I'm celebrating the downhill side of my WIP Novel (woooo!) by doing a title/cover/blurb reveal all at once, scheduled for March 16th, right here on the blog. Instead of revealing everything piecemeal, I just decided I'd throw it all out there at once. Several of my (and hopefully your) favorite book bloggers will be doing the reveal with me, which is a fun way to spread the word, I think.
WIP Novel is a stand-alone contemporary Mature YA, set on a college campus. This story began rattling around in my head long before I published the first Between the Lines, and I'm thrilled to have the chance to tell it. (FYI: This novel is unassociated with the Between the Lines series. I am planning to write one more BTL segment, but I'm letting my ideas for that simmer for the time being and will begin work on it when this one is out.)
When I put my husband through school, I was a college-aged woman, working as a full-time secretary on a university campus. I had no desire to go to school myself; I was content to support his educational goals while trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was writing, even then, though novelist seemed like an impossible career choice. But I was 19 years old, working for a university, and eventually I began asking myself why not try college. As my husband neared his graduation, I started - still aimless, majorless, and not quite sure how to define myself.
I'd completed a year's credits before the first baby surprised both of us and my career became motherhood. I attempted going back several times, but with the addition of two more kids and moves around the country to further my husband's career, going back didn't work out until the kids were all in school. By the time I returned for real, I was very much one of those "non-traditional" older students.
At first, being older than most of my classmates was odd, but I immediately found most of them refreshing. It was nice to talk about something other than typical mommy-issues. While other women my age cliqued together, I made friends with people 10-15 years younger. I preferred to hear their stories of crazy weekends and relationships with roommates, friends, parents, boyfriends and girlfriends. I listened to their fears about the future and their burgeoning independent political thoughts. I watched them make mistakes, and when asked, I gave my opinion. Otherwise, I tried to shut up and let them live their lives, just as I had.
When I graduated (BA in English Lit - was anyone actually surprised?), I began writing again. The word from agents and publishers: they didn't want stories set in college. This pissed me off because I couldn't imagine a more perfect turning point time period in a person's life. How could it be that no one wanted to read about it? I thought they must be wrong, but it didn't matter. If they weren't buying it, then there was little use to write it. I wrote a high-school-set YA novel (my third "shelf novel"), but it wasn't really what I wanted to write about.
Now, thanks to the brave new world of indie-authored e-publishing, I'm able to define the parameters of my stories as I see fit. WIP Novel fits inside those parameters perfectly.