by J.A. George
Hello to you!
My name is J.A. George and I am the author of GIFTED – The Hayven Series. It took me a while to decide on what I would write for this guest blog post and I had many different ideas before I settled on perhaps the most obvious: writing. I assumed it’d be a bit odd if I’d spoken about something else, like baking, although I love to bake…
Writing a novel takes time, mainly because simply trying to figure out an original plot line is time-consuming as it is, but once I’d decided to write GIFTED, I couldn’t stop. Not to say I haven’t had road blocks because I certainly have and it’s definitely not to say I finished my novel in a couple of days – more like a couple of years. But at the very beginning, it was like one idea followed another and then another followed that one, and so on until I had a foundation for a contemporary young adult fantasy novel.
I’ve always loved writing, I think every author says that, but before I decided to become an author, I didn’t see it as something I could do as a future career. Until one day, I kissed goodbye to the idea of having a set future plan, (more about that here, if you’re interested: www.thejourneyofgifted.co.uk ) sat on my bed, opened up a blank Word document and typed out a few lines. It was after those few lines that I brought myself a black journal and properly yet briefly planned out the storyline of all four books in the series. Since then, I’ve found it better to write on paper with pen before I type, and Gifted has seen me go through five different notebooks so far.
I started off writing Gifted because I wanted something to read. I wanted to read a contemporary YA fantasy novel that didn’t feature instant-love, a chosen one or a girl growing up in a dystopian society. I just wanted to read about someone normal, someone I could relate to. Someone who worries about the way she looks, but never says it out loud, has a sense of humour, thinks about the small stuff. Then I wanted to take her and place in a world she never thought existed. I wanted to explore real young adult relationships, friendships and modern-day topics such as, body weight issues and cheating in relationships. Gifted is a lot less sombre than it sounds, I promise!
One of my favourite things about the entire writing process is the editing. Now, for those of you who write novels, novellas, poems etc., I know what you’re thinking – editing is the worst. It used to be the worst part of being an author for me too. Sending off your work to your editor, getting it back and seeing all the changes you needed to make was exhausting, arduous and quite frankly, it just got on my nerves. I don’t know when things changed, but I learned to love it and what I like most about editing is how much I learn from it. Before GIFTED was professionally edited, I thought I knew a lot about words, ignorance is bliss after all. Turns out, I knew how to spell, but when it came to punctuation, I wasn’t as much of the skilled master I’d once thought I was. Did you know there are three different dashes, and each dash has a specific function? I won’t get into that now because that’s probably when you’ll give up reading this guest post. I’ll move on.
Another of my favourite things about the entire writing process has to be the building of my characters because, despite how weird this may make me sound, when I write about a character, build their life, give them a family, a past, and friends, describe their features and explain their personalities, their likes and dislikes, it’s honestly as if they come alive.
Something tells me that this is a good time to pop in the blurb of my novel:
There is no chosen one in this story.
Avery Gray was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.
Avery is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.
Change can be good. It can bring new opportunities, new friends and a life you never thought possible. Change can be bad. It can bring you people determined to burn your city to the ground.
It all depends on the decisions you make.
As you could probably tell from that little bit of information, Avery, or as she’s commonly known, Ava, is my main character, and possibly my favourite (it changes every day). She’s pretty awesome if I do say so myself. This published version of GIFTED is my second edition and in my first edition Avery was completely different. In the past, I’ve had problems with writing for other people. All authors want their books to sell and in order to do that, you have to write a book readers will want to buy. The annoying thing is, authors don’t know exactly what readers want. We may know a few things, but not all. In my first edition of GIFTED, I tried to write a novel that would make everyone happy, until I realised that that was impossible. So after two years, I randomly made the decision to write for myself. I am in serious danger of going off on a tangent, but I’ll be putting up a post on my blog about writing for myself if you’re interested in reading about me rambling on about that. Long story short, Ava was a bit boring, in my opinion, because I was trying to follow trends I’d seen before, trying to fit her into too many different boxes. Now, she doesn’t really fit into a box; she’s just…Ava, and I love her. She makes me laugh – a lot. I hope she’ll make you laugh too.
I immensely enjoyed writing Gifted and I hope readers can sense that when reading the book. I loved creating my characters, making up names for cities, building my settings, and coming up with different supernatural talents (as no two are the same), but most of all, I Ioved bringing my little idea to life in the form of a book. Thank you, Tina, for allowing me to share my novel with your blog’s readers!
P.S. If you’d like to know more about me or my novel, here’s where you can: http://www.thejourneyofgifted.co.uk/
Or follow me on twitter! @JGeorgie_
Read a sample of GIFTED here!
About the author
J.A. George is the author of the four-part series, GIFTED: THE HAYVEN SERIES. Jessica spent years of her life reading book after book before sitting on her bed one morning, opening her laptop and typing Chapter One into her word document. Now, not only does she read book after book, she now writes book after book too. When she’s not writing, she’s trying to break her record of finishing a tub of Oreo ice cream in less than forty-five minutes.
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