Isn't this an eye-catching cover? And here's Mindi Scott our Debut author of the week. She's offering some super swag for the best comment, so be sure to check out her contest below.
Welcome, Mindi and tell us about your novel, FREEFALL.
Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend Isaac alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time where Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn’t wake up.
Convinced that his own actions led to his friend’s death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.
Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he's ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth will soon realize he isn’t the only one who needs saving . . .
The book sounds intriguing, Mindi. How did you start writing for young readers?
Almost everything I’ve ever written would be classified as “Young Adult.” In 2004, when I decided that a big focus in my life would be writing and trying to get published, it just felt like the obvious and best fit. One of my writing instructors that year told me, “The YA market is really hot right now!”
I was like, “Oh, is it? Well, that’s cool.”
Which, of course, it is cool. But it had nothing whatsoever to do with my decision. I’m just lucky that what I love to write happens to be in a market that’s selling!
Is there anything you've learned in writing this story, selling it, seeing it published that you'll share and perhaps help aspiring writers reach their goal of publication? (Some things to do or avoid or surprises, good and not so good, that you can share?)
I’ve always been told that my writing has that mystical thing called “voice.” Looking back, though, I think I used to rely too much on my own voice and point of view when writing female narrators. In Freefall, my protagonist is a sixteen-year-old guy, and writing him really forced me to stretch. I could never take the easy way out—not for one page, one paragraph, one sentence, one word. Everything had to be about how Seth would see it/think it/say it, otherwise the slip in voice was obvious and jarring. I feel that writing him flipped a switch for me and has permanently changed my approach to voice and point of view for all of my characters moving forward.
Now, I don’t think that the answer for everyone is to write a different gender or anything like that! But I do think that finding ways to challenge yourself in your writing can help you improve your craft in unexpected ways and make your work stand out. :-)