Jeffe Kennedy Blog
RITA ® Award-Winning Author of Fantasy Romance
I’m actually planning on talking about the YA/Adult Fantasy divide on my next podcast too! Reason being, I was invited to be the YA Author Guest of Honor at a nearby SFF con. When I got the invite, I wrote my agent wondering if I should decline since I don’t actually write YA. Though my book has been shelved as YA on Goodreads and there’s a lot of crossover, it’s adult. Probably only suitable for older/mature teens. My agent said I should absolutely not decline and this would be a great chance to meet new readers, and some of my author friends echoed that sentiment. So I accepted, with the above caveat. The conference organizers didn’t seem to care *shrugs*.
But I do feel a little conflicted still. Many female SFF authors have their adult works categorized as YA. I’ve seen Fonda Lee, SA Chakraborty and others talk about this Twitter. I think it does have to do with their stories being female centered with strong romantic elements and being more “popular fiction” than “literary fiction.” It is frustrating, but so often this is coming from the readers themselves, so I’m not sure what we can do about it.
I’m SO GLAD you said this!! On the one hand, I’m happy to reach those readers. When I mentioned the “YA vibe” thing to my agent, she said, “yes, but we want that audience!” So, I agree that you should absolutely do this. But it IS weird. I think it truly is this idea that if it’s written by a woman, it must be for teen girls. Especially if the protagonist is female, let alone if there’s kissing. Probably the commercial aspect factors in, too. My problem is that “YA” often equals “no sex” in some readers’ minds, and that is NOT my books. We should do a joint podcast to discuss!
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