Thursday, May 24, 2012
the littlest confusedest bookshelf, part 2
So yesterday's topic dealt with what I wrote about.
I have, in earlier posts, identified whom I write for.
I write for me.
Some people read it, too.
I will take issue with Matthew's comment about Maurice Sendak saying it better. If someone tells me who my audience is, and they are incorrect, I will tell them they are wrong. Nobody needs to tell me who my work is for. I already know that.
So, the other day I was speaking to yet another adult reader who also happens to be a fan of my books. This reader has teenage kids, but feels my books are too mature for them.
I have absolutely no problem with that.
Parents are supposed to make those calls.
Kids are kids.
But I told that particular parent that my daughter (who was 14 years old at the time) did a book project about my novel Stick in her 9th-grade Honors English class.
I could see the parent (who -- let me repeat -- is a very nice person, a great parent, and a terrific fan of my books) became visibly embarrassed. It was like my reader friend felt embarrassed for me because I was in the position of having my daughter read something that I'd written which was (in my opinion) brutally honest and touched on some pretty deep issues that everyday normal adolescent boys have to deal with.
I could specify what those issues are if you need me to.
It's not too big of a mystery and it's certainly not a big deal to me, and I'm totally okay with my daughter reading about these things in my book. I didn't tell her to read the book, either. She chose it for her class. Stick was the first of my novels that she read, too.
My son was 14 when he read The Marbury Lens.
I'm glad my kids like my books, but I'm happier that they are readers.