Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Aging up and aging down.

The story behind how Tea Times Three became a novel for adults is a relatively short one. I came up with it first as a comic book. A way to indulge my food fetishes and get published in the bargain. An artist never came through and at this time I was getting tired of comics anyway. The ceaseless and painful slog of trying to find an artist and get published was like crawling through broken glass.

Finally I began pondering the idea of turning some of my languishing comic/manga ideas into books. (Which my mother had been telling me to do for a couple years but who listens to their mother?) The problem with Tea Times Three was that it had young YA age protagonists but alo followed the residents of a town who ran the gamut from other teenagers to senior citizens. And what teenager gives a crap about a 72 year old retired school teacher trying to take care of her younger sister who has severe rheumatoid arthritis? It all clicked when my friend Sunny aid age them up.

Then I had a novel! I started writing in April and have 340 handwritten pages. I'm closing in the climax and my word count goal of 65000+.

But now I'm pondering another comic book idea I have called (temporarily) Ex Libris about a group of war orphans who are raised in a magical library. That one also features a group of teenage protagonists.

Let me pause to explain why everyone in my books are teenage girls. I love shoujo manga- that's girl's comics in Japan. They are overwhelmingly about teen girls, romance, (sweet often very vanilla romance which I like) and high school. Some are more fantasy based with vampires, fantasy world settings, or just a few paranormal elements. BUT I like these books because they are the comics that were NEVER made for me in America. AND they are a large market share of the U.S. graphic novel market because they are comics made for girls. So shoujo is everything I love- strong female leads and art.

I love YA fiction- which is odd because as a teen I never read it. That aside though I did at one time have a gaol to write MG and YA fiction after I had to drop out of art school because my arm hurt too much to do the work. So in a lot of ways I'm trying to get BACK to an early goal, but I also really want to write novels for adults too- mostly fantasy since that is what I love to read.

Now- back to Ex Libris. I've been thinking about reviving it as a book. But I've also been thinking about aging it DOWN to middle grade. A reversal of what I did for T3. There was a romance- a sort of love triangle going that would work well in a shoujo manga but is done to death in YA. Remove the romance and teen girls wouldn't like it as much. So the alternative is focus on the action and adventure, have the tiny inkling of romance, and age everyone down to 12/13 year olds.

I'll let you know if anything comes of this.

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