My problem with Young Adult fantasy books, I came to realize, was parents. Let’s go over the parental plot device:
Conveniently, getting parents out of the way lets a YA fantasy author spin a tale with added freedom from those pesky parental units. Yes, I know it’s more complicated than that, but still.
While I am sure that each generation needs its stories that deal with parental loss, as I got older, I ODed on the entire concept and my reading self ran screaming from the genre entirely for many many years.
My memory may be hazy, but there are, for example, excellent YA Fantasy books that have those pesky parents present, with Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series coming to mind (unless, of course my 28 year old memory of the series is off). Blowing dust bunnies off the neurons, I also believe Madeleine L’Engle‘s A Wrinkle in Time books also have parents that stick around and even provide, yanno, help.
So it was with… well I admit horror, that I realized The Baby Dancers protagonist were bereft of parental units, unlike my Gaterunner concept which had a humorously flawed, but helpful, family setting.
Bad Anthony! Bad Anthony! Now what am I to do? My outline running around my head is flawed!
Gonna fix that. The parents won’t be a permanent fixture at the elbow, but they aren’t going to pushed aside for my convenience either.