This is fun. It's the first ever (that I know of anyway) review of my young chapter book, CINDER RABBIT, combined with a review of my YA novel, SHIFTY! Take a look at The Children's BookReview.com
Amanda Lynch says,
"After I put down Cinder Rabbit, an adorable Early Reader book, and picked up Lynn E. Hazen's first young adult novel, Shifty, I had a bit of a jolt. I'm always impressed with authors who have a broad range...."
For the rest of the review(s) please take a look at The Children's BookReview.com
So Amanda has me thinking. Should an author stick with one genre, reading level or general character age-range?
For me, that'd be like asking me as a mother to parent my children to a certain age, say infancy or toddlerhood, then no longer be a parent in the elementary, middle school or teen years.
Raising children from infancy until they are independent young adults is kind of like writing for various ages. Sure, it requires slightly different skill sets writing for various ages just as it does raising a child as he or she develops year after year. Surviving the challenges of diapers and sleepless nights during your child's babyhood is very different than encouraging reading, monitoring the completion of homework and grappling with school-age issues.
And I see similarities between living with teens and writing a YA novel--both endeavors are slightly frightening and extremely rewarding at the same time. Some days it is an extremely difficult challenge to say the right words to your kids, the same as it is a challenge to capture the right words on the page. Maybe for me, because I studied Human Development in college, because I've run a preschool for 25 years (and have met many delightful young children who are now adults), and because I've observed my own children through various ages and stages, reading great books for all ages is natural. Some of my favorite books have characters of various ages, too--just like real life! Trying to write for various ages seems like a natural pursuit as well.
What's next for me? THE AMAZING TRAIL OF SEYMOUR SNAIL, a young chapter book.
After that? Maybe a middle grade novel or a baby board book? I'm working on both. And perhaps another YA novel?
I like the freedom and challenge of writing picture books, young chapter books, middle grade and YA. And like Seymour in the cover illustration, I just try to capture the joy and emotion of life on the page.
And so, I write!
Forecast: Maybe I need a beret!?