Friday, January 13, 2012

Teens, Society and Fiction

My teen children enjoy young adult fiction like Harry Potter and Hunger Games.  So one of my initial goals when writing the Socialite series was to create a series that they would like to read (they do, thankfully!)  During the construction of the series I wanted to include many of the issues that teens today encounter and have to deal with - but to show how an alien race would view these issues.  For example, what side would an alien species take on controversial issues like capital punishment or abortion.

Many of the main characters in Socialite are teens growing up in a society much like our own.  Since the series revolves around two families, the Liebes and the Amis (one human, one...not) brought together by the Socialite network, social issues are essential to the story.  As in our own society, social media exposes the characters of all ages to the best and worst issues from around the world.  Global events like natural tragedies, legal decisions and political intrigue are relevant to the daily lives of the main characters.

Much of the story involves a battle between individual desires and those of the rest of the population.  Unlike the message spread by the Recycling Karma campaign (or the Dalai Lama in the cartoon shown here),  the story reflects society realistically: people don't get what they deserve, they get what they get: bad/good things happen to good people, and to bad people.  Often chance is as important a determinant in the outcome of an event as a person's own actions.  Many evolutionary puzzles, including altruism, self-sacrifice, and suicide are brought into the story to help develop this view.

The story is neither dystopic, like the Hunger Games, or magical fantasy like Harry Potter.  It presents real issues in our society alongside the issues of the aliens.  The teens encounter issues of peer pressure, bullying, parental unemployment, teen sex, teen pregnancy and abortion.  At the same time they have the fate of two worlds to worry about.

Read Book 1: Bees to Benny for free, then buy the next three books in the series.

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Apple iPad, Ipod, Iphone:


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