So this one time, I wrote a book. To be fair, it stayed with me over the course of six years, so it’s not like I spent one specific block of time working on the damn thing. 2013 was my year to finally get it out into the world, so I celebrate the fact that I finally took a risk and finished the job in January. I’ve felt like a new person ever since, and I’ve even started working on something else.
That’s another reason I was so eager to liberate myself of “The Wingmen,” which will always be close to my heart but belongs in the hands of readers as opposed to my own thoughts now: I have an idea for a YA series. Soon after publishing “The Wingmen,” I started writing drafts of this new project on notebook paper. By the way, that’s how it has to be with me. I need to start writing by hand, and if the feeling is right, I migrate everything to my computer. I typed out the first few chapters tonight, and so far, it’s going really well! I think I have a knack for YA, even though I could probably read more books of that genre for research purposes.
And you know how I’m going to acquire that voice? By re-reading my childhood favorite, “Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging.” I devoured the books at age 12 and was instantly obsessed. The last few books aren’t as good as the first, but that’s not unusual for a series. I’m going to order the first one, as I’m pretty sure my mom donated my dusty copy to our local library ten years ago. How sad is it that I’m trying to read my favorite book from seventh grade at age 24.5?
Do you have any other YA book suggestions for me? I’m all ears. Anything to educate myself on the genre, I’m kind of out of the game and I actually want to get an agent for this book (if all goes well, of course). Hey, it took the “Warm Bodies” writer three self-published novels before he landed a book deal, and the same could very well happen to me. I just have to keep moving, writing, and, most importantly, reading. Remember what Stephen King said in “On Writing”: if you don’t read, you don’t have the tools to write. Boom.
Did I mention he was my childhood idol? That guy is a writing machine if there ever was one. Truly a life force who doesn’t get hung up on writer’s block or self-loathing nonsense, which has gotten the best of me in the past. Not so much these days thankfully, but you never know when it could strike again. With the approach of spring, however, I doubt I’ll have anything to be morose about until at least September, a.k.a. hurricane season.
If another one of those psycho superstorms barrels through New York anytime soon, I may actually lose my mind. Our building is still without cooking gas thanks to Sandy, and we’re among the lucky. Some of my friends had to move out of their apartments entirely because of the storm. Others lost everything, including their lives.
Why am I talking about Sandy again? Don’t know, don’t care. Back to the point of this post: I’m stoked about this new project. No matter where it takes me, it feels good to have a new goal and focus in mind. This is a complete work of fiction and I need to spend a lot of time developing the characters, but I’m looking forward to getting to know them. I actually feel like I learn something new about each of them every time I sit down to write the story, and that’s how I know it’s worth pursuing. I’m not projecting any of myself onto these folks. They’re very much alive on paper, I’m just the agent documenting their situations and experiences. The opposite of “The Wingmen,” there’s absolutely no me in this story, and it’s awesome. I don’t want to write another book about my life stories until (and if, of course) I make more of a name for myself in publishing. At this point, I’m 24, and though I have some hilarious stories under my belt (most of which involve my childhood buds, Crystal, Nikita, and Lauren), I’d rather wait until I have some actual credentials to share these adventures with the public. I’ve given you the Reader’s Digest version of our wacky, totally unconventional and totally inappropriate childhood, but believe me, this blog doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface in that arena. But these are stories for another day, hopefully in the not too distant future.
So, even though I’ve got a couple more promotions and interviews set for “The Wingmen,” it feels great to direct my energy at something new and exciting, not to mention totally different for me. At the end of last year, I promised I’d get my act together in 2013. So far, I’ve kept my word. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be completely done with this project come December. Let’s just hope the process for whatever is next is much shorter than that of “The Wingmen.” Six years is a lot of time to sit on an emotionally draining book!