Monday, February 26, 2018

Guest Post: Why I'm moving away from YA by Dianna Gunn

*Please welcome author Dianna Gunn*

Why I'm moving away from YA
My debut fantasy novella, Keeper of the Dawn, also happened to be YA. I loved writing that book, and as someone who was a teenager only a few years ago, I wanted to tell a story that would connect with other young people. A story that might light a fire in their minds, convincing them to write stories of their own.
My second book, Moonshadow's Guardian, is a full-length fantasy novel for adults. When I signed the contract for Keeper of the Dawn, this left me with a major decision: did I rewrite Moonshadow's Guardian to fit the YA category? Did I want to brand myself as a YA author?
I came to the answer, a resounding no, pretty fast. No matter how much I love writing YA, and how much YA is having a moment right now that I would like to be part of, it wasn't the right fit for Moonshadow's Guardian.

Here are all the reasons why:

First, and foremost, Moonshadow's Guardian is not about a young adult. Rather the opposite, in fact. Riana is a 2,596 year old demon. She spent a lot of that time isolated and in extreme suffering, so her maturity is a little stunted, but she's still wiser than the average teenager. And while there are some themes teens will definitely appreciate, most of the book focuses on Riana overcoming decades of trauma, guilt and shame. Most teenagers, thankfully, don't know what that's like.

Second, I believe adult fantasy deserves better stories. YA is having a moment right now. It's growing and changing and welcoming new, diverse stories. Adult fantasy, however, is lagging far behind. I don't think adults should be forced to read YA if they want to see themselves represented, or to experience stories that move beyond tired old fantasy tropes. There should be stories for them—for us—too. I know a lot of indie authors working to make that happen, and I wanted to join them.

And finally, because I know I can still connect with teen readers. I know loads of people, myself included, who started reading books for adults when they were teens or even tweens. I graduated to adult books in sixth grade, and for most of my teen years I read exclusively adult novels. I only got into YA again around my eighteenth birthday, and that was largely because it already showed more diversity in storytelling than adult fiction.
For all of these reasons, Moonshadow's Guardian will be released as an adult fantasy novel this November – with the help of other adults who want to see tired old tropes subverted or laid to rest entirely. I am currently running a Kickstarter campaign( to raise the $1,500 I need to have Moonshadow's Guardian professionally edited and proofread, giving it the best possible chance of success.
And when I start the next project, it, too, will be for adults, because we deserve better.

All Riana has ever wanted is freedom. Unfortunately, that's the one thing her kind cannot have.
Bound by the curse in her demonic blood for millennia, Riana has tried several times to bend the rules and live out her life in the mortal realm. Now her consistent rule breaking has drawn the attention of Loki, God of Mischief, the main tormentor of Riana's kind. But instead of punishing her, he offers her the escape she has always desired. All she has to do to is save the kingdom of Moonshadow from a mysterious magical plague.
Armed only with the inherent power of her own blood and Loki's pet dragon, Riana is determined to fight for the right to create her own destiny.
However, when her mission forces her to destroy the last remnants of an ancient culture, Riana must ask – what is freedom really worth?
Moonshadow's Guardian is a tale about the meaning of belonging, and the struggle to create a future not defined by your past.

Dianna Gunn is a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. Her first book, Keeper of the Dawn, was released in 2017 through The Book Smugglers Publishing. She is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund publishing her second book, Moonshadow's Guardian, in November 2018. She also blogs about creativity, writing, and life at
Support Moonshadow's Guardian on Kickstarter:

No comments:

Post a Comment