I have to get something off my chest.
So I've been getting a lot of emails lately from readers who connected with EVERNEATH, and by far this is the best part of being an author so far.
Some of these readers have questions about the story. The questions are about everything and anything, but they usually start out with, "Why did you decide to do --------- and not ----------?"
It's a difficult thing to answer, because the answer is usually the same, and therefore, it's kind of boring. But here it is:
"Because I felt the story called for it."
I can tell by reading some of the emails that some readers think there is a deeper agenda going on. A "deeper agenda" like:
It's a YA book, and I, as the author, think that YA books need to have certain standards, and so that's why I made the decision.
Because, as the author, I have a deeper responsibility to spread a message to teenagers about x, y, or z.
As the author, my own personal beliefs are x, y, and z, and therefore my characters' beliefs are the same
But I'm telling you if I tried to write a book based on any of these "deeper agendas", I would fail miserably, for several reasons.
1. It would feel more like work and less like a passion
2. I would never presume to set myself up as the voice of morality for teenagers
3. It would be a really boring book
This doesn't mean that when I write, I can shut off all the aspects of my life that make me me. First, that's impossible, and second, that would be a boring book as well. But it does mean that when I'm facing a turning point in the book, the question in my mind is:
"What would the character do?"
"What do I want the reader to learn?"
That way, any themes that do emerge come organically from the story, and not from a "to-do checklist" I made up before I wrote the book. Does this make sense? I'd love your thoughts too.
I'm off to LTUE for the day. Hope to see some of you there! If not, have a great weekend!!