Sometimes I read YA books, and I cringe, thinking I would never say that and I can’t imagine ever hearing someone under eighteen saying that. So where does someone learn an authentic YA voice? You know the things that people say in just the right way, so even if you never really heard their actual voice you could roughly guess how old they are.
My all time favourite? The airport. The international terminal is best I reckon. So many different people from hugely different places all in one little room. It’s kind of like a tin of sardines, only with lots of different kinds of fish instead.
It’s more than just the different people, it’s the atmosphere. The immense rush that you get from all those people who are excited beyond description, and each one for a personal reason. If you sit at the arrivals gate of an airport terminal, you’ll see husband’s and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends running to meet each other. Totally oblivious to a thousand strangers watching them.
You’ll have the groups of people going away with their schools or sports groups, people just finished school and heading off for the first time in their lives to see the world for themselves.
Probably the only thing an airport doesn’t have is a glass fronted room so I can watch people without them noticing and feeling like that lady with a notebook is following me around!