Because what happened next was kind of frightening.
It was as if the panelists didn't know what they were talking about. Statements were made about the kind of events that would be cataclysmic in a teen's life--and "end of the world" was dismissed because teens were mostly concerned about themselves and their lives.
I about dropped my fangs. The last two YA books I had my mitts on, both of which sold in nice juicy deals are about stakes MUCH larger than one teen's life. And there are some other good examples: HUNGER GAMES for starters.
I kept shaking my head at what I was hearing. I think the guy sitting next to me thought I was jamming to my Ipod at one point.
"Sex has no place in a YA thriller" almost pushed me out of my chair. That's absolutely wrong. Teens are sexual beasts like the rest of us. Sex is part of their lives whether they are participating in overt sexual acts or just trying their damnedest to do so. Leaving that out of YA is like leaving out the color blue.
One of the panelists kept chiming in with views that were closer to mine, but she's a nicer person than I am and didn't just bellow "you're kidding, right?"
There were a lot of other statements made that I profoundly disagreed with but by that time I'd stopped making notes and started steaming. I was rather annoyed that a really diverse and engaging category was being given such short shrift.
I swear I was within seconds of standing on my chair, raising my arms like a football referee signaling a touchdown and screaming
And I think the reason they're not well-read in YA is probably that they're simply writing a LOT of books. It's hard enough to find time to read for pleasure writing one novel a year. It's probably impossible when writing more than that. And for most of these panelists, I got the sense YA was their secondary market. I'd wager they are a LOT better informed about adult thrillers cause they read them for fun.
I have no idea how a person attending the panel would know these guys were wrong about a lot of stuff. If you're ever at a panel and you hear a choking sound from the back of the room, and I'm back there turning blue from holding my tongue...well, that's a clue.
It was an interesting and illuminating panel, but not for the reasons I thought it might be!