I'm on haitus for a few weeks, so the In Stores Next Week feature will resume at the end of July. For your reading pleasure though, we have a great giveaway from Hilary Weisman Graham this week, plus an interview. And come back next week for givaways of Myra McEntire's TIMEPIECE and Alexandra Monir's TIMELESS, plus interviews with both authors about their writing journeys, best advice, and fascinating use of time concepts.
THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAY
Please complete the form at the bottom and enter by Midnight 6/28/2012. US and Canadian entries only, please! I'll announce the winner on July 6th.
3 Ex-Best Friends
Back in middle school, Alice, Summer, and Tiernan were inseparable.
They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3.
But when the band broke up, so did the girls' friendship. Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books, Summer was in the popular crowd, and Tiernan was lucky if she made it to class. Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show. Even though it's 2,000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse—and as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town. And thanks to Alice's graduation gift (a newly refurbished '78 VW van affectionately known as the Pea-Pod) they've got the perfect vehicle to get them there. But on their cross-country drive, the girls hit more than just a few bumps in the road.
Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?
Interview with Hilary Weisman Graham
Hilary is an award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter. Her debut young adult novel, Reunited (Simon & Schuster), came out June, 12, 2012. Visit her at: www.hilarygraham.com
Q. What inspired you to write the book?
I had a friendship break-up of my own freshman year of high school, and even though my story is very different than Alice, Summer, and Tiernan’s, the feelings around that break-up always stuck with me. I think for most 14-year-old girls, their best friends are the most meaningful relationship they’ve had at that point in their lives, apart from their family, so I thought the idea of ex-best friends reuniting at the end of high school, when they were older and wiser, would make for an interesting story.
Q. How long was the learning process in getting the book written?
Writing my first novel was definitely a learning curve, but it got easier over time. When I sat down to start my second book (still a work in progress) it didn’t seem nearly as scary. I know it’s not the most glamorous bit of advice, but I think a lot of it comes down to just keeping your butt in that chair and doing the work.
Q. What was your road to publication like? Long, short, hard?
For an impatient gal like me, the hardest part about getting REUNITED to come to fruition was the wait. The book was born way back in the fall of 2008 when I started discussing the concept with my editor at Simon & Schuster. After submitting an outline and the first three chapters (which went back and forth a couple times with revisions), my agent finally made the deal in June of 2009. REUNITED comes out June 12, 2012, over three and a half years since the process began. Whew!
Q. What is the best advice you have ever received that helped improve your writing?
Probably the best piece of writing advice I’ve gotten came from Robert McKee, the author of “Story,” a popular (almost cultish) book on screenwriting. And I have the audiobook, so it feels like McKee’s talking directly to me (which, if you’ve ever heard McKee speak, comes off more like a reprimand, but that’s part of his charm). Anyway, Robert McKee insists that you not write dialogue or scenes prior to having worked out the structure of your story first, because if you do, you’re in danger of falling in love with your own words and keeping a wonderful bit of dialogue that ultimately, doesn’t belong in your story. I think I fell victim to this a lot when I was first starting out as a writer. But sadly, we all must learn to kill our darlings. There’s really no other way.
Q. If you could pass on one thing that you’ve learned to young writers, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to write crappy first drafts. But make sure you keep revising until you get it right. Revise, revise, revise!
Q. What are you working on next?
Right now I’m writing a screenplay for a Disney Channel movie. There’s no guarantee it’ll end up on the air, but if it does, I’ll be sure to let you know.