If you don't have a favorite song or a favorite band, I'm not sure you're human. Music plays a huge role in my writing (and it does for other authors, too!) and this awesome video from EpicReads is full of quotes about music from ten great YA titles: [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moZ3Urp6e4E&w=560&h=315]
EpicReads has posted this excellent video examining the roots of Young Adult (YA) literature and the influential titles that have popped up over the years. The Outsiders by SE Hinton gets a special mention that it rightfully deserves: that book is just as meaningful to teens today as it was when it first came out.
Written by Grant Goodman, 2/16/2015 Time travel. Rocket ships. Wizards. Dystopias.
You will meet many people in your life who look down on “those kinds of stories.” They are the serious types. They believe in their serious literature.
We can let them believe in that.
They can have their stories about sad people in sad cities. Because, honestly, we read those books, too. Every now and again, we need a palate cleanser, a waystone that lets us step back into our own world.
The deep truth is this: we like other worlds. We like worlds that don’t already exist.
Besides, the biggest milestones of human storytelling tend to be about magic and dystopias.
The Odyssey is full of witches and sea monsters and Cyclops. Beowulf fought a dragon. Shakespeare filled his plays with ghosts and wizards and prophecy. Mary Shelley brought the dead back to life. Jules Verne sent humanity to explore the moon long before John F. Kennedy was born.
Reading fantasy and science-fiction connects us to the roots of the world. The desires to explore and to escape and to imagine are built into us.
That’s why we need Suzanne Collins to send us into the arena. That’s why we need Darren Shan to show us the hidden world of vampires. That’s why Ray Bradbury once wrote, “I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”
So go ahead and dive into sci-fi and fantasy.
But don’t be afraid to dip your toes into realistic fiction, either. There’s excellence to be found there, too.