Today we're excited to share L.E. DeLano's article "5 Reasons Why My Story Had to Be YA," inspired by her new novel, Traveler as part of the YABC Scavenger Hunt! Read on for more about L.E., her novel, and an extra giveaway! And don't forget to answer the question from this post on the Scavenger Hunt form for a chance to win the Grand Prize!
You can find Scavenger Hunt rules and entry form HERE.
Meet L.E. DeLano!
A teen writer discovers that every mirror is a portal into an alternate version of her life in this romantic YA fantasy by author L.E. DeLano.
Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all cupcakes, pirates, and fantasy lifestyles - Jessa is dying over and over again in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it… This Jessa is going to live.
"5 Reasons Why My Story Had to Be YA"
When I first came up with the idea for TRAVELER, I had a choice about where I was taking this story. I’d never written in YA before (which seems odd to me now, because that’s predominately what I read) and I toyed with the idea of aging the characters, moving the setting and making it full-on Sci Fi/Fantasy. After fussing around with it a bit, I realized that YA was where this story needed to be, and here’s why:
I needed characters that haven’t lived a lot of life. As you age, other factors come into consideration with every decision your protagonist makes. They can’t just rush off on an adventure if it means losing their job, or abandoning a spouse or a child, or not being there to make the rent payment in two weeks. A younger protagonist doesn’t have all the logistical bindings of an adult life to deal with, and that frees them up for adventure.
There’s an inherent sense of unfairness tied to being young. In other words, sometimes teens and young adults are treated like kids, or forced to grow up too soon, depending on your story. That makes for some great dramatic tension for both of my lead characters.
Younger protagonists are often underestimated. This goes back to being “treated like a kid,” but it can really come in handy. Sometimes your characters don’t need to fight that – they need to use it to their advantage.
Younger characters tend to act more impulsively. This can be a double-edged sword of good and bad decisions, but either way, it makes for surprises – which are a very good thing in any story.
Younger characters have greater license for self-reflection. By a certain age, it’s generally expected that you know what you want out of life. That you’ve enacted a plan to get you there, or have a plan and are actively fighting for it. In YA, the characters are still working most of that out; who they want to be, how and where they want to live their life. It’s all very fluid, and that means it can be influenced and completely rewritten by the story on a very internal level, and that can be a fascinating process of character growth.
Now that TRAVELER is done, I can’t imagine it as anything other than YA Fantasy. Jessa and Finn have an amazing ride ahead of them, and it wouldn’t have been as fun, fantastical and full of feels any other way.
By: L.E. DeLano
Release Date: February 7, 2017
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*