For a very long time, young adult fiction in India was all about “adults” writing for the “young”. However, now teenagers seem to be in no mood to let that practice continue with 15 to 16-year-olds turning authors and deciding to take charge of stories that talk about them.
The result -- a flurry of novels of teenagers, for teenagers and most importantly by teenagers.
“I wanted to be a teenager writing for my age group,” explains Tishaa Khosla, who at 16 years wrote her first book 'Pink or Black', drawn from her high school experiences and churned into an engrossing tale about lives of boys and girls on the cusp of adulthood.
With the second book in the trilogy just out and over 40,000 copies sold of the first, the 21-year-old credits her success to the fact that the story draws from real life and is rooted in true events.
“People who have read it say it feels like a slice of their life,” she adds.
She may have fictionalised certain events, but the conversations, the situations and the dilemmas are the ones that every teenager grapples with.
And that is exactly what publishing houses seem to be on the look out for -- young adult stories which connect with the readers.
“Coming from a teenager, these stories are much closer home to the target audience which instantly arouses a certain curiosity from the reader,” says Saugata Mukherjee, publisher, Pan Macmillan.
Luckily says Tishaa, she decided to try her hand at Young Adult (YA) fiction at a time when it was only slowly being recognised as a space through which publishing houses could gain commercial success.
“Till not very long ago, YA was not seen as very profitable. That idea is now certainly changing and it is a mark of the way publishing industry is growing in India,” says Sudeshna Shome Ghosh, Executive Editor of Rupa Publications, which brought out Tishaa's book.
And what better way to tap into that market than having a novel right out of horses mouth i.e. young adults themselves. In fact, some of the promising talents in the field are yet to reach their teens but happen to be already much loved authors.
A case in point is Anusha Subramanian, who was just 11-years-old when she penned her fantasy novel 'Heirs of Catriona', a story of two teenagers who discover they are princesses of a magical land and embark on an adventurous journey to save