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7 Best-Selling Authors Expand into Young Adult Fiction

Today YA books are white-hot.
    LAS CRUCES, NM, May 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The young adult (YA) market has proven to be popular and profitable, and it has lured some of America's top adult fiction writers.

The appeal is simple: adult fiction sales are tepid these days, but the YA business, thanks to franchises like The Hunger Games and Twilight, is white-hot, EW.com reports.

In the first five months of this year, more than 2.4 million YA books were sold, compared to 981,000 in 2006, according to Neilsen BookScan.

"It is not a surprise that top writers are embracing the challenges of the new genre," says L.A. Miller, author of the science-fiction and fantasy YA book series the Quests of Shadowind, which includes "Sky Shifter," "The Grounding Stone," and "Veil." "Today's YA fiction is more sophisticated and complex than it used to be. It combines magic and realism, yet through plot and characters the authors tackle important topics that teens deal with in their everyday lives, such as suicide, bullying, pregnancy, murder, abuse, adultery, and many others."

Quests of Shadowind is the story of a group of teens who are abducted to an alien world called Shadowind, which is inhabited by ghostly creatures, cyborg animals, and virtual humans—a land where anything is possible, including being downloaded into a cryptic, evil role-playing game. In order to survive, the youths band together as they search for a way back home.

Different authors have different reasons why they decide to try the YA market. In an interview with Reuters, James Patterson, a popular adult and now young adult novelist, said that childhood reading is his passion: "I am obsessed with it. It's a huge, huge problem in our country and probably all other countries. But we have millions of kids in this country who have never read a book in their life."

"Every adult remembers, vividly, the adolescent experience,'' says Tracy van Straaten, vice president of trade publicity for Scholastic.

Here are some of the top adult-fiction writers and their young adult novels:

* Jodi Picoult ("Between the Lines")
* Harlan Coben ("Shelter")
* Richard Paul Evans ("Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25")
* Kathy Reichs ("Seizure")
* John Grisham ("Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer")
* James Patterson ("School: The Worst Years of My Life")
* Elizabeth George ("The Edge of Nowhere")

"It's nice to see top authors expand their readerships and take advantage of the opportunities of the booming young adult market," says Mr. Miller. "But more importantly this is a great chance for our children to get the very best writing. Hopefully it will help them to extend their reading skills into their adult lives."

L.A. Miller has been writing for more than forty years. His backgrounds in science fiction, astronomy, technology, and classic literature inform his work, which has included novels, short stories and music. He is the owner of Wood n Nails Music and lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with his wife and two dogs. He is the author of the Quests of Shadowind series, which includes "Sky Shifter," "The Grounding Stone," and "Veil."


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Las Cruces, NM
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