It is my pleasure to have a guest post from author Taro Meyer, who answers my question:
ELF: What do you think is the strongest attraction about the genre(s) you like to write in?
TM: Middle grade fiction focuses on a time in life that is about change.
It’s about discovering who you are as an individual; it’s about maturing personally and socially, learning what your values are and how to navigate your expanding and increasingly challenging world. I am attracted to the genre because it gives me an opportunity to explore a character who is discovering herself in all aspects of life: her changing relationship with parents, her first love, her loyalties and her talents. As an audiobook producer/director, I fell in love with Middle Grade and YA fiction too because they are so attuned to their audiences and well-written. Adults often read books in those genres because what we are dealing with as kids, can be what we deal with as adults, just in a different form.
I also love writing for young children because I totally love kids and I love to be silly. I love playing with kids and singing and dancing and making up zany rhymes with them. I don’t care if we use real words or made up ones. It’s all fun and stimulates creativity. I used to play the rhyme game with my daughter when she was little; one person says a sentence, the next person rhymes it and the game keeps going until someone is stumped. We began when she was about three or four and we rhymed as I walked her home from school. I’ve recently written and produced a musical album (and illustrated book) starring international artist Patti Austin, and my now adult daughter wrote some of the songs with me. She’s still a great rhymer!
Emma G. Loves Boyz: A True Love Journal
by Taro Meyer
GENRE: YA/Middle Grade
Emma G. is CRAZY about Aaron, lead singer of Boyz3000. Of course, she doesn’t actually know him, but so what? Feelings are feelings. That is until Josh appears… and he’s soooooo CUTE. Navigating her two crushes and her middle school life, especially with eighth-grade hater Renee around, is a challenge. And oh yeah, she’s got to earn money for an AWESOME trip to the Bahamas to see the band of her dreams. Hello???? How much can one thirteen-year-old take???
“You know that thousands of girls like Aaron,” she said. “Right?” “So??”
“So it’s statistically almost impossible that a pop star boy will date a fan.”
I should have known she’d say something like that. I wanted to say, “Okay, just forget it.” But instead I said, “Whatever! I mean I just love his singing and his writing. That’s all.”
But that’s not all. How do you change what you feel just because some stupid statistics say you don’t have a chance? An article in Tigerbeat said Aaron had dated a girl from his high school for three months! And she wasn’t a star! So who knows what can happen? When you feel something, you have to believe! Your feelings are totally crucial to your life! When I look at Aaron’s face I get those stomach flutters! And feelings CANNOT BE IGNORED.
I started thinking about stomach flutters instead of the essay and wondering why they happen with just one particular boy. Why can one boy make your stomach go CRAZY????
I called my cousin Elyse to ask what she thought because she’s older and experienced.
“No one really knows,” she said. “That feeling just hits you. But you want to make sure that the boy you like, likes you back.”
“How can you tell?”
“Well,” she said after thinking for a minute, “sometimes boys don’t want you to know they like you. So they look at you like they are trying to look like they aren’t looking at you or liking you, but really, they are.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Taro Meyer is a Grammy, Parents’ Choice, and Audie Award winning Audio Producer who has been producing and directing YA audiobooks for over 20 years, including The Princess Diaries Series starring Anne Hathaway, the All American Girl Series starring Ari Meyers, The Inheritance Cycle (Eragon, Eldest, Brisngr) and Judy Blume’s The Pain and the Great One, Here’s to You Rachel Robinson and Tiger Eyes among others.
She co-produced two touring companies of Trans-Siberian Orchestra's smash rock show Christmas Eve and Other Stories and their TV special The Ghosts of Christmas Eve, receiving Gold and Platinum Albums for her work with the team. She was associate producer of the award winning anti-bullying movie, “The Contest,” and co-produced the premier showcase of off-Broadway’s Little Willie.
As an actress and singer, she starred on Broadway in the musical Zorba, in numerous regional and off-Broadway shows, and on TV’s All My Children, Another World (for which she also composed music) and the mini-series Memories of Midnight, amongst others.
Meyer wrote and produced the upcoming children’s album: Mighty Musical Fairy Tales, starring international artist Patti Austin; an updated, joyous musical version of Classic Fairy tales, accompanied by an illustrated book, The Ugly Duckling.
Red Sky Presents:
Emma G. Loves Boyz: Twitter
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The tour dates can be found here