Monday, October 19, 2009

You Don't Suppose This Was Marketed As YA Because It Sounds So Much Like The Hunger Games, Do You?

Salon has an interview with Lise Haines, author of Girl in the Arena, which, at least in the interview, comes off sounding like The Hunger Games. Some of the commenters thought so, too.

Though Bloomsbury states in its catalog that Girl in the Arena is Haines' debut novel, according to the interview and her website, she's written two others for adults. In discussing why it was published as YA, she tells Salon, "...I just wrote the novel I had to write. I let others sort out how to sell and market it."

She's not the only writer who has said things like that. While I can see those writers' point, it seems to me that attitude comes from a belief that writing is some kind of mystical and otherworldly experience, an art that can't be defined. My belief is that art involves craft and that writers should have control of their craft and technique and know what they're writing. Thus, you should know that you're writing a young adult vs. adult novel.

On the other hand, I have to admit, if I wrote a kids' book and a publisher said, "We want to publish this as adult," I'd probably say, "Go for it." You can control your work while you're working on it, but afterwards things get a little murky.

1 comment:

Keri said...

At BookExpo, a salesperson for Bloomsbury USA was doing some really great booktalks of their books. I actually took a few I wouldn't have normally picked up because she made them sound so good. When she got to Girl in the Arena she said, "This one is for the Hunger Games fans" and we snatched it out of her hands as fast as we could.

Still haven't read it though. But then again, I've got stuff I was dying to get that I haven't gotten to yet. Summer book clubs killed me.