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Why We Need Realistic Heroines in YA

22911719I worked hard as a teenager. We didn’t have money; I was the only person in my immediate family to go to university. I was utterly focussed on creating a life for myself that wasn’t like the one I’d grown up in. I studied a lot. I didn’t go out much. Didn’t drink, didn’t take chances.

Looking back, I think I was a typical teenager.

Some of my friends worked hard, like me. Others didn’t have that drive. Some were naturally clever, and sailed through school to university. One of my friends dropped out of school at sixteen and went to work as a mechanic in his uncle’s garage.

All of them were typical teenagers.

Like adults, teenagers are a varied mix of the spoiled and the lazy, the tough and the smart, the brave and the fearful.

It is important to me that my books should reflect this diversity.

I find it unbelievable when teen characters in a book are ALL brave and feisty. Or when they’re all super smart with massive vocabularies. Or when they are all hard-working and noble.

I just don’t recognise that world.

In my books, I’ve tried to create characters readers will believe in. Continue Reading