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Why I Write Young Adult Stories


I began writing seriously in 2006. I am often asked how I started and why I continue to write. It brings to mind the phrase that nothing can resist an idea whose time has come. I began writing my first novel when a story about a teenager in ancient Greece sprang into my mind and demanded to be recorded. I wrote that first story without even knowing it was going to be Young Adult. It simply poured out of me. I continue to write because I see it as an avenue to inspire and uplift. And, because the stories refuse to stop springing into my mind and demanding to be written.


So that’s pretty much why I write… but why do I write YA? In thinking about this post, I considered that I have written for the adult market before. But, I don’t get the same sense of purpose as when I write YA stories. And for the life of me, I’d never be able to write for Middle Grade. My mind can’t find that voice. I think in a slightly older, teenaged voice. And that’s where I live most of my day.


In general, I’ve always been drawn to transformation stories, which is also why I write YA. As I look back, they were always my favorite books when I was younger, and still are. I love to read and write tales wherein characters overcome obstacles or endure circumstances they never thought they could only to emerge stronger for them. I guess it’s because I’m still a child at heart. Perhaps, that’s why those stories of discovery appeal to me. And, I hope readers will gain their own strength and courage by reading my stories.


The process of story telling absolutely feeds my soul. It’s not simply something I do. It’s who I am. The only other times I’ve ever felt that way were when I coached football and taught high school. In both of those activities, I was the change agent, deeply involved in the transformation of my students.


That’s why I write YA. I love seeing my characters reach a level of self-actualization. It gives me joy to watch and experience their growth arc right along with them.

Chris Ledbetter, Author
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