Maggie Stiefvater, A.S. King, and other YA authors came together August 9 to talk about possible sequels to their novels, the role of social media in their lives, and their different approaches to writing series.
Speaking on “The Rockin’ Women of YA” session during SLJ’s SummerTeen online event, the panelists—which also included Nina LaCour and Jackie Morse Kessler—emphasized the need to write from a universal, rather than a male or female, perspective.
LaCour, the author of Hold Still (Dutton, 2009) and The Disenchantments (Dutton, 2012), says she initially found adapting a masculine point of view daunting but concluded that, “Even though some experiences are probably uniquely boy experiences…really it’s all about the human experience.” King, who was a tomboy growing up, says she prefers using male protagonists. And Stiefvater explains that she particularly likes the fact that her book covers appeal to both male and female readers.
Both Stiefvater and Kessler contrasted their approaches to writing series. Kessler says her “Riders of the Apocalypse” series, which concludes next spring, was an accident. There were no plans to write a sequel to the first book, Hunger (Houghton/Graphia, 2010), but Kessler says her editor asked her to write additional books focusing on the other three Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Stiefvater, on the other hand, intricately plans the plot points of her series well in advance. Despite her love of the world she created in The Scorpio Races (Scholastic, 2011), she has no plans for a sequel because, she says, the story is complete.
LaCour and Stiefvater say they’re actively involved in creating their own book trailers. King and Kessler say they’ve had to slow down on promoting their work because of their heavy workload. Although social media has made marketing easier for the authors, King cautions against overdoing it, stating that, “The Internet is not a billboard.”
Several authors say they’re also branching out beyond YA, with King co-writing an adult novel, LaCour returning to an adult novel she started in graduate school, and both King and Kessler exploring options for younger readers.
Other SLJ SummerTeen Interviews: