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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Young Adult Writer’s Journey by Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds and Janet Schrader-Post + giveaway

Why I Wrote a YA Reference Book
Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds

The decision to write this book sprang from a gradual realization that the ways in which YA submissions were continually missing the mark were similar, and an examination of the market that revealed there really wasn’t anything like it available.

I wanted to provide a promising YA author with some help in better understanding the YA audience she was writing for. That would basically require her to recognize the many different types of individuals who exist within any given middle or high school building. She needed to appreciate that diversity and learn to apply it to the teens who peopled her YA novel. This would necessitate a change of motivation and goal, which would mean a revision of the plot and world building, but they weren’t what was “wrong” or didn’t hit the mark, they were the result of that, the result of lacking realistic, believable and true YA characters.

This also meant there could be no more giving characters teen ages and calling them teens, while they still either acted and spoke as though an adult were trying to act like a kid, or as though they needed to learn some moral lesson the adult felt they needed. Either of which resulted in a book that missed the mark for both the teenage audience it was targeting and the millennials who also love to read YA and New Adult novels.

I truly believe that The Hero’s Journey is a must for most teenage fiction or any genre. I also believe coming-of-age novels never go out of style because everyone, no matter what their age, is constantly aging and reinventing what it means to be ‘that’ new age, so no one ever forgets what it’s like. Also, if the main characters don’t grow, learn and mature internally, it’s just not going to be a very fulfilling book for its reader. The Hero/Heroine needs to go on that adventurous journey.

THE YOUNG ADULT WRITER’S JOURNEY that I wrote with one of our best YA authors, Janet Schrader-Post, contains all the above criteria and much more. It’s a book we wished had been available when we just started out as fiction writers, written in a way we felt would be most accessible and interesting. The hardcover will be available on Black Friday (Nov. 23), just in time for holiday giving…even if that well-deserved gift is for you. Thanks for visiting with us today!

The Young Adult Writer’s Journey
by Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds and Janet Schrader-Post
November 23, 3018
Genre: Nonfiction Reference
Publisher: Tell-Tale Publishing Group
ISBN: 978-1-944056-98-8
Number of pages: 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.

Elizabeth Fortin-Hindswebsite-FB-twitter
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.

About the Author:
Janet Schrader-Post
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.

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2 hardcover copies 

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  1. Great post and I appreciate getting to find out about another great book. Thanks for all you do and for the hard work you put into this. Greatly appreciated!

  2. I have three long time friends I can think of that would LOVE this book! Wonderful that it is out there.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful book. thanks for featuring this one as this is how I find my books.

  4. You can never have "too many dogs" :) Thanks for the review on the book. It sounds great!

  5. Great cover. This sounds like a great book that authors can benefit from reading.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  6. This sounds perfect for me. I enjoy the genre and it has a spectacular cover too!

  7. Interesting sounding book and I like the cover