TCWT: "What kinds of published books would you like to see more of?"
ZH: More fantasy (LOTR, Harry Potter, Graceling, etc). There's been too many paranormal romances and dystopian novels in the YA section. And a cross-genre NA novel. All of them are contemporary and it's kind of getting old. Books like Fire of Stars and Dragons are what I'm looking fore.
One of my author friends from Go Teen Writers, Giselle Abreu, asked me to answer some questions about self-publishing for her school research paper. I was happy to oblige and am posting my interview here.
1. What made you want to self-publish?
I wanted complete control over my book’s creative process: editing, formatting, cover design, etc.
2. What was the process of self-publishing like?
Very long. I think that was due to some unforeseen complications to my original timeline (I was editing up until the very last minute, even after getting a cover design and needed to reformat each time).
This book was even more entertaining than The Elusive Wife (probably because I didn't have any issues with its plot) and I just felt so bad for Penelope living in a man's world. However, I will say that as much as I love Drake, and I do (you can see it in my review of The Elusive Wife), his condescending attitude toward Penelope drove me nuts. I know it was common at the time, but no one wants to read a romance where the guy doesn't acknowledge the validity of his love's personal pursuits and aspirations.
Every fairytale needs a good old-fashioned villain. ~ Jim Moriarty (BBC Sherlock)
In recent years, entertainment has taken a particular interest in delving deeper into the back stories of infamous fictional villains. Wicked (book or musical), Once Upon a Time (OUAT), and the upcoming film Maleficent are just a few examples among many.
What draws us to bad-boys, evil queens, and other baddies? It's certainly not their stellar morals or victory stories (except maybe the first because they seem to get the girl in a lot of romance novels). It's their pasts. What led them to become evil/wicked/whatever-you-call-it.
Evil has a beginning. ~Maleficent tag line
Cora Carmack’s All Lined Up is the beginning of the Rusk University novels and the first book outside the Losing It series.
Dallas Cole is sick of football. Carson McClain is aiming to be the starting quarterback of the Rusk University football team. When the two meet at a college party, neither thinks college will be a very enjoyable experience. Both battling self-esteem issues and external pressures to excel all while struggling to resist their shared attraction, Dallas and Carson make this story another success in the author’s well-established literary portfolio.
Here is my "My Writing Process" post:
1) What are you working on?
Tears of an Angel, the 2nd book in The Belgrave Legacy and sequel to The Belgrave Daughter. It's going much slower than I anticipated, but I think that's largely due to the fact that I'm a high school junior in the middle of the college application process. I'm finally done with the 3rd rewrite and can start the normal editing process. Hopefully when my schedule clears up, I'll be able to crank this baby out and publish it by Spring 2015.
Thanks to an unforeseen twist of serendipity, I have finished the final rough draft of Tears of an Angel in two days by rewriting the outline, and cutting and pasting the brilliant scenes from the second and third drafts. It's all very Frankenstein if you ask me, and I'm still 6300-ish words short on my word count goal, but I'm working on fixing that—and hey, that's what revision is for.
I think I've been a creative rut recently largely due to school stress, but also the deathly trap of believing that I can't change what I've already written—which is a completely and utterly ridiculous notion. Here's a pretty graphic courtesy of Go Teen Writers that emphasizes my new mantra:
Anyway, the point is that I'm now back on track to finishing the second book in The Belgrave Legacy. I'm very relieved this happened sooner rather than later because 1) I was beginning to fear my writing career was over before it really began 2) next year is going to be crazy with applying to colleges and 3) I don't want to make my fans wait a ridiculously long time for the second book. I'm aiming to have this done by Winter 2014, maybe even sooner if my luck holds out.
5/7/14: I have finished the final draft before I start real editing (not rewriting). I can't say how excited and relieved this makes me. I'm going to give myself a break this weekend, but will start the next stage of this super-long process on Monday.
Until then, live a good life and read both The Belgrave Daughter and Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa A. Petreshock.
I'm a self-published author— because being a college student wasn't hard enough! I write YA multi-genre fiction for young adults or the young at heart. I love This Is Us, NCIS, BBC's Sherlock,
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