A How-To for #Writers: The Young Adult Writer’s Journey
Hi Everyone! I have a non-fiction highlight for you today. For the writers in the audience, here’s a How-To reference book on writing Young Adult fiction from two experts in the field. Coming next in December: stay tuned for holiday cheer (and recipes!), along with some fun fiction. Happy Holidays! xo, Celia
Title: The Young Adult Writer’s Journey
Author: Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds and Janet Schrader-Post
Genre: Nonfiction Reference
Publisher: Tell-Tale Publishing Group
Date of Publication: November 23, 2018
Page Count: 232
Word Count: 60,000
An Encyclopedia for YA Writers.
Finally, an all-inclusive book on young adult fiction must-do, don’t do and how-to. If you want to write a young adult novel, you need to read this book first. Coauthored by an award-winning YA author and an acquisitions editor, both experts on kids and what they like to read, this encyclopedia contains all you need to start or improve a career as a YA fiction author.
From an examination of the market, genre and its sub-genres, to mechanics and the business, everything is at your fingertips. This amazing writer’s resource is written in a relaxed and interesting style, with plenty of contemporary references and examples for clear understanding and easier application.
“The Young Adult Writer’s Journey is a ‘Must Have’ at your fingertip reference for anyone who writes (or wants to write) for or about kids. Engaging text with topical and thought-provoking insights leading from idea to submission . . . and beyond to populate a story with believable characters young readers can relate to.” —Nancy Gideon, Award-Winning author of the By Moonlight series
“The trouble with “how to” books on creativity is that they usurp creativity. Not so with this very insightful guide for YA writing. If it doesn’t become a standard or even a classic among reference books, it will be an oversight. Janet Schrader-Post and Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds have all the marinated smarts and credentialed experience to pull this off, and they do! No dictated wisdom from on high here, no grafted creativity, THE YOUNG ADULT WRITER’S JOURNEY is accessible, motivational and a clear map that leaves plenty of room to discover for anyone wanting to explore their creative side.” -Thomas Sullivan, Pulitzer-nominated author of THE PHASES OF HARRY MOON
When you talk about world-building, many writers think you’re talking about fantasy lands like Narnia, Westeros, Panam or Middle Earth. For most teens, school is their world. What kind of home life they have is their world and these worlds need to be just as complicated as Narnia. Well-developed teen worlds like Hogwarts, North Shore High School, home of the Mean Girls, Rydell High School of Grease, and Panem of Hunger Games are so well-developed they seem real, and you remember them as though they were a place you visited.
To create a real world for teens in our times, you really need to know them: what they do every day, what they like, what motivates them, the environment in high schools and many other details. Home life for kids is very different from twenty or even ten years ago. It takes two incomes now to support a growing family or to succeed, so both parents most likely work. This leaves kids as young as nine or ten at home alone for long periods of time (or even younger, unfortunately). The enemy of these parents is the school holiday, and it seem like there’s more than ever. These parents have no idea what to do with their children. Many can’t afford childcare, so the kids are home alone. It’s a thing you must think about when writing for them.
Children come from all levels of society. Poor kids will view the world through different eyes than kids who have well-off parents. Kids living with a single parent might have a different view of the world as well as different social structures. The kids with single parents or working parents might have to go hungry on weekends, on school holidays and especially during the summer. It’s hard to think about, but true. There are teenagers out there who eat breakfast and lunch at school and their families provide dinner. Sometimes all they get is their school meals some days. When school is out, they scavenge and fend for themselves or they don’t eat.
Why I Write Young Adult Fiction, By Janet Post
I started writing fiction when I retired from the newspaper business. I’m an award-winning reporter with many Florida Press Awards. Being a reporter really honed my writing skills. You have to write tightly, concisely, and most importantly, on command. No waiting for your muse when someone’s standing in front of your desk with their hand out.
My first book after retiring was a Cracker Western. I was married to a Cracker Cowboy, so I had credentials. Credentials matter when trying to get published. Pineapple Press published Alligator Gold in 2009. After that, I wrote two adventure novels, one of which is coming out soon from Tell-Tale Publishing, Valley of the Golden Mummies. Getting the adult fiction published was difficult. The market was moving toward e-books, so I wrote some romance and published it under my daughter’s name, Melanie Thompson. I liked writing romance, but it still wasn’t me, it wasn’t what I wanted to write.
My son retired from the military and went to work as a teacher. He has his finger on the pulse of what kid’s, especially teenagers, like. So together, we wrote Vagrant, sold it as a series to Tell-Tale Publishing and it has since garnered two prestigious awards. I’d found my home. I love writing Young Adult fiction.
Young Adult, besides being on fire, is so much fun to write. Kids are hysterical. They suffer (not that funny but . . .), they laugh, they’re interested in so many things, and most of them are plowing through school doing the best they can. They have their own language. They’re learning about life which offers fresh topics and allows you to explore wonderful depths of emotion. They fall in and out of love and they take it so seriously. They’re technically savvy in ways most people can’t understand. And then there’s the huge cast of characters to choose from.
In The Young Adult Writers Journey, a new reference book I wrote with my editor Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds, we cover this cast of characters in depth. High school kids come in all shapes and colors, have handicaps, nervous disorders, character flaws and problems adults have, but to them, they’re so much worse because they’re just learning to deal with them while they’re going to school and trying to learn to socialize. It’s comparable to running a marathon with one leg tied up on crutches. It can be funny and terrifying at the same time.
If you want to learn how to write for teens, make sure you get a copy of The Young Adult Writers Journey. It’s available for preorder on amazon.com and it’s coming out November 23, 2018, Black Friday, just in time for Christmas giving.
About the Authors
Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds knows kids well. She spent decades teaching teens and adults to write and improve their reading skills. As a literacy expert and certified coach, she helped both teachers from elementary to secondary and preservice graduate students learn to improve reading and writing instruction. She has taught at both the secondary and graduate level, everything from rhetoric, essays, and thesis statements, to poetry, short stories, and how to write a novel. She has learned to use both sides of her brain simultaneously, but enjoys the creative side the most, learning to play piano, draw and paint, and find time for her own writing since retiring from her “day” jobs.
A “true believer” in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, mythic structures, she uses that lens when considering manuscripts for Tell-Tale Publishing Group, a company she founded with some friends from her critique group a decade ago.
Daughter of a Colonel, Janet lived the military life until she got out of high school. She lived in Hawaii and worked as a polo groom for fifteen years, then moved to Florida where she became a reporter. For ten years she covered kids in high school and middle school. Kids as athletes, kids doing amazing things no matter how hard their circumstances. It impressed her, and it awed her. “How wonderful teens are. They have spirit and courage in the face of the roughest time of their lives. High school is a war zone. Between dodging bullies, school work and after school activities, teens nowadays have a lot on their plate. I wrote stories about them and I photographed them. My goal was to see every kid in their local newspaper before they graduated.”
Janet love kids and horses, and she paints and writes. Now she lives in the swampland of Florida with too many dogs and her fifteen-year-old granddaughter. She started to write young adult fiction with the help of her son, Gabe Thompson, who teaches middle school. Together they have written a number of award-winning YA novels in both science fiction and fantasy.
Tell-Tale Publishing Web site | Tell-Tale Publishing Blog | Twitter | Elizabeth Forntin-Hinds Facebook | Elizabeth Forntin-Hinds GoodReads | Newsletter | Janet Schrader-Post Web site | Janet Schrader-Post Facebook | Janet Schrader-Post’s Vagrant Chronicles