha Shannon signed a deal for a seven book series when she was still a student. The series, which begins with The Bone Season, is set in a dystopian, supernatural world. Helena Coggan wrote the first draft of The Catalyst when she was only thirteen. She was fifteen and still at school when the dystopian fantasy was published this year.
Caitlin Moran also published The Chronicles of Narmo in her teens. First novels Solitaire (Alice Oseman) and Take Back the Skies (Lucy Saxon) were published when the authors were 19 years old. After self-publishing her first novel, All That Is Red, at the age of 14, Anna Caltabiano gained over 120,000 followers on Twitter.
While these success stories are somewhat rare, they’re great examples of what can happen when you fearlessly follow your dream. But add some basic knowledge about the craft of writing, editing, publishing and even agenting to your skills base. Check out TangledWords‘ previous posts on many of these topics in the category listing to the right. And be sure to look at the Tips for Teen Writers page at http://donnamaloy.com.
Coggan’s advice: “Read How Not To Write A Novel by Sandra Newman and Howard Mittelmark. It is genius.”