The Middle Grade

When I initially started to write, it was because, as a teacher, there seemed to be a lack of books that were exciting for this generation, whilst encouraging them to broaden their vocabulary.  Roald Dahl was one of the few authors who could do it.  Charlotte’s Web – great book, great vocabulary – but didn’t grip my class.  So this inspired me to write my own.  Since then I’ve written three books, and am writing my fourth.  Each one I write is about 35,000 words and I try to make them adult friendly as well.  I was later told that this is the middle grade ‘genre’ or range  – sort of the preteen to early teen readers (before they move to Young Adult).  It is a tough market as a lot of purchasing decisions are made by parents, and ebooks have yet to be snapped up in bulk by kids yet.  But the problem is – it is what I like to write.  I like action packed stories, with a twist.   My wife says that I should write romance or thrillers because that is what sells (and we could retire!).  Problem is – it’s not my thing.  I’m a middle grade author – and I’m proud of it.  Last term a mother came to me and told me that Bug Island was the first book that had excited her child and now, having read it, he loved it and is keen to read more books.  I don’t think I’d get the same reaction for adult books…

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