Today I have a special visitor, Ms. Emi Gayle (aka Aimee Laine for the adult readers). With so many writers now dipping a toe into the young adult fiction market (myself included), I nabbed the multi-talented Emi to tell me about the joys and pitfalls of writing for multiple age groups and maintaining multiple pen names.
Welcome, Emi, first of all.
You also write as Aimee Laine. Why a different pen name for YA?
What’s your strategy for keeping the pen names distinguishable but still capturing Aimee’s adult readers who also enjoy YA?
Tell me about some of the things you do differently as Emi than as Aimee.
So, it sounds like you draw the line at sex in YA books. That said, where do you draw it?
You have a different author photo for Emi (no glasses, more casual hairstyle and clothing) vs. Aimee. Was that deliberate and if so, do you think the age of the author influences readership of YA books?
What’s one of the biggest challenges for you in writing YA?
What are some of the biggest changes you see happening in YA books?
Do you see the traditionally longer timetable for YA books being compressed closer to that of adult novels, especially the digital model of indies, or do you think the longer to market model the big publishers use will influence the indie YA publishers? Why?
Adult readers comprise a large percentage of total readers of YA novels. When you write as Emi, are you targeting your YA reading contemporaries or are you thinking of the teen readers? Do you think it matters?
OK so enough about writing YA, let’s talking about reading YA books for a bit.
Tell us who some of your YA book boyfriends are (not counting those of your own creation because they have an unfair advantage) and what you love about them.
Gray Mathews from Crux. Gotta love him. (Claire’s note: Crux is written Julie Reece)
What makes a YA book memorable to you?
Do you like the generic heroines that your teen readers can easily project themselves into or do you prefer a strong, well-defined character or is it purely story-driven?
Love triangles in YA–love ’em or tired of ’em?
As a teen, what were some of your favorite fiction books?
Thanks, Emi for giving us a little more insight into the mind of a multi-age group author and into the YA part specifically, and for sharing some of your YA influences and thoughts with us.
Before we let Emi get away, let’s take a quick peek at her debut novel, After Dark:
In exactly eight months, five days, three hours and thirteen minutes, Mac has to choose what she’ll be for the rest of her life.
She has no choice but to pick. As a Changeling, it’s her birthright. To Mac, it’s a birthchore. Like going to school with humans, interacting with humans, and pretending to be human during the pesky daylight hours.
Once darkness descends, Mac can change into any supernatural form that exists—which makes her as happy as she can be. That is, until Winn Thomas, the biggest geek in her senior class figures out there’s more to what hides in the dark than most are willing to acknowledge.
In this first of the 19th Year Trilogy, Winn might know more about Mac than even she does, and that knowledge could end their lives, unless Mac ensures the powers-that-be have no choice but to keep him around.
Emi Gayle just wants to be young again. She lives vicariously through her youthful characters, while simultaneously acting as chief-Mom to her teenaged son and searching for a way to keep her two daughters from ever reaching the dreaded teen years.
Ironically, those years were some of Emi’s favorite times. She met the man of her dreams at 14, was engaged to him at 19, married him at 20 and she’s still in love with him to this day. She’ll never forget what it was like to fall in love at such a young age — emotions she wants everyone to feel.