I missed it, but there was a conversation on Twitter last week about whether or not to include college-age protagonists in the Young Adult category. From the sound of it, people were evenly split–and since this is something I was already pondering, I know exactly where I stand.
“Young Adult” is a book category featuring protagonists in the 15-18 age range. Although YA fiction is enjoyed by young and older adults alike, it’s often geared toward teenage readers. However, what truly defines YA isn’t so much the age of the characters or target audience, but the novel’s issues and themes. High school drama, first love, increased independence from parents, discovering self-identity, blossoming sexuality, and facing peer pressure, are just some of the subjects tackled by YA fiction. But now something funny is happening…
After the release of Ashes Swept, I was surprised by how many readers said they were excited for the sequel and asked when it would be out. This caught me completely off-guard, because Ashes Swept was always meant to be a stand-alone novel. The book covers the important part of Synda May’s story, so I’d never even considered adding on beyond that.
Sitting here at my desk, contemplating this post, I’m finding it hard to believe another year has gone by. One year ago, I was knee-deep in editing Ashes Swept with the help of my CPs, Shannon and Ely. It had been a whole year since I’d set up my author page and social media sites, but the reality of calling myself an author felt a million miles away. Now, with 2017 behind me, it feels like my first launch day was ages ago.
In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Hillary Clinton said: “The whole romance novel industry is about women being grabbed and thrown on a horse and ridden off into the distance.”
I laughed when I first read that. Then I grumbled. And then I set out to write a post about how unjust that sentiment is. That’s when I fell down a familiar rabbit hole. And bear with me, this subject change is going to give you whiplash…
It’s already been two weeks since the launch of my debut novel, Ashes Swept. Looking back, I can’t help but take stock of the entire process–what worked, what didn’t, and what to do another way next time. Here are five (totally random) things that I’ll definitely remember when I’m ready to do it again…
Lots of things inspire me when I write, but nothing inspires me more than music. The right song can help me flesh out my characters, spark plot ideas, and can even influence entire scenes. The playlist for Ashes Swept is one of my favorites so far, so I’m excited to share my five favorite songs on the playlist with you, along with some of the lyrics that inspired me.
#1 Home by Gabrielle Aplin
So when I’m ready to be bolder, and my cuts have healed with time;
comfort will rest on my shoulder, and I’ll bury my future behind.
I’ll always keep you with me. You’ll always be on my mind,
but there’s a shining in the shadows, I’ll never know unless I try.
Writer. Reader. TV junkie. Mother of Four-Legged Creatures.
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© Julia J Simpson 2018