Debut Novelist Leah Konen: ‘Write YA because you want to write YA’

By Jason Boog Comment

Do you spend too much time worrying about publishing trends and not enough time writing?

On today’s edition of the Morning Media Menu, we spoke with Leah Konen, the author of The After Girls. She shared writing advice for aspiring YA novelists. She also explained how a Mediabistro writing course helped her get published. Here’s an important tip:

My first piece of advice would be to really write YA because you want to write YA. It’s become very popular now and sometimes people think commercially it will do the best. You have to have a passion for the voice and the tone and this idea of going back to childhood and your teenage years. You should pursue it, if that’s why you’re doing it. Not just because it happens to be the genre with the most movie deals.

She also offered this advice for aspiring writers:

I also think that it is really important to focus on the writing itself and not to think too much about the business in the early stages. Just work on crafting a manuscript that’s as good as it can possibly be before worrying about the business. If you look at the different statistics about publishing, it can be intimidating. Get your book as good as it can possibly be. Once you are ready to look for agents and shop it to editors, it is about honing it in and finding that hook–basically the reason why you wrote it. Getting an editor or an agent to understand what makes your book different than everything else that’s out there.

Press play below to listen to the whole interview on SoundCloud…