A description of the Australian Romance Readers Convention session that I'm chairing has been posted!
I'm going to be chairing the 6C young adult romance 'Young Love' panel, with authors Jennifer Kloester, Kaz Delaney, Kelley Armstrong and Maggie Gilbert - I am crazy excited.
Here is the description I came up with:
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Henry Ward Beecher (some guy) said; ‘Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering.’ Taylor Swift (more the expert) agrees; ‘in your life you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team’. But Paul Anka debated it best: ‘I guess they’ll never know how a young heart really feels.’
In this session our panel of young adult authors will talk about the romances they read growing up, and how they found their way to writing romance for teen readers. We’ll discuss writing about true love and happily-ever-after when that doesn’t necessarily mean ‘forever’, while still respecting their young audience’s feelings and legitimate relationships.
Then we’ll explore a range of topics as dictated by classic love songs—Let’s Talk About Sex, Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? and She Will be Loved—exploring sex (or the absence of) in YA literature, and how portrayals of sex and relationships in teen romances vary across different genres (should it be an extension of fantasy, for instance—as idealised as other aspects of a fairytale?). We’ll discuss what it’s like to have an adult fanbase emerge out of the books you’ve written for teenagers (or vice versa), and suggest that reading romance can be quite radical for teens—a safe space for them to explore sex, sexuality, romance and relationships away from the distortions offered by online pornography and hyper-sexual advertising.
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