- 4:41 pm - Wed, Dec 11, 2013
- 2 notes
It’s Day Eight of 21 Days of Indie Books, and I have yet another awesome YA recommendation. While it may feel like the genre is flooded with the supernatural, there are still plenty of books (and publishers) seeking realistic fiction. And while this one may be on the darker side, it will…
So happy to be included in Diana Wallach’s round-up! And thrilled to be compared to Jay Asher. Yay!
- 11:36 am - Tue, Dec 3, 2013
- 1 note
No Acting Please! Added Gush for The After Girls
I’m on a roll with these Still Photography Kidlit book trailers. So, I’ve added Leah Konen’s The After Girls to my No Acting Please riff. Check out Book Trailer Gushes to see why.
Thrilled to be mentioned!
- 9:58 am - Mon, Dec 2, 2013
THE AFTER GIRLS featured in Amazon’s Teen Gift Guide!
Happy Monday! I’ve got some exciting news for the holiday season and couldn’t wait to share! While I was messing around on Amazon and procrastinating finishing my current draft, I discovered that THE AFTER GIRLS is featured in Amazon’s Teen Gift Guide! It’s at the top under “Totally Teen Gifts” and just a few clicks through. Of course, I think it’s a great gift for the holidays ;) but it’s great to see that Amazon does, too!
You can see the Gift Guide here. And go straight to THE AFTER GIRLS here.
And Merry Christmas!
And special shoutout to Steven Parlato and Elisa Nader, fellow Merit Press authors who are also hanging out in the “Totally Teen Gifts” section!
- 6:12 pm - Mon, Nov 25, 2013
Symbolism in writing: What a few famous authors had to say
I’ve always been more of the, “the apple really is just an apple” camp, when it comes to symbolism.…
- 5:55 pm - Wed, Nov 20, 2013
- 11 notes
How long does it take to write a novel?
I’m coming up on the finish line for the first draft of my new work, and, given that it’s National Novel Writing Month, I’ve been thinking a lot about time and writing. How much time is enough? Too much? Does a good novel take more time than a subpar one? Is ten years better than ten months—or even—ten days?
THE AFTER GIRLS took me, all in all, probably three years. I’ll leave it to you to decide if it’s quote-unquote good or not. How much was on a first draft or a second or a third or revisions, I cannot tell you. That novel was such a discovery all the way through, that I doubt I could pin down any real start or finish. But I’d ballpark three years.
My first manuscript, which was fairly autobiographical and is better suited to my eyes than the general public’s, took me four months for a first draft. Let’s just say I was a rather prolific twenty-three year old. But that novel wasn’t near as ambitious as THE AFTER GIRLS, and I think that’s one of the reasons why it went so fast.
Now, my current project looks to be finished (first draft-wise) soon, which would put the total first draft time at around ten months. I chalk up the speed to an extremely detailed outline, a fully formed idea (the whole plot came to me around Christmas last year, in a 2 a.m. burst of inspiration), and the joys of Scrivener. That said, it is in need of a deep revision, and I’m not sure how long that will take. So the answer, for me at least, is twelve months, if I average four months, ten months and twenty-four months (I’m guessing two years for the first draft of THE AFTER GIRLS). But what about others?
Ernest Hemingway wrote a draft of THE SUN ALSO RISES in just two months, while Donna Tartt took about ten years for THE SECRET HISTORY (I once read an interview where she said she enjoyed every moment of those ten years, and didn’t want it to go any faster, and I have a hard time believing that).
ON THE ROAD apparently took Jack Kerouac less than a month (and one taped-together strip of 120 sheets of paper), while NO GREAT MISCHIEF, by Alistair MacLeod, took thirteen years to write. That’s a middle school child.
So the answer, I guess, is … however long it takes you … and for many of us, it will take longer than a month. Though I admire NaNoWriMo for giving many writers a much-needed jolt, and perhaps some people do find success through it, I’ve never been able to make it work for me. The daily word counts were simply too stressful. There are many days when I exceed the suggested NaNoWriMo count on my own, but there are days that I don’t. I average about 1,000 words a day, but I don’t necessarily write every day (yeah yeah, I know EVERY piece of writing advice says that you should).
Furthermore, I think it would be great if we all could let go of the speed goal and just focus on the writing, itself. There are countless Google searches for “how to write a novel in a month” and “how to write a novel in 30 days,” but, I gotta ask, what’s the rush. If it’s really the story you’re meant to tell, why the need to pack all the fun into just 30 short days?
Fellow writers, how long does it take you to complete a draft? Have you ever had any luck with NaNoWriMo?
- 4:26 pm - Fri, Nov 8, 2013
- 1 note
Friday Writing Inspiration: Margaret Atwood and Questions and Answers in Fiction
Happy Friday. After a bit of a hiatus (including sunning on Miami Beach and a lot of writing), I’m…
- 5:18 pm - Fri, Oct 18, 2013
- 11 notes
Friday Writing Inspiration: Ernest Hemingway on First Drafts
Happy Friday! This quote needs no explaining. I’m close to finishing the first draft of my WIP,…
- 1:37 pm - Mon, Oct 14, 2013
It’s YALSA Teen Read Week: Enter to win The After Girls or snag it for $1.99!
It’s officially YALSA’s Teen Read Week—yay—and the theme this year is Seek the Unknown @ your library. It’s also particularly awesome for my publisher, Merit Press, who’s one of the Teen Read Week sponsors and anyone who likes to read contemporary YA. That’s because, as part of the events, Merit Press is giving away 3 SIGNED BOOKSHELVES of all their titles (above). There’s a lot of great books in this set, and I encourage you guys to enter!
The other good news? Merit Press is also marking down all of their titles to $1.99 for Kindle for the entire week! Yay! You can get The After Girls for just $1.99 here, and be sure to check out all of the other Merit tomes. Happy Teen Read Week. Here’s to trying something new and unknown!
- 1:37 pm - Fri, Oct 11, 2013
Friday Writing Inspiration: Writing Fast, Writing Lots. Plus, Win The After Girls and Get the Ebook for $1.99!
I’m approaching about 60,000 words on my current WIP, and let’s just say that the writing is not necessarily Tolstoy-esque. I’m willing to bet it’s in pretty rough shape, actually. It is in need of several good edits and rewrites, and lot of it needs to be just plain deleted or at least reigned in. That said, there is something there, which is pushing me along. There is a story, and—all craft and beautiful language aside—I really feel it is coming together in this draft. I wanted to share two awesome quotes today as inspiration for those of us who love to pound out shitty first drafts. Above, a writing quote from Ray Bradbury, on writing a lot.
And here, a writing quote from Raymond Chandler, on writing fast. Hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me! P.S. More news on this next week, but as part of YALSA’s Teen Reads week, which is sponsored by my publisher, Merit Press, not only will YALSA be giving away a suite of Merit titles, but during that week, you can get all their titles on ebook, including The After Girls, for just $1.99. Yay! More to come next week.
- 2:23 pm - Thu, Oct 10, 2013
- 2 notes
On hard work, circumstance and success
A lot of rhetoric has floated around lately about hard work, “bootstraps,” personal responsibility, and so on. Some of this is in regard to the idea of socialized or universal healthcare, some of it is about food stamps, unemployment and government…