Monday 31 October 2016

Am I a feminist after all?

Older people can write ya

I am 64 years old and am still writing young adult literature. I won’t be too apologetic about that. The young adult is a creature I know well. I’ve taught them for 42 years and studied them for a PhD thesis. I’ve mastered the voice.    


However, my latest works, in the Schellberg cycle, seem to have lost their identity a little. I’m writing a cycle to books that focus on the 1940s and World War II and that explore Nazi Germany. Three of them are arguably young adult and yes, they do show that bildungsroman story of growth. The other two have adult protagonists. Yet all five would be readable by anyone who has read one of the other books and they can be read in any order. All five books span a long period of time and the full cycle goes from 1896 to 1947. The books vary in length from 65,000 words to 100,000. One with a young adult protagonist is 100,000 words and the shortest to date has an adult protagonist.

Future projects

I have some plans for when I finish the cycle and one of them is a crime novel for adults. I do have a couple more young adult ideas and I may take up my Peace Child series again. However, where is my branding?

Feisty females

Okay, so Kaleem is a male protagonist in the Peace Child series. However, there are plenty of females whose story I could tell there. The protagonist in my crime story is definitely female. All of the ones in the Schellberg cycle are feisty. Is that my clue?

Significant, too, that Mslexia is my favourite writers’ magazine.  

So, maybe that is my branding. Feisty women. That allows me to write for adults, young adults and even middle grade. That may be an angle for school visits, too.           

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