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I’m participating in the Chills and Thrills Readathon from October 24th through October 31st:
For details and sign up, check out Reading Cram 2.0
Books to read are:
From the fantastic author of The Lonely Hearts Club and Prom & Prejudice comes a story of all the drama and comedy of four friends who grow into themselves at a performing arts high school.
Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts school, getting ready for their Senior Showcase recital, where the pressure is on to appeal to colleges, dance academies, and professionals in show business. For Sophie, a singer, it’s been great to be friends with Emme, who composes songs for her, and to date Carter, soap opera heartthrob who gets plenty of press coverage. Emme and Ethan have been in a band together through all four years of school, but wonder if they could be more than just friends and bandmates. Carter has been acting since he was a baby, and isn’t sure how to admit that he’d rather paint than perform. The Senior Showcase is going to make or break each of the four, in a funny, touching, spectacular finale that only Elizabeth Eulberg could perform.
STANDING OVATION to Elizabeth Eulberg for writing another outstanding YA novel, TAKE A BOW. I started this late last night and couldn’t put it down until I finished it some time in the wee hours of the morning. Worth every second I gave up for a good night’s sleep.
TAKE A BOW is narrated by four different characters: the lovable, talented, and unsure-of-her talents Emme, the self-destructive and brilliantly gifted Ethan, the former child actor Carter who is searching for his identity, and the selfish and arrogant Sophie who will stop at nothing for fame. Then add a cast of supporting characters: Jack and Ben are funny, wonderful, dedicated, loyal friends to Ethan and Emme. They’re as much a part of this novel as the rest, and even though they’re not center stage, Elizabeth Eulberg does a fantastic job giving them strong voices and bringing them to life as members of TEENAGE KICKS, the band they play in with Ethan and Emme. Then there is Amanda, a prickly, jealous girl who fits right in with Sophie. All of these YA attend the prestigious, highly competitive New York City High School of the Creative and Performing Arts.
What transpires over one year at the CPA will leave readers completely engrossed in these characters’ stories. You’ll fall in
Author Elizabeth Eulberg
love, cheer, sneer, and have your heart crushed. This is writing at its finest! I loved this novel. The biggest disappointment was finishing the last page. It’s a story I wanted to last and last and last. But like any superb novel, you can imagine the characters’ futures because the author did a tremendous job giving you plenty of glimmers within its pages.
TAKE A BOW has heart, it has music, it has a clear view of the fierce and competitive nature of performing arts’ schools, and it has an authenticity that will make you hope that we’ll see these characters gracing the big screen some day.
Bravo, Elizabeth Eulberg. Thank you for writing such a fine novel!
View all my reviews
Her published books – Read them all: (With more to come!)
The truth won’t always set you free.
Less than a year ago, Neely Ambrose’s biggest worry was having the freedom to follow a path that wasn’t chosen for her.
Less than a year ago, she believed she could trust the Elders who said they had everyone’s best interest at heart and who said they were keeping them safe from the outside.
Sixty days ago, she discovered what they had planned for everyone she loved—and that all of it centered around her.
Now she’s on the run through a dangerous wasteland full of killing machines, secret organizations, and people who want to sell her back to the Elders for their own safety. The whole world outside the Compound is living proof that everything in Neely’s life was a lie manufactured by the Elders, which may even include the boy she loves.
All Neely wants is the truth, but each new piece of it drives her further from what she thought she knew. With only forty days until everyone she loves falls under the Elders’ mind control, Neely must decipher who to trust, what questions to ask, and how to get one step ahead of the Elders, who will do anything to keep their secrets buried.
Patricia Riley, Senior Editor of Spencer Hill Press & Managing Editor of Spencer Hill Contemporary
I have always had a critical eye when it came to the books I read (for instance, 8 year old me would have chopped Baby-Sitters Club, Chapter 2 out of EVERY one of them!) but it was only more recently that I began to look toward editing in the professional sense. After beta-reading for author friends for a few years I got an internship at a small press, which lead to another internship with another small press (Spencer Hill Press) where I ended up being hired as an editor. After a few years at Spencer Hill, I was offered the opportunity to create the Contemporary YA imprint, Spencer Hill Contemporary where I am currently the managing editor. But for the same reason I wanted to edit some contemporary stories (VARIETY!), I am still madly in love with my Press-side genre books as well. As both an editor, and a reader, I love to have the option of diving into a real-world or a fantastical-world depending on my mood. Some days visiting a different part of our world is exactly what I need and other days I need to fly off and play with magic and myth.
This is an impossible question for a lifetime avid-reader, but if I have to pick I’d say as a teen it was THE UNLIKELY ROMANCE OF KATE BJORKMAN by Louise Plummer (to this day I have only met one other person who knew of and loved this book – but we became FAST friends based on this fact!). This was one of the first truly YA romances I ever read and everything about it from the trope-y falling for her older brother’s friend to all the holiday decorations and kissing in the snow just cemented it’s place in my heart. I still pull it out and re-read it once a year around Christmas.
The first time I ever read FMTD it felt like one of my favorite books from childhood, RUNNING OUT OF TIME by Margaret Peterson Haddix. The stories are not exactly similar, but it so strongly reminded me of the book in tone and feeling that I knew I had to have it! The other reason was the main character, Neely’s voice. Voice is such a critical component in YA and FMTD had a character who so deeply connected me to her own emotions that it really made me feel as though I was going on this journey with her.
FMTD had an extensive editing process from beginning to end which Danielle has detailed so excellently here (http://www.danielleellison.com/2012/01/30/sometimes-you-write-a-book-again/). By the time FMTD came across my desk it had been re-written many times and was an incredibly “clean” manuscript. The biggest challenge with FMTD was taking the pieces of all of those re-writes and making sure that the amazing elements that Danielle had discovered throughout her re-writes worked cohesively. The most surprising part was how organic the answers to various questions that came up in editing ended up being – Danielle is a master at getting a question and finding the answer has already been accounted for, either consciously or unconsciously, somewhere in her world-building. It made the discovery process a lot of fun to be a part of.
Even though it has both dystopian and sci-fi elements I would hesitate to categorize it in one column or the other because I think that comes with stereotypes that FMTD far outshines. I think what sets FMTD apart for me is the characters and the level and type of connection they have to each other, and in turn, to the readers. Not only do you see the world(s) that they live in but you get to see the heart of who they are in the face of incredible challenges. It really brings you into the core of who they are as people and challenges you to question who you would be if faced with similar situations.
I admit total bias on this front, but my favorite character is Thorne. He is absolutely one of my favorite YA “book boyfriends” and called dibs on him from the first draft of FMTD that I read. There’s just something about a selfless guy who has a great heart (and is hot…did I mention the hotness?).
Nothing is what it seems. Be prepared to go on a journey that challenges everything you think you know about Neely’s world and every single person in it – including Neely herself.
Do you like kickass (kickbutt if this is a young teen girls who take their lives into their own hands and stand up and fight for what they believe in? Do you like hot, incredibly kind sweet boys or hot, incredibly mysterious bad boys and kissing? Do you like thrilling adventure and action-filled journeys through uncharted territory? Then you WANT FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS.
Danielle Ellison spent of her childhood reading instead of learning math. It’s probably the reason she can’t divide without a calculator and has spent her life seeking the next adventure. It’s also probably the reason she’s had so many different zip codes and jobs.
When she’s not writing, Danielle is usually drinking coffee, fighting her nomadic urges, watching too much TV, or dreaming of the day when she can be British. Danielle is also the author of SALT and STORM, a series about a snarky witch without magic. She has settled in Northern Virginia, for now, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.
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“Where is Kayla?” Rachel’s voice rose.
Oh God. Please don’t let anyone hear her…
“Kayla!” chorused my friends.
I shot to the surface and sucked in a long breath. So much for the underwater hiding spot I’d ducked into when Nick flashed by in his swim lane. So far, I’d mostly stayed off his radar, and I meant to keep it that way until I left tomorrow. We had too much history to start another chapter.
“We were looking for you.” Rachel lifted her swim goggles and frowned down at me with light brown eyes that matched her springing, shoulder-length curls. “You scared the crap out of us.”
“Sorry.” I swiped my hair off my face and swirled in the cool water so that my back faced the returning guys. My pale shoulders crisped under the bright sun. “Didn’t think you’d notice.”
Brittany patted my hand on the floating rope, her eyes a light blue without her vampire contacts. “We’d probably notice if you were dead.”
“Ya think?” Rachel hoisted her sleek, Speedo-clad body onto the swim platform. “I thought you only had eyes for Nick, Britt.”
My heartbeat tripped over itself at his name. Despite the splashing, churning water around us, the catcalls and whistle-blowing, it was all I heard. Reason three for needing to leave camp: it sucked being around an ex that I still liked. Especially now that everyone else liked him, too.
“Nick!” cough/hacked Brooke, and we all froze. I swear, even the dripping water suspended in midair.
“What’s up? Everything okay?” rumbled a deep voice that was as familiar as it was different. “Everyone accounted for?”
I felt his eyes slide over me before he lifted the lane separator and joined us. Nick Desanti. Even when we’d been no more than hiking partners before we became best friends and nearly more, I’d always been super-aware of him. I met his hazel gaze for a split second, the vivid color contrasting against his dark Italian skin and black-brown hair.
“Nothing to see. Let’s move along, folks,” I muttered under my breath and reached for the platform. Strong hands spanned my waist and lifted me onto the worn wood.
I turned around to object, even though his touch sent heat streaking through me, but I closed my mouth at the sight of Nick’s back. Kayla dismissed. It hurt more than the splinter digging into my big toe. The quick boost was no more than he’d do for anyone. And that’s all I was to Nick now. Anyone. Or worse…no one.
“Ohhhhh, lift me next, Nick. You’re so strong!” Brooke wriggled her bikini-clad behind like a dog in heat, her purple-tipped black hair swishing in the water. Would I be justified in calling her a bitch? It was the right term, but I could never say that out loud. I was the girl who never spoke her mind…except in her mind.
A loud squeal sounded in the humid, mid-July air as Nick tossed first Brooke, then Brittany at Rachel and me, toppling us like bowling pins. From the shore, a whistle shrilled. Gollum. We’d nicknamed our camp director, Mr. Woodrow, after the Lord of the Rings creature for a whistle obsession so intense we called it his Precious. He waved his arms at us and our oblivious counselor, Victoria. Despite dripping around her like a rainstorm, we didn’t cause her to look up from her magazine.
“Thank you, Nick.” Brittany finger-combed her long blonde hair and batted her water-spiked lashes.
Nick’s eyes crinkled as he smiled up at her. “Anytime. If you need me, just give a shout.”
Brooke waved her hands overhead, her violet eyes flashing. “Shout!”
Everyone laughed but me. Instead, I scooted behind the pack of posing, preening girls.
“Careful or you’ll slide right off that platform again,” Nick called, and all eyes turned toward me. Some of the nearby campers laughed, remembering the time I’d once missed a relay race dive and belly-flopped off the slippery dock.
I crossed my arms and glared at him, my scowl only making his smile widen. First he ignored me and now he tried to humiliate me. Was that why he’d returned to camp? I didn’t believe his story about needing time off from practices and endorsement appearances. He could have gone somewhere way more glamorous. No, Nick came back to Juniper Point for a reason.
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In this emotional and sexy New Adult debut from Brighton Walsh, the only thing more frightening than commitment is hope…
Aspiring chef Cade Maxwell is immediately, viscerally attracted to Winter Jacobson. But it’s not her mouthwatering curves he’s drawn to—it’s the strange emptiness in her eyes. When Cade saves her from a drunken customer with grabby hands, he’s shocked at her response…
Winter doesn’t need Cade’s help. After a lifetime of getting by on her own, she’s happy to rely on herself. She’s exactly seventy-six days away from graduating college, and if she can hold it together that long, she’ll finally be able to rise above the crappy hand she was dealt.
But now, every time she turns around, Cade is there, ready to push her, smile at her, distract her from her plans. Winter knows she can’t afford to open up—especially to a man she’s terrified to actually want…
Brighton Walsh spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with writing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children.
“Okay, now add the flour, but—” It’s too late, a puff of white exploding in Winter’s face before I can get the words out or reach to flip the switch. “You need to turn the mixer to low.”
She spins around, her cheeks covered in random white spots, some of the flour dusting her hair. “You couldn’t say that before, ‘Now add the flour’?” Her voice is low, her eyes narrowed, and I take a step back.
“Well, yeah, I guess I could’ve, but I just sort of figured you’d know enough not to add loose flour to a wildly spinning mixer.”
“Oh, you figured I’d know enough for that, huh? Even after I told you I’ve never made cookies before? Even then?”
She’s advancing on me now, and I shouldn’t be retreating like a scared animal. I have more than a foot on her, a hundred-plus pounds, but she looks pissed. And that glint in her eye tells me she’s up to something. I glance down at her hand, seeing a measuring cup half filled with flour, and I realize what she’s going to do a split-second before she does, but not soon enough to dodge it.
A cloud of white powder hits me straight in the face, and I cough as I inhale some. Wiping away the dust from my eyes, I say, “I can’t believe you did that.”
“Oh, well, I just figured you’d know enough to duck.” She shrugs and offers me a saccharine smile.
“I don’t think you want to start this with me, baby.”
“In case you missed the flour in your face a second ago, I already started it, baby.”
I stare her down, then reach over, grabbing the bowl of melted chocolate—my mom’s secret ingredient in her cookies—and dip my fingers into it. Winter narrows her eyes at me and takes a step back. “Don’t you dare.”
“Where you goin’? I thought you wanted to get messy.”
“No, I wanted you to get messy. I didn’t have a choice with this,” she says as she gestures to where the flour hit her. She darts her eyes down to the bowl of chocolate, then back up to my face. “Don’t, Cade. You’re going to get me dirty, and I have to be at work soon.”
The romantic story of a girl who gets plucked from obscurity to star in the next major feature film franchise based on a book and the ensuing love triangles she gets entangled in on—-and off screen.
Meet Paige Townsen, Rainer Devon, and Jordan Wilder…
When Paige Townsen, a young unknown, gets cast in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a crowded movie set on the shores of Maui, and is spending quality time with her co-star Rainer Devon, one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie’s famous love triangle, Paige’s crazy new life gets even crazier.
In this coming-of-age romance inspired by the kind of celeb hookups that get clever nicknames and a million page views, Paige must figure out who she is – and who she wants – while the whole world watches.
Awesome fact! LOCKED which is the story/movie script the characters are cast for inside FAMOUS IN LOVE is a real book! Written by Rebecca Serle writing as Parker Witter, who is also the reclusive author character in her Famous in Love series! Read the article in Publishers Weekly HERE!
Author Rebecca Serle
Rebecca Serle is the author of When You Were Mine, The Edge of Falling, and Famous in Love and is an obsessive lover of all things pop culture. She blogs about The Vampire Diaries for New York magazine’s Vulture and can be found on Twitter: @RebeccaASerle. She, like Caggie, lives in Manhattan—just far from the Upper East Side.
Photo by Tara Kelly
Five winners will receive a finished copy of FAMOUS IN LOVE as well as an eBook of Parker Witter’s LOCKED! US Only.
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I confess: I was one of a few dozen bloggers who knew about the connection between LOCKED and FAMOUS IN LOVE before publication. The big surprise: Rebecca Serle is Parker Witter. I loved the concept behind this – a novella released by Parker Witter (aka Rebecca), which would be the basis for FAMOUS IN LOVE! Knowing this gave a whole different perspective on reading LOCKED. So incredibly clever. Because I knew there was going to be this connection between the two stories, it definitely influenced my perspective. I believe if readers see the link from one to the other, it will impact the reading experience. My recommendation: read LOCKED, and then FAMOUS IN LOVE. I was hooked!
Locked by Parker Witter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received an e-book copy through Little Brown (Poppy!) Thanks!
One girl. Two boys. All great friends. Girl dates boy 1 and loves him. Feels a connection with boy 2, who seems to avoid her at every turn . . ..
Meet Ed. He’s an awesome guy. Kind, thoughtful, sympathetic, sensitive, and madly in love August. Meet August. She loves Ed, but wants some space. Her need for space, her need to go out on her own and not be at the same college with Ed, creates a rift between them. Meet Noah. He’s the best friend, who has been in love with August for a long time. He stepped aside, though, because Ed is much better for her than he is. Meet Maggie, August’s sister. She needs August. Their mom is dead, their father is absent a lot. Together these four get on a small plane that will take them college hopping.
Until . . . CRASH!!!!
Noah saves August, dragging her to an island. Ed and Maggie are nowhere to be found. This is when the magic begins. Noah has some pretty powerful healing skills. Readers will learn a lot about the power of love, the power of friendship, and the power of second chances. What purpose do we have in life? What is your role? LOCKED will open up some new channels and get readers thinking about where they fit in. Who, if anyone, would you give up your life for? Readers will be intrigued by the island. The island is definitely its own “character” in this novella.
LOCKED is romantic, mysterious, and a fast read. I am so intrigued by this story and can’t wait to get more from this author!
For those of you who love a romantic novella that will suck you in and have you wondering, what next? Definitely pick this one up!
Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle
I swooned. AND . . . .
SURPRISE: What makes this novel incredibly clever is that Rebecca Serle wrote LOCKED, which is the “hit” novel—novella in this case—that FAMOUS IN LOVE was based on, and it was released under a pen name: Parker Witter. See my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show… When you read the novella first, it really has a HUGE impact on your perspective of FAMOUS IN LOVE. Can you read FAMOUS IN LOVE without it? Sure you can. But, if you want the full impact and to delve into how amazing the connections are between the novella and this novel, then I recommend you read LOCKED too!
“I’ve never walked the red carpet before! Are we supposed to run?” (There’s no running on the red carpet in this novel, but it reflects the excitement of the experience for Paige!)
Imagine what it would be like if you were an ordinary YA auditioning for a Hollywood teen movie based on a bestselling YA series. And . . . YOU GET THE PART! You’re plucked out of obscurity and right into the world of fame and fortune. Hot guys, hard work, gorgeous film location. You leave your friends, your family, your job and go from ordinary to having people recognize you and ask for your autograph. You get to kiss handsome co-stars! Your life revolves around learning lines, acting (which isn’t so easy, especially with a director who yells at you and expects perfection), studying for your GED, hair, makeup, wardrobe, and publicity shots, and interviews. Now add two hot actors into the mix, both interested in you. Both with problems and issues to overcome.
This is Paige Townsen’s life when she gets the lead female role in a blockbuster book trilogy.
I don’t think Rebecca Serle could have done this better. I was transported onto the movie set and into Paige’s life. It felt authentic and most definitely like I was reading an autobiography or a diary of Paige’s experience. Please don’t cringe when I say this . . . but I can imagine what it was like for Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. I loved it. LOVED IT!!!!!
10/13/2014- yabooknerd- Interview
10/14/2014- WhoRuBlog- Review
10/15/2014- Bewitched Bookworms- Guest Post
10/16/2014- Fiction fare- Interview
10/17/2014- Wishful Endings- Review
10/20/2014- Fiktshun- Guest Post
10/21/2014- Crossroad Reviews – Review and Guest Post
10/22/2014- kimberlyfaye reads- Review
10/23/2014- Me, My Shelf and I- Guest Post
10/24/2014- Page Turners Blog- Interview
Published by Sourcebooks
“Written from the perspective of an industry insider, the book shows budding authors how to edit their work with fresh eyes.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Brooks offers writers who are serious about attracting teen readers solid guidance through the creation process of writing YA fiction.” —Library Journal
“Brooks fills her book with clear examples that illustrate her points… If you’re looking for an A to Z guide on writing and publishing YA fiction, Regina Brooks’s how-to is the place to go.” —Writer Magazine
Break into the young adult market with this indispensable guide!
With an 87 percent increase in the number of young adult titles published in the last two years, the young adult market is one of the healthiest segments in the industry. Despite this fact, surprisingly little has been written to help authors hone their craft and truly connect with the young adult audience.
Writing Great Books for Young Adults gives writers all the advice they need to tap into this incredible and innovative market. Literary agent Regina L. Brooks shows writers how listening to young adults will help them create characters their audience can identify with.
Topics covered include meeting your protagonist, engaging your readers,, trying on points of view, and many more.
About the Author: Regina L. Brooks is the founder of Serendipity Literary Agency and has been developing award-winning authors and books for over a decade. She has been highlighted in several national and international magazines and periodicals, including Poets and Writers, Essence, Writer’s Digest, andSister2Sister, Forbes, Media Bistro, Ebony, and Jet. She lives in New York City.
Before you even start putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard), there are some issues that need to be addressed. A lot of writers out there think writing YA fiction is easy. It’s not. Some mistakes you might make will condemn your book to languish on the slush pile forever. So before we even talk about the nitty–gritty of how to shape your book—-character, plot, setting, point of view—-we need to talk about the five key elements that can make or break you as a YA writer.
Imagine traveling to a planet where your survival depends on hiding out among the inhabitants, where being recognized as a phony would mean instant annihilation. In that situation, you’d want to study the locals until you knew just how to look and sound and respond like them. It is the same in YA fiction. In this case, sudden death occurs when the reader, stumbling upon a false image, loses interest. The book closes with the splintering sound of a fatal bullet.
It’s no exaggeration.
Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, was always railing against the phoniness of other people, particularly adults. The enduring popularity of Catcher in the Rye demonstrates that teens today are the same way—-they despise fakes.
The key to writing a successful YA novel means knowing kids well enough to channel their voices, thoughts, and emotions. (“Kids” is used as an operative word here. The official YA audience encompasses twelve– to eighteen–year–olds, but it is expanding as children’s book publishers work to attract readers as young as ten and eleven, and adult publishers reach to capitalize on the growing market.) While some of your readers may be a little younger than the twelve–to–eighteen target—-children aged ten to twelve tend to read above their age—-and some may be a little older, keep in mind that you have to convince all segments of your audience that you know what it feels like to be a young person today. If you can’t convince your audience that you know how they feel about the world today and express yourself the same way, you will never reach them.
Avoid the Preach ‘n’ Teach
Whether YA readers attend elementary or secondary school isn’t an issue when it comes to the importance of YA Fiction Rule #2.
Young people won’t abide stories that suggest that their turmoil or idealism will pass when they “grow up.” Brent Hartinger, author of Geography Club, says, “I’m a big believer that kids are smarter than we think they are.…I think kids can handle complexity and nuances, and the advantage to writing that way is that the book appeals to both teenagers and adults.”
Many adults read fiction as an escape—-teens are no different. Imagine spending a long day in school, learning boring lessons ’cause you’re supposed to, having everyone from parents to teachers to employers telling you what to do, how to think, what to wear, then picking up a novel—-and having someone else trying to shove another lesson down your throat! I can’t imagine a bigger letdown.
Don’t deal with young people by trying to push them in one direction or another. Deal with them where they’re at now.
Soak It Up!
A word of caution: don’t emulate your favorite authors, but learn from them. You’ll want to create work that is truly your own. In the resource guide at the back of this book, along with details such as schools that offer writing degrees with a YA focus, you’ll find listings for websites that recommend great YA fiction.
The benefits to reading what’s already on the market are phenomenal. It will familiarize you with what’s selling, how kids today talk, what they wear, what issues concern them, and so on. If you don’t have easy access to a teen, reading books meant for teens is probably the next best thing to having a teen personally tell you what he or she would like to read.
Ideals First, Meals Later
Writing a successful book that aims to attract the widest possible audience should be every writer’s goal, shouldn’t it? The answer is yes and no. It helps to have a general audience age in mind, but you don’t want to be consumed with thoughts about how and whether you’ll sell your work.
This allows you to concentrate on your primary objective, which is to tell your story. If a nagging inner voice surfaces or someone discourages you, rather than pulling on earphones and listening to music as a teenager might, transform the voices through the power of your imagination into “white noise.” This is the all–frequency sound emitted from machines that imparts a feeling of privacy, calming you and allowing you to focus on that world you’re creating. Keep your artistic integrity—-your ideals—-ahead of how commercially successful—-your meals—-you want your book to be. If you focus on writing the best possible book, commercial success will follow later.
As your manuscript develops while you work through the guidelines provided in the ensuing chapters, your audience will become as clear to you as if you were speaking on a stage and looking into an auditorium full of people. If you subsequently work with an agent, the two of you can determine whether the manuscript should be pitched to editors specializing in YA, adult fiction, or both. But the fate of your manuscript will still be up in the air. Editors, who are invested with the power to buy or decline a manuscript, will ultimately determine to whom the book will be marketed.
The significant rise in the success of YA novels has opened the way for a multiplicity of categories, and just to give you an idea, I’ve listed some alphabetically: adventure, chick lit, comical, fantasy, fantasy epics, futuristic, gay–themed, historical, multicultural, mystery, religious, romantic, science fiction, sports, and urban. If your story idea doesn’t fit into any of these categories, you may have to invent one. Consider it an opportunity.
The Undiscovered Country
From this point on, let your creative spirit be guided by YA Rule #5.
The YA field welcomes innovators. Encapsulating the newness of the time, YA novels are being published in nontraditional formats. Three YA authors banded together to compose a novel. Another entry is an interactive book with websites that combines reading with the world of Internet gaming. What will your contribution be? Think fresh.
Remember that young people are trendsetters—-they’re always looking to differentiate themselves from others. It’s how teens forge their own identities. Don’t be afraid to push the boat out as well. Coming up with a fresh idea will set you apart from the pack and might be the thing that sparks an editor’s interest in your work.
Okay, consider yourself warned. Now that you know what not to do, it’s time to learn how to craft the next YA bestseller. Step by step, this book will walk you through the mechanics of what makes a great YA novel.
Chapter 2 is about generating an idea, your story. It will talk about different ways to uncover stories that YA readers will want to read about. It will also help you discover new possibilities for stories within yourself that you may not have known you had.
Chapter 3 will discuss characters—-the heart of any manuscript. How to breathe life into interesting characters your reader will connect with is the main lesson of this chapter, but we’ll also discuss how to find the best characters for the story you want to tell.
Chapter 4 is all about plot, story, and how to tell the difference. Plot is like a machine that propels your manuscript forward, while story is the overall impression you want the plot to create in the reader’s mind.
Chapter 5 is about how to put together a believable plot. It’s all about action—-establishing the main conflict of your manuscript and putting it in motion. Of special concern will be integrating the events of the manuscript with the characters’ personalities, making sure that the characters react to events in believable ways.
Chapter 6 is about setting and timeline. Setting is the background of your story—-the when and where. This chapter is about understanding the atmosphere of your story and effectively manipulating the details of that atmosphere to influence your manuscript’s tone.
Chapter 7 is about point of view—-the perspective from which you tell your story. Point of view can be an extremely effective tool for connecting with character and clarifying or confusing the reader about events—-provided you use it correctly.
Chapter 8 is about the meat of your manuscript—-dialogue. Dialogue provides an opportunity for your characters to interact and opens up another way to build your characters.
Chapter 9 is about the theme of your manuscript. Theme is the overall impression you want your readers to take away. It’s a subtle but effective way for the author to express himself through the story.
Chapter 10 is about wrapping it all up, bringing your plot to a successful resolution. Endings can be very tricky, so there will be detailed discussion about what sorts of conclusions to avoid.
Chapter 11 is about how to find constructive feedback and incorporate it into your revisions. All authors need to edit and revise their manuscript, and this chapter will explain why the editing process is so necessary.
Chapter 12 is about getting published—what agents and editors do and how to get your work into their hands. This is the business chapter-—the one that details exactly how the publishing industry works.
Chapter 13 is about YA nonfiction and the emerging genre of New Adult. The YA market is constantly in flux, and this chapter will expose you to two recent developments in the market.
I hope all of these tools will be helpful to you as you begin the process of writing the next YA bestseller. Let’s begin exploring that magical new world.
Hot girls get the fairy tales. No one cares about the stepsisters’ story. Those girls don’t get a sweet little ending; they get a lifetime of longing
Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after–in fact, she doesn’t think they are possible. Ever since her mother’s death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy, struggled with an “emotionally disturbed” special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status.
When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she’s been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace–the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant–aren’t enough to save her from her pain this time.
While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story.
And maybe even find herself a happily ever after.
Enhance the experience with the companion soundtrack, Imogen Unlocked, by the author’s band, Wedding Day Rain.
Damsel Distressed is the story of Imogen, a girl who’s survived the years after her mother’s death by focusing squarely on her best friend, Grant, musical theatre, and lots of cheese. The book is full of humor and heart, and also contains a few surprises. Full page sketches are scattered throughout the novel, and each one contains a QR code that corresponds to a song from the book’s soundtrack. Imogen Unlocked is a 12-song album of original music written by the author and her husband Daron as their indie-pop band, Wedding Day Rain. Together, the book Damsel Distressed and the soundtrack Imogen Unlocked work together to tell the story of a girl who might just make her own Happily Ever After, if she can just hold herself together.
Kelsey Macke has been creative for as long as she can remember. From an early age she was on stage singing, penning poetry, and writing notebooks full of songs. When the idea for her debut novel, DAMSEL DISTRESSED, popped into her head, she was undeterred by the fact that she had no idea how to actually write a novel. Her bff, the internet, was her guide, and after much trial, error, and candy, she finished it, and set out to get it published… a process far more difficult than, the internet (now her mortal enemy), had lead her to believe.
Her whirlwind adventure was made even more unbelievable when she signed with fabulous agent, Jessica Sinsheimer of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency and, shortly after, Danielle Ellison of Spencer Hill Contemporary bought her debut.
This innovative, mixed-media art project has given Kelsey an incredibly unique opportunity to join two of her passions: writing and making music with her husband as half of the folky, indie-pop band Wedding Day Rain.
DAMSEL DISTRESSED, and the companion album of original songs, Imogen Unlocked, are scheduled for release in October 2014.
This was the original cover.
Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning…. Welcome to forever.
BRIE’S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn’t love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.
But now that she’s D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there’s Patrick, Brie’s mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.
With Patrick’s help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she’s ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?
This is the paperback cover!
The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
Oh wow, buckle up READERS cause THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF YOU AND ME will take you on a motorcycle ride to heaven and hell like you could never have imagined. When it comes to the afterlife, this book totally rocks. I instantly liked the main character Brie and the supporting characters were so freakin’ interesting and moving that you won’t want to put this novel down. Jess Rothenberg, a former MG/YA editor at a major publishing house, made the switch to YA author. This debute novel is definitely a winner! It is my understanding that Jess got the idea for this book when she read an article about a person who literally died of a broken heart. That’s exactly what happens to Brie. After she passes, she has the five steps of grieving to go through: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Sadness, Acceptance. Trust me, you’ll go through those stages right along with her.
Put this on your must-read list! It’s well worth it.
The Bridge from Me to You by Lisa Schroeder
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
On the Fence by Kasie West
Stay with Me by J. Lynn
Opposition (Lux #5) by Jennifer Armentrout
One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington
Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann
Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schulz
Vampires of Manhattan by Melissa de la Cruz
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Night Moves by Nora Roberts
Night Shield by Nora Roberts
Nightshade by Nora Roberts
Night Smoke by Nora Roberts
A Beautiful Wedding by Jamie McGuire