First things first – my historical Western romance One Last Letter is now available for pre-order from Amazon US, Amazon UK, and Amazon Canada! Thanks to Julie Sturgeon, my editor at Crimson Romance, for the heads-up. You can also add the book to your Goodreads TBR! Browse the book’s page on my site to read the entire first chapter, check out the summary, and see a complete list of links for the novel.
AND SECOND BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY -
I was tagged by the lovely Victoria Davenport (@vdavenportwrite) of Coffee. Write. Repeat. for the Writers’ Blog Tour, and I’ve finally had time to finish answering the questions. Read on to learn more about my writing process, and then scroll down to see the other two talented young writers I’ve nominated!
What am I working on?
AKA me. me, every day, “writing.”
I finished writing A Truth University Acknowledged, which is a New Adult update of Pride and Prejudice. The characters attend 21st century college and do normal college student things – no underage assassins or newly wealthy cowboys this time. It’s definitely been the most fun I’ve had with a project so far (it’s completely based in reality, so yay! no research required). Currently, I’m in the editing trenches with that story and
dying loving it.
Quite actually the query:
“It is a truth university acknowledged, that any drunk girl wearing a crop top to a party must be in want of a hook-up. However high her IQ and completely virginal she may be, this truth is so well fixed in college life, that she is considered easy. Guess what? She’s not.”
So begins the angry blog entry of Eve Blythe to her site FeministBreighton. As a college freshman, the only History major, and feminist activist, it’s all she can do to balance friends and grades – forget love. After she drunkenly vomits on the shoes of attractive but arrogant sophomore Duke Keenan, she’s horrified to discover her roommate set them up for Screw Your Roommate. Before a school budget meeting, he even threatens to cut off funding for her blog. She swears to loathe him for all university (and alumni events, too!).
This New Adult update of Pride and Prejudice provides a modern millennial perspective to the romance classic. A Truth University Acknowledged is complete at 68,600 words. The college spin guarantees awkward first dates, sexting anxiety, and vodka-fueled confessions.
Vodka! Sexting! Vomiting! What more does a story need? (Okay, lots more. Not even sure what the conflict is in this query. Hence the editing. Lots of it.)
Also, I’ve never heard of a college that pays students to write feminist/fashion/whatever-the-subject-may-be blogs, but that would be awesome if it was actually a thing. Sadly, it is not. Doesn’t mean I can’t create it in this novel! I’m super excited that she’s a blogger. It’s been fun to get to compose all these feminist blog posts (that colleges should seriously look into funding).
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, I guess answering that would require me sticking to a genre. I’ve dabbled in Young Adult thriller, Adult historical, and now I’m in New Adult contemporary. They all have romance, I guess? Romance ties all the stories together.
The major way I hope my work differs from others of its genre is the realism of the characters. There are certain aspects of Young Adult/New Adult novels written by adults which make me scratch my head and wonder, “Okay, we (students who are supposed to be represented in the story) do not do that.” Take the way we text as an example.
College students don’t actually use as much shorthand as adult authors seem to think. I’ve read stories where the 22-year-old college senior texts her friend, “g2g i noe i wll c u l8r” Just … no. Just no. We say, “I know I will see you later” because the majority of us have phones with Autocorrect and our sentences come out complete/in English.
There are certain aspects of teen life that I want to see represented in novels, but I haven’t found yet. I hope I can write convincingly about teens because I’m one myself. I know what kind of book I want to read, and that’s the book I intend to write.
Why do I write what I do?
My story ideas are genuinely just a matter of what I feel like reading at the time. I wanted to read a story like The Innocent Assassins, so that’s what I wrote. I wanted to read a western romance, so I wrote One Last Letter. Now apparently I want to read a story about Elizabeth and Darcy being their awkward selves in college. All I do is create the story I wish I could already buy on Amazon.
The oldest characters I’ve written from the viewpoint of are Evelyn and Jesse in One Last Letter. They’re twenty-three. That was my biggest concern going into the novel – will I be able to write about an age I haven’t experienced yet? Thankfully, the awesome Ysar of FIC Central Reviews seemed to think I did okay. That being said, I probably won’t venture into any age I haven’t experienced again. I prefer to write about teen lives because that’s what I know, that’s who I know, and that’s all I know.
How does my writing process work?
Get inspired by anything – someone I see on the street, something random someone tells me, a deleted movie scene – quite actually anything. After I have the idea, I usually sketch out the first few chapters – what’s going to happen, when is a character going to be introduced, how she’s going to navigate out of the embarrassing situation… And then my story never goes according to plan and I stop outlining altogether. I go where the story takes me.
I always know the ending of the story before I begin, but how my characters get there is as much as a surprise to me as it is to the reader. Then I edit the story, polish it, and send it out. A lot of my stories haven’t been published. I queried another manuscript before The Innocent Assassins and another story before One Last Letter - neither of them were picked up. After I send it out for a while, I move on to the next one. Publishing’s great, but it’s not why I write. If a story hasn’t sold for a while, I follow my inspiration to the next manuscript and forget the one before.
And now to introduce you all to some quality writers, Sophie Diamond and Johanna Harlow! I love the content they post on their blogs, and it’s always awesome to learn more about other young writers out there. Best of luck to both ladies for their future projects and publications.
Sophie Diamond, 22, from Robin Hood Country has just finished writing her first novel about life after graduating university. Loves bad dancing, Grey’s Anatomy and her dog Josh.
“After reading endless terrifying articles about the difficulties of getting published and making a career out of being a professional writer I’ve decided to push mercilessly ahead (and stop reading those articles).
Join me on my journey as I work from my first draft to my final product as I hopefully go from fledging writer to an actual professional.”
Website // Twitter
Johanna Harlow is a college student with an English major and an emphasis in creative writing. When she graduates, she aspires to invest herself in the world of books (either through literary agencies, publishing, or authorship).
She is currently editing her first book (a blend of fantasy and sci-fi) as well as working on the first draft of a dystopian. She has a special affinity for well-developed characters and symbolism.
Website // Twitter