Got YA (formerly Old People Writing For Teens) is hosting a new event called Flashback Friday. Due to a newbie blogger mixup (hey I’m still figuring this out) this is actually going to be posted on Saturday. Oh well.
This week’s Flashback Friday is all about the books we grew up with. I was an avid reader even as a kid; my mom used to let me pick between going to the bookstore or the toy store, and I’d usually choose the bookstore.
As a kid my favorite author was Christopher Pike. I read, no DEVOURED, every one of his books I could find. He wrote about teens who were witches, ghosts, psychics, and homicidal maniacs. His main characters, usually girls, often had to find a way out of some truly horrifying situations using nothing but their brains and willpower. If I had to pick one author who influenced me the most, it would be Christopher Pike.
One of my favorites was his Last Vampire series, now rereleased thanks to the vampire surge – along with another series I loved, LJ Smith’s Vampire Diaries. Although my favorite of her books was the Dark Visions trilogy, about a group of teens with psychic powers.
When I was 12 years old a movie came out that turned my world upside down: Jurassic Park. After watching that movie I ran out and bought all these books by some guy called Michael Crichton. A lot of the science was over my head but I didn’t care. His books were doing things I had never seen before – mixing science with horror and adventure, while still keeping the characters exciting and real. After discovering Michael Crichton the entire sci-fi and fantasy genres opened up to me, and I was forever hooked.
Back then they didn’t have a young adult section in the store, so teens tended to jump from children’s to adult with nothing in between. Although I adored Michael Crichton at age 13, the books were advanced for me at the time. That is one reason I think the YA and MG genres are so important – they help bridge that gap.