Why I Switched From YA to Middle-Grade Fiction

July 13, 2017 | By | Reply More

Let the record show that I didn’t start out writing middle-grade fiction. I started in young adult, and had three books published in that category before trying my hand at a younger age group.

So, why did I switch? What was the draw for me to suddenly drop the angst and excitement and budding romances that are so prevalent in young adult? Simple. I adore the middle-school age group. It’s an awkward time in life, one that consists of multicolored braces, rapidly growing bodies, changing voices and social uncertainty. It’s a one-foot-in-childhood and one-foot-in-adult stage, and I couldn’t love it more.

I have two middle-school aged kids at home (and one high schooler who gracefully navigated the choppy waters of middle-school) and I never cease to be amazed at what these kids are capable of. Case in point: I recently had an article published about me in Dna Info Chicago. It required some photos of me in the cemetery that inspired my upcoming novel, THE PECULIAR INCIDENT ON SHADY STREET. Who did I ask to assist me with a last-minute photo shoot? My 7th grade son, B. B. is an incredible photographer and I got dozens of requests from folks wanting to know who took the photos that appeared in the article. Of course, they all assumed it was a professional photographer.

My youngest, E., is only 10 and heading into the 6th grade, yet already at this point in her life she’s raised over one thousand dollars for an environmental organization called Save the Manatees, headed up the creation of a website to combat homelessness in Chicago, and started a home collection of inspirational quotes for our family to fall back on when we’re feeling down. My oldest, R., spent much of his middle-school years scratching and clawing to climb up the ranks in USTA junior tennis . . . no easy feat in an area as loaded with amazing players as Chicago and the suburbs. He showed more grace in times of loss, more perseverance in times of challenge, and more humility in times of victory than any adult I’ve ever known.

What’s my point (besides bragging about my kids J)? My point is that kids in the middle-school age group are often severely underestimated. Most folks hear middle-school and immediately conjure up images of bottle-flipping, fidget spinners and the oh-so-annoying glue slime that 2017 brought into our lives. But middle-schoolers are so much more than that. They’re thoughtful, creative, persistent and above all . . . dreamers. They get things done that many adults wouldn’t consider attempting, because the world doesn’t hold as many boundaries for them. Not yet anyway.

Lindsay lives in Chicago, Illinois with one incredibly patient hubby, and three amazing kids. She loves coffee, Halloween, Disney World and things that go bump in the night!

An author of young adult and middle grade fiction, Lindsay is represented by Kathleen Rushall, of Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Her debut middle grade novel, THE PECULIAR INCIDENT ON SHADY STREET releases 10-10-17 from Aladdin/Simon and Schuster and can be pre-ordered here. Connect with Lindsay on Twitter and Instagram (@lindsayncurrie), or on her website at www.lindsaycurrie.com.





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Category: Contemporary Women Writers, On Writing

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