My Writer Brain and YA Fantasy

Sci-fi, physics as inspiration for YA Fantasy stories.

Lou Hoffmann's smiling faceThis week, I’m back to blogging…

…on Monday. I’m trying to take the schedule/time bull by the horns, and I hope I’ll be able to post some words on Wednesday too. For today’s post, I’m flashing back to a blog post I posted in 2016 on Drops of Ink, a wonderful blog owned by author and reviewer Anne Barwell. I’ve revised that post to fit what I want to blog about today…

Me! Or rather, my writing brain.

As you may know, I’m focusing on shaping up and rereleasing (one way or another), my series, The Sun Child Chronicles. First published in 2016, the stories this time around will be updated and told a little tighter. It will have a few new scenes and the emphasis will shift here and there. But the characters and the story—which has some elements of sci-fi as well as fantasy—won’t change much at all.

Read the series blurb (the story in a nutshell), here.

I admit, it’s a bit of a crazy plot.

Sci-fi, physics as inspiration for YA Fantasy stories.Which makes it fun and interesting to write, but also might make a person wonder how it came to me. The truth is, I was thinking about quantum and particle physics. About what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance,” about string theory with its possible numerous dimensions and world’s splitting off in time, and about the idea that either time is not constant, or we are not constant within it, or both. And then, I admit, I’m always thinking sword-wielding warrior-protectors, and old wizard curmudgeons.

And why write for young people?

I guess partly because most of the young people I know also like warrior-protectors and old wizard curmudgeons. 🙂 But mostly because when I was young, a love of books is what saw me through some very difficult times.

Fiction was one of my very truest teachers…

…when it came to learning how to live in the world, what it means to be a human among millions of humans all the same yet vastly different. The love of reading gave me an academic edge. And that was responsible for my ability to pick myself up out of a very low place—low economically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. “Saved my life,” is the shorthand version of all that, and it is certainly true.

I write for young people because I want young people to read. I write diverse characters in my fiction because I want every young person to find themselves in the pages—the person they are; the hero, brother, sister, girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend, citizen, human they are becoming.

Here’s what Scottish YA author Theresa Breslin said, making the point much more succinctly than I.

“In addition to exploring imaginative worlds, I believe that young people should have access to reading material that validates their life, that gives them a sense of identity—to be able to read texts that chimes with their own world, corrals thoughts, and connects with the emotional conflicts of growing up.”

Back in 2016, a 13-year-old boy reviewed book 1, Key of Behliseth on Litpick. He gave the book a five-star rating and called it a “buffet of words… such a fun book to read.” He said “I loved every word of this work of art.” Yes, of course, as does every author I like to see praise of my book. But what I love most is that the existence of the review means this young boy is a reader and a thinker. The process of making the review involved him analyzing and defining what he liked (and didn’t like) between the book’s covers.

Reading YA Fantasy is for young people from 12 to 99.
Elderly woman is reading a book to her beloved granddaughter. Black and white photo.

That is the very best kind of learning, and my book got to play a little part in it. Awesome.

But “young” can be any age!

Although I write YA fantasy, I’m pretty sure young people from about 12 to 99 or so will find plenty to love in the book, and that makes me happy, too.

So now you know…

…a little bit about what gets my brain writing. Thank you for reading! Comments so very welcome. Also, I’d love to see you elsewhere on the web.

Find my Lou Hoffmann Books page on Facebook

On Twitter, I’m @Lou_Hoffmann

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3 Comments

  1. This post is as relevant now as it was then, maybe even more so! I’m very happy you’re repubbing these books. We need more diversity in YA fiction and especially with heroes who just happen to be gay, rather than that being what the story is about.

  2. I love this post so much. And I agree that “young” does not specifically mean a certain age, but maybe more of an attitude. I think the covers are spectacular. Will you keep them? Thanks for blogging today!

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