Recently, there has been an explosion of A-List celebrities and YouTube megastars gaining their own book deals, with the likes of publishing giants such as Penguin. From teen idols Kendall and Kylie Jenner to online sensation Zoe Sugg, announcements seem to be springing up from everywhere about a new piece of fiction, written by your favourite pop star.
An hour teaching teenagers who don't want to be there something they don't want to learn is never pleasant... A few things tend to raise their curiosity: that they can physically change their brain; that mindfulness is used by top sportsmen and musicians; that it might help with their exams or, at the very least, help them worry less about their exams.
What I will sometimes do is explain that a lot of the work that is being published as YA now would've been published as coming-of-age adult literature twenty years ago, when the YA category didn't really exist as it does now. If J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye were published today, it would be solidly YA. That seems to make them feel better.
In my last article, I identified a new young generation, the SAFFYs: Serious, Active, Forward-Facing Youth. They're very different to the "typical teen" parodied by Kevin the Teenager. Less frivolous, hedonistic, lazy and 'devil may care'. More anxious and responsible about the future, and more respectful of the past.
I don't usually take selfies in departure lounges - but it's different when travelling with a seventeen year old boy. It's sweet - he teaches me some stuff and I teach him other stuff. I was really surprised as we settled into our seats on board the aircraft, when he turned to me and said: "What shall we play?"
What I want to question is though, why the government has just started wanting to help mental health in schools? They have had years to do so, even by providing teachers better training with Mental Health awareness and understanding or making Mental Health a compulsory unit in Science or ECM, yet they have failed to do anything until recently...
Anyone look back at your tween and teen years and reminisce about how incredibly awkward and uncomfortable you felt in your own skin? Anyone, in conjunction, also realize that those quirks you felt so odd about back then have actually made you the unique person you are today? Anyone think how sad it was that you wasted all that time and energy worrying about what others thought about you? Well...I sure as hell do.
My writing straddles too many genres to be categorised. So I turned Indie. However, when my self-published, first novel made it to the Amazon bestseller list, I realised I had a niche: a group of readers around the world who liked what I wrote. They wanted to know what it meant to come of age in a complex environment like India.