1) Female protagonist must have at least three emotional dysfunctions such as drug addiction, food disorder and a compulsion to pull fire alarms.
2) Male protagonist must be a rebel/genius/loner/geek with a heart of gold with three of the following characteristics: six-pack abs, musical talent, latent vampirism or magic powers.
3) Contemporary music such as Rap, Hip-Hop, Yodeling or Zydeco must be celebrated.
4) Explicit sex must be portrayed in an unhealthy manner. Healthy sexual relations will cause inhibited parents, uptight talk show hosts and the FDA to ban the book.
5) Popular eras for period pieces: the Sixties, the Thirties, the 1880’s and the Sixties.
6) Fantasy novels require a dragon, a castle, arcane jargon and a leather pouch carried by a hunchback.
7) Incorporate latest technology such cell phones, iPods, iPhones, iShoes, laptops, PDAs, DUIs, MRIs, GPS, IRS, latent thermal body scanners – you’ve hit the cutting edge if the CIA visits you.
8) No story should be without the follow emotions: unrequited love, unrequited lust, unrequited shopping, unrequited air-guitar, jealousy, envy and a hunger for sushi.
9) Satisfy the “minority” quotient by including three of the following:
e) Unpublished writers who are chick magnets
…and the Tenth Ingredient for a Successful Young Adult Novel*
10) Under no conditions should your story portray a “nuclear family.” Always, always the young adult lives with a single parent, un-related guardian, grandmother, grandfather, parking lot attendant, three green trolls or seven old dwarfs.
Include these ingredients in your Young Adult Novel, Bake at 200 degrees Absolute Kelvin, let sit for two years, then serve. Makes about one serving per book. Zero Calories. Zero Sodium. Marginal Profit.
*As determined by The Society of Irreproducible Results