Hey everyone so I was at the SCBWI winter conference this past weekend in New York-oh New York, I love New York-but I digress. I was at the conference and talked to so many people about my writing, goals, stories, etc.
People kept asking me why I write books about boys (teens) instead of girls-in fact I get asked this ALL the time. I am sorry if this makes me a traitor to my gender, but I am writing what I LOVE to read, and I LOVE, what I am now (coining the phrase) calling, “boy lit” because I LOVE stories with boy/male leads the most. I always have. This is probably why my chick lit novels weren’t a huge success, my heart wasn’t there in the same way and I was writing to trend. Writing is just like anything else, when it comes from the heart it is always going to be better.
Here is a quote from one of my all time favorite Cameron Crowe films-Jerry Maguire_ “All right, I’ll tell you why you don’t have your ten million dollars. Right now, you are a paycheck player. You play with your head, not your heart. In your personal life, heart. But when you get on the field it’s all about what you didn’t get. Who’s to blame. Who won through the pass. Who’s got the contract you don’t. Who’s not giving you your love. You know what, that is not what inspires people. That is not what inspires people! Shut up! Play the game, play it from your heart. And you know what, I’ll show you the kwan. And that’s the truth, man! That’s the truth.”
My favorite writers are: (in no particular order)
S.E. Hinton, J.D. Salinger, Paul Auster, Nick Hornby, Stephen King, Robert Ludlum, James Dashner, Rick Riordan, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain… and the list could go on forever. Of course I think that Harry Potter is one of the most brilliant works of fiction in the history of writing-Boy lead-even in the 3rd person, still boy lead. That is why I picked it up. (Written by a woman, yay J.K. Rowling)
My screenplays and tv pilots have also all had male leads, except one.
It pisses my girlfriends off and I have gotten pushback from the female community, but I can’t entirely help what pops into my head.
I draw a lot of little girls and dogs and most of the picture books I have been hired to draw have little girl leads-but for writing I am all about a strong male lead, strong voice and point of view in a strong story. I love comics, action, superheroes, sci-fi and spies, but I also like a great contemporary story with a male lead. My dream and goal is to have my teen fiction published and have both boys and girls reading them and loving them. While I don’t see teenage boys putting down one of my novels and crying over a pint of ice cream, I like to imagine they would be like, “fuck that was intense” or whatever they say. I am not trying to reinvent the wheel here, but rather I am writing what my heart is demanding I write.
I hope that if you are a writer, you are writing what YOU love and what inspires you, not what you think that you are supposed to be writing.