Why I Write

Young Adult Fantasy Books

My journey to becoming a YA fantasy writer began at a young age. My earliest memories of reading fantasy involved being set free to wander the young adult section of our local library. I’d come home with stacks of books where I delved into fantastical realms, growing up on Redwall and Mossflower, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, The Ranger’s Apprentice and The Wizard of Earthsea, Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. As the years passed, I read so many books my library began to run out of new options, so I began to dream of the day when I’d be old enough to venture into the adult fantasy section.

When that day arrived, I made a straight line for those shelves with barely contained excitement. What new mystical worlds and daring adventures were about to open to me? I loaded up my book bag, checked out my stacks, and took them home to read…only to be horrified. I found grit and gore between those pages, explicit language and sex scenes, misery and hopelessness abounding. I reeled. My life was hard enough without heaping more heartache and misfortune into it. The fantasy books of my youth helped me to be brave and to persevere amidst life’s difficulties. Faced with a looming adulthood, I knew I needed more hope and courage, not less. So I returned all those grim adult fantasy books I checked out and returned to the young adult section. There, I faced a choice. 

Continue to reread my old favorites? 

Or write my own?

Two decades of story-crafting later, here I am. I still write YA fantasy: books about adventure, courage, and love; sagas about finding a safe place to belong in a dangerous world; tales of people who overcome life’s obstacles and grow into their destiny.

If that sounds like your kind of fantasy book, then my message to you is this: 

Welcome to the adventure! We’re glad to have you. Now let’s go on a quest.

-C. A. Doehrmann