I’ve always been known to be an “old soul.” I actually enjoy reading, I keep journals, I don’t like to go clubbing, I’m very selective about when I talk, I get along better with people who are older than me than people my own age, and so on.
However, I still have to be real. I’m not as old as my mentality would show otherwise. I’m what’s commonly referred to as a millennial.
I was born in the early 90’s and within my lifetime, the first text message was sent, 9/11 shook up the world, and gay marriage has been legalized in 17 states in the U.S. I’ve been around for the first two censuses where you can “check more than one box” when identifying your race and I voted for president for my very first time during the 2012 presidential elections. I grew up with Harry Potter books and Miyazaki films. I’m active on social media platforms like a lot of other people and I go onto iTunes regularly to check out new music.
That’s something- the generation gap- that definitely popped up a few times as my editor and I discussed her edits for my book last weekend. The overall feedback she provided was great and very helpful. However, there were a few times where she asked “What is this thing?” and “I don’t know what this is.” That has a lot to do with the fact that there’s a bit of a generation gap between us.
My book is very much a young adult novel, as it includes and refers to all sorts of things that people within my age demographic would probably know what they are. There’s a mentioning of Pandora (the planet the film Avatar takes place on) at one point and there’s a mentioning of the band Run River North in another. There’s a chapter that takes place at a boba tea cafe and in other, a guy has to explain to a woman what a frappuccino is. Upon asking my editor whether or not to include terms such as these (and then some) in a glossary in the back of the book, she found that to be a good idea if I want to expand my reader viewership.
It is interesting when you think about it; that I as a millennial is writing a book that is set (for the most part) in modern times. I know that it’s pretty common for aspiring writers to get under the skin of stories set in different time periods- and for that I tip the top of my hat to, for I find that to be really incredible. However, years from now when the current time period- the early-mid years of the second decade of the 21st century- becomes a time referred to as “back in my day,” there will be people who will attempt to capture it, but it will take someone who was around at that time to really know what it was all about.
If anything, because of how modern and current it is in its setting and in its ways, that just may be one of my favorite aspects about the book.