Words || Beck Nicholas
‘Because I like it,’ was my initial answer.
I have written other things, and loved some of them, but always come back to reading and writing books for children and young adults. I read them simply for enjoyment. These make up so many of my favourite stories.
But that doesn’t really answer the, why?
Other than that the YA (and kids) books I love being well written with great ideas and wonderful memorable characters? That they can make me laugh and cry and give me all the feelings and the thinkings I could possibly want?
Part of the answer lies in a quick look at the news headlines. Missile strikes, body shaming and ice epidemics fill just some of the headlines. It’s a gloomy, depressing world. If you let it be. But the thing my favourite stories gives me is hope.
These stories aren’t gilt-edged or hiding from the worst sides of the world, but there is something about a young protagonist that allows me to believe in a hopeful if not happy change in the book. No matter how terrible the circumstances, I can believe in the hope of a better place by the end of the book, of a better future.
This is something I loved to find in books as a child and teenager when I read to escape a reality that was, at times, less than fun. I found recognition. I found stories that while coming from someone’s imagination, didn’t lie to me that there weren’t awful things/situations/people in the world. I found understanding and kinship, but then, thanks to some amazing writers, I found hope.
This then, is perhaps the realest reason of them all that I write for teens. I want to write for the me that needed that understanding, that escape and then also that hope – not of a perfect all wrapped up in a bow ending but of a hopeful one. Young people of today are not in any way ‘less’ of a reader. They are so smart, engaged and more aware of the world that I think I ever was. Everything as a teen is intense. Life, feelings, emotions.
For a better now ahead.
For happiness in the future.
That’s why I write YA.
Beck Nicholas always wanted to write. Since studying science at university, she’s worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher, but she always pursued her first dream of creating stories. Now, she lives with her family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and she’s lucky to spend her days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.
When she’s not writing, Beck will most likely be found reading or watching sport (since participating is beyond her coordination levels). In the early morning, before the day of writing, kid wrangling and reading begins, she runs. When it’s just her and the road (and her protesting muscles) she lets the characters in her head share their problems and a story begins.
Grab a copy of her new book The Last Days of Us here, and read our review here.