If you build it, they will come. That’s been my motto over the past 10 plus years as an author of young adult fiction. When I couldn’t find a publisher for my first book, My Sister’s Wedding, I did it myself and promptly won a pretty sweet award that led me to my first agent. When I graduated from the Solstice Program and couldn’t find someone to publish my collection of short stories, I created Sucker Literary, and BAM, landed in Publishers Weekly. Cool. Very Cool.
But it has not been peaches and unicorns. (I will discuss this further in my first official post as the founder and regular contributor to this blog next week or so).
So how and why did I create All The Way? I was feeling really depressed a few months back (okay…REALLY depressed. Read more about that here), and I started to feel the itch of needing something more for my writing. Not so much needing more regarding my craft but more regarding my writer’s soul. I carried inside a feeling of not being heard. A feeling of not saying what I needed to. A feeling of “am I truly alone in this feeling?”
So I reached out to my sister in writing, Kacey. We talked….and talked…and then I realized what I wanted and needed. A group of people, brothers and sisters, who were going through the Artist’s Crisis and who wanted to TALK ABOUT it!
Therefore, I created All The Way YA. The place to share the experiences and emotions writers may talk to each other about but hesitate to write about (publicly).
I want this blog to “talk shop” about what we do and what we go through as writers and authors…I think of the “all the way” to mean that we bloggers on this blog will go all the way to share with you our experiences, advice, stories about the realities of having an agent and not having an agent but having a book deal or having an agent and no book deal. The realities of almost “making it” so many times but ultimately failing, over and over. The truth about the solitary confinement of working on your Masterpiece. The truth about getting a book deal FINALLY but realizing that there is still a mountain to climb. All the different scenarios that can occur on the road to “making it” as an author, including defining “making it”.
The YA aspect of our blog really is more because that is where I started, that’s the bulk of my work, though I’ve begun to branch out to New Adult and Middle Grade. Also, authors of YA fiction are generous with their support for one another, and quite frankly, I need more and more of that in my life.
Let’s talk about the emotional turmoil and torture… and the peaches and unicorns.
Why This Blog? (Please “like” us on Facebook.)
Sometimes it seems like all we hear about as writers are the successes. “Hey, I got an agent!” or maybe “Hey, I got a book deal!” I love reading about other author’s successes–it spurs me on and makes me want to work harder. The challenge though, is that writing is, for the most part, a solitary art. So when all you read about are other people’s successes and you’re still plugging away…well you get the idea. I think it’s important that, as writers, we recognize that we’ve chosen a difficult path. Heck, we chosen to ride on a rode with a million and one potholes (that’s the state flower here in Pennsylvania, by the way). Still, there’s value in knowing you’re not alone. That’s why I’m here.
I’ve been fortunate to have met some a-m-a-z-i-n-g members of the writer community and learned a ton as a result. It’s time to pay that forward.
More About Me
Where am I in my writing career…
- I have five publications released as part of The Star Child series.
- I am waiting to hear from agents and editors on a YA Magical Realism that I’m querying, set here in Pittsburgh.
- I’m in the process of editing one YA manuscript, a Middle Grade Sci-fi manuscript, and a YA novella.
- I’m co-writing a New Adult manuscript with local writer Melissa Englesberg and having a blast.
Follow me on twitter at @StephanieKeyes