Saturday, October 10, 2015

0 S.A. Bodeen, author of THE DETOUR, on not putting the cart before the horse

THE DETOUR is the latest novel by S.A. Bodeen, and we're thrilled she stopped by to chat about writing.

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

I started out in picture books. My first, Elizabeti’s Doll, released in 1998 with a splash and many accolades, which led to six more. But I wanted to write YA. For years, I wrote YA novels, each worse than the last. Finally, in 2005, my agent sent several of them back to me in a box, along with a letter saying, in effect, “These suck.” So I took the easy road: I quit. Worst several months of my life, because not only was I giving up on my dream, I was being a terrible role model for my daughters in the process. And then I read about National Novel Writing Month. So November 1, 2005, I sat down and began what would—after much hard work, many tears, and even starting over several times over the course of the next six months— eventually become my first YA novel THE COMPOUND, which was the tenth novel that I wrote. The other nine will never be published, but I obviously needed to write them to learn from them.

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it? 

Oh, how I wish I could say yes to this. Writing never gets easier for me. Each new book is a different challenge, and each teaches me something about writing, which I then take along when I write the next book. I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I know the key to writing a novel, but I’ll keep plugging along.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers? 

I get a lot of emails from writers just getting started, and their questions tend to be about the business: agents, submissions, etc. But I think the writing, the craft, should be the priority. Without that, you are putting the cart before the horse. So focus on the work. All that other stuff will fall into place when it is time.


The Detour by S.A. Bodeen
Feiwel & Friends
Released 10/6/2015

On her way to a writer’s conference, a bestselling teenage author takes a detour that has been deliberately set up by her biggest fans—a mother and daughter who kidnap her.

Livvy Flynn is a big deal—she’s a New York Times-bestselling author whose YA fiction has sold all over the world. She’s rich, she’s famous, she’s gorgeous, and she’s full of herself. When she’s invited to an A-list writer’s conference, she decides to accept so she can have some time to herself. She’s on a tight deadline for her next book, and she has no intention of socializing with the other industry people at the conference.

And then she hits the detour. Before she knows it, her brand new car is wrecked, she’s hurt, and she’s tied to a bed in a nondescript shack in the middle of nowhere. A woman and her apparently manic daughter have kidnapped her. And they have no intention of letting her go.

Purchase The Detour at Amazon
Purchase The Detour at IndieBound
View The Detour on Goodreads


1182751Stephanie is the award-winning author of the Elizabeti's Doll series of picture books, as well as several others. Her young adult novels include the award-winning The Compound and The Raft, and her next YA The Detour releases October 2015. The first two volumes of her middle grade series, Shipwreck Island and Lost, are available now.

Have you had a chance to read THE DETOUR yet? Has National Novel Writing Month helped jump start your writing? Do you try to making your writing craft the priority?

Happy reading,

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

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