Kylie, of Orange CA writes, “Do you write for adults?”
At a certain time, being discouraged, an older writer friend of mine urged me to stop writing plays, and turn to writing novels, novels for adults. That I did, and in fact, I wrote a couple of them. They were not good at all.
It was about this time that I began to have kids of my own, and that is when I started to write for young people. I enjoyed it immensely, and my writing was much better. Moreover—no small point—I was able to sell a couple of books. I have never stopped writing for young people.
(It must be acknowledged that from time to time I have written talks, speeches, which are meant for adults. They have been important to do, but not nearly as interesting or as fun as my writing fiction for young people.)
What I like most about the reading experience of novels is the possibility of engaging fully with the reality of the story. Just recently, I was rereading Treasure Island. When Jim Hawkins goes upon the pirate ship and fights with the pirates—all on his own—I was right there with him. That is the sensation I want my readers to have with my books. Research has shown that what one experiences in a book becomes part of a reader’s own experience. I think young people do that much better than adults do. I sometimes think adults try to teach young readers far too much about meaning, symbolism, themes, when in fact to simply enjoy a book is—in my opinion—the best level, and the most important experience one can have.
Now, if adults want to read my books, they are more than welcome. However, it is people like you, Kylie, for whom I write.