Thursday, 10 February 2011
Transient Readers Anne Cassidy
No, don’t panic. This isn’t a new kind of E Reader.
It’s a term I’m using to discuss the teenagers who I write for. I’ve been writing teenage fiction for over twenty years. The teenagers who read my first book BIG GIRLS’ SHOES (were there any?) are now in their early thirties. The teenagers who will read my new book HEART BURN, will, in three or four years time, leave Young Adult Fiction behind and drift towards adult books.
In other words, every four or five years I loose my readers to adult fiction. I’m constantly having to win new readers over to my books.
My most well known book LOOKING FOR JJ was read by many teenagers. Now though, when I visit schools and talk to year seven or eight (or even nine) I cannot assume that they are aware of this book or any other of my books. My reputation as a writer of teen fiction has faded as every one of my readers move into year ten/eleven/sixth form.
“Anne Cassidy? Who’s she?” So says some sweet little year seven.
I have to START AGAIN and persuade them that my books are worth a try.
This doesn’t happen in the world of adult fiction. I love many writers and will read everything they write over a lifetime. The fact that Anne Tyler is twenty years older than when I first read her doesn’t matter to me. Once a writer had made his or her way onto my ‘favourites’ list they will always be there.
I won’t grow out of them.
Unlike my readers, who will shrug off my books like a pair of sparkly jeans that belong to their younger selves.