Thanks to the lovely and clever, Liz De Jesus for stopping by today for an interesting look at her reasons for writing YA. And isn't First Frost such a pretty book?
Fairy tales aren’t real…yeah…that’s exactly what Bianca thought. She was wrong.
For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”
Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn't really exist.
She’s about to find out how wrong she is.
Guest Post from Liz DeJesus:
Why I write YA
It’s actually happened by accident. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide ‘Today I’m going to write a book for Teens!’. Sadly things don’t happen for me that way. I follow my muse and go wherever she takes me. I got the idea for First Frost while watching a commercial for a local children’s museum. I thought it would be cool if there were themed museums for kids that had different interests. Like a car, pirate or fairy tale themed museum. Something that would be fun for kids. Then when I repeated to myself the idea for a fairy tale themed museum everything stopped.
That’s a pretty cool idea for a book. Everything sort of unraveled for me after that. First I needed an awesome main character. Originally, Bianca Frost was going to be 20 years old and would occasionally help her mother while she went to college. But I decided that it would make things a little easier on me if I made her younger and still living at home with her mother. Plus, there are other challenges I can throw at her since I turned her into a 17 year old girl.
I wrote for about nine months straight (first, second and third draft included). And to be honest, that time simply flew by for me. This was the first time in a long time where writing was actually fun for me. I love my other novels and short stories, don’t get me wrong. But that felt more like work. Does that make any sense? Anyway writing First Frost allowed me to flex some muscles I didn’t know I had. I had fun writing Bianca and Ming’s dialogue. I love the back and forth they have, it felt natural to me. Plus, it helped that I modeled Bianca after myself at 18. I was a weird, sarcastic and introverted teenager just like her and lucky for me I was able to tap into those emotions fairly easy.
I read a few articles and books on how to write for teens. One of the things I read that really stayed with me was that teenagers are not stupid, they’re simply inexperienced. So I try to remember that now that I’m working on a Young Adult series. That little bit of advice has helped me a lot.
But I shouldn’t be that surprised that I sort of stumbled into the young adult genre. It’s the one I read most. I’ve read the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer, Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, Once Upon a Time series (each book is written by a different author), almost everything written by Francesca Lia Block, and a few others. One of the things I like about reading young adult books is because they’re plain fun. And if it has fantasy and/or fairy tales? I’m in. I don’t even need to read the blurb on the back of the book. I’ll buy it. It’s my favorite genre so it was only a matter of time before I took on the task of writing a book of my own.
For now I’m sticking with Bianca Frost for as long as she’ll continue taking residence in my head. I’ll keep writing her story until it comes to an end. I’m sure it’ll have a happy ending. ;-)
About the author:
Liz DeJesus was born on the tiny island of Puerto Rico. She is a novelist and a poet. She has been writing for as long as she was capable of holding a pen. She is the author of the novel Nina (Blu Phi'er Publishing, October 2007), The Jackets (Arte Publico Press, March 31st 2011) and First Frost (Musa Publishing, June 22nd 2012) Glass Frost (Musa Publishing, Summer 2013). She is also a member of The Written Remains Writers Guild http://www.writtenremains.org/ . Liz is currently working on a new novel.
Feel free to email Liz at email@example.com
For more information please visit her website www.lizdejesus.webs.com
18th Feb: Book Excerpt @ http://we-do-write.blogspot.co.uk/
Interview @ http://www.theindieshop.blogspot.co.uk/
19th Feb: Review @ http://www.wovenmyst.com/
20th Feb: Review @ http://www.bookbriefs.blogspot.co.uk/
21st Feb: Guest Post: Why I write YA @ http://yareviewsandnews.blogspot.co.uk/
22nd Feb: Review @ http://www.piecesofwhimsy.blogspot.co.uk/
23rd Feb: Guest post & giveaway at my blog http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.co.uk/
Review @ http://www.mydevotionalthoughts.com/
24th Feb: Review @ http://tessmw.blogspot.co.uk/