"The majority of people reading YA are adults," said author Mindy Hardwick at today's talk with EPIC writers. The YA trend, according to Hardwick, includes readers in their twenties and thirties, and this group gobbles up "The Hunger Games" ("Lord of the Flies" updated) and other books where the young protagonist solves the main problem. "Good story-telling" is essential to reach these readers, said Hardwick, and that requires character development based on these questions:

1. What does the Protagonist love?
2. What does the Protagonist fear? This will define the Climax.
3. What does the Protagonist want more than anything in the world? Then set up three obstacles increasing in intensity.

Another question Hardwick asks about each character is: What is in his/her bedroom, closet, nightstand and pockets?

Hardwick provided handouts to the group with links to (Euterpe/YA Imprint), , and . She also advised getting self-published e-books into to reach the library systems.

Hardwick's full-time writing career includes "teaching teachers" at S.P.U., mentoring writers at Denney Juvenile Justice, and promoting her books, including , and . In her spare time, she belongs to a YA book club. The lady knows her market. --Janette