Aloha! I began writing an upper middle grade adventure novel a year ago. At the time my premise was fantastical. A mysterious virus wiped out the post-pubescent population on a remote island. Led by a curious and fearless young girl, a family of three are forced to set out on an adventure to save themselves, and possibly, all of humanity. I am now well into the book and, with the aid of the lockdown, project to finish it within the month. My question is, will a publisher be interested in this story anytime soon or is it too close to home? Mahalo!
You were clearly very prescient in writing a “mysterious virus” story! And your question is tough to answer. Here’s my view …
I am personally seeing quite a few virus stories in my inbox, most of which have probably sprung to life for their authors since the pandemic took off. I will admit that my instincts right now are to go for stories that feel hopeful, inspiring, fun — and a real break and antidote from the real world. Perhaps especially in YA, where I feel we’ve seen a lot of virus/apocalypse stories in recent years.
However, stories like this are a bit less prevalent in MG. So as long as the story reads really well, and it isn’t obviously taken from our current situation, you could find that agents are receptive. As ever, it all depends on how much we fall in love with the story.
I hope this helps.