As many of you know, before I became a REALTOR, I worked in online book promotion. Thanks to this experience and the effort put into marketing my own work, our local library asked me to hold a workshop for self-published authors on ways to promote their books. This week’s article at the 4RV Reading, Writing, & Art News blog talks about how effective marketing is about building relationships. You can read my article at https://4rvreading-writingnewsletter.blogspot.com/2019/09/effective-book-promotion-is-about.html
Joining us today is Sheila Hendrix, author of YA parnormal novel, The Betrayal. She is a native of Alabama and resides there with her husband of sixteen years. She has no children except for her pets. She is the author of the Young Adult paranormal series, The Dark Circle. We’ll talk to her about her writing, the rewards and challenges for writing for the YA market, and what the future holds.
Thank you for joining us today, Sheila. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
Thanks for having me. I’m 46 years old. I’m a nurse at a psychiatric hospital. I’m married to a wonderful man, I love animals and I have eight dogs. I love to read, write, hike, camp, travel and garden. I do reviews for Affair De Coeur magazine.
When did you first get bit by the writing bug?
I’ve always wanted to write. I just didn’t think I could. It’s always been my dream.
Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?
I love teens. I’ve worked with them for years and I like to give them something they will truly love. Also YA is very popular right now. When I started The Betrayal I knew I had found my niche.
What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?
I enjoy coming up with new ideas. Kids are very impressionable and so it’s a challenge to find ways to get them excited. The greatest challenge is keeping it geared toward teens.
Keeping plots and storylines in order. LOL!
Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?
It’s about love, loyalty, two brothers who’d do anything they have to, to ensure the other is safe. It’s about family and sacrifice, heartache and triumph.
When Zachariah and Matthew McCannon were young, their parents abandoned them, leaving Zack to take care of his little brother, Matt. Though they lived with their grandmother, she was always sick, so Zack was forced to raise him. This was not an easy task.
Zack had his hands full because of Matt’s unusual powers. He has visions and dreams that come true, and when he gets angry or upset, he can move things with his mind. Because of this, evil seeks him, keeping Zack on his toes as his protector.
As the brothers grew older, they became hunters, pursuing evil supernatural forces. After Matthew has a dream, it sends them on a hunt for cave, not knowing why, but realizing it is necessary. When they arrive, Matt finds the vision was a trap.
A Darkness like no other wants to control Matt and kill Zack. The Darkness is named, Alanya, which means, The Destroyer.
Alanya hates the brothers. In the past, every time he tried to apprehend Matt, Zack would thwart him by protecting his brother. Alanya is incensed that a mere human boy can beat him, for demons are not to be defied.
When Alanya asks Zack, “How far will you go to save your brother?” Zack answers, “As far as I have to.”
Now, the brothers are faced with a deadly force they never had to deal with before. This demon is on a deadly mission to destroy everything the brothers hold dear. If the McCannon’s are not careful, neither of them will be able to escape.
What inspired you to write it?
I actually had a nightmare and when I calmed down I thought how it would make a great book.
Where can readers purchase a copy?
Amazon right now. In about a month it will be available Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Borders, etc.
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
Today’s guest blogger is Stephen Masse, author of the young adult novel, Short Circus.
Twelve-year-old Jem Lockwood has been fatherless for four years and finally gets a Big Brother, but just as the best summer of his life is about to begin, he discovers that Jesse Standish’s rented house is about to be sold. Jem does all in his daring imagination to make Jesse’s house unmarketable, and the neighborhood unfit for prospective buyers. This three-ring circus romps with Jem’s boyhood friends and older brother Chris, all recognizable kids who share in the rough-and-tumble delight of living in a northern Massachusetts city whose newspaper is delivered by kids on bikes, where kids play in the streets, and the local convenience store is owned by the family of Jesse’s girlfriend, Andrea. Sadly the city’s swimming pond has been sabotaged, and the city has to close it to all recreation after two boys are injured. Jem is sure he knows who did it, and helps carry out a plan to punish the evildoer.
Since Stephen also writes books for adults, I asked him to discuss the similiarities and differences in writing for two markets. Here’s what he had to say:
I’d have to admit I’m not an authority on writing for young adults.
What I do know is that it’s always a good idea to read a manuscript to a few kids before publishing. It could be an imperfect test, since your voice or personality may carry a flawed story – but in general kids will stop you cold in the middle of a sentence if logic, character, plausibility or relevance are lacking. When reading an excerpt of Short Circus to my 12 year old cousin, she caught me on a few points that surprised me – mostly because I had been blind to them. But even when a book has been polished, edited, copy-edited and published, it would be complete folly to assume all kids in the targeted audience will enjoy it, or find it relevant. Short Circus has a market mostly for boys between the ages of 12 and 16 who have struggled with loss or abandonment of a parent, grandparent, or guardian. Having said that, I find it amusing that adults are getting a kick out of the book, too. One reader e-mailed me that “reading Short Circus was like taking a hit on the crack pipe of childhood memories.”
To my mind, writing for adults and young readers is different only in the matter of choosing the subject and audience. The quality of the writing has to be excellent for either audience. Many classic stories are read by both children and adults. Obviously stories about children will be of more interest to children, and stories with adult themes will be of more interest to adults. The bottom line is for writers to trust their instincts and also trust their test readers.
Stephen V. Masse was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He wrote his first novelat age 13, handwritten into a school composition book.
Educated at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he studied creative writing, and was author of a weekly newspaper column, “Out of Control.” His first novel for children, Shadow Stealer, was published by Dillon Press in 1988. Short Circus is his second novel for children.
In addition to children’s books, Masse has written A Jolly Good Fellow, winner of the Silver Medal in the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards, as well as honorable mention in the 2008 New England Book Festival for best books of the holiday season.
Imagine my surprise when I received an email this morning from my friend, Linda Weaver Clarke, who asked me to post about an international giveaway she is running at her blog, along with a short interview with little ole me.
“Linda teaches a workshop that helps others to put their family history into a variety of interesting stories.”
You can find out more about Linda’s Family Legacy workshops by visiting her website.
In coordination with our interview on “The Importance of Promoting Your Book”, Linda is offering a copy of her Family Legacy Booklet, as a giveaway.
Learn the most important elements of writing. Do you need help getting started writing your family history, autobiography, or want to develop your writing skills? Discuss setup, characters, plot, the importance of conflict and emotion. The secret of holding a reader is using emotion; it’s the difference between a slow or a lively recounting of a story. Make your ancestors come alive on paper. Make your family legacy something your children will be proud of.
This booklet contains the same rules for fiction and non-fiction writing.
The Family Legacy Booklet giveaway runs from May 5th through May 15th. You can read our interview and find details on the giveaway by visiting Linda’s blog.
You can meet Linda in person at the following locations:
5th: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Workshop at Tucker Branch Library, 5234 La Vista Rd., Tucker, Georgia, Contact library at 770-270-8234
8th: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Workshop at Roswell Library, 115 Norcross Street, Roswell, Georgia. Contact library at 770-640-3075