Boomers Striking Gold as YA Authors

By Stephen L. Antczak | January 12, YA (Young Adult) books are consistently among the biggest…

Georgia (Jan 14, 2015) Suzanne Collins (the Hunger Games trilogy) is 52. Rick Riordan, creator of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, is 50. Chris Crutcher, author of Period 8Deadline and Angry Management, is 68. Roxanne Longstreet Conrad, who writes the popular Morganville Vampires series as Rachel Caine, is 52. …


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By Stephen L. Antczak | January 12, YA (Young Adult) books are consistently among the biggest bestsellers. In Nielsen’s latest annual list of top-selling books, eight of the Top 10 titles in 2014 were YA, including No. 1: the paperback version of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. What you might not realize, though, is that many authors penning successful YA series aren’t young — they’re boomers.

Bryan Gillis, Associate Professor of English Education and Literacy at Kennesaw State University and director of the upcoming 24th KSU Conference on Literature for Children and Young Adults doesn’t see a difference between YA writers of different generations.


“Good writers, regardless of when they were born, pull not only from past and present experiences but also from their imaginations,” says Gillis. “I don't believe that one's imagination or experiences are bound by a birthdate.”


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit