Gah- I said it again! I’m already a writer, but I want to be an AUTHOR too. In face-to-face conversation, this statement is nearly always followed by a bashful smile. But then when someone asks me what I’m writing about, the shyness disappears. Why? Because I LOVE what I’m writing. I’m passionate about it. And that why I can call myself a Book Lover.
So, a bit about what I’m writing, how I’ve gotten here, and where I’m going…
The Rose of Coracus is a YA novel that takes place in the quasi-medieval fantastical kingdom of Harren, where Shayna, a dancer and talented seamstress of a hated ethnic group, meets the Crown Prince in disguise, Johnathan, who is trying to learn more about his future kingdom. Add betraying best friends, potential suitors, pressure from parents and a building rebellion into the mix, all while Johnathan and Shayna are trying to figure out their place in the world. You can see where this is going (so you think!)…but I’m going to make you wait to find out the ending until you can buy the book in stores!
I’ve been working on this story seriously for the past eight months or so, when I decided I would do it for my senior project at Hamilton. This summer I did a series of revisions (and learned the importance of setting a rigid schedule for yourself), including adding all of Johnathan’s perspective…I NEVER thought I’d be able to write from a male point of view, but I think (and have been told by my faithful reader, Heather) it works. In August, just when I thought I was being close to finished, my friend read the beginning and came up with a GENIUS addition to the plot, which meant I needed to do major rewriting…and I wouldn’t be finished for a few more months (geez, thanks a lot, Heather!). In reality, though, I’ve been working on this story much longer. After being influenced by Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books in middle school, I began writing my Harren stories during the summer between eighth and ninth grade. Called Shayna’s Story until recently, it was envisioned to be the third in a series. In early high school, my friends and I formed an informal writer’s group. This novel was the only one I ever finished…finished in the eyes of a sixteen year old. Which is why, five years later, when I had the opportunity to work on the story again and make it MUCH stronger through my senior creative writing class, I eagerly did so. And now, clocking in at 71,000 words with a few chapters still to be added and one more round of polishing, I’m just about done…done in the eyes of a twenty two year old. I know there’s SO much work still to be done, but I’m super proud of what I’ve accomplished and sure that, with all that hard work, perseverance and other Book Lover values I’ve picked up along the way, this story is going to be something. Someday. Hopefully someday soon?
In another month or so I’m going to begin the second, and probably even harder, step of trying to get an agent to represent me. I’m lucky, because of my background in publishing, I know more than the average writer about what I’m supposed to do and not do. I’m sure I’ll make some mistakes, but I also know that lots of writers try to get their not-so-good manuscripts published (I’ve read and rejected more than I can count). Mine is WAY better than a lot of manuscripts I’ve read interning at Bloomsbury and FinePrint/Nancy Coffey. And if those potential authors think their manuscript deserves a chance, mine sure does, too! Probably, some intern will reject my manuscript, like so many others. But then again, maybe one intern will like it. And pass it on to her boss. And she’ll like it, too. It only takes one.
I’ll keep you updated!