Today we have the huge honour of Chelsea Pitcher writing a guest post! Keep reading as she tells us about why she decided to go from writing YA contemporary to YA fantasy.
Last year, when my debut came out, it was a gritty YA contemporary that dealt with bullying and suicide. This year, my book is a YA urban fantasy about forbidden love and grand faerie battles. From a distance, it might seem strange that I chose to switch genres so early in my career. Why didn’t I write another contemporary mystery in the vein of THE S-WORD? Didn’t that make the most sense?
What was I thinking?!
Well, let me tell you a secret: the books have more in common than you’d think. Yes, THE LAST CHANGELING is about a faerie revolution, a princess undercover, and the human boy she’s forbidden to love, but it also deals with the real-world issues of identity and bullying. While Elora is struggling to overthrow her tyrannical mother, Taylor’s struggling with a tyrant of a different kind: a bully who’s fighting to keep gay couples from attending the prom. Much like in my debut, the human characters navigate the complex issues of sexuality, identity, friendship and family. But unlike in THE S-WORD, which explored the effects of bullying on an isolated person, THE LAST CHANGELING is all about community, and accessing your collective power to create positive change.
So, for readers of THE S-WORD, who worry I’ve thrown aside my passion for social justice and written a light-hearted fantasy, never fear! While THE LAST CHANGELING is a lighter story, it still delves into the nature of human existence, right and wrong, love and death, and yes . . . the complicated mess that is high school. And for those who aren’t big on dark contemporaries, and want to read about faeries, magic, and love, there’s plenty of that too! I won’t say the book is for everybody. No book is for everybody. But I really love finding that sweet spot between fantastical creatures and relatable humans, and I think that comes across in this story.
Writing means the world to me, and I wouldn’t be able to do this without all of you. So as I leap here and there, experimenting with different genres, chasing my characters wherever they want to go, I’m so grateful for everyone that follows me along the way. You make this possible!
Thank you so much to Sophie for having me!
Chelsea Pitcher is a karaoke-singing, ocean-worshipping Oregonian with a penchant for wicked faerie tales. She began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can draw out some light. She is also the author ofThe S-Word (Simon and Schuster, 2013).