Monday, October 22, 2012

The Next Big Thing

I have very kindly been tagged in this really interesting blog-hop by a lovely tweep named A. J. Bradley. You can find her blog here. The purpose of TNBT blog hop is to find out about an author's current WIP. Since I haven't really talked about mine much, I thought it might be fun. So, thanks for tagging me AJ! And... here goes:

1: What is the working title of your book?

Listen to Me. 

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

I am a big fan of the website wherein authors write letters to their teenage selves.  Early last year I was reading it (again!) and observed how many of the letters began with something like "I know you aren't going to listen when I say this, but..." I realized that's exactly what I'd say if I was writing to my teenage self because I know she would have eagerly spoken with me - then dismissed everything I said and run off to do what she wanted anyway.

It got me thinking: What if a teenager really could talk to their adult self? How would that work? What would they say to each other? What would the dynamics of the relationship be? And, maybe most importantly, how would they change each other's lives? 

3: What genre does the book fall under?

Depending on what day it is, I've either decided it's YA contemporary with a time-twist, or YA magical realism. (I think my agent's going with the magical realism). 

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in the movie?

This is such a fun question. Don't we always think about this stuff when we're dreaming? I know I do. The problem is, I'm so busy writing these days, I don't really know a lot of the current actors. I'm always on the lookout for people who remind me of my characters, but I literally haven't found anyone who made me gasp and go, "That's Stacy!"

That said, the 18 year old Channing Tatum plays the hero (in my dreams). Or maybe a teenage Chris Helmsworth... *Sigh* 

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When Stacy Watson looks in the mirror she can see and talk to her adult self. But her adult self lies. A lot. And it could cost Stacy the love of her life.

6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I'm really excited to be represented by Brittany Howard of the Corvisiero Literary Agency in New York. That's a fairly new development for me, so I still grin every time I get to say that. Brittany is currently working through edits with me, but we hope to be submitting later this year, or early next. 

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your MS?

The very first draft was written in two stints of about six weeks each, but the stints were four or five months apart. I then spent another nine months revising, getting critiqued, revising some more, etc. From the day I sat down and started writing, to the day I got offered representation was almost exactly eighteen months. 

8: What other books would you compare this to in your genre?

Hmmm... maybe The Future of Us by Jay Asher? 

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book? 

Listen to Me is the third manuscript I'd finished, and the fifth I'd started, so I had well and truly adopted the "Writer" moniker by that time. As for the story itself, I was inspired to write it because high school was really painful for me. It was both cathartic and freshly wounding to relive a lot of my experiences and use those feelings to fuel this story. I wanted to show teenagers that I really (truly) remembered that pain. But also give some hope that those wounds don't need to drive you forever.

At the end of the book, Stacy learns some of the lessons I learned in my twenties and early thirties (but of course, she's still young). I found it fun to let someone who is so real to me benefit from my experience - and hopefully avoid some of my mistakes.

In the end though, writing (for me) is all about the readers. If one young woman read this story and felt like someone else understood what she'd been through, I'd be ecstatic. If the story offered her hope that the pain of bullying and conditional love didn't have to be a burden for the rest of her life... I'd literally weep with joy.

10: What else about the book might make it pique the readers' interest?

There's a really hot make-out scene about halfway through.

Seriously, though, don't you wonder what it would have been like to talk to yourself now, when you were seventeen?

Your Turn: Let me know if there's any other questions you'd like me to answer about my book or the process of getting an agent. I'm in the mood to chat!

Well, that's it ladies and gents. If you read this far, thanks for sticking with me! I get to tag a couple fellow writers to let us into their WIP's, so keep an eye out for similar blog posts from Raewyn Hewitt over at Dreaming of Other Realms, and Katharine Amabel at Beyond the Hourglass Bridge 


  1. This sounds really cool! I love magical realism, there needs to be more of it in YA!

    Since you're in a question kind of mood, what POV your book told in? I'm always seeing advice on how people should do POV's in their books.

    1. The story is told is first person from Stacy's point of view. But because it covers two different time-points, the scenes set in present day are in present tense, and the scenes from the past are in past tense.

      That said, I've writte books with multi-POV's, past and present tense, third person and first... I think you just have to take the voice as it comes to you, especially in that first draft. Don't stress too much. If it works, no one will care!

  2. This sounds incredible Aimee! So excited to read it when it comes out :)

  3. Wow, what a great concept, Aimee. Can't wait to read it!

  4. Sounds really intersting, Aimee. I'm sure I'll see it on shelves very soon!!

  5. I love your one sentence summary. They are so hard to write! The book sounds great, can't wait to see it when it comes out.

    1. Thanks, Rinelle. Summaries / blurbs are definitely NOT my forte. This book is a little easier to "hook" than anything else I've written.

  6. I really like this blog hop and finding out about other writers' WIP! I think the first time I heard about your book was during Write On Con this summer and I still think this is a great concept :) Can't wait to see it published!

    1. Thank you. I'd quite like to see that happen too ;)

  7. Wow. I love the angle about not telling yourself the truth-- and the question of "what kind of a person am I?" is fabulous for tension and identity-seeking YA stuff.

    This is a great idea!

  8. The more I hear about this book, the more excited I am to read it. I have a feeling, though, that 17-year-old me would think current me is really boring! Haha. She'd be disappointed that I'm not a serious actress in Hollywood, but I might impress her with the publishing a book thing! :-)

  9. It's a great idea! The 17 year old me would be delighted I've finally written stories and published them, but would probably ask what took me so long! On the other hand she'd also ask what should she really do when she leaves college. I'd love to give her a chance to leapfrog the stuff I got stuck in, but maybe it's only because of that I got out and write the stories I do.

    Food for thought indeed. Good luck Aimee!