Clare Kolenda
Clare Kolenda asked Sarah Dessen:

Hi Sarah! I've been a long time fan of yours and just picked up a copy of "Just Listen" from the library this week and am excited to read it! I also love to write YA Contemporary and have often been told that my books won't sell because they don't have vampires in them or a dystopian feel... Were you ever told this and how do you try to keep your books standing out in the YA world? Thanks!

Sarah Dessen I think whenever there's a trend, people think you should jump onto it. But I know what my strengths are, and I cannot imagine trying to do dystopian or werewolves or whatever. It would be so obvious I was out of my wheelhouse, and seem forced. As an author you have to know your strengths. I just write the stories that I want to read, and have admiration for everyone who can do so well what I cannot.
Sarah Dessen

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