Today's guest post is from one of my favorite author people. Lisa Schroeder is seriously one of the nicest authors I've ever spoken to and the fact that I love her writing just makes it all better. She was one of the first authors I thought about when thinking about who to invite for Just Contemporary and I was thrilled when she said yes! So here are her thoughts on Contemporary fiction, why she reads it, and why she writes it.
If you were to ask me my favorite authors, most of them would be contemporary authors. John Green, Sara Zarr, Stephanie Perkins, Sonya Sones, and more. Of course, I love other genres too. Laini Taylor is one of the best authors of our time, and I will read everything she writes because she takes me to amazing places I didn't even know I wanted to go.
But why contemporary? Why am I primarily drawn to the stories about real people dealing with real issues?
I think it's because life can be hard. Like, really freaking hard. And usually, in a contemporary YA novel, we find a character who is struggling with something. And I love watching them go through whatever painful thing it is they're going through, and coming out the other side okay. Maybe even better than okay.
From a young age, I learned life doesn't always go the way you want it to go. People hurt you. People leave you. People tell you one thing, and do another. Contemporary fiction reminds us we aren't alone in dealing with the crap life hands us. Not only that, it shows us that it's possible to make it through, despite the fear and pain and sadness.
My YA novels are very much about teens who have had something bad happen to them.
In I Heart You, You Haunt Me, Ava's boyfriend has been killed in a tragic accident. In Far From You, Alice's mom has died from cancer. In The Day Before, Amber has discovered the family she loves isn't her biological family, and now she has to go and live with people she's never even met.
I've been told my books make people cry. That is probably because life makes me cry. And so, what do I do with that pain? I put it into my stories. I put it there, for other people to experience along with me. But I do it with a purpose. Every character, at the end of my books, has hope.
Because you guys, for me, it's all about that wonderful, beautiful thing called hope.
Isn't it hope that keeps us going? The hope that things will get better. That the pain won't last forever. That a day will come when we look outside and we see more beauty than heartache.
Adult books don't always end on a hopeful note. But books for kids and teens pretty much always do.
That's why I love them. And that's why I'll keep writing them.
Lisa Schroeder is the author of numerous books for kids and teens, including her lastest YA novel The Day Before (Simon Pulse) and the MG novel Sprinkles and Secrets (Aladdin). She lives with her husband, two teenage sons, and the cutest pets you've ever seen just outside Portland, Oregon. You can visit her on the web at www.lisaschroederbooks.com.
Beautiful post Lisa! And SO well worded!! Guys!! Do you SEE why I love her?! I mean, really!:) And to further prove her awesome, Lisa has been generous to donate a signed copy of Far From You, one of her amazingly beautiful verse novels. Enter below! Ends December 10th US Only MUST leave a MEANINGFUL comment for Lisa, letting her know you read and appreciate her post.