My books are not for everyone, and I’m okay with that.
I’m a walking contradiction, my personality a misleading advertisement for my books. Recently I was checking into a hotel for an event and after only a minutes’ worth of conversation with the desk clerk he said, “So you obviously write really funny books.”
Er… no, I do not.
There are definitely moments of humor in all of my books, because a constant state of tension and terror is no good for anybody. If you ask me The Walking Dead is desperately in need of a Hurley – consider this my annual LOST shoutout. But as bookstore placement goes, you’re not going to find me in the humor section.
Since the release of A MADNESS SO DISCREET – my darkest book yet – I’ve had more than a few people who know me in real life tell me they wouldn’t read “that kind of book” if I weren’t the author. My offhand response is – “Oh, then you’re really going to hate the next one.”
What I say in my head is – “I didn’t write it for you.”
A common question young adult authors are asked is, “Why do you write for teens?” I don’t necessarily think I do – I write for readers. If they are teens then that’s even better because teens don’t get enough credit for being intelligent, discerning readers. And some of them are readers like myself, who want a little more grit in their coffee, some tabasco in their eggs, and the feeling that maybe everything isn’t going to be okay, after all.
I write what I write because I think the best books create their own reality – and reality is a messy, ugly place sometimes. I live in the real world, and that’s where I write from. I fully endorse reading as escapism, and absolutely enjoy a good beach read from time to time.
But most often, I like to read “that kind of book.”
So I write them.