First of all, congratulations, Katie! Welcome to the world of debut fiction. And readers, if you haven’t yet left a comment this week, why not stop in and say hi? You could win a signed copy of Bad Girls Don’t Die.
Young adult fiction has taken off in a big way over the past few years. Everyone’s reading it–even adults. Just look at the Twilight phenomenon. One thing puzzles me, though. Why is so much YA fiction based in the supernatural?
I don’t read that much YA (my kids are still little), so I did a little tour on Amazon and B & N, and it turns out that there are a lot of werewovles, demons, vampires, fairies, and ghosts romping around in the teen literary world. Bad Girls Don’t Die has a nasty ghost, some creepy dolls, and possession in it.
Then I started remembering being a teenager. For me, much of adolescence felt exactly like a form of possession. It’s such a bizarre time in life, a period when you’re half-formed and you know it. You really could be almost anything, you’re changing every day, and the machinations of the adult universe are still not fully revealed. So is it such a stretch to extend the metaphor to include otherworldly creatures?
Teenagers don’t do anything by halves, so it makes sense that the supernatural, where themes of life are writ large, speaks to them. And don’t look down your nose at the subject, either. Some of the classic works in literature are “supernatural.” Frankenstein, Dr. Faustus, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and how about Paradise Lost or The Divine Comedy?
Clearly, Katie is in terrific company. I hope her book finds lots of readers, young and old, who aren’t afraid of ghosts, and, more importantly, aren’t afraid to remember what it’s like when the larger world is still full of mystery and danger.