Yikes! It's been too long. Do you guys remember me?

If not, I understand. I keep meaning to write. Actually, I do write—but it's almost all in books these days! I'm chalking that up to "a good thing." 

Since I've started focusing on young adult fiction, I've actually enjoyed writing more than ever. It's kind of freeing, to know that the work I'm doing can be enjoyed by a broader audience. I used to worry about little things, like whether or not I should include cursing ("Is it realistic for this scene if the guy yells 'yaaarg' after getting his hand cut off?"). Or I'd concern myself with questions of how to define my audience. That's done, though. I have a pretty good feel for my audience now. God bless ya. 

I love YA fiction as both a writer and a reader. Recently I've read a couple of articles in which the writers actually made absurd claims, like "Yes, you should be ashamed for reading YA fiction." One writer sent an open letter to JK Rowling, telling her that if she loved literature she should stop writing. These are publicity stunts of a sort—banal attempts to get the numbers up and get chatter going by assassinating and degrading fiction that people actually love to read.

It's kind of idiotic, frankly.

YA fiction has an amazing capacity for reaching an audience with a truth couched in understandable and relatable terms. Realism? Sometimes, and sometimes not. But truth? Definitely. You can learn a lot about the world by reading a fantasy intended for teens. You might even reconnect with a part of yourself you've been missing.

I loved "the Hunger Games" and "Harry Potter." I've read books that fell into the YA category that I thought were far more powerful than much of the literature I've read. And yeah, I've read a lot. More than most people, I'd wager. For characterization and engrossing storytelling, I'd put money on a YA book over a Pulitzer winner every time. The face that they're more fun to read is a big bonus.

I'm not sure where this anti-YA movement is coming from, or why it matters to these people what other people want to read. But I'm incredibly proud to be a part of the YA fiction scene. I plan to stay here a good, long while. 

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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.


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