Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Winger series and The Marbury Lens.
He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. He lives in Southern California.
I have a difficult time with the concept of something being gratuitous. I don’t think that what I write is gratuitous; nothing is thrown in there just for the sake of shock or pushing any kind of imaginary envelope or testing the limits of what’s acceptable. I have a problem with the preposition “for” because I don’t write books for children. I don’t write books for young adults. I really write what I write for me. I write for readers, and those readers are all kinds of different ages, but I like to focus on those essential adolescent experiences because that was such a tremendously important time in my life. Now, as an adult, I can look back objectively at some of the mistakes I made, and some of the mistakes that friends of mine made, and also some of the joy and some of the horror of that time. Again, I’m not really writing for a specific age group, regardless of where the book gets shelved in a bookstore. The most recent studies, after all, show that the majority of young adult titles are being sold to adults who are buying them for themselves.