Welcome. Today we are featuring a guest post by Beth Balmanno, author of the YA novel Set in Stone. Be sure to enter the giveaway below, and then stop back by on Wednesday for the review of Set in Stone and another chance to win an e-book by this fabulous author.
Who I Write For
Who I Write For
by Beth Balmanno
I met someone the other day, a friend of a friend. We were standing around, chatting, when she asked if I worked. I told her I was an author. She stared at me for a minute and asked, “Who do you write for?”
I was quick with my response. “Young adult.”
Because that's the genre I write. The genre I've always written, after my disastrous attempt at writing contemporary women's fiction (you can read about that here).
She nodded her head and didn't ask anything else. (Which, btw, is pretty common. I've found a lot of adults think I'm less of an author, not quite author enough, when they find out I only write YA. What. Ever.)
But later that night, after I'd tucked the kids into bed and flipped open the laptop to stare at the story I was working on, I started thinking more about that question. No one had ever asked me that before. Sure, other people had asked me about being a writer but it was always book specific.
“What's the name of your book?”
Set In Stone.
“What's your book about?”
Well, it's about a girl who finds a powerful stone and two gorgeous, mysterious boys who will stop at nothing to get it.
“Have you sold millions of dollars worth of books?”
“When will they make it into a movie?”
“Oh, I have an idea for a book! How do I get it published?”
*smacks forehead and walks away*
So I thought about that question. Who do I write for? And I realized that, in actuality, I write for a lot of different people.
I mean, sure, my audience is intended for young adult but there has definitely been crossover. Women in their 40s and 50s have left me reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Twenty-somethings have commented on how much they enjoyed the story. The audience was farther-reaching than I'd thought. And that thrilled me.
But it was more than that. I was starting to think of someone else...realizing that there was a different audience I write for.
Noooo, the 6 year old is not reading Set in Stone. She's brilliant, but not that brilliant. And even though the 11 year old wants to read it and has started it, it's really just not his cup of tea, ya know?
But I didn't write it for them to read, necessarily. I wrote it—and continue to write—to inspire them (live your dreams!) and to support them (yes, we can go out for ice cream tonight! Mommy sold a book!). I write so that they can see their mom doing something she loves, something that really is her dream.
And there it was, staring me in the face. Another audience.
I write for myself.
See, for the longest time I didn't write. I was too busy being a mom and being a friend and being a housewife. I put aside everything, every piece of me, to become those other things. And when I finally decided enough was enough—I missed that part of me—I opened a blank document on my computer and took a deep breath and slowly began to write. It was terrifying. Exhilarating. And liberating.
Do I want people to read Set In Stone and Nine Lives and all of the other books nearing completion? Absolutely. Every storyteller wants to share...it's one of the main reasons we write. But it's not the only one.
Now, if someone asks me who I write for, I know exactly what I'm gonna say.
“My books are intended for a YA audience...but, ultimately, I write for me.”
What do you do for you?
Set in Stone
by Beth Balmanno
Published February 4, 2012
As she delves deeper into the magic of the stone and the Celtic lore that surrounds it, Valerie realizes that she's losing. Again. But this loss might involve more than a magical stone – this time, she just might lose her heart.
About the Author: Beth Balmanno is the author of Set in Stone. She has a BA in English from San Diego State University but freely admits she has learned more in the years after college that she ever did in school. When she isn't writing, traveling or serving as children's chauffeur, she spends her time molding the youth of America --as an alternative- learning educator and as a leader in scouting and 4-H. World, look out.
Be sure to enter the giveaway to win an e-book of Set in Stone.