Film Courage: With YOUNG ADULT fiction, one of the tests should be, is it enjoyable to adults. And that if it’s not [enjoyable], maybe a Young Adult readership would be bored because it’s not sophisticated enough?
Jennifer Brody: That is a really great question. I would say that kids tend to read up which means that whatever the age range that we specify for these books, I find that they tend to read up. I was reading Stephen King and Anne Rice when I was in middle school and high school. But I probably started out reading things like Judy Blume and things that skewed a little bit younger. I think it does need to have a certain level of sophistication to hold a teen audience now. If it skews too old…I mean my books are considered more cross-over for some of the reasons I was talking about. I have some adult points-of-view. That it is a third-person, multiple points-of-view story. So when I was originally trying to sell it, we got a lot of feedback like this is cross-over, we don’t know how to market it. Isn’t that a good problem? Wouldn’t it be better if it appeals to both teens and adults?
So the publishing industry has been a little slow to catch up this idea that a lot of adults are actually reading young adults and that teen readers do tend to read up. So I think they’re a little behind in understanding that. But I think it is to the benefit if the book is a little more sophisticated and a little more appealing to teens and adults. But yes, I think you need to keep their attention.
Another thing that I think is important in which we really tried to do with my series is to put the books out in a relatively quick timeframe. Because also readers will grow out of reading something. So if you have multiple years between books coming out, I think you’re doing yourself a disservice because by the time the second book comes out [your YA readership] they’re going to be in college and then the third book, who knows? So we’re trying to do six months apart on my trilogy because I think that makes a lot of sense.
Film Courage: Is there a focus group that you’re running the semi-edited version through?
Jennifer Brody: I don’t really have a focus group. I think that when you first start writing, a lot of authors have critique partners which are really important to the process which would be trusted readers which you trust to give feedback on your manuscript. I have another author which I trade books with and he writes stuff totally different from me. Typically these days it’s non-fiction, WWII Nazi books, so they are totally different. But he’s really smart and we trade reads. Now that I have a publishing deal and that I have a big publishing team, I don’t do that as much and I don’t really have the time. So my team of people who are reading and giving feedback are my agent and my editors at my publishing house so and at this point I am really tailoring the books to them because that is who is going to be distributing my book. And at this point I am really trying to keep a consistency in the story and I kind of know where I am and how I am writing it, so I’m not at a place where I need feedback so much on how I am writing, if that makes sense? In the beginning a lot of it is trying to improve the craft. I’m at a point now where I am really trying to tell the best stories that I can because I already have a style that I’ve developed in how I write. So I am looking forward to writing something different and new and I’m sure I’ll be using critique partners on that once I start writing my next book.
Question for the Viewers: Do you read YA Fiction?
More videos with Jennifer Brody here on Youtube!
BUY THE BOOKS – THE 13TH CONTINUUM: The Continuum Trilogy, Book 1
RETURN OF THE CONTINUUMS: The Continuum Trilogy, Book 2
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LEFT ON PURPOSE – Midway through the filming of a documentary about his life as an anti war activist, Mayer Vishner declares that his time has passed and that his last political act will be to commit suicide— and he wants it all on camera. Now the director must decide whether to turn off his camera or use it to keep his friend alive. Left on Purpose is an award winning feature length documentary that confronts the growing issues of aging, isolation and end of life choices through an intense character driven story of the relationship between filmmaker and subject. With humor and heart it provides a rare cinematic look at what it means to be a friend to someone in pain.
THE SPECIAL NEED: Enea is 29. He has blue eyes, likes trucks, and loves girls. He hasn’t found the right one yet. Still he has never stopped looking for her. One more thing about Enea: he is autistic. One day, after taking a photo of a girl on the bus, he is pushed to the ground by her boyfriend. Enea’s therapist convinces his mom that the time has come for the man to cope with his sexual desires. Enea’s friends Carlo and Alex get involved and try to find a way for Enea to have sex in a safe and legal environment.
PROBLEMSKI HOTEL: For the inmates of the multinational residential center somewhere in Europe, the circular, black comedy that is the cross-frontier migrant’s life ‘within the system’ becomes even blacker in December. For we are in the European ‘season of gladness and joy.’ Bipul doesn’t want to admit it to himself, but the Russian girl’s arrival makes a difference: Lidia. Hope? Surely not! A future? Get real! December is also the ninth month of Martina’s pregnancy. Pregnancies don’t go round in circles; they end in eruptions. Because when the situation is hopeless, rescue is near.
SURVIVING SKOKIE: They survived the horrors of the Holocaust and came to America to put the past behind. For decades they kept their awful memories secret, even from their children. But their silence ended when a band of neo-Nazi thugs threatened to march in their quiet village of Skokie, Illinois “because that is where the Jews are.”
Surviving Skokie is an intensely personal documentary by former Skokie resident Eli Adler about the provocative events of the 1970s, their aftermath, his family’s horrific experience of the Shoah, and a journey with his father to confront long-suppressed memories.
“Hi, Mom!” Zooppa has partnered up with T-Mobile on a brand new project! T-Mobile gives its customers unlimited data and texting in over 140 countries and destinations—at no extra cost. T-Mobile wants to inspire those customers to travel and get off-the-beaten path—to be explorers, not tourists—and unlock adventures they can share when they take their phones. The ‘Hi, Mom’ project focuses on sharing the most extreme moments of adventure outside of the United States with family and friends back at home. The project is open for submissions until February 21st, 2017 at 4:00 PM PST. There are $40,000 in total cash awards available that will be assigned to the top eight videos chosen by T-Mobile. In addition to the cash awards, all winning videos will also be featured on T-Mobile’s social and web platforms or as a part of a compilation celebrating adventurous moments from around the world.
THE WEEKEND SAILOR is a new feature documentary about the unexpected victory of the Mexican yacht Sayula II in the first crewed sailing race around the world in 1974. The most demanding sailing quest in history. Sailor, Ramon Carlín visits his rebellious son, Enrique in the United Kingdom and comes across a magazine advertising a sailing race around the world. Although he had been sailing casually for two years, Ramon embarks on this race and brings his son along as an opportunity to not only teach him discipline but real life experiences as well.
Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue: With Hurricane Sandy looming on the horizon, five hard-lived friends come to from a send-off celebration alongside an unexplained dead girl. What are friends for?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT): Zooppa and Nickelodeon are inviting filmmakers and motion graphic artists from around the world to reimagine TMNT on a global scale through depicting what they are up to in various home towns or cities. The goal is to show how the Turtles would come to life in any given location, using local city or pop culture influences to help tell the story. Zooppa and Nickelodeon are looking for imagination and creativity, the videos made should be a fun way to share Turtle stories from across the globe––authenticity is key! The project is open for submissions until February 23rd, 2017 at 4:00PM PST. There are $25,000 in cash awards available to the top 10 videos that will be chosen by Nickelodeon.