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Tag Archives: young adult fiction

Coming up for Air before I Dive Back in

I didn’t write a single post last week.  Yep, neglected the entire blog.  I was writing though.  In fact, I was doing something possibly more important:

finishing my sequel.

I struggled to keep on track while writing this follow up book to Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: The Middle-ish Ages.  I even resented it at times.  I loved my characters but regretted letting them grow up, much like a parent would, I guess.  At times I even questioned why I was writing a sequel.  Sequel success is a gamble.  It might be a terrible follow up, causing me to lose the loyal followers I actually have, who would begin to loathe me and my inadequate sequel writing abilities, possibly blaming me for global warming… ok, that last part is a bit over the top, but you get the idea.  It was pressure, and I wasn’t sure my heart was always in it.

This is how I sometimes felt through the process.

This is how I sometimes felt through the process.

Then I would reread portions of the book and remember that I loved what I was writing.  And I was inspired even more around the time of writing the last quarter or so of the book when I read something about “finding my awesome” in a Jon Acuff book (Start).  I don’t have the book handy right now, but I know there was a question about whether you would do the thing you were doing regardless of anything else, just because it’s who you are and what you do.  I write.  It’s what I do, so one day I sat down and started writing a book.  After I finished the book I had no idea what to do with it, so I did nothing for a while.  Then I self published it and other people started reading it and asking if I was writing more about Drew, and I decided I wanted to know what was going to happen in her life too, so I started a second book to help create her further existence.  I wanted to do it anyway because I like Drew.  So I wrote a sequel, and last Friday I put the final words on said sequel.

Now I wait.

I have some editors who need to read the book.  My book cover designer is trying to translate my requests into something that looks awesome.  I desperately need to figure out this whole self-promoting thing. Then I will need to go back and make corrections based on my editors’ suggestions and my own need to constantly seek perfection.  Then, finally, I will release my sequel into the world and allow others to judge my worth as a writer, my sequel writing abilities, and Drew, my beloved character whom I would like to shelter and protect forever.  This is not an easy task.  What if people don’t like her?  Sure, I know she’s fictional, but she’s also me and my creation.

At this moment my release goal is mid to late May.  I’ll update that here as the process continues and I know more specifics.  But I’m going to take a complete break from Drew now, at least for a couple weeks.

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Sneak a Peek at My Sequel

I’ve been busy writing my sequel to Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: The Middle-ish Ages (sequel title to be announced).  Here’s some proof:

Learning What Ails

After the annual ceremonial sacrifices of our dignity, otherwise known as three weeks of square dancing, we got a little more time off from dressing out for gym (as if I often did anyway) as we had an interval of health class where we learned about cleaning ourselves properly, certain muscle groups, and eating nutritious food. Carmen and I were passing notes back and forth.  She was in the drama club and they were getting extra credit if they helped backstage at the upcoming talent show, and if they recruited other people.

Her note read, “Vile Contagion is playing, so Adrienne already said she’d help because she thinks Joe Spano is hot.” Adrienne had been talking about this all week.  Joe Spano was a junior and played drums in our high school’s local rock band, Vile Contagion.  I had to admit, their name was catchy.

“I can do it as long as Adrienne is because we’ll just catch rides together,” I wrote, and then refolded and tossed the note to Carmen. It came back to me quickly with a huge smiley face.

“Who remembers what the gluteus maximus is?” asked our all-year shorty shorts and whistle wearing gym teacher.

And in that unfortunate moment, Julia from chorus’ sister, who happened to be an office aid, walked in with a message delivery. As soon as her wide hips cleared the door to exit, Lance, Mouth-Breather from photography, shouted out, “That young woman is burdened with a prime example of a maximus gluteus maximus!”

Instead of scolding Lance, Mr. Baxter said, “Yes, exactly.  The glute is the butt,” and Lance and Todd, his greasy haired cohort gave each other high fives.

“But, wait,” declared my normally lip-locked locker neighbor who had recently been transferred into the class in order to avoid an old boyfriend. “I thought Gluteus Maximus was like a Roman god or something.”

After paying attention to those few minutes of class, Carmen and I resumed our note writing.  It seemed safer for our brain cells.

More to come.  I wrote around 7,000 words this week.

Sequestering My Sequel

writers block

Writing a sequel for Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: The Middle-ish Ages.  That’s what I’m supposed to be doing at this exact moment, but instead, I’m writing a blog post about writing a sequel.  Why?  Because I’m looking for excuses to not work on my sequel right now and as long as I’m writing something, that’s all that matters, right?

Wrong.

I know.  I know.  It’s just like I said…an excuse.  Why would I even need an excuse?  So many reasons.

Writer’s block:  Today I am seriously NOT feeling my protagonist, or the plot, or anything at all, for that matter.  It’s just now, in this moment though.  I’ve been doing fine all along… until now.  The problem is I’m about to have a very busy several days in which I know I will be unable to schedule sequel writing time, so I’m feeling that added pressure.

Added pressure:  I’ve been working on this sequel for five months and I really want to get through this first draft and begin editing, but I’m only at about the halfway mark.  There is no time frame or deadline.  I’m an indie writer, so it’s all up to me, but I am the added pressure, because I want to have a sequel to offer to prove I’m serious about this book writing thing.  Also, I know I have more chances of getting noticed by readers if I have more than one book and the promise of an entire series.

Fear of sequel disaster:  It happens all the time in books and movies. We’ve all seen it, or read it, and felt sadly let down.  The first one is great, so a second is written or filmed.  But other than The Empire Strikes Back, which is my favorite Star Wars film, I have a hard time thinking of any movies or books in the second position that have lived up to the first.  Occasionally, a third can come along and help dig it out of a hole, but sometimes, once that car comes off the rails, it just becomes a larger train wreck.  I don’t want Drew to be part of a train wreck.  She means more to me than that and I want to get it right, for her sake.  I owe her (Drew is my protagonist, if you’re wondering)! So I have repeat performance issues.

But I really need to just suck it up and write, right?  I have to have faith that Drew can guide me and help me to be true to her character.  When I have alone time with her, as I do now, sequestered in my office, I need to build her life.  I can always go back and fix it later if I screw up too much.  Being a writer is much safer than parenting.  That’s what editing and revision are all about.  After all, I rewrote and deleted chunks in the first book. It’s acceptable to not be perfect at first.  Nobody has to know if I catch it before I publish it.  I can do this.  I feel better already.  I always do when I write it out. Now, can I do the same with Drew?

Regrets?

There’s just today left for my free ebook promo for Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: The Middle-ish Ages.  Yeah, I feel a little cheap just giving the book away like that, but I have to believe everyone will still love and respect me once they actually read the book.

I did the math, and it just didn’t make sense.  Normally I get a 70% royalty on an ebook sale, but 70% of zero is nothing, right?  I was always more of an English girl than a math whiz, but I know I took a risk with this.  And I went back and forth on it, like Gollum.

Gollum-Smeagol-smeagol-gollum-14076882-960-403

Me:  But it’s my precious.

Other Me: Well, nobody will be able to read it if they don’t know it exists.

Me: How will I feed my husband, myself, and my dogs if I give it away for free?

Other Me: Maybe people will love it so much they will all write up awesome reviews on Amazon.  Then it will be more visible to shoppers and sales and ranking will increase.

Me: Do you swear it?

Other Me: I swear it on the precious!

Yeah, it was all really creepy.  In the long run, Other Me won and now we both wait to see if it is correct.  This whole self-promoting stuff is all new for me and each decision I make is a new risk.  I don’t like to think of being a writer as running a business, because it’s art, but if I want people to read my art, I have to promote it.  Giving away freebies is a classic technique in bringing in business, right?

Go ahead and take a chance with me and download the book for free this one last day.  Then if you love it, or even just mostly like it, please take a minute to write up a review for me.  Maybe this will encourage me to finish the sequel faster.  My goal is to have it ready for Amazon by Christmas.

I can’t have regrets.  I have to keep moving forward.

Freebies!

freebooks1

I love free stuff.  It makes me smile.  I want to make others smile by giving away free stuff, namely my book.

Today (8/30/13) through Monday (9/2/13) I am giving away my ebook.

A few people thought my timing on this was weird because I just launched my book in print after having the ebook available for a year now.  Why would I do this?  Honestly, I just want people to read my book, love it, and tell others about it.  Also, people are more likely to risk reading something unknown if it’s free than they are to buy something unfamiliar to them, right?  So, the freebie ebook giveaway is my sneaky way to get noticed, have people give a free book and chance, and then let them decide if a paper book (which always has a higher overhead cost) is worth adding to their libraries.  It’s a way to check it out before investing.

Personally, I think Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: The Middle-ish Ages is a well-written, well-voiced book, but I might be biased since I wrote it an all.  So…I am asking others to read it and hopefully add reviews to my page as well.  Help me get noticed.

Pass along the news and spread the link:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008TT8Z6K

Maybe Not so Ordinary

Last August, I published a tween/young adult novel, Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: The Middle-ish Ages.  Then the school year started and I did little to promote it.  Now that it is summer and I no longer have the doom of an impending school year ahead (since I quit my day job), I am working towards getting the word out again on my book.  And I am working on the sequel.  The protagonist, Drew,  must move on and join those who have lived in the misery of being a freshman.

Who would like this book?

Who wouldn’t?

Seriously, the target audience is middle school girls; however, many adults have read it and enjoyed reliving their awkward middle school moments as well.  It’s a humorous tale of a girl figuring out who she really is, and it’s set at the cusp between the ’80s and ’90s, so if you enjoy nostalgia, give it a try.

I’m also trying out a new summer pricing of $2.99, down from $4.99.  This is far less expensive than most alternative forms of “entertainment” out there these days (anybody attempt to go to a movie any time recently?), so take a sneak peak, buy it, read it, and tell all your friends about it, especially if they have preteen girls.  I want to build up the proper age of followers as well.