The Evolution of YA
by guest poster extraordinaire, J. Roger Greer
I am going to go out on a limb and guess that many of the new followers to this blog are here for the YA connection. If that is so, great, wonderful, absolutely awesome! There is nothing better than a young adult who spends time with a book, no matter how that book is delivered. Books force a person to think, to create, to interact with characters, characters that may not be like the reader. And today’s YA stuff might just lead a reader to yesterday’s YA stuff.
That would be Robinson Caruso, Little Women, The Catcher in the Rye. Yes, all of those are well written classics perfect for a young adult reader. For those who are jumping on the Vampire craze, remember that Bram Stoker became famous borrowing the vampire idea from earlier poets and novelists. As much as I hate Wikipedia, one can use it as a jumping off point for research such as this. The Vampyre is one of those earlier stories, give it a read, it is the basis for so many of the popular stuff today, and written better, in my opinion.
Vampires fuel a need within us, the need to live forever, to cheat death, keeping our youthful appearance, as well as developing superhuman powers. The perfect protagonist or antagonist for any story. One can hate the vampire for its need for blood, or be jealous of its strength and longevity. One can love the vampire for that same longevity or for its looks, as many vampires are depicted as gorgeous. But-you knew there was a but coming, didn’t you?-The vampire stories still fall back on to the tried and true literary devices that have served story tellers forever.
This is not an indictment of the new vampire stories (such as those written by Willow Cross), rather it is an act of applause, a ‘shout-out’ to those who make the old stories new again, drawing in new readers who may dig deeper and keep some of the older version alive; isn’t that what we authors want? For our words to live forever, even if we can’t?
J. Roger Greer writes for his blog Stones and words and words and stones