I get a lot of email from people who are familiar with my ’90s novels and stories, and nearly all of them ask the same thing: “When are you going to write for adults again?” I’ve got two answers to that — or one answer, really, and one comment.

First, it makes me kind of melancholy that my YA work is seen by some as unsuitable for adults, beneath their radar as readers because “it’s for kids.” One of my heroes is the great American master Shirley Jackson. Jackson wrote ineffably elegant and disturbing novels and short fiction, and jaunty, funny, subversively skewed accounts of family life (Raising Demons and Life Among the Savages). Some people liked only some of it, some people loved all of it, some people didn’t know what the hell she was up to. I make no quality comparisons between her work and mine, but I gladly follow her path, writing the stuff I want to write and worrying about categories later. And the work I’ve done in the YA field has definitely made me a better writer.

That said, I’m in the midst of a novel called Under the Poppy that is — in tone and subject matter — absolutely one for the grown-ups. So the answer to “When?” is “Now.”

Advertisements