Did I accidentally write a YA novel?

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I’m in a pickle.

First I must clarify that I am not in an actual pickle, which is a confusion one could easily have given the kind of person I am. Maybe I have pickle costumes lying around, you don’t know. I’m unpredictable.

Now that we’ve got that de-mystifying out of the way, I’m in a pickle.

Twice now someone in my critique group has thought my second novel seems YA. (Young Adult – the category for teenage readers.) This threw me for a loop and has been bumming me out pretty hard, because while I have nothing against YA, it isn’t… me.

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Hobo Stories

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In their threadbare, fingerless gloves the two stories warmed their hands over the bin fire. The flames whipped about like those inflatable tube-men outside car dealerships and the stories were careful not to catch a swipe on their equally threadbare cuffs.

“How long’s it been for you, Fantasy Comedy?” asked one of the stories, blowing hot air on his knuckles.

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Literary / Commercial

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Lately I’ve been hmm’ing and umm’ing over a couple key terms in the publishing world: Literary and Commercial. What are the differences? After some research, I think I’ve got a handle on what these terms mean, and thought I’d lay them out for anyone else who might be scratching their head.

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Back to the drawing board

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Last Friday, after three and a half months of finger-crossing, I received a verdict from the agent who was reading my first novel, Milo & Violet. Alas, it was a pass. My first agent rejection! Woo! I’m in the club! The reason she gave is that the book is too much a blend of genres, which is the least-negative reason I could possibly hope for, so that’s cool. Forging onwards!

When I started this process I made a vow that with every rejection I would treat myself to an éclair or some other form of scrumptious. Because something good should happen when you get The Big R, right? Right. Though I might just be looking for more excuses to eat éclairs.

“Grandma’s in the hospital? I’ll get the éclairs.”
“Oh gosh the toilet is overflowing. Better eat an éclair.”
“It’s Tuesday. Éclair!”

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