Point of View

Some of my favorite books, including YA (maybe more so YA) either toggle between the male and female POV or are written wholly from the male POV. Is this the result of having sons? Or perhaps a deep-seated need to get into the male head and root around for interesting similarities and/or differences?

Even still, I believe more in the uniqueness of individuals than I do in disparity based on gender. For instance, while stereotypes might indicate that males tend to be more sports-science-sex-driven and females tend to be more artistic-language-romance-driven, those drives overlap (and sometimes are completely opposite) more than those general stereotypes would suggest.

I love enigmatic characters who overlap or break stereotype, especially when much of it occurs within their thought processes. In high school, boys were baffling to me. When Mom said, "They're only after one thing!" it seemed true. (Um, not that I minded, though that's not what I seemed to be thinking about while sketching hearts on my notebook, right?) That's the thing about stereotypes -- they're based on what seems true, not necessarily what is.

As a writer/storyteller, I'm lucky to have a daughter who was much more inclined to play team sports than either of her brothers and is studying biology in college, while her older brother is artistic and is studying theatre. But I'm just as lucky to have an outwardly stereotypical-seeming youngest son who talks to me. Because what's in his head is often at odds with what he's saying/doing where girls are concerned. I'm convinced that 15-year old boys are indeed driven by exactly what you'd think -- but there's waaaay more to it than what's on the surface. As they say, it's complicated. (And for a writer, complicated is good.)

Some of my favorite complicated boys:

Sammy - STRUTS AND FRETS by Jon Scovron
Cameron - GOING BOVINE by Libba Bray
Sam - SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater
Ben - DEADLINE by Chris Crutcher
Nick - BREATHING UNDERWATER by Alex Flinn
Caleb - LEAVING PARADISE by Simone Elkeles
James - SOMEDAY THIS PAIN WILL BE USEFUL TO YOU by Peter Cameron