Hello everybody! Today, I’m so pleased to be part of the blog tour for David Owen’s first middle grade book Alex Neptune: Dragon Thief with a guest post from David, and even better, today is his book birthday. Onto the post!
How different was it writing MG instead of YA? by David Owen My first four published novels are all YA, aimed at the upper end of that audience (roughly 14-17-year-olds), but between those I had written MG books that never quite sold, so writing Alex Neptune, Dragon Thief wasn’t a completely new experience.
Writing MG is both entirely different and incredibly similar to writing my YA books. Generally speaking, my YA books deal with heavy themes, tell stories that would not be appropriate for a MG audience and rarely have happy endings. As you can probably guess, this meant that writing Alex Neptune was something of a relief! More than anything it was an opportunity to have fun by writing larger-than-life characters, bombastic action scenes and a slew of cringy jokes. Those are the things I love about MG fiction and that, for one reason or another, I hadn’t felt able to do when writing YA (I must stress that I’m referring only to my YA books – there are plenty of authors who do all those things brilliantly for that age group).
I only noticed the similarities later in the process of writing Alex Neptune. Although my YA books all deal with weighty topics, I always tried to approach them with the same humour that is a big part of Alex Neptune. And arguably Alex Neptune focuses on the most significant theme of all: the climate crisis and how we must fight to avert disaster.
So maybe my YA books aren’t so different to my first MG book after all. And the writing of it proved to be much the same. A book can’t be written without hard work and dedication. I gave it every drop of those that I had, just as I did for my previous novels. Hopefully the result is something that can be enjoyed by those who know me as a YA author as well as the younger audience it was written for.
Thank you so much for reading! Have you read Alex Neptune, or is it on your TBR? Have you read any of David’s YA books? And what do you think the main differences are between MG and YA? I’d love to chat in the comments!