There was at least one channel that aired English-language movies. I remember one evening when my boyfriend was flipping through to find something we both could watch, and I caught a glimpse of Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery duking it out on Alcatraz. You know what I'm talking about: The Rock, an awesome 1996 action thriller and undoubtedly Michael Bay's finest work.
"Go back!" I squawked. "I love that movie!"
|Old Nicholas Cage, I miss you so much|
My boyfriend gave me a sideways glance. "No, you don't," he said.
It's hard to convey the precise tone that this was said in, but basically he implied that because I am female, I cannot love action movies. Apoplectic is the proper word to describe my reaction. Once I'd calmed down, we watched the rest of the movie together, and he's never questioned my love of action movies since.
Something we hear over and over is how the YA market is geared toward teenage girls, and therefore there must be some form of romance in your book for it to be a hit. You know what I was reading when I was a teenage girl? Everything Stephen King ever wrote. I read some Tanith Lee, some Michael Crichton. Granted, there wasn't the vast selection of YA novels that there are today, but I think I would have stayed away from the love stories. I'm not saying that I hate romance--when it's done well, it's fantastic. It's just not my first choice.
I'm sure most any publishing professional would tell me, That's nice dear, but the reality of the situation is, the girls who buy books like romance. And, well, it is what it is. But the book I'm writing is for the teenage me. There's no romance--my characters are too busy trying to survive to chase girls. I'm not saying I won't write anything romantic, ever. Just not right now, because that is not the story I want to tell. I think the teenage me would approve. (Whether or not any publisher agrees with me remains to be seen, haha. Maybe the joke will be on me!)
What are your thoughts on this subject? I think we all know the advice, "do your best and write the story you want to tell," but do you consider the teen girl audience when you're drafting your work?