Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Guest Post by Doug Solter on Why He Writes Young Adult Fiction

Doug's latest release
First, I would like to thank Joy for allowing me to do a guest post on her blog. Today I'd like to share with you why I write young adult fiction. I sometimes ask myself this question, “why do I like writing stories about teenagers?” Shouldn’t I be writing about the adult experience? Isn’t that more of a “serious” subject worthy of serious literature? Well, I’ve found that I'm not interested in the normal teen problems of who to date or who to take to prom, or why was that girl staring at me in biology? What I do love is writing from a teen’s point of view. How they see the world. Their hopes and dreams. Their fears and concerns. I know what adults think about, and quite frankly, it’s not that interesting because I already live that life every day. So I tend to enjoy writing stories about the experiences of extra-ordinary teen characters who lead fascinating lives. Or lives I wish I had when I was a teen.

Another perk of writing young adult fiction is being able to finally understand a group of humans that have eluded me for over thirty-five years. Women. Now, do I fully understand them? No. But-- hear me out—I have learned how to empathize with their worldview and understand their fears and concerns. Reading about those young female heroines of YA novels gave me a new perspective on how women think. For instance, how they see other women, how they see themselves, and how they see men. Also, the anxieties and fears we both share. Similarities that define both sexes as human beings. It's been an eye-opening experience. 

I wish I had this knowledge when I was a young man because it would have helped me understand that girls were not these strange creatures with alien-type brains…but they were more like me than I could ever imagine.

 In terms of the young adult book world, I think my approach to writing young adult novels is different from other authors. I tend to write larger-than-life stories full of escapism, instead of a teen drama set in high school. There 's nothing wrong with those types of books. Far from it. Many of those books help teens navigate through serious subjects and provides them with the power to take control of their problems and concerns. Or sometimes it can show them that they are not alone.

But I think some teens want that escapism from their normal lives. They want to dream. They want to be inspired. They want to stretch themselves beyond what they think is possible. 

If I can help one young reader think beyond their four walls of existence, and embrace the larger world around them, then I consider my job done.


Doug Solter began writing screenplays in 1998, then made the switch to writing young adult fiction in 2008. Doug has worked in television for over twenty years. So far in his life, Doug has enjoyed wine on the streets of Barcelona. Hiked the mountains. Loved a cat. Rang up vanilla lattes at Starbucks. Enjoyed a Primanti's sandwich in Pittsburgh. And one summer he baked pizzas and crazy bread for money when Michael Keaton was Batman. Doug lives in Oklahoma and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.