So, I’m writing a Young Adult novel.
Why, you may ask, am I writing a YA when I should be busy on the sequel to Better Off Without Him?
Well, there’s the good answer, and then there’s the real answer.
The good answer is because I have a 15-year-old daughter who was upset that she wasn’t a character in my first book, and asked if she could be a character in the next one, so I decided to write a book with a fictional version of her as the main character.
The real answer as to why I’m writing a YA is because I really want a beach house, and I figure with every television network out there producing show about hot young teens and supernatural beings, the quickest way to big bucks is to write a series, sell out to the CW as quickly as possible, then head down to Hilton Head for a cushy retirement.
My daughter, by the way, is perfectly fine with this. In fact, her main comments have been along the lines of –“When you sell your book, can I finally have an iPad?” She is a little upset because the book is about two sisters, and she’s the smart one instead of the beautiful one. We may have to work on the whole self-image thing.
The original concept was not YA – I had this idea that an older, unmarried woman got drunk in a bar, got picked up by a hot young thing and spent the night with him, only to find out in the morning that the hot young thing was actually a supernatural being, a prince of a supernatural being, and that by sleeping with him, she had in fact married him in the eyes of the supernatural community. She would then spend the rest of the book trying to figure a way out of the whole thing.
When I was thinking about YA, this idea came back to me. I could have one of the sisters – the beautiful one – get into the same situation, but she wouldn’t have to sleep with the guy. I know from experience that teen girls can get into a whole lot of trouble by just opening up their mouths and talking, so that’s what happens here. The beautiful sister could say the wrong thing at the wrong time and find herself engaged to a prince who’s not at all what he seems. Then the smart sister could spend lots of time trying to figure out how to put things right. There could be a few hot good- guys, a few super bad-guys, a few best friends, a little romance, a little suspense – but all that doesn’t matter because I fully intend to put a Golden Retriever on the cover, and as any bookseller will tell you, that’s all you really need to sell a book in the first place.
My biggest challenge was deciding what type of supernatural being to write about. I struck vampires, werewolves and zombies off the list right away. They have all been seriously over-done, and I was looking for a previously unexploited merchandising opportunity. So I spent a lot of time trolling the internet trying to find a supernatural creature that did not have too much pre-existing mythology.
I work so much better if I can just make stuff up.
I finally found the perfect creature, something fairly recognizable, yet something that could transform to and from a cute teen-age actor with the minimum effort from the special effects department. (I don’t know what kind of budget the CW has.)
So now I’m writing away. No, I won’t tell you what the creature is. With my luck, thirty-seven other YA writers will see this, steal my idea, and when I finally get around to publishing my book, the world will be so sick of &N4%w#’s that I can kiss my beach house good-bye.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I may even try to post a few excerpts here. But if not, keep your eyes open for a new book next spring with my name on it. And a Golden Retriever on the cover.