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“What sets you apart?”

Every day, as I check my email, my hosting site bombards me with news stories they think I’ll like. This week, there was one of an older woman and the caption said, “Is she too ugly to love?” The caption caught my attention because the woman was by no definition “ugly,” maybe “normal” or “not surgically altered.” I didn’t read the article because I was so disgusted by the promo. It was about a woman who had never had a boyfriend, a date, etc and she is in her forties. So she is somehow a failure—ugly beyond hope even—as a result? Coincidentally, this week BillO’Rielly did a segment on Glee. He claims more and more they are covering controversial topics like gay relations, teen pregnancy, and transvestite teens. He questioned if such exposure was good or if it promotes these things as common. The topic didn’t strike me too much except the next day a young teenager wrote in and said she is saving herself for marriage and yet there are no characters on television designed to represent her. I’d have to say, when looking at the shows today, she’s right.  
Why do I bring this up? Because as a writer, I am asked a certain question constantly—whether it is from an agent, publisher, or marketing expert. What sets your work apart? Why should someone pick up your book and not another? I actually didn’t come up with my platform on my own. I sort of stumbled into the role. Having my mother as an only reader in high school, I couldn’t write about topics I’d be embarrassed for her to read. When interviewed by Pat Wick from The Sierra Vista Herald, she said it was refreshing not to have a compelling story without all the sex, drugs, violence, language, etc.

While I used to do so by chance, I believe now I compel myself to be different. I want to write pieces that go deeper than the glamour of Hollywood. While I’m in the “young adult” market, I want to be the author even adults can escape to when they don’t want all the other stuff. The more books I read driven for the adult market and the racier the storyline on television, the more I value having such a platform.