It’s about how they journey through the worlds authors create.
I have always believed that fiction, particularly young adult fiction, is the most powerful form of literature. Having read countless titles over the course of my middle school and high school years, I have learned more about life and myself from fiction than any other singular experience.
The library at school was my second home. As soon as I was old enough that my teachers would let me go by myself, I was one of the library’s most frequent customers. I absolutely hated the two book limit imposed upon me in elementary school. I would go back as often as possible to keep switching out my choices. By the time I got to middle school and eventually into high school, I was taking out five to ten books at a time depending on how many could fit in my backpack.
My book of choice was always fiction, usually fantasy. But that fantasy came in all its guises: epic fantasy, dystopian fantasy, contemporary fantasy, fantasy with a side of romance, etc. I loved being swept away by the worlds that authors were creating right in front of my eyes and by the characters who were running through these worlds. They were a wonderful way to escape from a slow day in class and offer me the entertainment of a brand new adventure every time. I devoured fantasy novels like they were my mom’s mac and cheese. Every new release brought me a renewed sense of joy and wonder that just couldn’t be matched.
Fiction books taught me my most important life lessons. I learned what qualities I wanted most in my friends: loyalty, honesty, the willingness to follow me into battle against dragons. I even made a few fictional friends within the pages of Harry Potter and the Percy Jackson series. I felt validated by the contemporary young adult romances I read with the main characters’ struggles to fit in at their school or in their family. I learned to be more in touch with my own emotions. Of course, I learned the most from my beloved fantasy novels. They taught me that even though I’m not the biggest risk taker in the world, I wanted an adventurous life. I wanted to forge my own path and pick up close friends and even love along the way. Most importantly, I wanted to be the star of my own story.
I think that is what is so amazing about young adult fiction. The readers who love this genre have this amazing ability to see themselves in the world that they’re reading about. Sometimes they are the protagonist, sometimes they are the lovable best friend, and other times they just want to be themselves wandering through the world. Young people who love to read take so much out of literature, often more than the rest of the world. I mean, have any of you ever seen fans argue over which relationships are the best or which Hogwarts House is the best or how the last book in a series should resolve? (I know from experience; I have been an integral part of those discussions.) The best fiction writers know how to draw readers into the storyline and into the world they have created and then let them loose within it.
Over the course of this article series, I plan on diving deep inside my book, Chasing Fae, and the stories within it. You will get an intimate look at the writing process, the characters, the plot, and the universe itself. I hope that as you read my book and these companion articles, you will be drawn into the world as I have been while writing it. Come along for the ride!