My newest book, IXEOS, is a Young Adult novel, my first in that genre. I struggle with genre, because I write the story that’s in my head without regard to the label. But at some point (ie publishing) you have to sit down and try to categorize your work. This book is Young Adult because the main characters are teens, but its underlying message appeals to all ages.
I’ve been asked a lot why I wrote a YA. My answer would be, “Why not?” and I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way. I like to read YA myself, and I like to explore the themes that are meaningful for teenagers. This is pretty easy for me -- I have kids who are 16 and 20, and I have homeschooled for thirteen years now.
Teens have a lot going on. Early teens have a lot of hormonal stuff that makes them, at times, supremely frustrating, but they are also starting to develop amazing insight into what’s going on around them. By mid-teens, I’m more surprised by a bonehead moment than I am by the mature conversations and increased responsibility I see in my kids. By late teens, 99% of the time I consider them a great joy.
But I also know the things that they struggle with, and chief among them is their place and purpose in this world. Right now, especially, with teen and recent college grad unemployment at an all-time high, many are wondering what their life is going to look like five or ten years from now. Kids who always thought they’d go to college are now looking at the cost versus the shrinking benefits and trying to approach the world in a new, out of the box, way.
And kids of all ages worry that they aren’t important. That they don’t have anything to contribute. This is the theme that IXEOS explores. The teens in IXEOS are brought to the planet for a purpose that only they can fulfill. There’s no college. There’s no “you’re too young.” Their job is to help free the humans, and if they don’t help, it won’t get done.
It’s scary when things ride on your shoulders, especially if you haven’t ever been in that position before. But I find that, in real life, my teens have always risen to the occasion and done well. Sometimes even better than I’d hoped.
This is what the teens in IXEOS find, too. They are truly capable, when given the chance. As the grown-up, I try to remember that. I think this book is also a great reminder to those of us who have been around awhile. We, too, can find and fulfill a purpose. Maybe even one no one else can do!
As a writer, I know that there are millions of other writers out there, but I know that none of them can write my stories, nor can I write theirs. No matter your profession, you can do something unique and important. I believe that for myself, and try to pass it on to my kids so that they truly believe it, as well. And if some realize this through reading IXEOS, I will be incredibly proud!
About Ixeosby Jennings Wright
The McClelland's are enjoying a lazy summer at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose: to take the planet back from humanoid aliens that have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long imprisoned rebel leader.
The aliens aren't' the only problem on Ixeos -- the McCleland's have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by aliens, and most of the population has been killed or enslaved.
What's the worst part? There's no way home.
About Jennings Wright
Author links: Website, Facebook, Twitter @JenningsWright, Goodreads, Amazon
Buy your kindle copy of Ixeos today!