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Will Hoffacker on books and writing for teens: Is fantasy all there is?

We’ve been talking to Will about his blogging and writing efforts, now let’s move on to some of his opinions on books for teens, writers who write for teens, and whether he has any advice for those writers.

Let’s talk about books. Do you read much? If so, what are some of your favorite books and do you have a favorite author? What about most kids your age, do they read books much or is everyone into the videos, games, music, etc.?

Yes, I love to read, and my parents tell me that I always have. I’d say my favorite author is most likely Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series, The Supernaturalist, and—my personal favorite—The Wish List. Another one of my all-time favorites is Holes by Louis Sachar, and, of course, Consumer Joe by my good online-buddy, Paul Davidson. Unfortunately, since I started high school, homework has consumed massive amounts of my spare time, rendering me almost unable to read for pleasure at all. So, come summer vacation, I plan to read as much as possible. What’s that you say—the new Harry Potter book is over two thousand pages? Well bring it on, as long as it’s coming out in July! Many of the kids I know would be more than happy to read a book if it interested them. One of my best friends comes into school everyday reading AM New York. On the other hand, video games have a staggering popularity among my generation, and I confess that I own quite a number of them myself. It’s today’s music industry I can’t stand. But now is clearly not the time to go on a ridiculous tirade about rap and hip-hop.

If someone wanted to write for teens, what advice would you give them? Would you recommend any particular authors?

In my experience, it seems that many teens don’t like to be—how should I put this?—spoken to, so it must be incredibly difficult to write for them. The only advice I can think to give is to create issues that teens can really relate to. And most of all, trick them. You see, you should have a very solemn moral, but teens don’t like to be lectured or preached to, so trick them into thinking they’re just reading a cool book, when really they’re learning a lesson. You know what I mean? As for particular authors, gee, few can get it absolutely right. Fantasy authors like Colfer and Rowling seem to know what they’re doing, though. Oh, and one more thing for all those authors writing for teens! Why is it that every time I enter the “Teens” section at Barnes & Noble, every book seems to be either a) about wizardry, or b) directed towards the female demographic? I’m starting to get my fill of fantasy.

While the is the final posting of Will’s interview this week; we will have one last Q&A Monday when Will also makes a big a announcement.

Meanwhile, if you don’t return over the next couple of days, enjoy the weekend.


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  • Nisha

    Nice interview, Will. I must say you are a cool guy, and very enterprising too.

  • Nisha

    Nice interview, Will. I must say you are a cool guy, and very enterprising too.