Why Stephanie Lawton Writes YA

Want Blog Tour Why Stephanie Lawton Writes YA


Why I Write YA

by Stephanie Lawton

Not so long ago, Young Adult lit consisted of the standard fare our teachers threw at us: The Outsiders. Rumblefish. Johnny Tremain. To Kill a Mockingbird. The Catcher in the Rye. A Separate Peace. (Am I dating myself here?)

No dispute they are award-winning classics beloved by millions around the world. But you know what? I hated them. Sorry. It’s possible I was too young to “get” them and I’d appreciate them much more as an adult. There’s also the possibility that they’re really dated and I couldn’t relate to them at all.

Whatever the case, they made me cringe every time I heard the term “young adult lit.” Thank goodness, the genre began to change and it’s positively exploded in the last few years. Even established “adult” writers are jumping genre to get their feet wet in the kiddie pool.

Why do I write YA? Because—hands down—it’s the most exciting time in life. Not necessarily the best, but the most exciting with the most unknowns. For me, it was both thrilling and terrifying. I’d spent 99% of my life going to school, doing what I was told, following a prescribed routine that would allegedly land me at a good college so I could be a “successful” adult.

But once in high school, I was faced with choices that would affect the rest of my life. Where would I go to college? What would I major in? Would I start to loosen up a bit and do some of the things all my classmates were doing, or would I stay on the straight and narrow? Was there a way to do both?

These are the questions every YA book seeks to answer. Some of them present those risqué things “everyone else” is doing. Some show straight-laced teens fighting to stay true to themselves. Even the ones with zombies and witches and shadow-hunting demon slayers carry allegories deep within their fight scenes and dystopias.

Want is no exception. To Julianne, my main character, monsters are real. She knows what she wants to do with her life, but she’s neglected important parts of it in her drive to succeed. Her family has left her unprepared to deal with some of the choices she’s facing, and man does she learn the consequences of a bad decision. She can’t move forward until she deals with the monsters that stalk her day and night.

It’s the same thing we all have to do—face our monsters, conquer them, and move on to the next ones. Only this time, we’re better prepared. If my books can help someone be better prepared than I was—or my characters—or work through something that happened to them, then I’ve contributed something valuable.


Hmmm… I remember reading Island of the Blue Dolphins in the 5th grade. icon wink Why Stephanie Lawton Writes YA


Want cover w. blurb FINAL e1342076544591 Why Stephanie Lawton Writes YA

by Stephanie Lawton

Published: 7/6/2012 

From Goodreads:

Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche.

Julianne can’t understand why Isaac suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it before she inherits her mother’s madness. Isaac knows he must resist his attraction to a student ten years his junior, but loneliness and jealousy threaten his resolve.

Their indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.

Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?

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After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.

A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.

On her thirtieth birthday, she mourned (okay bawled) the fact that in no way could she still be considered a “young adult,” so she rebelled by picking up Twilight and promptly fell in love with Young Adult literature.

She has a love/hate relationship with Mardi Gras –where does all that money come from?–and can sneeze 18 times in a row.

Stephanie Lawton on:
Website  ♦  Twitter  ♦  Facebook

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 Why Stephanie Lawton Writes YA
Book loving, zombie freak, stiletto wearing, twitter whore, coffee addicted Brunette with a purse fetish. Collector of flamingo paraphernalia & zombie keepsakes… Frequenter of thrift stores... cRaFtY bitch... and I match my eye-shadow to my outfit - everyday.
 Why Stephanie Lawton Writes YA

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7 Responses to Why Stephanie Lawton Writes YA

  1. Molli says:

    Whoa, whoa! You know, Ashley, I love coming here because you’re ALWAYS introducing me to a book I haven’t heard of before, yet immediately know I MUST read. This one is no exception. I loved Stephanie’s explanation of why she writes YA, and I’m headed now to add WANT to my TBR!

  2. Lisa Voisin says:

    Love this article. It is a great time to write (and Read) Young Adult fiction. It’s such an exciting time of life, and I think we’re more open to things at that age, because it’s a time of decisions. I truly enjoyed Want. It’s a great book!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Thanks so much for having me, Ashley! This was fun. Have a great week! xoxo

  4. Island of The Blue Dolphins! Loved that book!!! This is a really great guest post, I’m also on this tour and I can’t wait to get to reading it.

  5. Great post! I really found it quite interesting.

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