I’m the YA Triple Scoop’s resident paranormal and historical writer who is, of course, currently working on a contemporary. All I can say is, these things happen.
So I guess my tastes are eclectic—both as a reader and as a writer. When the little voices in my head start talking to me I know I ignore them at my own peril, so naturally the high school students in the contemporary could not be ignored. But usually the voices insist on paranormal or historical stories, or best of all a combination of both!
This is true for both my YA writer self, and my alter ego—the adult romance writer. My first published novel is a contemporary paranormal with a tiny historical twist, and its prequel is equal parts paranormal and historical. Except for that current work in progress, the contemporary, all of my writing falls into these categories.
I’ve wondered that myself! My interest in the paranormal is probably the easiest to explain. For almost as long as I can remember I’ve had the occasional odd psychic experiences, ranging from BIG unexplainable occurrences of precognition—the kind that can really shake you up for a lifetime—, to the pretty run of the mill premonitions, like getting a strong feeling the day before it hits that the Bay Area is going to have an earthquake. When these things happen to you it makes you take an interest in unexplainable phenomena. It also makes you freak out when you dream about tsunamis or earthquakes or harm coming to loved ones. (NOT every dream is psychic—you just never know which ones are!) One of my favorite YA authors has mentioned in interviews that she’s had some similar experiences to mine—in fact one is almost identical to one of mine—and interestingly she is a writer of paranormal fiction. So maybe it really does go hand in hand.
As for historical, the answer is simple. I’ve just always loved history and am always entranced by the stories of people’s lives long ago. As a storyteller I like weaving my fiction in with the threads of historical facts. For those months that I’m writing that historical fiction it’s like I myself have traveled through time to that particular time and place. Next best thing to a time machine. Oh, and I love doing research! I can hear a lot of groans right now, but I’m just weird that way. Love it!
After I finish the contemporary, I have a story waiting for me that I’ve wanted to write for years. I’m not sure why I’ve put it off so long, except now I’m happy I have, because I think my writing and storytelling skills have improved with each manuscript I’ve finished. There’s a notebook waiting for me with all of the characters sketched out, some of the historical research completed, and the general plot planned. It is the perfect blend of historical and paranormal, and the kind of book—a subgenre of the paranormal/historical— that has always been my favorite. That’s all I want to say about it now, but I’ll probably say more here when the real writing happens.
I love writing YA because you get to mix genres in ways that the publishing world doesn’t let you get away with in books aimed at the adult audience. It makes for a very liberating writing experience. And besides, I love reading YA, so writing it is awesome fun!!