Tag Archives: young adult

My Favorite Scene in Chaos


 

Authors often feel very passionate for their work. They have favorite characters or less favorite ones. They have favorite scenes or less favorites ones.

I do have a favorite scene in my novel, Chaos, that I would like to share with you all. It’s an important scene that takes place part of the way into Chapter 4:

 

 

As soon as her uncle got out of the car and walked toward the men, Noelle had a dream. Not just a normal daydream, but one where she felt as if she were a part of the dream. She was running through the woods, the smell of pine stronger than ever before. The ground below her felt awkward, as if she were barefoot, yet the feeling in her feet was somehow different. She glanced down; she was running on all fours.

What the … I have paws! She stopped running to ogle at herself. Paws, fur. She turned her head to examine herself further. A bushy tail? Hey, wait a second … Suddenly a different smell tickled her nose. Closing her eyes, she inhaled deeply. Oddly, she knew the smell. Opening her eyes and staring straight ahead, she watched two doe run past her. It was as if she recognized their scent and something deep inside told her she was hungry for them. She could feel the predator instinct trigger the desire to catch and kill her prey. Her mouth salivated as she let out a deep growl.

Her heart pumped faster with adrenaline as her legs moved faster with speed. She was giving it her all trying to catch up to the deer when she felt a sharp pain go through her. She surveyed her surroundings, and noticed three men in the distance … and heard repeat gunfire. Suddenly, she was not chasing the deer anymore; she was running for her life. Her heart raced in panic as she began to feel weak. Peering down, she saw blood pouring from a wound in her side. Fear set in as she realized someone shot her. The less she moved, the less she would bleed out, but she had to get away from them. Things went out of focus and then grew dim, as if the sun was setting or time was fast forwarding, turning day into night. Her lungs ached and it pained her to breathe. Her heart, which was pumping quickly moments before, had trouble keeping a steady rhythm. That could only mean one thing: she was dying.

I don’t want to die! If I die in this dream, will I die in real life? Is this really a dream? I don’t understand what’s going on. I can’t die. I won’t.

Feeling weaker with each step she took, she fought for the will to keep moving. When she felt another pain rip through her, she collapsed to the ground, blacking out, her last breath leaving her.

Noelle opened her eyes and breathed as if she was drowning. Gasping and coughing, she reached her hand up and grasped her chest. Her heart raced as if she had just run a marathon. She closed her eyes, trying to figure out what had just happened. She’d had similar dreams before, but never this vivid.

“That was wild. I’m not sure I want to do that again,” she whispered to herself.

Opening her eyes, she saw that she was all alone, and sitting inside her uncle’s patrol car. She had a strong feeling that was where she had been the entire time. Her heart slowed to a normal pace as she slowly took in the scene around her. She could see her uncle walking toward his deputy as if he had just left the car.

Did time stop? What the hell was that? So many questions ran through her mind.

She shook uncontrollably from the adrenaline pumping through her. She quickly assessed herself. No blood, no bullet holes. Thank God! I don’t know what that was, but I’m still alive! Clearly, a weird dream. She wiped a tear from her cheek and closed her eyes, drawing in deep breaths, trying to focus on what she had seen. She wanted to get out of the car and get some fresh air, but she remembered she made a promise not to leave the car. Noelle decided it was best to crack the window instead, and try her best to erase the images that flooded her mind.  

Hope you enjoyed!

Chaos is about two sisters who find themselves in a magical world of supernatural creatures and a book that just might send them on a path to find their destiny.

If you would like to read the rest of the story, it is available on Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble:

Amazon paperback: https://amzn.to/2ranhTv
Kobo: https://bit.ly/2J2uvzG

Please note that Chaos is listed as FREE under the Kindle Unlimited program.

Chaos Cover EBOOK

 

 

 

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Quite the Note Taker


I’ve always been a well prepared note taker when it came to working on a story. I keep a notebook on my nightstand for that moment when I have a break through in my story, or a thought comes to mind on a writing project I’m working on. I would jot notes down in it while in line at the check out, or in between my college classes.

I have a HUGE stack of notebooks and folders full of every note that I had scribbled down or typed up while I was working on a story, song, poem, short story. I even have a collection of diaries that I had scribbled in right after I graduated boot camp (US Navy).

I love thumbing through those pages and discovering stuff I’ve forgotten about, or finding notes that I had been looking for when I needed them for a writing project.

Presently, I am working on putting together a compilation of these short stories and poems of mine that I have found. Most of the ones that I have put together, I had written while I was in college. It’s something that’s keeping me busy until the first book Young Adult Fantasy Fiction Series, Chaos – Supernatural Realms, comes out next month (27 March).

I’ve been keeping everyone updated on my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferNAdams/

And will also list the information on my webpage:

https://www.twistedcrowpress.com/jennifer-n-adams

Please be sure to follow and subscribe.

Many Blessings,

JA

Redrafting a Query Letter


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I’m often asked, “You’re so busy, when do you find time to write?”

Of course I reply with, “I find the time.”

I do have a full schedule, or a full plate, whichever way it’s put, I am quite the busy person. Single mom, work, college, plus a huge list of other things to add that I wish not to discuss publicly. I’ve often stated when I fit in my writing. It’s usually scribbling ideas down onto paper whenever I have a free minute, such as standing in the grocery store check out lines. Then late at night, or right before class, I’ll type them up. Usually, it helps to have a printed manuscript for me to scribble on, but I always have a notebook where I keep all my notes.

Currently, I’ve been adding the last pieces to my manuscript. A sentence or two here, cut and paste that over there… As I type this, I’m 200 words shy of making 60,000 words. Wow! Well, isn’t that enough? Apparently not! It is a young adult novel, so there is a minimum and a maximum amount of words required for a publisher to actually look into publishing an author’s book…so I’ve been told…by a couple of actual publisher’s.

I didn’t come up with that entire word count over night…I wish…It took me five, long years to come up with that amount. So, you can see, I may seem to have accomplished a lot, it just took me a long time to get here. I don’t spend all of my time on the computer, writing…though some of my relatives may think otherwise.

Honestly, after hearing other authors tell me how long it’s taken them to come up with their first manuscript for a full novel, I don’t feel so bad on how long it took for me to get this far.

I’m now at the point to where I should prepare a query letter. I have written and rewritten a query letter for this manuscript, though it just hasn’t caught an agent’s attention. It’s taken me five years to write a novel with 60K words, why should it take me so long or be so hard to write up a short professional letter? Well, it is a hard market for us authors. So hard in fact, that a query letter has to have the essentials, yet catch an agents eye for them to pick you and your manuscript. It has to be perfect.

I’ve had a few ‘maybes’, but they weren’t a definite ‘yes’. So, it was back to the drawing board, so to speak. I couldn’t understand what my query letter lacked. It had all the important details; genre, word count, title, synopsis, a little bit about me…yet, no yes’s. I had a hard time coming up with my query letter. I honestly didn’t know how to write one. I had to research and research this on the internet, through the writer’s digest magazine, even thumbed through several books on ‘how to get published’.

Until one day, I had stumbled upon a blog that proved most helpful in every way. Jane Friedman, a publishing consultant, with many years of experience, had written a ‘Complete Guide To Query Letters…’ After scrolling through this post, I finally had the understanding of how my query letter should read. It clicked. The part about her ‘Hook Instruction’ was proved most helpful to me. After having a few people read my query letter, it seems that’s what it lacked, a hook.

Now it’s time for me to go re-type my query letter, though with motivation and determination that I will have the perfect one written and sent out to all those agents I’ve picked to query.

Be sure to check our Jane Friedman’s post about, ‘The Complete Guide To Query Letters That Get Manuscript Requests’. Also scroll through her other posts, you’ll find them all very helpful.

Happy writing!

A New College Semester Begins


books

Last week I visited the college bookstore to pick up my books for class. This time I was stunned to see how many books I had ‘piled up’ for four classes; eleven in total. Unbelievable isn’t it? Two classes require four books each, one classes require two, and one class, that I’m taking online, thankfully requires one. Three of the four classes, as you would’ve guessed, require a lot of reading. Online articles and several pages of one of the books must be read before the start of the next class day. I thought to myself, Wow! If I didn’t have enough to do outside of college, I wouldn’t mind sitting back and reading a little. But, my plate continues to pile up.

I’ve signed up to intern at the Little Rock Zoo, in the large ape enrichment program, a program which I love, as I am not only an animal lover, but it’s part of the wide range of Anthropology. Last semester, I declared my major, Anthropology, physical anthropology to be exact. It took me a long time to narrow it down to that field as there’s so much in anthropology that I would love to do, cultural, archaeology, primatology, forensics, just to name a few that interest me.

The other day, someone from my college admin requested that I join their work study program. I had used up my entire GI Bill before I started last semester, without knowing. Plus, I didn’t sign up for any scholarships, as the GI Bill was covering all cost, so I was having to pay out of pocket for my classes last semester and this semester. Looks like someone saw this and decided to give me a little help in paying for college. This isn’t the usual work study program that students sign up for. It doesn’t have to do with financial aid. Instead, I am going to be working in the anthropology department, since that’s what I decided to major in.

work

I continue my search for the right agent for my young adult fantasy novel. Several have said no, with a few that were so close to being a maybe. I stopped querying and decided to edit the first chapter, rearranging some paragraphs and adding more words here and there. I should have 60,000 words after I’m finished with the final draft.

It’s a start of a new year. I have three semesters left until I receive my bachelor’s degree. I continue to work on other writing projects in my spare time. And once I finish my final draft of my YA fantasy novel, I will begin querying again.

Wishing you all a happy hump day. Stay warm!

The Query Letter


You spend months…years, writing your manuscript (novel). Then you spend weeks…months, editing, editing, and editing some more, until it is finally perfect. Now comes the hard part, yes, the hard part. All that time spent writing a book was the hard part, so you thought. To me it was hard finding the time to write. And though it took me four years to complete just one manuscript, I have finally, successfully finished it, edited, and polished it, so that it is ready to be published. And that hard part you ask, that’s called the query letter.

I don’t know why, but I had a hard time coming up with the words to put into a query letter. I think it’s because it’s a formal letter that goes out to someone who has the power to either reject your manuscript or accept it. You spend all that time writing one manuscript for someone to just say, “We’re not accepting that genre as it isn’t what’s trending right now.” But how did you get their attention to begin with?

You need to know who you’re sending your query letter out to for starts. Most agencies have a webpage you can go to and they have a list of agents and their bios, which will tell you what they’re looking for. That’s the crucial part of the query letter. You don’t want to send out a query letter about your fiction novel to an agent that only accepts non-fiction. It’ll just end up in the trash and no one will see it.

You start your query letter addressing that agent. Then you tell them what genre your novel is, as well as the word count. Then you write a synopsis (a short description of your book; what you would normally find on the back cover of a book). Then you end your letter with sincerity. Some agencies want you to paste the first chapter, or the first ten pages into the email, right after your query letter. If you went to their website, each agency will have a tab called ‘submission’ to which will instruct you on what they want you to send them and who to address it to. Following directions is very important.

The Next Big Thing


Jae at http://litandscribbles.wordpress.com told me about writing The Next Big Thing blog chain post. It is to answer a few questions about the book that I am currently working on. By doing this, it gives some sort of insight on what my book is about…hopefully. So, if you have a question that isn’t listed here, please feel free to ask it and I will try to the best of my ability to answer it for you.

Thank you Jae for the help and for the idea!!

What is the working title of your book?

Into the Realm of the Supernatural: Chaos This is the first book in a series.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I had a dream about it, then started writing the ideas down in a notebook and piecing them together. I think a lot of authors book ideas come from dreams, look at Stephen King.

As soon as I figured out how I wanted my story to begin, I start writing it. I use a large dry erase board to write down key information to help me write. Later I will add chapters that need attention on the dry erase board.

Whenever I am away from the computer I am always scribbling notes in my notebook. When I get home, I’ll type up my notes and piece the story together, adding to it as I go along.

What genre does your book fall under?

Young Adult Fantasy

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Usually authors don’t have a say in who plays whom. I would pick Channing Tatum as the role for the Sheriff James Bailey. I think he would play a good uncle role for Anya and Noelle. As for Noelle, I would pick, Jennifer Lawrence. You might remember her from the lead role as Katniss from the Hunger Games. Noelle, is an independent, athletic young woman. She’s an avid runner and a great role model for her younger sister Anya. For Anya, I would pick, Scout-Taylor Compton. Anya tries to be a good teenager, but sometimes trouble finds her. She has a love for classic movies and even sneaks out late at night to watch a good black and white film at the cinema.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

(I honestly couldn’t think of a one sentence synopsis, so I came up with two short paragraphs)

Not much goes on in the little farming town of Pratt, Arkansas.  At least that’s what most of the 282 people who live here think.  Noelle Bailey, a local high school graduate, is one of those people who believe that nothing out of the ordinary or abnormal exists, especially in Pratt.  However, she soon learns that she is part of the abnormal.

James, Noelle’s uncle and Pratt’s sheriff, is trying to solve a chain of murders as a secret from his past begins to unravel.  His two nieces, Noelle and Anya, quickly notice changes in themselves as they get caught up in the events that occur, surrounding his investigation.  One thing leads to another as a doorway to their future opens, pulling them inside.  To complicate matters, the FBI arrive and request James’ to help in the unsolved mysteries.  He soon discovers that he has a more important unsolved mystery requiring specifically his attention most of all.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will definitely use an agency. Self-publishing will be the last resort.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Almost three years. I’ll be starting on my second draft very soon.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I am not sure as most books are usually all vampires, or all werewolves, or all faeries, or a huge mix of all three. I don’t have any vampires in my book. I have a mix of mostly weres and shifters and a few faeries.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My Grandmother inspired me to keep working on this novel. I would put it down as I had to deal with real life and then she would ask if I was done with my book.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I actually did my homework on particular things for the book; for example the sheriff’s job, Sheriff’s sub stations, forensics, types of hunting rifles, etc. I also used real towns, just renamed the businesses; I added a few buildings and rebuilt some old buildings that were once there, like the school. I kept most of the actual street names; though I added a few.

I find it important for the reader to see that the author knows what they’re writing about, instead of just adding words to a page.

Novel in the works


I spent some time at the Grant County Museum Thursday, researching information and history on the town that I chose to use for my book. I’m a History nut, it’s what I’m going to school for, History.

I had fun Thursday, researching and I learned a lot about the surrounding towns as well. Most of the stuff in this town I used, but I changed names on purpose. My plans were to write a Foreword, something at the beginning, or a ‘Dear Reader’ at the end to explain the changes. I’ll also write a little history of the town as well, which is very interesting.

After two and a half years, I have finished writing the first draft of my novel. All I need to do now is go back and correct all of the mistakes. Hopefully I’ll think of something else to add to it somewhere as I had cut around two thousand words making my word count to almost 32K. Only several thousand more words to add to it in order to meet the minimum word count required for a young adult novel.

In a few weeks, I’ll be going back to school, full time. Which means having to either push my manuscript back to focus on school, or work on my manuscript whenever I can. When summer break arrives, I’ll start working on my manuscript full-time.