Monday, January 21, 2019

VBT The Young Adult Writer's Journey by Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds & Janet Schrader-Post

The Young Adult Writer's Journey
by Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds & Janet Schrader-Post


GENRE: Non-Fiction



Finally, an all-inclusive book on young adult fiction must-do, don’t do and how-to. If you want to write a young adult novel, you need to read this book first. Coauthored by an award-winning YA author and an acquisitions editor, both experts on kids and what they like to read, this encyclopedia contains all you need to start or improve a career as a YA fiction author.

From an examination of the market, genre and its sub-genres, to mechanics and the business, everything is at your fingertips. This amazing writer’s resource is written in a relaxed and interesting style, with plenty of contemporary references and examples for clear understanding and easier application.

Excerpt Two:

Joseph Campbell was a professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College, where he worked in comparative mythology and religious studies. He was strongly influenced by Carl Jung's view of myth. In his 1949 work The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell described the basic mythic structure as follows:

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered, and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man. (Campbell, Joseph (1949). The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 23.)

His iconic classic deconstructs universal story patterns. In his study of the myth of the hero, Campbell posits the existence of a Monomyth (a word he borrowed from James Joyce), a universal pattern, structure, found in heroic tales in every culture. While outlining the basic stages of this mythic cycle, he also explores common variations in the hero’s journey, which, he argues, is an operative metaphor, not only for an individual, but for a culture as well. Although the stories may vary to suit the needs and beliefs of a specific culture, the underlying universal archetypes remain.

Christopher Vogler used this hero’s journey to write, The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. He simplified Campbell’s 17 steps into 12, handy in today’s 12-step minded society. What he did that was fantastic is make it more accessible for modern writers, who are not always scholars. There are several similar editions, including one for screenwriters. Women like Maureen Murdock have written books specifically about The Heroine’s Journey. Although the steps may vary, the universal pattern, used in a novel or screenplay, creates a story with themes that resonate across cultures. It is so powerful, creating hit after hit, that it was required reading for Disney executives, a company that knows the importance of creating a hero’s journey to appeal to mass audiences. Using this pattern to construct books in Young Adult novels provides the reader with a satisfying experience.

To illustrate the hero’s journey, it’s easier to understand in the context of a classic young adult book/movie, such as Harry Potter, already used to illustrate points throughout this book. It will be broken down for you according to the different stages in The Hero’s Journey, with particular attention to how the journey relates to a YA hero/heroine, the focus of this entire book. Following are some things you need to think of before you sit down to write your first scene.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Daughter of a Colonel, Janet Schrader-Post lived the military life until she got out of high school. She lived in Hawaii and worked as a polo groom for fifteen years, then moved to Florida where she became a reporter. For ten years she covered kids in high school and middle school. Kids as athletes, kids doing amazing things no matter how hard their circumstances. It impressed her, and it awed her. “How wonderful teens are. They have spirit and courage in the face of the roughest time of their lives. High school is a war zone. Between dodging bullies, school work and after school activities, teens nowadays have a lot on their plate. I wrote stories about them and I photographed them. My goal was to see every kid in their local newspaper before they graduated.”

Janet love kids and horses, and she paints and writes. Now she lives in the swampland of Florida with too many dogs and her fifteen-year-old granddaughter. She started to write young adult fiction with the help of her son, Gabe Thompson, who teaches middle school. Together they have written a number of award-winning YA novels in both science fiction and fantasy.

Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds knows kids well. She spent decades teaching teens and adults to write and improve their reading skills. As a literacy expert and certified coach, she helped both teachers from elementary to secondary and preservice graduate students learn to improve reading and writing instruction. She has taught at both the secondary and graduate level, everything from rhetoric, essays, and thesis statements, to poetry, short stories, and how to write a novel. She has learned to use both sides of her brain simultaneously, but enjoys the creative side the most, learning to play piano, draw and paint, and find time for her own writing since retiring from her “day” jobs.

A “true believer” in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, mythic structures, she uses that lens when considering manuscripts for Tell-Tale Publishing Group, a company she founded with some friends from her critique group a decade ago.

Interview with Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds

1. Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

Actually, in my fiction books I am much more of a Pantser, though I love to brainstorm the basic outline for the story with one of my critique buddies so I have a ‘feel’ for the story before I begin. I spend the first chapter getting to know the tone and the main characters and often throw that part out once I get further into the story and the characters have taken on their own personalities, motivations and goals. Frankly, I wish more writers did that—throw out the first chapter and start in the middle of the action.

2. Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

I feel the nonfiction title, The Young Adult Writer’s Journey, is a must read for anyone who writes YA fiction. A lot of the basics may be no news to you, but I feel that there will be some provocative kernels even a seasoned YA writer can use to enhance their WIP or future stories. The information comes from Janet’s background as an award-winning YA author, and my background as an acquisitions editor, noting what’s missing or doesn’t quite hit the mark in many YA submissions. Both of us have spent years working with kids and getting to know them. I taught kids to read and write and taught creative writing. Reading their Friday whatever you want to vent about journals was often very eye-opening too. Kids can be brutally honest, especially when talking to ‘dear journal’.  I was always stunned when kids told me, “I never knew you actually read those.” Hey, I read the back of cereal boxes.

3. Have you written any other books that are not published?

I have just finished my second collaboration with Janet Post. We are writing a YA series titled Beauties and Their Beasts.  The first in the series, Annabelle and the Jackal, is with the Beta Readers. It’s a dystopian fantasy and naturally a romance.  It should be out in early 2019. We want to launch it at the Tucson Festival of Books in March. The paperback edition to The Young Adult Writer’s Journey will be out before then too. We’ll both be there, so if you’re one of the over 130,000 readers able to make it each year, be sure to say hi.

4. Pen or type writer or computer?

Always computer. I’ve been using one since they were able to actually crash from too much text data input…and yes that happened to me when I was writing my very first novel. Much of that novel has been lost, so it’s never been published, but it was an historical vampire romance set during the reign of Peter the Great. It’s been decades, but I believe the title was: Shades of Darkness. Tame by today’s standards (think Shades of Gray) back then it was really racy and after an ask for more, Zebra eventually passed due to that fact. I’ve never reworked it. At that point, I went back to school and became a teacher and didn’t write more fiction until I retired.

5. Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to make a comment or take a look at this work. With millions of books published every year, it’s an honor to be one readers notice at all.

The book will be $0.99 during the tour

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Barnes & Noble



The authors will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the betteryour chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

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  1. Thank you for sharing your book with us. I always look forward to finding out about another great read.

  2. Thank you for hosting us on our book tour, Teresa. We appreciate all you do for readers and writers.

  3. Thanks for sharing the excerpt & interview!

  4. Do you have any ideas for a sequel book? Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com