I hate to brag, but...I so know how to pick 'em.
Back in May, I wrote my first "Lessons Learned the Acceptance Way" post, raving on and on about the book One Scream Away by Kate Brady and how reading an except on Brady's website told me exactly why she sold her first book.
Well, it turns out, I actually knew what I was talking about (I know, for once, huh!). One Scream Away went on to win RWA's Rita for Best First Book in July. So, I figure I might actually have a knack for this picking out the winners.
And that knack's done bit me again. I've been following Beth Revis's blog, Writing it Out, on and off for probably over a year now. I remember reading her post announcing she sold her first book and commenting my congratulations.
But last month I finally got to read the first chapter of her story, Across the Universe, which according to Amazon is coming out January 11, 2011 from Razorbill. (You can check out CHAPTER ONE HERE!)
And, wow. I mean, seriously. W...O...W. I think we have the next Lois Lowery on our hands, people. She's amazing. If you like young adult futuristic sci fi with possibly some social and political injustice issues and what-looks-like maybe at least a little romance (hope so, anyway!), then preporder your copy today. In fact, you don't even have to like those things. Just go ahead of buy a copy anyway. Like, right now. She's that good.
And why is she THAT good? What made her an "acceptance" story? Like I said in my last "lessons learned the acceptance way" post, I think it was a mixture of things.
First of all: She pulled the reader's emotions into the story. She described Amy's panic as she was going through that first chapter so clearly I began to feel it too. I think I actually rubbed at my throat in that anxious breathe-Linda-breathe way because I could just FEEL the freezing stuff clogging up over her and trapping her in. Ugg, I'm doing it again. (Breathe, Linda, breathe, Just...calm...down).
Whew, vivid imagery.
Second of all: She showed each character perfectly. They all had their own agenda, and we didn't even have to leave Amy's point of view to tell what her mom or dad or even the the two techie's were thinking and what goals they already had.
Third of all: That chapter ending hook. I mean, come on. How could the excerpt end there? MORE, I need more. This is going to be tough waiting all the way until January for this book to come out.
And finally (actually, there's so much more I could gush about, but I'm trying--really--to keep this blog as short as I can): Her words. The flow of the sentences, the way she describes every little detail, about how it all feels. It was perfect, absolutely perfect.
So, there's some more clues about how to become an acceptance story:
-Emotional connection with readers,
-individual characters with their own agenda while still managing to tie into the single story line,
-nice attention-grabbing hooks,
-and detailed descriptions written in a smooth, flowing way.
Sounds simple, huh? Snort. Maybe for Beth, but I'm still working on all that.
Anyway, congrats again to Beth Revis. She is going to go far in her writing career. I just know it; I have a knack, remember!