Friday, 15 May 2009

Author Blog: Kate Welshman

Kate Welshman's debut novel, Posse is currently beautifying the shelves here in Australia. She has kindly agreed to be spotlighted this week, allowing me to ask many (possibly painfully annoying) questions and set her the task of writing a guest blog. Take it away Kate!

Writing young adult fiction is a treat. The best thing about it is telling the story through a young adult mouthpiece. In my opinion, it’s the age of the narrator that determines whether a book is for the young adult market. The themes don’t matter that much, as long as events are described from a young adult’s point of view.

I loved my narrator, Amy, and her friends, the ‘posse’. Like many young adults, Amy has a realistic but optimistic view of the world. She’s physically mature, has sexual desire, and isn’t blind to the negative aspects of human nature. Her voice is strong, lively and sometimes quite sarcastic. I don’t know why sarcasm gets such a bad rap. In my opinion, it’s far from the lowest form of wit. It may, in fact, be the highest.

In the best young adult fiction, main characters evolve. They are not exactly the same at the end of the book as they are at the beginning. In Posse, the action takes place over just a week, but Amy’s world is turned upside down. Though most teens probably don’t experience events as tumultuous as those in Posse, change does happen quickly at that age. Big realizations occur. People are not who you thought they were. What was good becomes bad. The world isn’t as simple as it was when you were a kid.

The pleasure of writing young adult fiction is approaching the development of the character away from the child toward the fully-fledged adult in a positive and funny way. What I love about Amy is that she handles her crisis with style and elegance. She processes the changes without compromising herself or becoming disillusioned. That, in my view, is the essence of the young adult hero or heroine.

At the moment I can’t imagine writing in another genre. Young adult fiction is uplifting and transforming, for both reader and writer.

Thank you so much to Kate and Yae for making this possible. It's been a honour to present a great, new YA voice to the blogging world.

Competition - Remember that you need to comment on each of Kate's Author Spotlight posts this week (Reader's Snapshot, Interview and today's guest blog) to be in the running to win a copy of the awesome Posse. International. Winner will be posted Sunday so have your comments written asap.


Steph Bowe said...

Great post! I agree, I agree, I agree.
And I badly want to read Posse now ;-)


Summer said...

That was a good guest blog. I feel excited about YA books for the same reason.

prophecygirl said...

I'm glad YA authors are so passionate about their intended audience. It's brilliant!

Shalonda said...

She is so right about main characters needing to evolve. I dislike when a book's main character is static. Number 1 it's boring! Number 2, even my 7th grade students know that this is a huge no-no in creative writing.

It seems like Kate's main character in Posse is highly dynamic. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to read it. Any word on whether it will be printing in the US?

Anonymous said...

For diversity, try young adult fiction by overseas authors. Eloquent Books/AEG Publishing, New York has just released an Australian action/adventure novel, called Dangerous Days - The Autobiography of a Photojournalist, aimed at ages 12+.

Paradox said...

I've tried writing stories, and have some unfinished novel attempts, and character development and evolution is always the hardest part for me.

Khy said...

I'm with Shalonda. Need Posse in the US! Shalonda and I will riot for it, I bet.