Last week I was away at the Oregon Christian Writers Conference where I had lots of opportunities to take some excellent classes and pitch a few editors and agents. I made some good contacts, was invited by several agents and editors to send them my novel, The Swallow’s Spring. However, the most remarkable thing that happened was the new vision I gained for my writing career.
I have been a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and publishing in the field of juvenile fiction for over a decade. I like this little pond. I have many friends here. And so I have kept hoping that I could make The Swallow’s Spring fly as a young adult novel.
Now a part of me has been suspecting for some years, thus my involvement with Oregon Christian Writers, that perhaps The Swallow’s Spring is really a work of adult historical fantasy. After all, in the second book the heroine does get married and deals with issues of marriage and fidelity into the third and final novel. (I know, at this point a few of you readers are thinking, “Duh, Debby. That doesn’t sound like YA to me.”)
Consider me a little slow on the uptake, or more accurately—a chicken. I like my little SCBWI and OCW pools. The water is warm. They’re comfortable. There’s lots of other friendly fish. However, after talking to agents and authors over these past few weeks I have to finally admit the truth. I write fiction for grown ups. Yikes!
So, while I came home with submission invitations to follow up on, I also came home with a new mindset to absorb. And you know what? I think I like it. I’m actually feeling excited. I think I’m ready to stretch my wings. (And just to confirm it a whole new novel with a twenty-something protagonist downloaded itself while I was in the shower Sunday morning. How cool is that!)
So I admit it. The Swallow’s Spring is a work of adult historical fantasy, and so are its sequels. So is Crown, the working title of the novel I am eager to get to revising this fall.
However, I still have a little YA in my pocket—Set in Stone, the other novel I shopped around is a young YA or older middle grade novel, and it got some invitations this month. And Sleeper—a novel I’ve got drafted and awaiting revision, and Lillianna—my intended NaNoWriMo project for this year are definitely YA’s.
This is exciting! I need to sit down and get writing.