Posts Tagged ‘young adult books’ Archive

We Interrupt Our Regular Programming…

…for a rant!

Why are writers in such a rush to be published?  I know, I know, it’s the dream.  We all want to hold our lovelies in our hands, smell the pages, sign them for all our fans, give them as presents on Christmas, and of course, highjack our friends for long car rides and tell them to READ IT!  Yes, it’s the dream.

It is my dream too.  I want all those things sometimes so bad I think I could cry or throw up (yes, seriously). But I started walking down this road only six months ago and only wrote my first novel a year ago. My first book was horrible, terrible, but I learned a lot. My second was a middle grade book that I had a ball writing. My third was a full length YA. And now, I’ve begun another YA.

I can’t believe how I’ve improved with each book I’ve written!  The old adage is right, if you want to get better at writing, you have to write.  No excuses.  Just get it done.  Don’t stop at book one, write a second, third, fourth…

No, I’m not saying don’t query the first or second because I’m sure going to, once I feel they’re polished, but I’m also saying, what’s the rush?  You’re probably not starving because you haven’t sold any books.  That’s what other jobs are for.

The moral to my rant: don’t be in a rush, just write, perfect your craft, and make connections with other writers (yes, make friends, just like in kindergarden).  But the biggest thing you should focus on is to enjoy writing.  Love writing.  Be happy you can do this at all.  Every single second of it.  Fall in love with your characters.  Drown in the worlds you build.  Plan more ways to thwart your characters and figure out how to get them out of it.

So go! Write! And never, for a second, take for granted our ability to do what we love.

I Am Not J.K. Rowling

This is a conversation I had with Cale after we saw the last HP movie this afternoon. I hope it makes you guys feel better, like it did me.

Juliana: I feel a bit melancholy now that Harry Potter is over.

Cale: So do I.

Juliana: Is it bad if I’m a little depressed to know that I’ll probably never write a book like Harry Potter.

Cale: No, I knew that I’d never play like Zinadine Zidane but I could play like Roy Keane. I could be a grinder and work my ass off. I could play with passion and get stuck in. You may not be JK Rowling but you can still be a great author who writes great books.

Juliana: 🙂

Zidane is one of the best players to play the beautiful game and J.K. Rowling is one of the best writers to come along, but there have to be other players and writers who make up the rest of the field, and honestly, I’m okay with being one of those other writers. I’m thankful I live in a time when I am able to read Rowling’s genius and even more thankful that I can write the stories that I have in me. I hope you all are too!

* As a note, Cale played soccer in college and the PDL (semi-pro) but was forced out due to injuries, so he does know what he’s talking about. He is a constant source of support as I try to get into the writing business since he can relate with his soccer experiences.

#YAsaves

I assume all of you have seen the #YAsaves trend on Twitter, but if not, check it out.  I’ve read a few hauntingly powerful posts in reflection of the @wsj article and have been inspired to add my voice to the mix.

The most important thing I’ve noticed from all the tweets are the many people who have written that they wish they would have had access to the YA books that teenagers have today.  I was lucky to have grown up when YA books were becoming popular, though not as they are today.

Depite having a wide group of friends, several best friends, and always having something to do on weekends, I grew up a very lonely girl.  My close family saved me from expressing my sadness and loneliness in negative ways, but it wasn’t until the end of college that I finally understood that lonely was just a part of me.  Once I accepted that, it became okay and it no longer hurts me like it once did.

While I don’t have a story like many of those I have read, I still connect and understand that it was books that saved me.  I spent enormous amounts of time at the library, feeling the bindings of books, wanting to jump between their pages.  Concocting stories of my own is what carried me from day to day.  When I didn’t know how to express what I felt, books did.  This is why I write – I want to give that to another person who needs it.  In books, there is always a safe place to escape to when the real world doesn’t provide that.

YA isn’t too dark, it reflects reality and educates teenagers on aspects of life they need to know about.  More often than not, kids don’t become aware of issues like anorexia, cutting, suicide, and rape until it confronts them in real life.  This should not be the case.  Kids need a safe place they can learn about these things and know how to react when they happen in life.  I say there needs to be more YA and absolutely, never in any way, should there be censorship of the written word.

Thank you to everyone out there for helping put to words why I write and read, and why YAsaves.