Tuesday, March 03, 2009

What's Fresh with Carol Lynch Williams's The Chosen One

Hello Carol, thanks so much for joining us. Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale ?

Carol: I’ve always wanted to be a writer. When I was a little girl I wrote plays that my sister and I, or my cousins and I, would perform. Mostly Nana (my maternal grandmother) endured these plays (which once included borrowed music and us dancing around in her nylon nighties). Then, as I got into college, I began writing a collection of short stories. This was in my first creative writing class. Bruce Aufhammer was my teacher and I was a month away from turning 17 and excited to write. He gave me great encouragement.

Still, I didn’t believe in myself as a writer. After I married and began my family, I took a writing class offered by mail. My teacher was Louise Plummer ( a terrific YA writer whose titles include The Romantic Obsessions and Humiliations of Annie Sehlmier, A Dance for Three and Finding Daddy) and she encouraged me to find a publisher. I entered a contest at her suggestion, and four months later got a call from Dell. My first book did not win the contest, but Delacorte did publish it. Kelly and Me came out two years later.

Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Carol: Hahahahaha! I wish I did something typical. It seems that time slips away so quickly. What I would love is to write four hours a day—producing every minute. What I do is awake before the rest of the family and try to write for an hour or two. Later in the day I try to get back to my computer. Just last night, however, I made a goal to write 750-1250 new words each day. I have a novel to rewrite and get back to my editor, so I want get that finished. Having goals that you work toward is a good idea. Remember, the only way to publish is to actually write.

Please tell us about your latest novel releasing in May and what we can expect from your characters.

Carol: I hope you’re excited to follow Kyra Leigh Carlson as she makes some pretty big decisions. She lives in a polygamist community where everything the prophet says is law. She has a secret boyfriend and she’s found books (any kind of reading material has been banned from the community).

When Kyra gets the news that she will be chosen to marry someone else, she decides to do something few in her sect have the courage to do: she stands up for herself.

The book is called The Chosen One and the publisher is St. Martin’s Press. It comes out any second (May 12, 2009, to be exact!).

Sounds awesome! What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Carol:I have another book coming out with St. Martin’s that I working on right now. It’s called Lost in Peace. This is the story of Lacey O’Rourke, her mother who is ill, and a dead grandfather who keeps peeking into the family and stirring things up.

Thanks for hanging out with us, Carol! Best of luck with your writing! Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Carol: Hmmmm. One of a writers best teachers, I think, can be books themselves. So you need to read. A lot. All the time. See what’s good out there and study what makes the book good. Get cheap copies of novels you like at used bookstores and write in the margins. Dissect the books. How is the beginning? The rise in tension? Do you see it happening on the page? Make notes—study other successful writers, really think about what you’re reading. I’d also like to say that ‘ly’ words are not your friend. Words like happily, interestingly, funnily. If you’re using this kind of word, it means your verb is weak. So there.

Carol Lynch Williams is the author of more than 20 books for young readers. Her books have garnered several positives nods including being on the Quick Pick list, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, nominated for the PEN Award, winner of the Nebraska Golden Sower Award, IRA Teacher’s Choice book, Selected book for the Social Studies, Top Ten Romance Book for Booklist, Book for the Teen-Age New York Public Library List, Top Ten Barnes and Noble Book and Scholastic Book Pick for Humor.

The Chosen One is grabbing early attention. Here are what a few readers are saying about Williams’ newest novel:

Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked said, “Makes the heart race, the teeth grind, and the brow bead up in sweat.”
Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries said, “A heartbreaking novel of love and hope.”
Terry Young said, “A modern day ‘Romeo and Juliet.’”
Michael Cart said, “Harrowing and hopeful. An important book.”

12 fresh comments:

Nora said...

Ooh, I haven't heard much about this one, but now I'm excited!

Erika Lynn said...

wow those are some awesome people who have great things to say about her book

Natalie Hatch said...

It does sound like a modern day Romeo and Juliet story. I'd be interested in reading and seeing how you approached the polygamist aspect.

TinaFerraro said...

Wow, WHAT a cover! This will fly off the shelf. Congrats and thanks for hanging out with us here at YA FRESH!

robin_titan said...

whoa, this book sounds amazing!

my word verification word is "silly" :D haha

susanhatler said...

What an interesting idea for a book. Great cover, too!

Anonymous said...

It sounds great! And what a beautiful cover. :)

Carol(ina) said...

I nominated you guys for the Your Blog is Fabulous award! :)


donnas said...

Sounds interesting and those are some great reviews and reviewers that makes me even more interested.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This sounds great. Just added it to my list.

Of course, YA Fresh has single-handedly made my TBR pile about 4 feet high with all their great recommendations


wrigleyfield said...

Beautiful cover!

katie said...

I hadn't heard about this book until now but it looks really good. Thanks for mentioning it.