I suppose we should get the awkward, boring stuff out of the way first. My name is Tatyana Tyson, and I’m twenty years old. Nearly twenty-one. That is quite a depressing thought. Not because I feel old, but simply because I’m nowhere near where I thought I’d be at this age. For instance, I wanted to be moved out with a career and a husband by now. Instead I live at home, work at a movie theater, and have never been on a date. Go figure. But as I was saying, I’m nearly twenty-one and very upset about it.
I don’t understand the people who get all excited about twenty-one. Sure, I’ll be able to buy alcohol. But… is that really all there is to this magical age? It’s just as disappointing as eighteen was. I thought hitting eighteen meant I’d be treated like an adult and get to do whatever I wanted without consequences. All eighteen got me was a stack of bills in my own name instead of my parents’ and debt collectors calling for me in that mechanical, creepy robot voice.
Okay, moving on from my age. Anything else technical and boring you should know? Not really. Now for the fun stuff. If you actually maneuvered yourself to this page, it must be obvious to you that I’m a writer. And contrary to belief, that is one of the coolest things to be in the world. Not to toot my own horn or anything. But really, if you want a good, interesting friend, find a writer. We’re the best. Just sayin’.
Who else will willingly and excitedly sit around with you or text with you about aliens any time and anywhere? Who else will listen to your borderline-psychotic dreams with rapt attention, asking questions and possibly even taking notes? And who else, dare I ask, can you call or text at four in the morning with half-baked story ideas that you need help fleshing out without getting an earful, if not hung up on entirely and unfriended?
No one else, that’s who.
So what do I write? I write YA social science fiction (a subcategory of the subcategory soft science fiction), romance, and contemporary drama. Sometimes a good mix of the three, sometimes separate. And before you write me off as another vampire/werewolf/zombie/wizard/omgimsoinlovewithyou young adult novel writer, can I just say that I hate YA with an unbridled passion? Because I do.
“So why do you write YA?”
Good question. See, in my barely-escaped teen years I felt no small amount of animosity toward YA fiction. The characters did stupid things and spoke in stupid ways and somehow never knew why they were attracted to one another. All too often I’d find myself shaking my current read and yelling at the pages “you like him because he’s hot, stupid! Why are you making this so complicated?” Or other times when the characters met and two days later pronounced their eternal love, I’d simply throw the book against the wall and walk away. But always, without fail, I would finish a book disappointed in both the author and the characters because both had so much more potential than I’d just witnessed.
But as my mom always tells me, if you can’t find what you want, make it yourself. And that is how I came to be determined to write YA fiction that isn’t an insult to teens everywhere, whether they know it or not. Of course, it may just be that I’m stuck up and strange… Everyone says I’m an old soul (personally I feel I was born thirty years old) and I’ve seemed to skip a lot of normal phases in life. That “angry, teenagery phase?” Yup, I never hit that. I’ve remained pretty consistent from childhood until now, save a few adjustments in temperament and maturity.
Anyway, I was an avid, dissatisfied reader until age eleven when I met a girl named Emma who was writing her own novel. Fascinated, as the thought had never occurred to me to write a book, I pestered her and my sixth grade language arts teacher to let her read an excerpt. I remember not one word of that excerpt, but it must’ve been either really great or really horrible, because it inspired me to attempt to write something better. And so I did. I wrote–by hand in bright, purple gel pen–what I thought was an amazing novel.
I take it out every once in a while. It reminds me that I have no idea what I’m doing.
I’ve been writing ever since. Novels, short stories, essays, poetry. I like to think I’m doing well, but I won’t be satisfied until I’m published. But until then I’ll be satisfied to continue what I’m doing and write as much as humanly possible, share my thoughts and what I’ve learned with you all along the way, and have a good time. I’m young, I’ve got time. Unless I die, which is also possible.
If there’s one thing I can say about myself…I’m a pessimist. And a hypochondriac. And I’m a germaphobe. And I will always tell you the truth, even if it hurts. But deep down past the pessimism and truth sits a little girl who used to sit in class and daydream instead of learn her multiplication tables.
My head is filled with worlds of all shapes and sizes and ideas of all kinds. Characters both good and evil, happy and sad, lazy and hyper. Aliens who want to take over the world and aliens who, like us, just want to explore and meet new races. Creatures that can kill you or carry you across the stars in a bundle of fur and snot. I dream of candy rivers and scale-covered roads over which carriages made of pure glass float. A world covered in lava can become a world covered in cotton candy and filled with raisin-people who want to avenge their brethren we’ve enslaved and murdered here on earth because… well… why not?
I hope to one day have a vast following of other wide-eyed, wonder-filled individuals who love nothing better than to immerse themselves in incredible worlds and the deep, actually interesting lives of non-stereotypical(and decidedly not angst-driven) young adults.
But that’s enough about me. What about you? Do you read or write (or both)? What genres? And if you write, when did you start?