Hello and welcome to the blog. Today we have a guest post by the talented Shawna Romkey as she stops by to promote her release, Speak of the Devil!
Alright, Shawna, I’ll let you take it from here!
Some want to make it edgy or daring. And to be honest in my first draft of Speak of the Devil, I had swear words that started with every letter of the alphabet. I wanted to write Twilight with some sizzle, but the more I thought about it, the more I edited out my profanities. Why? Young adult is for young adults. It’s not as though they can’t go into any store that sells books and pick up Fifty Shades of Gray, uncensored, no identification required and read graphic sex if they wanted to. They can. If that’s what they want, they can get it without their parents’ permission and without question. Or they can go onto the Internet and find all the sex images, words and videos they want.
I keep it out because I think young adult girls are already bombarded with sex as it is. Music videos, magazine ads, TV shows… it’s difficult to watch a situation comedy that isn’t talking about sex repeatedly. I love the Big Bang Theory, but at its premise it is a story about whether geeks can get laid. Love is only sometimes part of that equation. Is sex really the end-all be-all of life? I don’t think so, but I think our young adults get the message that it is.
Maybe I’m a prude, but when I watch The Vampire Diaries, I’m thinking, these girls are iN high school and they’re drinking wine right out of the bottle at their slumber party? They’ve had sex repeatedly with multiple partners. They’ve grown up too fast, and some of them have had to after their parents have died, but is it a situation to be glorified? Shouldn’t it be one to be mourned?
Sure, I swore in high school. I had sex in high school. I drank in high school, but not on a constant, regular basis. Did I want to do all of those things if it got right down to it? Not really. Did I feel like I had to because that’s all anyone talked about? Pretty much. And back in the 80’s when I was in high school, the sexual pollution was significantly lower than it is today. That was before the Interwebs. That was before media regulation was thrown out.
So I think maybe, just maybe, teens need a break from all of the bumping and grinding and drinking and drugging. Maybe they need a safe place where they don’t have to worry about sexual relationships and growing up too fast. Maybe, just maybe, they need a place to escape where they can just be who they want to be and not who everyone tells them they should be. They need a Hogwarts. They need a Forks. Adding in sex and swearing to be edgy and bold, isn’t edgy and bold at all. Everyone is doing it now. Just turn on the TV and watch a YA show. Save the edgy and daring for the NA genre and for the adult genre.
Give the YA a place to be YA.
Wow, thanks for the post, Shawna. I must say that I think I agree. I love a good romance, but I don’t think you need sex, drugs and alcohol to write a good YA novel. I think there is a time and place, some plots need these, but throwing it in for the sake of throwing it in doesn’t work for me. Then again, that’s just my opinion J
Now, here’s a little bit more info on Speak of the Devil.
What happens when falling in love and falling from grace collide?
After dying in a car accident with her two best friends, Lily miraculously awakens to grief and guilt. She escapes to her dad’s to come to terms with the event and meets some people at her new school who seem all too eager to help her heal. Sliding deeper into sorrow and trying to fight her feelings for two of them, she finds out who…what they really are and that they are falling too.
Can she find the strength to move on from the past, reconcile her feelings for Luc, find a way to stop a divine war with fallen angels, and still pass the eleventh grade?