Goodreads Book Giveaway

Back To Good by Laura McCarthy Benson

Back To Good

by Laura McCarthy Benson

Giveaway ends April 07, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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16 July 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway! The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

I  have been asked by Jeannine Garsee to hold a giveaway for a signed copy of her newest book that will be released tomorrow on July 17! I had a chance to read this story in various incarnations and the finished version is so good. My review will be up soon for this too. I've known Jen now for several years via livejournal and critiquing her writing. She's this incredibly funny person who really understands how the teenage mind works. Jeannine is a psychiatric nurse working in a hospital in Cleveland, OH.

The Unquiet is Jeannine's third book and is published by Bloomsbury, USA.

This contest is open to US residents.

Jeannine Garsee

Why do I write YA?

Because I read YA. I always have. When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait till I was old enough to check books out of the “grownup” section of the library (yeah, they didn’t let you do that back then unless you were “of a certain age” or had your parents’ permission). I devoured mysteries, thrillers, romances, and biographies. I figured, hey, at eighteen, twenty, or twenty-five years old, I’m supposed to be reading adult books, right? So why was I always drawn back to the YA section?

For a while I felt embarrassed to be checking out books for teens. What, I wondered, did the librarians think? That I was too immature for grown-up books? That I was learning-disabled? Or was I just some weird adult who happened to be fixated on Judy Blume?

So insane!

Eventually I wised up: no, the librarians couldn’t care less which books I checked out—but, assuming they did, I no longer let it bother me. I loved YA then and I love it now. YA feeds my hunger for drama and adventure much more so than the adult titles, and I easily devour at least two books a week. No, the librarians never roll their eyes.

I write YA because I was once a young adult.

In spite of age and education and life’s experiences, that fifteen-year-old (me) who religiously kept a journal and hoped to become a writer one day is still very much alive inside me. I remember that girl. I remember what she was like.
I remember what it feels to want to BE someone, to do something fantastic, to right the wrongs of the world. My first crushes, and all the passion, all the agony. Loving my parents, yet hating them just as often. How adults blew me off because I was “too young to understand” while, if they’d just listen to me, they’d realize I understood things far better than they did.

I remember taking risks, feeling invincible. The mood swings: the intense highs, the excruciating lows. I remember being bullied, and no, that never leaves you. I remember my teachers saying I can “be anything you want to be”—and how I actually believed that. Writing YA takes me back to a previous life that was real and raw, filled with enthusiasm and heartache. Absolute fearlessness. The promise of a future filled with amazing possibilities.

I write YA because it’s fun and challenging.

It’s fun because I can be a kid again. It’s challenging because it’s not easier than writing for adults, not by a long shot. Ten pages of description? Twenty pages of backstory? Points of view that flip back and forth till you (annoyingly) lose track of which character is which? Nope, not in YA.

It’s not even that YA books are always shorter than adult. You don’t necessarily write less, especially in the first drafts. What you do write, though, has to be tight, succinct. No meandering, and, God forbid, no preaching. Teens don’t necessarily have a shorter attention span—they simply have much less patience and are more discerning about what they read. They like to get to the gist of the story fast, so they’re less likely to wade through pages and pages of B-O-R-I-N-G before tossing the book aside.

In fact, not boring teen readers is the biggest challenge of YA—that, and not sounding as if the story was written by you. Sounding like a kid and not a middle-aged adult takes talent and
practice. You can’t fake it. Kids are smart. And they will laugh, laugh, laugh if you screw it up.

I also write YA because I want to reach kids.

I want to write books that’ll make them sit back and go: Wow, that’s exactly how I feel! How did she know this? Or: This is what I’m going through now. Maybe I’m not alone. Maybe I CAN get through this.

Or, best of all: This is exactly kind of story I want to write one of these days.

I write YA, most of all, to inspire teens to want to write stories of their own. Because I remember how much I wanted to do exactly that.

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