The other day I was asked if I had considered write adult rather than YA fantasy. I replied that I did, in fact write adult fantasy, but I also take into consideration that children read my work as well. Over half of my readers are adults who enjoy my stories without the inclusion of explicit sex or excess profanity. Don't get me wrong. I'm not a prude and have no problem with mature subject matter. But I choose to write for a broader audience. This usually gets my books classified as YA or Teen, and to tell the truth, I don't mind at all.
When I think about the first fantasy novels I read as a youngster, most of them would be considered YA by today's standards. I fell in love with the genre during a time that good versus evil was not thought to be an old fashioned concept, and it shows in my work. And from what I can tell from the response to my books, I'm not alone when I say it's a theme that will never become outdated or uninteresting.
Fantasy has come a long way since the days of Tolkien. Brilliant authors such as G.R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, and many others have taken it to levels unimagined in my youth. Their skills rival that of the greatest writers in literary history. Martin, in particular has captured popular culture with the way he has integrated Tolkiensque world building with edgy, brutal, and often over the top situations and plot twists. Such fantasy did not exist for me as a young reader. And though I would not want my son reading it (for obvious reasons) I enjoy his work very much. Still, there seems to be room enough in the world for writers like me who don't take content so far.
I suppose as long as there are people who like a good ole fun romp through the world of heroes, elves, wizards, and monsters, and love it when good triumphs or evil, I'll still have a job. I'll keep plugging away and hoping that I can continue to entertain yet another generation of reader ready to discover to the magic that lives within the pages of a genre I love dearly and has brought me so much joy.