This week, we talk to Cara Lockwood, who’s dropped by The Randoms before, but this time we pick her brain on what it takes to be a writer for YA and adult books (her latest is EVERY DEMON HAS ITS DAY). Read on about 80s pop cultural references and Deadwood sheriffs.
1) What’s the toughest challenge you face as you change gears between writing an adult novel and a YA novel?
I’d say the toughest challenge is keeping in mind the different perspectives of the adult reader versus the YA reader. In some ways, they both want the same things – like great characters and plot development – but in other ways they want different things. Your average YA reader, for instance, probably wouldn’t appreciate ’80s references like my adult audiences do.
2) Are the writing communities different between YA and adult novels? Which one feels more supportive?
I’ve found lots of support in both communities, but if I had to say which one was warmer, I’d say the YA community. YA fans are really so very generous with their compliments and their time.
3) Do you promote an adult book differently than a YA book?
I promote them in very similar ways, but for a YA book I put more emphasis on Facebook and MySpace, although adults are slowly taking over those sites.
4) Do you try to put yourself on a schedule–write two YA books and then write an adult book? Or is it left up to the publishing gods? Does your agent try to help you plan out your books?
I have no control over my schedule, really, it’s all about what my publisher is willing to publish (a.k.a. the publishing gods). My agent tells me what she thinks will sell, but otherwise, the plan is really just to pitch books that my publisher will buy!
5) Do you think you have to work at making your voice different for adult books vs. YA books? And with this paranormal adult done, are you going to branch into paranormal YA?
I do work at making my voice different for adult books versus YA books. Actually, come to think of it, each book has a different voice. It’s really what makes sense for that particular story or character, not just whether it’s for adults or teens.
And I’d love to do some paranormal YA. We’ll have to see what the publishing gods say about it, though.
BONUS QUESTION: If Steven Spielberg ever came a’knockin, who would you cast in EVERY DEMON HAS HIS DAY?
That’s a tough one! I’d say I’d cast Christina Applegate as Constance (I’m a huge fan of Samantha Who? and she has great comic timing). As for Nathan, I’d cast Timothy Olyphant from HBO’s Deadwood. He’s the best sheriff ever.
For more Cara, go here.