Author John Abramowitz is offering the first two books from The Weaver Saga, Weaver and The Void, for 99 cents on Amazon from Dec. 2-10 in anticipation of the release of the third book in the series, Flickers, which comes out Dec. 10.
Below, he talks a little of about his Young Adult series and his reasons for writing a young adult fantasy novel that purposely doesn’t include “abusive love interests.”
For the first few chapters of Weaver, Book 1 of The Weaver Saga, readers might think they’re delving into a young adult paranormal romance. The book starts out in familiar enough territory: shy, socially isolated girl meets the boy of her dreams. But from the moment I started writing, my plan was to take this well-worn plot device and twist it into something terrifying. My fifteen-year-old protagonist would meet the boy of her dreams, all right–but the dream would be about him killing her. And rather than a romance, readers would get a thriller. (Though there are plenty of romantic elements for those looking to swoon.)
There were two reasons for the bait-and-switch. First, I’m contrary by nature. When I write, nothing makes me happier than defying reader expectations and genre conventions. The last thing I want is for a reader of mine to say “Oh, I know where this is going”–and then end up being right. Predictability leads to boredom, and if my readers are bored, I’m not doing my job right.
The other reason is that I’m tired of abusive love interests in young adult fantasy fiction. I will admit up front that this is a genre that I watch more than read. I watched The Vampire Diaries until it jumped the shark completely during season 4 and still keep up with its spinoff series The Originals. Until it was cancelled, I also enjoyed The Nine Lives of Chloe King. And maybe it’s just me, but when the first thing a character does onscreen is assault someone who’s done him no harm (as happened in The Nine Lives of Chloe King), that character should have no chance as a love interest. At least not without some serious rehabilitation first. Similarly, a character who puts his hands around the throat of the woman who is carrying his child (as happened in The Originals) should immediately lose all chance of winning over the girl of his dreams. And I don’t think snapping the neck of your lady love’s younger brother should be an aphrodisiac, either. (The Vampire Diaries, season 2, episode 1.
I wrote The Weaver Saga, as much as anything else, to question whether writers should hold up such characters as ideal partners for young women (or role models for young men seeking to “get the girl”). An attractive monster is still a monster. At the same time, though, there’s a reason that the “bad boy” character gets re-used so often: “dangerous” and “sexy” often do go hand-in-hand. And sometimes bad people really do find a measure of redemption, so I didn’t want to discount that possibility, either. I tried to look at the issue from all sides.
Oh, and I threw in an FBI agent and a secret society and some superpowered kids, too. Just for extra fun. If I haven’t scared you away with all the parentheses in this article, I invite you to give Weaver a shot. Buckle up–a new kind of young adult fantasy awaits.