Why Do You Write for Young People Instead of Adults?
I ought to understand this question by now. After all, people usually mean well when they ask it. The same types sometimes ask teachers why they teach at a high school rather than a college. A genuinely curious bird might ask a fish why it doesn’t fly.
Yet, like the fish, I sort of don’t know how to answer. How can you explain to a bird what it’s like to swim?
I write for young people because I can. I like writing novels with exciting, high-stakes stories and complex characters who are grappling with horrible stresses and moral problems. I think language is beautiful when it is exact and concise, like the ring of milk that rises around the inside of a bowl. I like the terrified feeling I get when I experiment with an idea and I don’t know if readers will go with me or not. I admire the quick minds, courage, and honesty of my characters and their counterparts in the real world.
In short, I’m writing the best books that I possibly can.