Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Guest Post by Kimberly Derting


EARNING MY PhD IN TEEN STUDIES???


One of the questions I get asked A LOT is why I write YA. Or in other words, why I write for teens?

I think it would be easy to say that maybe it’s because, in my head at least, I’m still that same uncertain 16-year-old girl I’ve always been…a little immature, a little cocky, a little…you know, ridiculous.

But, really, I think it has less to do with me, and more to do with my surroundings. As in, I have teenagers around me…All. Of. The. Time! I have for years. And, to be honest, there is No. End. In. Sight!

Let’s do some math here. Yeah, yeah, math sucks, I get it! But bear with me for just a minute…

My oldest daughter is 23 (Okay, don’t do too much math, you don’t need to be playing the guess-the-author’s-age game!), and that means I’ve had a teen in the house for 7 of those past 10 past ten years. Oh yeah, and she’s a girl, which meant I always had T-E-E-N-S (with a capital “S”) in the house. They travel in packs, you know.

And guess what? Teens, especially girls, like to talk. All it took on my part was a little eavesdropping…err, I mean, “research” to find out more than I ever wanted to know about teens and teen lifestyle.

But she’s not a teen anymore, so what about now, you ask?

You’re right, she’s not, but here’s the deal, she has a younger brother…16 years old, to be exact. So for three years now I’ve had teen boys to study, and trust me when I say, they are an entirely different kind of research project. I’ve learned more about bodily functions than anyone ever should…eww! Oh, and by the way, my son brings teen girls over (with strict parent supervision, of course) so there's that to consider!

Now maybe you’re thinking my YA days are coming to an end, three maybe four years tops, right? Wrong! Cause there’s still one more, and she’s turning nine this month. And by the time the boy is out of his teen years, she’ll be just starting them.

So, here’s where the math comes in:

7 years of teen girls + 3 (so far) with the boy + 4 more until he’s officially no longer a teenager + and then my youngest is a teen and I have another 7. That equals TWENTY ONE years of teenagers!!!!!!

Seriously, after that many years, I’ll be like a Pro, a Master, a Doctor of Teen Studies. Maybe even a Black Belt.

Or a Ninja.

You’ll never even see me coming…

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