Saturday, October 31, 2015

0 !st 5 Pages Workshop is Now Closed

Hi Everyone,

Sorry but the Free First Five Pages Workshop is now closed. Once again, we filled up in under a minute! I will email the participants that made it into the workshop today. If you don't hear from me, I'm sorry but you didn't get in this month. Please try again next month!

Erin

0 Free 1st 5 Pages Is Now Open

The 1st 5 Pages Workshop is now open! We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. Click here to get the rules. In addition to our permanent mentors, we have author Jenn Marie Thorne and agent Kirsten Carleton!

We usually fill up in under a minute so get those pages ready and good luck!

Erin



0 Heather Hepler, author of FROSTED KISSES, on triggering her claustrophobia

FROSTED KISSES is the next novel in the Cupcake Queen series, and we're pleased to have Heather Hepler join us to share more about it.

Heather, what scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud?

The scene that was the hardest for me to write was a total surprise for me. I usually anticipate very emotional scenes or epic confrontations to be tricky. I want them to have emotional weight, of course, but I don’t want them to be exhausting to read or seem too staged. But this time the most difficult scene to write was The Pudding Plunge scene and not for the usual reasons. Okay, so Tally and Penny dream up this unique fund raiser for the ARK animal shelter. Using a polar plunge as an inspiration, they decide that instead of jumping in icy water, they should have people jump into a pool filled with chocolate pudding. Weird, but not terribly tricky. And then I started writing it and I realized I wanted Penny to jump in the pudding. And my claustrophobia started twitching. By the time she’s fully submerged in pudding and feeling it smooshing up her nose and into her ears and filling her mouth, I realize I’m holding my breath. Just writing about writing it is making me twitchy. Someone who recently read Frosted told me she had a similar reaction when she read it, so I guess it worked out well in the end. (I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to look at chocolate pudding the same way.)

0 Jennifer Donnelly, author of THESE SHALLOW GRAVES, on carrying on two conversations at once

We're honored to have Jennifer Donnelly swing by to tell us more about her latest novel THESE SHALLOW GRAVES.

Jennifer, what was your inspiration for writing THESE SHALLOW GRAVES?

This story started with a dead guy.

A man with weird markings on his face showed up in my head. He had long dark hair and was wearing clothes from another time.

Who are you? I asked him. What do you want?

But he wouldn’t answer. He just lay in his coffin with his hands folded over his chest, decay beginning to creep. He wouldn’t leave, either. And since he wasn’t going to explain himself, I needed someone who would.

That’s when other people started showing up: a teenaged reporter named Eddie, a thief lord called the Tailor; Oscar, a coroner’s assistant. And a girl. Her name was Josephine Montfort.

Jo immediately intrigued me. I could tell she was wealthy and educated from the way she dressed and spoke. And yet, something wasn’t quite right. I sensed that her porcelain coolness was only a veneer, and that underneath it, a fierce intelligence burned. In her gray eyes, I glimpsed a restless longing.

As my characters do, Jo made me work to get to know her. As she labored to uncover the dead man’s story, I labored to uncover hers.

I learned that she’d been born into an old and distinguished New York family, and that she led a life of privilege. Jo was fortunate in many ways, but she didn’t have the one thing she wanted the most: freedom.

So few young women of the 1890s did. Poor girls were expected to work, as early as possible. Wealthy ones were expected to marry, as well as possible. As I researched These Shallow Graves, I met many of these young women.

I met Edith Jones, brilliant and misunderstood, and watched her marry the wrong man and live the wrong life—until she found the right life, and became Edith Wharton.

I met eighteen-year-old Lizzie Schauer who was arrested, imprisoned, and subjected to medical examinations to determine whether or not she was of good character – all for the “crime” of being an unaccompanied female walking alone in the city at night.

I met Consuelo Vanderbilt, a teenage heiress, forced to marry the Duke of Marlborough, a man she didn’t love, to satisfy her domineering mother’s social ambitions.

I met scores of teenage girls for whom education was only a dream—and the factory floor or scullery or sweatshop, a reality.

Edith eventually broke free. Consuelo, too. I doubt poor Lizzie, or the scullery girls, ever did.

I so badly wanted Jo to. And thanks to the dead man, she finally did. He gave Jo her life, and by the end of the book, he gave me my peace. He stopped haunting me and went on his way.

Jo’s on her way now, too. And I can’t wait to see where life takes her.

0 Free 1st 5 Pages Workshop Opens Today!

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, our November workshop will open today at noon, EST. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. Click here to get the rules. I will post when it opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages. In addition to our permanent mentors, we have author Jenn Marie Thorne and agent Kirsten Carleton!


November Guest Mentor – Jenn Marie Thorne

Jenn Marie Thorne writes YA fiction from her home in beautiful Gulfport, Florida, alongside her dashing husband, her two daring toddlers, and her trusty hound Molly. An NYU-Tisch grad with a BFA in Drama, Jenn still enjoys making a fool of herself on at least a weekly basis. Other hobbies include writing about herself in the third-person, studying classical voice, learning languages, and traveling the world with her family. Her debut novel, THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT, was released in March, 2015 from Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin). 


THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT

Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.


Purchase it at your local bookstore, or online at Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Powell’s ~ Books-A-Million ~ IndieBound, and add to your shelf on Goodreads!

November Guest Agent - Kirsten Carleton

As an agent, Kirsten get to be a champion for the author throughout the challenging publishing process. She loves sharing an author’s vision for the book, working to help him or her uncover it, and finding a home for it with editors and readers who also feel that connection. Beyond the individual book, she wants to develop satisfying and successful careers that celebrate great talent. 

She is currently seeking upmarket young adult, speculative, and literary fiction with strong characters and storytelling. She’s drawn to books that capture her attention early on with a dynamic plot, and innovative storytelling that blends or crosses genres.

Before joining Waxman Leavell in 2014, Kirsten worked at Sobel Weber Associates. She hold a B.A. in English with a Creative Writing concentration from Amherst College, and a Graduate Certificate in Publishing from the Columbia Publishing Course.





0 C.C. Hunter, author of UNSPOKEN, on characters becoming like family

UNSPOKEN is the final novel in the Shadow Falls: After Dark series, and we're delighted to have C.C. Hunter stop by to share more about it.

C.C. , what was your inspiration for writing UNSPOKEN?

Unspoken is the third book in the Shadow Falls: After Dark series. It’s a spin off series of Shadow Falls. So I guess you might ask what inspired my After Dark series. And that answer is simple. Della Tsang, the protagonist refused to be forgotten. While writing the last book in the Shadow Falls series, I was totally compelled to write about Della. She was the character in Shadow Falls who didn’t open up a lot. So I just knew I had to dig in and find out what made that girl tick. I didn’t tell my editor or agent, I simply just sat down and started writing the novella, Saved at Sunrise, in which Della is the star. When I was done, I sent it to my editor and after she read it, she asked if I would write a spinoff series about Della. Her spunk, her sass, and yet her vulnerability was electrifying, and I felt that she deserved her own series.

0 Marcy Beller Paul, author of UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING, on struggling to finish a novel

We're thrilled to have Marcy Beller Paul join us to share more about her debut novel UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING.

Marcy, what was your inspiration for writing UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING?

Well, the first draft of UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING was a traditional love triangle between two boys and a girl. Then, during revision, I got to a scene between the main character and a female friend of hers. That scene immediately stood out to me as more intense and interesting than anything else.

I think maybe I was trying to tell that story in the first draft, but I was afraid to face it, so I buried it in the subplot. I’d had my own toxic friendship in middle school and high school, and I’d gotten through it, but I’d never forced myself to examine it. If I was really going to write this story, I knew I’d have to go back there, mentally. I also knew it was going to take a lot of work. I was going to have to cut off the second half of the novel, rewrite it, then heavily revise the first half.

I didn’t have an agent or editor then, so even though I thought I’d found the heart of the story, I still had doubts. Then I hung out with a good friend from high school. When I mentioned the new direction for the book, she immediately told me three stories about a girl in our class. I had assumed we were talking about the same person, but it turns out we weren’t. That’s when I was sure of the idea. That’s when I realized we all have our Jolene. We all have our reasons for being friends with that person. I wanted to figure out what they were.

0 Anne M. Pillsworth, author of FATHOMLESS, on writing out of love of the act

FATHOMLESS is the next book in the Redemption's Heir series, and we're excited to have Anne M. Pillsworth here to tell us more about it.

Anne, what scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

I found most difficult the emotional climax of the story, in which Daniel reconciles himself to his past and finds the way to his future -- his situation, while fantastic, had still to show its universal roots. I was most proud of this chapter, I think, especially when I figured out how to weave Sean's parallel struggles in with Daniel's.

What do you hope readers will take away from FATHOMLESS?

A sense of cosmic wonder that struggles -- triumphs -- out of our mundane apprehension of other worlds, other lives. A kind of "Wow, that was weird, and yet wow, that was cool."

Friday, October 30, 2015

0 Free 1st 5 Pages Workshop Opens Tomorrow!

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, our November workshop will open for entries tomorrow, October 31, 2015, at noon, EST. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. Click here to get the rules. I will post when it opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages. We usually fill up in under a minute, so get those pages ready!

In addition to our permanent mentors, we have author Jenn Marie Thorne and agent Kirsten Carleton!

November Guest Mentor – Jenn Marie Thorne

Jenn Marie Thorne writes YA fiction from her home in beautiful Gulfport, Florida, alongside her dashing husband, her two daring toddlers, and her trusty hound Molly. An NYU-Tisch grad with a BFA in Drama, Jenn still enjoys making a fool of herself on at least a weekly basis. Other hobbies include writing about herself in the third-person, studying classical voice, learning languages, and traveling the world with her family. Her debut novel, THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT, was released in March, 2015 from Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin). 


THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT

Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.


Purchase it at your local bookstore, or online at Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Powell’s ~ Books-A-Million ~ IndieBound, and add to your shelf on Goodreads!

November Guest Agent - Kirsten Carleton

As an agent, Kirsten get to be a champion for the author throughout the challenging publishing process. She loves sharing an author’s vision for the book, working to help him or her uncover it, and finding a home for it with editors and readers who also feel that connection. Beyond the individual book, she wants to develop satisfying and successful careers that celebrate great talent. 

She is currently seeking upmarket young adult, speculative, and literary fiction with strong characters and storytelling. She’s drawn to books that capture her attention early on with a dynamic plot, and innovative storytelling that blends or crosses genres.

Before joining Waxman Leavell in 2014, Kirsten worked at Sobel Weber Associates. She hold a B.A. in English with a Creative Writing concentration from Amherst College, and a Graduate Certificate in Publishing from the Columbia Publishing Course.





2 Win a Copy of Paper Hearts - A New Writing Guide Series from Beth Revis

We are absolutely thrilled to welcome New York Times Bestselling Author Beth Revis to the blog today. Beth is here to share some exciting news -- she's celebrating the release of the first book in her three-volume series of writing advice. Paper Hearts includes hard-earned insight into writing, publishing, and marketing. Not only is Beth sharing a giveaway with our readers today, but she's got some good advice on working with and as a critique partner.

DON'T MISS OUT ON THE GIVEAWAY AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST! And remember all orders of Paper Hearts made before November 15 from Malaprops will come with a special gift--more details below! 

Paper Hearts by Beth Revis


You can win a journal with this cover!
I wrote Paper Hearts for the writer I used to be. The questions I used to have plagued me when I was starting this career path. How do I get to the end? What's the proper way to structure a novel--is there even a proper way? How do I make my book stand out from all the other ones on sub?

Now, fifteen years, eleven unpublished books, three New York Times bestsellers, one self published book, and countless hours working on craft and working with other professionals, I think I finally have the answers that I needed way back then.

Unfortunately, I can't travel back in time.

But what I can do is try to help others. I've been compiling articles on the things I've learned about writing, publishing, and marketing for years, first informally on blog posts, then more collectively on Wattpad. After hitting 100000 reads, I realized that I should take Paper Hearts more seriously...and that I had not one book, but three.

Fully revised and expanded, the Paper Hearts series will feature three volumes, one each on writing, publishing, and marketing. Paper Hearts, Volume 1: Some Writing Advice will be out on November 1, with the other two following in December and January.

Preorder it now from: Independent Bookstore ~ Amazon ~ BN ~  Kobo ~ Smashwords

____________________________

Your enemy is the blank page. When it comes to writing, there's no wrong way to get words on paper. But it's not always easy to make the ink flow. Paper Hearts: Some Writing Advice won't make writing any simpler, but it may help spark your imagination and get your hands back on the keyboard.

Practical Advice Meets Real Experience

With information that takes you from common mistakes in grammar to detailed charts on story structure, Paper Hearts describes:
  • How to Develop Character, Plot, and World
  • What Common Advice You Should Ignore
  • What Advice Actually Helps
  • How to Develop a Novel
  • The Basics of Grammar, Style, and Tone 
  • Four Practical Methods of Charting Story Structure
  • How to Get Critiques and Revise Your Novel
  • How to Deal with Failure
  • And much more!

BONUS! More than 25 "What to do if" scenarios to help writers navigate problems in writing from a New York Times Bestselling author who's written more than 2 million words of fiction.

____________________________


Remember: if you pre-order the print copy from my local indie bookstore, Malaprops, you'll also get a chapbook of the best writing advice from 12 beloved and bestselling YA authors included in your order for free!


____________________________

WHAT IS A CRITIQUE PARTNER RELATIONSHIP?


When you’re working with critique partners, remember: it’s a relationship. It’s give and take. You read someone else’s manuscript and they read yours. 
A lot of times, people are primarily focused on getting their own notes back. You want to find out what to do to fix your manuscript. All you care about is getting your notes back. 
That is not how this works. A critique partner requires the give and take. First, it’s rude to expect free editing from a writing buddy without giving anything in return. But also? You will learn just as much by giving notes than getting them. Maybe more. 
It’s just a fact: We don’t see our own common flaws. We don’t understand what it’s like to identify problems in our own work until we see them in others. 
Don’t just seek critiques. Give them. Give the most constructive criticism you can. Study the manuscripts of others to see where they failed and where they succeeded. You will unconsciously absorb what makes a manuscript work and not, and you’ll see better how to avoid and fix those flaws in the future. 

***

REASONS WHY IT’S AS IMPORTANT TO GIVE CRITIQUES AS IT IS TO GET THEM:
  1. You develop your own skills as you critique others—you become better at spotting your own mistakes as you make them. It’s far easier to understand why something doesn’t work in a manuscript than when you see someone else making the mistake rather than yourself.
  2. It helps you understand your own critique. Things like “the pacing is slow,” “the characterization is weak,” are vague and hard to truly understand until you find it for yourself.
  3. It puts you in “critique mode.” Writers are creative people. But critical analysis of our own work is an entirely different skill set from writing. Critiquing others helps you build the skills to critique yourself. 
  4. It helps you see the common mistakes within manuscripts. I highly recommend that you go to sites that offer contests to critique the opening of a first scene, a query, etc. Read 20 people’s first scenes in a row. You’ll see the common mistakes that you will want to avoid to stand out. (“Miss Snark’s First Victim” and this blog commonly hold such contests, often with a prize of an agent read for the top person.
  5. You get better at critiquing. Critiquing doesn’t go away when you’re published—it just becomes more professional as you start working with more professional writers. Don’t be a newb. Get your practice in now. 
  6. It helps you forge connections with your peers. The publishing world is actually very small. Make friends now. I met most of my critique partners before I was published, and they’ve been great friends and peers as we all moved up the publishing ladder.


In short, being a critique partner who both gets and gives critiques will make you a more professional writer who is capable of writing better works.



____________________________

____________________________


About the Author: Beth Revis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe trilogy, as well as The Body Electric, Paper Hearts, and the forthcoming A World Without You. She lives in the Appalachian mountains with her boys: one husband, one son, and two very large dogs. 

You can find out more on Facebook, Twitter, or online. If you never want to miss a thing and also get exclusive insider opportunities, sign up for her newsletter here.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

2 We Asked Four Great Agents If They've Ever Signed a NaNo Book







We've had a great Agent Round Up this month, discussing the pros and cons of participating in NaNoWriMo. Our final question is short and sweet because when it comes down to it, this is what we really want to know:


Q: Have you signed any NaNo manuscripts, and if so, which one(s)?


Natalie Lakosil of Bradford Literary

Natalie:

Hmm, not that I am aware of; but probably. I know lots of my clients participate in NaNo, though, so I’ve probably also sold several. I’ve never asked!


Sara Megibow of KT Literary


Sara:

Yes!

THE DARWIN ELEVATOR by Jason M. Hough and PRINCE OF TRICKS by Jane Kindred were both NaNo books.

Melissa Nasson of RPC 


Melissa:

I have signed one NaNo manuscript, but I won't mention my client by name because we haven't found her a publisher...yet!

Jaida Temperly of New Leaf Literary


Jaida:

Not that I know of, although I have signed ms. from other contests / projects.


So to summarize what we've learned from our esteemed agent guests, NaNo can be a worthwhile endeavor. It doesn't have a negative connotation as long as you understand that the product is a rough draft and still needs time and revision put in. With that in mind, many great books born during NaNo have been published.

Are you planning on participating this year? Sign up now if you are because it starts this weekend!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

2 Just Keep Writing by Jennifer Donnelly

We're welcoming the super talented, multi award winning Jennifer Donnelly to the blog today to talk about the importance of never giving up. Despite her success, Jennifer's road to publishing was long and, for all us hopefuls, proof that good things come to those who wait. Enjoy!

Just Keep Writing by Jennifer Donnelly


I waited years for The Call. Ten years, in fact.

Like my first novel, The Tea Rose, the story of how I finally got The Call is a rags-to-riches tale. Got a few minutes? Good. Pull up a chair.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

8 Persuasion Fun, Halloweenish Things, and Giveaways

Happy book birthday to PERSUASION! I can't believe it's HERE. In some ways, it's been a long time coming, and in other ways, it feels like COMPULSION just came out.

There are so many people who made this book possible, so today is dedicated to them. My amazing critique partners and readers, especially Erin Cashman, Susan Sipal, and Lisa Gail Green, and the incredible and generous beta readers from my street team. To my editors at Pulse, Annette Pollert, Sara Sargent, and Jennifer Ung, to my incredible agent, Jessica Regel. And to EVERYONE at Simon & Schuster and Simon Pulse, for their support, faith, patience, and generosity. To the marvelous team at JKS Communications, and to my blog partners here for being supportive and patient and not throwing things at me when I get too overwhelmed to do what I need to do.

Thanks also to all of you for coming along with me on this journey!

PICK UP YOUR COPY TODAY!

If you're thinking of getting Persuasion, today's a great time to do it. It can make a big difference to the book, AND there are pre-order incentives still in place through the end of the week.

IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Book Depository | (free worldwide shipping)





PRE-ORDER INCENTIVES

Get Compulsion AND Persuasion trinket bookmarks while supplies last, plus random winners get a Tiffany-style necklace, oak tree necklace, one of five silver bookmarks or one of five Compulsion for Reading T-shirts. 






LAUNCH PARTY




Launch party and fundraiser for the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia!
Instead of the traditional launch for Persuasion, I'm helping to raise funds for the Literacy Council, a ground-breaking and award-winning organization dedicated to adult literacy.

Join me on October 30 from 5-9 PM at Barnes & Noble in the Tyson's Corner Mall. There will be fun for all ages, including two age-divided costume contests, face painting, cupcake decorating, bookmark-making, Q&As, two impromptu story writing session where I'll create a story with the audience on the fly, and more. Lots of fun and prizes, so come out and bring your friends!

Can't come? Order your holiday gifts online! If you enter the event ID number (#11709870), a percentage of all purchases made that day – online or in store – will benefit LCNV. 

MORE PERSUASION FUN




Three ways to win prizes including a $50 gift card, one of three Tiffany-style necklaces, and LOTS, lots more. Plus there are free downloadable bookmarks, door hangers, wallpapers and more.

In the Heirs of Watson Island books, Barrie Watson has a gift for finding lost things. And since Eight Beaufort’s gift is knowing what Barrie wants, when Barrie needs to develop her gift and test its limits in Persuasion, Eight gives her a book of word search puzzles.

To test your own finding gift, you can play along to win prizes and/or download free wallpapers, stickers, origami bookmarks, door hangers, and more!

Click here to play!


OCTOBER COMPULSION FOR READING BOOK-DRIVE CAMPAIGN

Know an underfunded classroom, school, or library?

I'm so happy to be able to say that the Compulsion For Reading campaign is expanding. This month, we have seven authors and/or bloggers participating, so we're sending out seven packages of books to the teachers and librarians who not only can use them, but areusing books to reach teens and get them excited about reading.


I need to send out a huge shoutout to Vivi Barnes, Tara Dairman, Sara Jude, Jen Malone, Mary Elizabeth Summer, and Anna Weimer for offering up packages for the campaign this month. Check out the amazing packages they are offering!

Please nominate here:

http://www.CompulsionForReading.com
Want to donate?

Go here

BLOG TOURS

There are two incredible blog tours going on for PERSUASION, complete with amazing prizes and tons of information you've never heard or seen anywhere about PERSUASION and the series as a whole.

ROCKSTAR BOOK TOURS

Week One



Week Two



IRISH BANANA TOURS

Week 1



Week 2



PERSUASION EARLY REVIEWS

I have read many generational family sagas, many Southern Gothic tales, many books full of magic and magical realism, and many romances, but Martina Boone's "Persuasion" takes each of these genres and mixes up a perfectly delectable cocktail!! I could not get enough. This book kept me up late into the night. I was absolutely captivated with her brilliant use of folklore, Cherokee legends, voodoo and various other magical systems. ~ Laura, Malaprop's Bookstore

Martina Boone's follow up to last year's brilliant tale of love and Southern folklore does not disappoint! The Heirs of Watson island are back, and this time with even more magic and hair-raising adventure. Boone keeps the story moving nicely; just when you think you know where it's going, something unexpected happens. The only bad thing I can say is that I still wanted more!  ~ Maureen, Fountain Bookstore

So much love for this series! Book 2 is very different from 'Compulsion,' but still completely engrossing. Martina Boone does an amazing job of exploring more of the characters introduced in the first book--especially Cassie and Seven. We also learn more about the curse and its conditions, as well as the history of Watson Island. It has more of an eerie feel than the first book, and the stakes are definitely even higher in the sequel. And of course, there's plenty of the stalwart and sassy Eight Beaufort. *swoon* I can't wait for book 3! ~ Lelia, One More Page Books


REVIEWS FROM BLOGGERS AND READERS

Here are a few more notes from readers!

"Beautiful, lyrical, haunting, mysterious, romantic, rich, thoughtful, dangerous, atmospheric and complex. I love this book." ~ Andye, Reading Teen

"Just as magical as Compulsion! Martina sure knows how to write a beautiful story with compelling characters, mystery, magic, romance, and southern recipes that make me hungry! I can't wait for the third book in this series! And I hope we get to see more of Berg! I have a new crush!" ~ Jaime, Two Chicks on Books

"Hold on to the edge of your seat, because PERSUASION takes you on a ride that will leave you breathless. Martina Boone does an extraordinary job weaving together history, magic, mystery, and modern times." ~ Liza, Who R U Blog

"Amazing, as fantastic, if not better, than Compulsion!" ~ Kristi, The Book Faery

"Dark voodoo magic, southern charm, family secrets, complicated love, southern folklore, buried treasure, and ancient curses. This combination makes for an amazing second book to a wonderful series." ~ Alicia, Book Lovin' Alicia

"Guys, I am so excited for you to read this next installment. Boone really knocks it out of the park. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be scared, but overall you'll enjoy." ~ Amanda, The Golden Mantle Blog

Barrie and Eight are back along with all of the beautiful creepiness readers adore from Watson Island. Is the binding cost of young love worth it? Must you want what your family wants? PERSUASION is high on fantasy yet grounded in the real life issues teens face every day. ~ Jennifer, The YA Gal

"Loved this book! I was definitely not expecting it to end so quickly. I kept flipping until I got to the very back of the book and realized that was in fact the end. I need more now!" ~ Halson, The Pages Yet Traveled

Monday, October 26, 2015

25 SIX Giveaways plus New YALit Releases of this week 10/26 with Author Interviews

We are SO excited here at Adventures in Young Adult Publishing, because among all the other fantastic new releases this week is the amazing second book of our founder - PERSUASION by Martina Boone!

Happy Reading!
Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Sandra and Anisaa

Sunday, October 25, 2015

0 Linda Buckley-Archer, author of THE MANY LIVES OF JOHN STONE, on getting a story out of her system

We're excited to have Linda Buckley-Archer join us to share more about her latest novel THE MANY LIVES OF JOHN STONE.

Linda, what was your inspiration for writing THE MANY LIVES OF JOHN STONE?

Almost twenty years ago, when I was just beginning to write, I made a note to myself that it would be good to write a story that was something about “eternal legacies”. I also noted down that the story would involve “Friends” who would help keep a secret over centuries. Then, about five years ago, I had a kind of ‘waking dream’ in which I saw a boy following an old man into a cave. It wasn’t much to go on, but the scene resonated and stayed with me (eventually this became a central scene). Then a chance conversation with my son, who was studying biochemistry at the time, led me to find out about ‘telomeres’, the ‘caps’ which help protect chromosomes. Human aging is a very complex process, but imagining a man who, for example, had particularly robust telomeres, among other genetically inherited characteristics, led me to the creation of John Stone (who became the boy in the cave scene). He doesn’t possess superpowers, he’s not an immortal, nor a vampire, he is simply a man with a set of genes that predisposes him to very long life. I wondered how a man who could outlive a tree would survive in the world, and what kind of person he would become.

1 Charlie Price, author of DEAD INVESTIGATION, on watching your story like a movie

DEAD INVESTIGATION is the sequel to DEAD CONNECTION, and we're thrilled to have Charlie Price here to tell us more about.

Charlie, what was your inspiration for writing DEAD INVESTIGATION?

I wrote DEAD CONNECTION a few years ago about Murray, a boy so alienated that he took refuge in a cemetery and so lonely he began talking to the headstones. In the graveyard, along with his dead “friends,” he also developed a rather stormy relationship with Pearl, the cemetery caretaker’s daughter.

During quiet moments or on long drives I would find myself wondering about Murray and Pearl and how their relationship changed after they’d found the body of the kidnapped cheerleader. I would wonder about another character, the troubled sheriff deputy Roman Gates and whether he’d found any peace regarding his only son’s suicide. Since these people wouldn’t leave me alone I decided to join them again right where I’d left them and DEAD INVESTIGATION came into being.

Identifying with Murray, I could see how seductive it could be to talk with the dead and have them for “friends.” Unlike many of the kids at his school where he was considered a loser, the dead were grateful for his company. So, Murray had a decision to make – would he stay with the dead where it’s comfortable, or, would he use his skills in the outside world where he constantly faced the risk of derision and disbelief. What roles would Pearl and Gates play in this process? I wanted to know what Murray would do and why.

Additionally, I wanted to continue an exploration of paranormal abilities. Earlier during graduate school I had an opportunity to study with the New York parapsychologist Lawrence Leshan. He entertained and educated me with marvelously incredible stories of clairvoyants and ghosts and teenage girls who were so energetically upset that they could unintentionally knock objects off the warehouse shelves where they worked. The poltergeist phenomena! Generated by their agitated emotional state. Amazing!

While I literally did not know how to believe these stories, I learned that many of them had been validated by very serious and credible people. Something was going on in our world that was hugely mysterious and impossible to explain with ordinary science. For example, clairvoyants are sometimes useful to families or police in locating missing persons, dead or alive.

Dr. Leshan cautioned that a “real” clairvoyant, a person with observable and testable paranormal skills, was almost always uncomfortable with that ability. They could not explain how they received paranormal information and feared that others would think them liars or weirdos. More, they never knew whether the information they received was accurate or inaccurate. Only “psychic” fakers are eager to publicize themselves and guarantee specific results.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

0 Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of RED GIRL, BLUE BOY, on reading everything you can get your hands on

We're delighted to have Lauren Baratz-Logsted join us to share more about her latest novel RED GIRL, BLUE BOY.

Lauren, what was your inspiration for writing RED GIRL, BLUE BOY?

I love politics! And as soon as the idea hit me - a teenage boy and girl from Connecticut, who meet when his mother and her father become the Democratic and Republican candidates for the highest office in the land - I just had to write it.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

Whenever I get this question, I think: It would take me writing a book to tell the whole story! My short version is that I left my day job in 1994 to take a chance on myself as a writer. Nearly eight years later - having written seven books, gone through several agents and had as many as four simultaneous part-time jobs to keep the rent paid - I sold what would be my first published novel (The Thin Pink Line, a dark comedy about a woman who fakes an entire pregnancy) on my own as part of a two-book deal. There are still some books I've written that have not sold, but if my math skills are working, RED GIRL, BLUE BOY will be my 25th published book.

0 Free 1st 5 Pages Workshop Opens in 1 Week!

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, our November workshop will open for entries on Saturday, October 31, 2015, at noon, EST. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. Click here to get the rules. I will post when it opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages. In addition to our permanent mentors, we have author Jenn Marie Thorne and agent Kirsten Carleton!


November Guest Mentor – Jenn Marie Thorne

Jenn Marie Thorne writes YA fiction from her home in beautiful Gulfport, Florida, alongside her dashing husband, her two daring toddlers, and her trusty hound Molly. An NYU-Tisch grad with a BFA in Drama, Jenn still enjoys making a fool of herself on at least a weekly basis. Other hobbies include writing about herself in the third-person, studying classical voice, learning languages, and traveling the world with her family. Her debut novel, THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT, was released in March, 2015 from Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin). 


THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT

Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.


Purchase it at your local bookstore, or online at Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Powell’s ~ Books-A-Million ~ IndieBound, and add to your shelf on Goodreads!

November Guest Agent - Kirsten Carleton

As an agent, Kirsten get to be a champion for the author throughout the challenging publishing process. She loves sharing an author’s vision for the book, working to help him or her uncover it, and finding a home for it with editors and readers who also feel that connection. Beyond the individual book, she wants to develop satisfying and successful careers that celebrate great talent. 

She is currently seeking upmarket young adult, speculative, and literary fiction with strong characters and storytelling. She’s drawn to books that capture her attention early on with a dynamic plot, and innovative storytelling that blends or crosses genres.

Before joining Waxman Leavell in 2014, Kirsten worked at Sobel Weber Associates. She hold a B.A. in English with a Creative Writing concentration from Amherst College, and a Graduate Certificate in Publishing from the Columbia Publishing Course.






0 Tim Floreen, author of WILLFUL MACHINES, on writing a novel being an endurance sport

We're thrilled to have Tim Floreen here to tell us more about his debut novel WILLFUL MACHINES.

Tim, what was your inspiration for writing WILLFUL MACHINES?

The subject of artificial intelligence has fascinated me for a long time. Specifically, I find it so interesting how advances in this area are forcing us to come to a whole new understanding of who and what we are as human beings. Is there a fundamental difference between the machines and us? What does it mean to be human anyway? Also, I wanted to write a book with a gay teen main character that wasn’t about being gay.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

I had a tough time writing the climactic sequence at the school. I don’t want to give too much away, but there are lots of moving parts involved in that finale, and I had to make sure everything came together just right for the ending to work.

That’s not my favorite scene, though. I love the part where Lee ditches his security detail and sneaks up to the secret cavern with Nico. I’m a sucker for a sweet love story, so romantic scenes like that I find so fun to write. First date dialogue is the best.

0 Simon P. Clark, author of TELL THE STORY TO ITS END, on not underestimating the value of community

We're excited to have Simon P. Clark stop by to tell us more about his debut novel TELL THE STORY TO ITS END.

Simon, what was your inspiration for writing TELL THE STORY TO ITS END?

In a way, Tell The Story... is a response to David Almond's Skellig, which was the first book I fell in love with as a young reader. Almond's a master of storytelling and subtle, powerful writing. One of the highlights of getting published was when he gave us some fantastic quotes to use on the UK cover.

How long did you work on TELL THE STORY TO ITS END?

Oh, years. It was a strange process, in the end (although that's probably true for all novels). The idea behind the book is very old - I started a draft of it when I was maybe fifteen. It didn't pan out, and life moved on. Years later, while I was living in Japan, I picked it up again for National Novel Writing Month, changed the main character, and changed the setting to be contemporary. I didn't manage to finish in a month - or even a year - but the first draft was done about two years after that.

Friday, October 23, 2015

0 Free 1st 5 Pages Workshop Opens Saturday, October 31!

Our 1st 5 Pages October Workshop has come to an end. We had such a great group of talented and supportive writers! A big thanks to our wonderful guest mentors, author Lanie Bross and agent Saba Sulaiman! They both provided terrific comments and suggestions. And as always, thank you to all of our fabulous permanent mentors! Two of our mentors had books come out this month that you should check out – TOUCHING FATE by Brenda Drake and TRUST ME I'M TROUBLE by Mary Elizabeth Summer!

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, our November workshop will open for entries on Saturday October 31, 2015, at noon, EST. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. Click here to get the rules. I will post when it opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages. In addition to our permanent mentors, we have author Jenn Thorne and agent Kirsten Carleton!

We usually fill up in under a minute, so get those pages ready and good luck!

Erin

0 The Flows of Inspiration by Jennifer Donnelly

One of the questions authors are most often asked is "Where do you get your ideas from?" If you're like me, it's easier to answer where you DON'T get inspiration. Ideas shoot out at me from everywhere I go and everyone I see. Which is why I try to always have a notepad of some sort, whether paper or electrical, with me always. And my kids have made a joke of rolling their eyes and groaning every time they hear me say, "that would make a good story!"

I believe that, as writers, we have trained our minds, opened them, widened them, attuned them, to be receptive to these ideas that flutter about in the aether. Inspiration is there for one and all, but we creatives are the ones who notice and care. However, sometimes the trick is knowing which idea is fluttering by to catch our attention, and which should be released back into the wild for another writer. Not every idea I've had is my story to write. It's taken me several ears as a writer, developing and honing my voice and themes, to know which ideas to cherish and which to pat on their head and send them back on their way.

New York Times Best Selling Author Jennifer Donnelly is here with us today to share some of the ideas she captured and coaxed into a story that became her newest release in the WaterFire Sage - Dark Tide. Be sure to check it out at the end of the post. And please share in the comments how you corral all your inspirations!

The Flows of Inspiration: A Craft of Writing Post by Jennifer Donnelly


Inspiration for DARK TIDE, and the entire WaterFire Saga, comes from some pretty strange places.

As anyone who’s been to one of my readings knows, one of the biggest was the work of the designer Alexander McQueen, but another mad genius who has also been a huge source of ideas is Rene Redzepi, the chef behind NOMA in Copenhagen, one of the world’s best and most out-there restaurants.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

1 Four Agents on the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of NaNoWriMo

Let's get into the meat of the issue today! I've asked our amazing agents about both the good and bad parts of NaNo as they see them...
 Q: Everyone says NaNo is great for getting *writing,* but writing fast isn't for everyone, so do you believe participating can be detrimental at all to a writer's skills?

Natalie:

No. I think if you want to go for it, fantastic; but I think a practice of setting and writing to deadline and just getting something finished, even if it’s a hot mess, can only help more than hinder.


Sara Megibow of KT Literary
Sara: 
That’s a great question and I don’t have the answer. Since I am, myself, not a writer I don’t know what exercises are beneficial or detrimental to crafting books. I can’t imagine that NaNo would hurt a writer’s skills but if that writer responds really poorly to the “write quickly” mantra, then I think it’s also ok to drop it like a hot potato and move on to some other exercise.
Jaida: 
Good question! I like NaNo because it forces writers to look at the big picture -- pushing out the STORY, even if it's just the barebones -- as opposed to focusing on the small details like style, voice, etc. So as long as they treat it like a "step" in the writing process, as opposed to The End All, NaNo is a great exercise to mix it up.


. Q: What is the most positive argument you've heard for NaNoWriMo?

Natalie Lakosil of Bradford Literary

Natalie:
The powerful community of support – and peer pressure – to really get a novel FINISHED!
I’m always impressed that NaNo is designed specifically to support writers as they write. I love that! Writing is an art and publishing is a business. Conferences are a great tool for supporting writers in the business of publishing. And, NaNo is a great tool for supporting writers in the art of writing.
Marissa Meyer did it! And other successful authors, too. That's all I need to know to believe in NaNo: for some writers, it really works.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

0 Write What You Know by Todd Strasser

Today we're thrilled to welcome Todd Strasser to the blog. Todd Strasser is the author of more than 130 novels for children and young adults, and his latest offering The Beast of Cretacea hit shelves last week. Todd is revisiting the concept of writing what you know, offering some new gems of advice.

Write What You Know, Revisited by Todd Strasser


My first novel (written in the early 1970s) was a roman à clef about a teenager who falls in love with a “nice” young woman from another town, then gets arrested for selling drugs, and tries to hide it from her. Not aware at the time that a new genre of literature called Young Adult was in its infancy, I was worried that my story lacked the adult appeal necessary to catapult it onto the best seller lists.

Seeking to correct this deficiency, I purchased a copy of Writer’s Digest for advice on how to turn my book into something with sales that would rival those of Stephen King’s, and as a result learned that at that particular moment on the literary timeline, the two ingredients every book needed to insure vast commercial success were Nazism and cocaine.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

2 Magical Realism in YA and Why You'll Love It -- Plus a Giveaway

Magical realism is one of the most confusing terms that writers come across. It’s one that I’ve seen applied to Compulsion, and I’ll admit I’m both flattered and mystified by that.

I was lucky enough to be at two separate events this week where the term Magical Realism came up. We discussed it briefly at a panel I did at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, and then I was lucky to get to talk about making magic real at a panel with Brenda Chapman, the Oscar winning director and screenwriter for “Brave,” at the Virginia Children’s Book Festival. Then I had a conversation with author (and professor) Lisa Maxwell over coffee about how the term has morphed over time.

These days, it’s often used to suggest that a fantasy has some sort of “literary” merit and addresses deeper issues than more “escapist” fantasies. Or it’s used to explore a world where magic is real and show us that world through the eyes of the people who see and experience it, often through an interweaving of history or the past with the present.

In the context of literature, the term refers to the work of writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Laura Esquivel, and Isabel Allende. Their fiction has an artistic quality, but it also make us feel that the magical elements could be real—if we just look around in a certain way. The magic isn’t explained, it just exists as if it is ordinary and part of the fabric of life. The characters don’t give it any thought, and we see it through their experience of it. In contrast, the world familiar to the reader is described in poetic and elevated language that makes that seem magical.

That’s why the Heirs of Watson Island series isn’t magical realism. Magic is real on Watson Island, and it’s part of the fabric for the Islanders. But as Barrie comes in from outside, she questions it. She makes the other characters question it. They all begin to reconsider the magic, which becomes the central mystery of the story: how the magic came to be, how it affects the characters, and most importantly, whether they can affect or remove the magic. The characters think about the effects of the magic all the time. They don’t question the existence of magic in general, but they do wonder how and why it was used on the three founding families. (There’s a twist within a twist in the third book that may turn this on its head, but I’ll stand by my assertion—I’m breaking the rules of true magical realism.)

There are other YA writers who stay much closer to the true genre and do a fantastic job:

Francesca Lia Block, Love in the Time of Global Warming
Alice Hoffman, The River King
A.S. King, Please Ignore Vera Dietz
David Levithan, Every Day
Sarah McCarry, All Our Pretty Songs
Meg Medina, The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind
Nova Ren Suma, Imaginary Girls
Leslye Walton, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Kat Winters, The Cure for Dreaming

The basic elements:

  • Set in the real world. 
  • Uses a poetic aspect to the narrative that makes the ordinary magical. 
  • Contains an element of the magical or surreal that exists as the reality of the characters and isn’t explained. 
  • The magic is fully integrated within the story world. 
  • The magic in the book invites us to look for magic within our own realities. 

About Martina Boone

Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She’s the author of Compulsion and Persuasion, books one and two in the romantic Southern Gothic trilogy, the Heirs of Watson Island. She’s also the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a three-time Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, the CompulsionForReading.com book drive campaign for underfunded schools and libraries, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site devoted to the discovery and celebration of young adult literature and encouraging literacy through YA series. Locally in her home state of Virginia, she is on the board of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, helping to promote literacy and adult education initiatives.

Giveaway

The launch of Persuasion is SIX days away. Can you believe it? The fabulous Jaime Arnold of Rockstar Blog tours is doing a blog tour the next couple of weeks with a lot of fun interviews and content, plus a SUPER BIG giveaway.

Personalized Compulsion AND Persuasion
Signed complete Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor
Heirs of Watson Island charm bracelet
Jar of Sweet Potato mustard to go on your hot dogs! : ) 

To start the blog tour and enter the giveaway, head over here:



Fun Stuff

I had a fascinating interview with MTV, in which I was asked some questions that gave me some revelations about myself, about Barrie, and about the Heirs of Watson Island series. If you're curious, it's here:



Monday, October 19, 2015

14 FOUR Giveaways plus New YALit Releases of this week 10/19 with Author Interviews

It's past the middle of October now, and we're well into the fall spirit. Halloween is just around the corner, and the weather is absolutely perfect for snuggling up under a blanket with a book or two. Take a look at this week's offerings, and enjoy!

Happy reading,
Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Sandra and Anisaa

Sunday, October 18, 2015

0 Sherry Thomas, author of THE IMMORTAL HEIGHTS, on stepping away when no ideas are forthcoming

THE IMMORTAL HEIGHTS is the final book in the Elemental Trilogy, and we're delighted to have Sherry Thomas join us to talk about it.

Sherry, how long did you work on THE IMMORTAL HEIGHTS?

THE IMMORTAL HEIGHTS took a good year to write. Not that I was constantly working on it. In fact, I produced two halves of two other books during that time. But even when I wasn’t actively writing it, it was never not on my mind and ideas were constantly percolating through my head.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

I was incredible stuck on the beginning of the book. I knew how it would end—sort of, what I had was big-picture knowledge and not necessarily specifics—but I had no idea how to get from the opening pages, in the middle of a battle, to that conclusion I wanted.

I wrote the epilogue fairly early on, but that didn’t help too much, even though it did serve as a shiny beacon, an end to aspire to. And then I just had to grind out the rest, one paragraph at a time.

What the writing of this book confirmed for me was that I as the author don’t have to enjoy the process to produce a result that I’m happy with. Also, that I was right to trust my instincts, to step away when no ideas were forthcoming, and give my subconscious the time necessary to arrive at the correct next step.

0 Kate A. Boorman, author of DARKTHAW, on ritual cueing your creative brain

We're excited to have Kate A. Boorman stop by to share more about DARKTHAW, the second book in her Winterkill series.

Kate, what was your inspiration for writing DARKTHAW?

DARKTHAW is the second book in the WINTERKILL trilogy. It’s the continuation of Emmeline’s story and picks up during the Thaw (spring) after the deadly winter has passed. Without giving anything away about the first book, I’d say the sequel is truly about change and what responsibilities and consequences come with freedom and choice (things not available to Emmeline in WINTERKILL). At the start, the new life Emmeline has been dreaming about seems within reach. She soon realizes it’s not as easy as grabbing ahold of that life, not just because BIG BAD THINGS complicate matters, but because loyalty and honesty can be complex, and having choice sometimes means you are faced with decisions you don’t want to make. The Thaw (spring) certainly was a metaphoric inspiration for imagery/setting and Em’s emotional arc regarding change.

0 Best of AYAP: World Building

A story is nothing without setting. Even the most basic of tales include some elements of world building. Little Red Riding Hood went into the woods, Old MacDonald had a farm, the chicken crossed the road. Every novel - from fantasy to the most contemporary or contemporaries - benefits from a deeply imagined setting.

World building can, however, be a tricky thing. There's a lot of discussion below on using world building and setting to add depth and complexity to your writing, as well as ways to approach world building as a tool for generating even more content. There are also articles on the importance of setting to POV and tone, and ensuring your world building is grounded in something tangible for readers to seize. As always, there's a wealth of information in the AYAP archives... and we've collected the best of it below.