By Suzanne D Williams
Set aside your adult mindset for a moment and return with me to the days of your youth, to that time of life when all the little trivial things mattered – that your friends might see you wearing that awful shirt your grandmother bought you, that your hair has a poof in it because you slept wrong last night, that Billy said that Andrew said that Martin was talking about you.
That is the key to writing YA (young adult), taking all those little things we adults have moved beyond and compounding them into a major event. As an adult, I can now put on a shirt with a hole and a grease stain and walk right out my door, but a thirteen-year-old girl can’t because he might see her in it. I can also smile at the people in the grocery store despite the fact what I have on doesn’t fit and makes me look frumpy and still have a great day. But not a teen girl or boy.
That is part of the attraction of youth, and that is exactly what I try to capture in every young adult story I write. It’s falling down on your face, like Daphne Merrill does at the feet of Carter Pruitt in my latest short story, THE BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE, and still getting up again.
I laughed my way through writing that story, from Daphne’s parents’ out-of-date mentality to their constant bantering, to her falling in the pool and losing her pants, all of that is exactly how I would have seen life if I was in her shoes. In fact, I pulled some of it from my own life, from my daughter’s stories, and that of my friends, which makes it that much more amusing.
And so precious when first love blooms.
There again, we adults can learn something. We’re all about long-range goals and planning for the future. What will come tomorrow or next week? But to a boy or girl fighting against raging hormones and parental rules, there’s only the right now, this moment, to consider. Will he look at me today? Will he notice I had my hair done? Will he kiss me or not?
I think we adults could stand to step out of our comfy nine-to-five worlds, our zones of critique and control, put down the authority we yield on a daily basis, and curl up for an hour and just pretend we’re young again. Pretend we’re living seven days when something happened to put me next to him who I’d never seen before, never thought would be seen by before, and yet find something so beautiful in the process.
Really, the more we can do this, the better we are. I know I am.
All three of my best-selling YA stories: ME & TIMOTHY COOPER, I KISSED THE BOY NEXT DOOR, and THE BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE are now available in paperback. Enter to win your copy by leaving a comment on this blog along with a valid email address.
Fall in love all over again.Feel-good, best-selling romance.
ME & TIMOTHY COOPER — Seventeen-year-old Taylor Lawton has a crush on Timothy Cooper, a boy at her school. A turn of fate then throws them both for a loop. For an entire week,
they will stay beneath the same roof. Will this be too much togetherness? What is Timothy’s painful secret?
I KISSED THE BOY NEXT DOOR — The new boy next door is not so new. To Lucy McKinsey, he’s a face from her past and a childhood memory of summer camp and a dare. Kiss Jackson Phillips. But what a fourteen-year-old would do to impress her friends, changes in three years. Right? Yet this time Jackson isn’t the same as he was. What is the pain he carries inside? Can a well-meant kiss cure the boy next door?
THE BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE — Accidents happen to Daphne Merrill a lot. So falling face-down at the feet of Carter Pruitt while on vacation was simply another in a long list of her misfortunes. Yet what started out as the worst day ever is looking up with each minute that passes. Is it possible he actually likes her for who she is? Or is he yet another person laughing behind her back?
Suzanne D. Williams is a native Floridian, wife, mother, photographer, and writer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes a monthly column for Steves-Digicams.com on the subject of digital photography, as well as devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors.