Lydia Sharp over at the Sharp Angle has a great post of Why I Write YA Contemporary from a contest winner. Check it out.
Here was my entry.
Why I write YA Contemporary
My third completed manuscript was a YA contemporary dedicated to my niece, who happens to love "real life" stories.
I always considered myself a fantasy writer. Growing up was hard. I didn't want to repeat it over and over in my writing. It would drive me insane, or so I thought. Funny, looking back at my writing journey as a teen I always started my stories as a memoir until some paranormal freak or sword wielding ninja entered into the story. As an adult, I realized that I was hiding from what it was to be me. Therapy, in a nutshell.
I decided to write my first YA Contemporary piece because I felt strong about the story. A journey of finding oneself is hard as an adult, can you imagine a teen?I've worked with "at risk" youth (whatever the heck that means), and have seen the gang-bangers, the innocent bystanders gun down, but there's still hope of "making it". Against all odds, teens find the courage to stand up for themselves, to be noticed, to persevere. And in the midst of all that, they try to find meaning in life. I don't want to preach. I don't want to point fingers. I don't want to romanticize violence or hard core issues. I want to show it. Period. This is what helped me to keep the paranormal freaks out of this one manuscript. This is what led me to write another YA Contemporary with a whole different set of problems. But hope will always remain and teens will persevere.