Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Kids Book Authors Writing for Adults

It seems to happen a lot the other way around: successful adult authors decide to break in to the kids market. For some, it's successful (Rick Riordan, James Patterson, Carl Hiaasen), for others, less so. But, an author moving from a successful career as a writer for younger readers to writing books for an adult audience seems to happen less frequently. And, okay, one of the two authors in this post was writing for adults and kids pretty much simultaneously, but is far better known for her YA series than for her (underappreciated, IMHO) adult novels.

Eoin Colfer sorta kinda broke into the adult market when he penned 'And Another Thing' the final(?) volume in Douglas Adams's "Hitchhiker's" trilogy. For his first completely original foray into books for grown people, he's gone off in a completely different direction and penned a comic crime novel set in New Jersey. He's titled it 'Plugged', which is one of those titles with multiple meanings that somehow avoids being overly clever and crossing the line into groan-inducing. This is definitely not kid-appropriate fare, being filled with the sex, violence, and salty language that is necessary to make a book like this work. It's less than three hundred pages long and I praise both Mr. Colfer and his editor for not feeling the need to pad it out a bit and make it longer. The plot was ridiculous, as these things usually are, but this is the kind of entertaining read that is at its best when the reader doesn't think too much about it, but just goes along for the ride.

I first discovered Richelle Mead through her Georgina Kincaid novels, but she is best known for her "Vampire Academy" series for young adults. I think the first Georgina novel was published before the first VA novel, but not by very much. VA ended with its sixth book earlier this year, but a spin-off series featuring some of the same characters will be debuting this fall. The sixth and final Georgina novel comes out in September, and, even though I'm only in the middle of reading for August, when the galley arrived in the mail yesterday, I knew I had to read it immediately. My plan was to read half and then go to bed. Instead, I stayed up until after midnight because I just had to know how things worked out. It's always sad when a favorite series comes to a close, but I feel quite pleased with where Ms. Mead left Georgina and Seth and their friends and family. That said, I would love to see more books set among these characters, especially the angel Carter, who had me getting all misty-eyed several times while I was reading. I do wish this book had been longer, though, as there were certain plot points that I thought were a little rushed or not resolved as fully as I would have liked. They were secondary plot points, though, and more detail wasn't necessary to the resolution of the central story.

Now, time to get back on track with finishing up my August galleys. And maybe time for another YA.

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