This week’s debut author spotlight is on Leah Crichton whose first YA book will be published next month. If you can’t wait that long — I know I couldn’t — you can read an excerpt here.
Name: Leah Crichton
Name of book: Amaranthine
Book genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fiction
Date Published: December 2010
Publisher: Parallel Worlds, an imprint of Canonbridge LLC
What is your book about? Well, the story centers around a sixteen-year old girl following a life changing car accident, her realization that too much is taken for granted and a boy who makes her see how fragile life really is.
What is the most challenging part of the writing process? For me, personally, aside from finding time, it is pushing myself to keep going when I feel like I’ve got nothing left. If I write something that doesn’t fit or doesn’t turn out like I wanted it too, it is ten times harder to get back in the right mindset to keep going.
What motivates you to write? The time I get to spend with myself. My life is constantly on the go, with a full time job, three kids, two pets, and a husband, things tend to be very busy. Writing is the one thing I do completely for myself. It gives me somewhere to escape.
Did you experience writer’s block? I sure did!
How did you overcome it? I sat in front of the computer and typed anyway. I find that if I kept typing, eventually my story would come back to me. Even if I had 1,800 words repeating “the quick brown fox jumped over the fence… the quick brown fox jumped over the fence.”
How long did it take you to write this book? The bare bones version took about seven months to write but that was just to get the basic idea on paper. By the time I added actual character development and tightened the whole thing up, about a year and a half.
What was your favorite aspect of the writing process for this book? The emotional aspect. My love affair with my characters.
How difficult was it to find a publisher? To be honest, I lost count of how many rejections I got. I can’t tell you how many agents/publishers don’t bother to respond at all! I heard absolutely everything you could possibly imagine, and 99 percent of the responses were completely useless: “The writing is strong, just not for us… Please know this is a subjective business. Don’t give up.” Etc. Everything changed with one rejection I got. It was from a publisher who had a teen reading panel, and they basically included an eleven-page critique of things that needed to be fixed and suggestions. I took it to heart and rewrote the entire thing, tightened it up again and sent it out. The second go-round paid off.
What is the biggest misconception about writing a book? That anyone can do it. There’s a certain dedication to it you must have. You have to love it. Then take that love and times it by a thousand, and love it even more than that because if you don’t, it’s too easy to just say to yourself. “Oh well, maybe next year.”
Do you plan to do this again? I’m working on my second novel now. (Not related to the first).
Oprah has famously said that there is no such thing as luck, without preparation and a moment of opportunity. Would you agree or disagree with regard to your own success as a writer? I would have to agree. It’s not like someone stumbled upon my book and asked to publish it. It took work, dedication on my part and the right person at the right time to see potential.