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Do you think it's a YA author's responsibility to weave a lesson or morals through their stories? (For instance, a lot of people take issue with Twilight because they feel Edward's love for Bella was of a stalker variety, which could send a bad message to teenage girls about healthy relationships.) (PS I am not included in this group of people! I’m just using it as an example!)
Cambria: Personally, no. It's the parents' responsibility to teach their children right vs. wrong and all those do-good lessons. The fiction author's job is to tell a story and hopefully do it authentically.
Katy: I don't think it's a YA author's responsibility to teach a lesson or push morals (that's a parent's job), but I do think it's important for authors to explore themes and to speak to the consequences of their characters' choices and actions, whatever they may be.
Jessica: I was just thinking about this, actually, because in my current project the characters do something illegal several times and there are never any consequences for it. I thought...should I change that? Should they have some sort of consequence for this illegal activity? But then I thought...No. Because sometimes people do illegal things and don't get caught. But sometimes they do, and someone else can write that book.
Sara: Nope. I think authors are responsible for telling the stories they’re driven to write. If those stories seem to lead teens in a bad direction, then 1) we should have more faith in readers that they’ll understand the difference between fiction and reality, and 2) for those who don’t—it’s all about parents and teachers and open, honest discussions.
Matt: The only responsibility an author of fiction has is to tell the truth, even if it's about things that never happened.