Today's guest blogger is Andrea Pearson. I first met Andrea in the capacity of being her editor, but we hit it right off and have been good friends ever since. It's been a lot of fun for me to see her prepare for her book's release and to cheer her on, and now I'd like to turn the time over to Andrea so you can get to know her for yourself.
My name is Andrea Pearson, and my book, The Key of Kilenya (YA fantasy), was released today as a free eBook. If you'd like to learn more about it, you can watch this video:
Or, if you'd like, you can go straight to the purchase link.
I love guest blogging, and when Tristi and I discussed the possibilities of me doing so for her, I was thrilled!
Thinking over ideas, I chose one close to my heart right now, which I'd mentioned over a year ago on a blog post of mine. Writing with passion. This is so close to the front of my brain right now is because an Internet site I've been using over the past three weeks. It's called Wattpad, and has a very, very large group of teenage writers and readers on it.
How many of us have kids or siblings who are teenagers? My youngest brother just turned eighteen. The other day something came up, and he found himself having to defend a certain position. He fiercely stood his ground, his voice passionate, unwilling to budge. He doesn't get like this very often, but when he does, EVERYONE knows it.
I've noticed this a lot on Wattpad, too. The users are so animated, expressive, and, at times, dramatic in their mannerisms. Not only do they use a ton of emoticons and exclamation points, but their descriptions are vivid and heartfelt when commenting on each other's work and their own writing.
What is it about being a teenager? They feel everything so deeply—they're passionate about life, and it shows in everything: the music they write and listen to, the books they read, how they defend and stick up for things - even when they're completely off the mark. They're more likely than adults to be extreme in hairstyles, clothes, music, even food. They like to experience life to the fullest, trying everything.
How is it that we as adults often lose this passion? Or, is it more that we've come to understand how life works? We've learned to choose our battles?
A year or so ago, I interviewed Michael Flynn for Mormon Artist Magazine. He’s a Mormon actor, director, and producer. (Produced The Best Two Years. Mormons may recognize him as Pontius Pilate in The Lamb of God, or the sheriff in Footloose.) He commented:
"Passion is what drives the industry — you need to really understand what your character wants, why they do what they do. You bring the passion to it, you bring the emotion to it. That’s really what it’s all about. The passion."
After the interview, Michael made a comment that viewers can always tell when the actor doesn't feel passionate about what they're doing. And, he said, viewers will always choose a passionate movie over something that is only so-so where emotions are concerned.
This applies perfectly to writing. A couple of point-blank questions we need to ask ourselves: why are we writing if we don't feel strongly about it? How can we expect someone to read our books if our characters don't have an intense pull to something?I think this especially applies to young adult literature. If we're writing for teenagers, we need to give them what they crave: passion. Hunger Games is an emotionally intense book, and no one will argue that Twilight doesn't appeal to its target audience. I'm sure you can name off other "zealous" books.
I've read the occasional story where the main character, at first, didn't care about things around him/her. But, after a few chapters, they always ended up fiercely defending or wanting something. Our own characters need to reach this point, else we run the risk of losing readers.
Now take your passion and make it happen! (Name that song... :-))
If you like contests (even if you don't :-)) I'm putting one on to celebrate the release of The Key of Kilenya, and to help spread the word. It started on June 14th, there are a bunch of different tasks to do to get entries (you can choose and pick) and the deadline is June 30th, so only two days away.
For information on that contest, including the amazing/cool/awesome prizes (my entire series on eBook for free, etc.), go here.
If you'd like to learn more about me, you can visit my author page on Smashwords.
Thank you for reading, and I look forward to getting to know you!