Why I Write YA

Posted on fallfifteeners.wix.com yesterday:

Despite appearances (translation: I am old), it makes sense that I write young adult fiction.

Let me explain. For the past decade, I have been held prisoner in my home by two socially-addicted teenagers with the same last name as me. My captivity started one night when I foolishly tried to escape for a relaxing evening of adult conversation and company. Warning: Parents of Teenagers- Do not try this at home. 

I returned home early to find scattered liquor bottles and garbage strewn about my basement. My son either threw a rager or wanted to surprise me by remodeling my basement in the contemporary decorating style of Bourbon Street the day after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.

Consequently, I started hanging around my house more and more unless I knew my sons were:

1. Out of town.

2. At an activity where their remote destination could be confirmed by multiple tracking devices.


3. In police custody.

Desperate for a night out, I once considered restraining them. Of course, this was a ridiculous idea. If DCFS found out and temporarily removed me from our home, my heartbroken sons would surely deal with the loss by converting our residence into a fraternity house.

Okay, so I'm exaggerating. But the point is, my kids were always ridiculously social and active. Imagine Tigger on adderall. Now toss in raging hormones, the life philosophy You have to be young and foolish to be old and wise, and 16,540 friends on Facebook.

You get the idea. I started hanging around more and keeping an eye out.

Come to find out, I like my kids. Who knew?  And despite my title of "Meanest Mom with the Stupidest Rules," my sons (and their friends) like me, too. I don’t have just two sons, I’ve had a hundred kids call me mom over the years. (Momma-Lo, actually. Don't ask...).

This is one reason I write young adult: it's what I know. Adolescence is the noise that fills my house: the laughter around the fire pit, the music streaming from speakers, the laughter from girls trying to impress the bragging boys who are trying to impress them back.

It's amazing what stories they'll share with you around the island in your kitchen if you're willing to listen. Sometimes, they give me nightmares. Mostly, they crack me up. And always, they remind me how complicated (and simple), fun (and traumatic) life is when you're perched at its starting gate.