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Friday, June 13, 2014

New Website

Hey everybody! I just wanted to let you know that I won't be blogging over here anymore - I have a shiny new website!

melissa-hurst.com

I really hope you can drop by sometime! :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What's Up Wednesday



What's up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk, geared to help readers and writers touch base and let them know what's up. If you want to join in, you can find the link widget on Jamie or Erin's blog!

WHAT I'M READING

The end of the school year is always super busy for me. My middle daughter has been keeping me busy with softball games, and the schools like to cram field trips and class parties and award ceremonies into the same month. So I haven't been reading as much as I like. The last book I read (sadly a few weeks ago) was CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge. It's a unique retelling of Beauty and the Beast with gorgeous prose and compelling characters that had me flying through the pages to finish. I'm ready to start another book, but I can decide between THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER by Megan Shepherd or THE WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski. What would you suggest?

WHAT I'M WRITING

It's been a while since I drafted a book, and now I remember why I prefer revising. I got to a little over 10K in my draft and realized I hated everything, which put me into a major writing funk. I've read that sometimes it's not easy writing another book after you get an agent, and for me it's SO TRUE. Right now I'm working on my world building again and modifying my beat sheet. It must be working because this week I finally started feeling excited for this story again. Yay!

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

I'm still feeling excited over my book deal announcement. It's been so surreal being able to tell everybody that my book will be published NEXT YEAR!!!!! It's even on Goodreads if you want to check it out! :D

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

Let's see, in between kid activities, I've been beta reading two fantastic manuscripts, and I've been binge watching AGENTS OF SHIELD. I watched the first episode last fall and liked it, then our satellite provider had a ridiculous dispute with the local channel that shows AoS for nearly a month. I forgot about watching the rest of the episodes, but decided to catch up when the new Captain America movie came out. I'm so glad I did! The episodes tie in to the rest of the recent Marvel movies and I LOVE how the characters grew over the course of the season and made me care about them. I'm so ready for the new season this fall!

So what have you been up to lately?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Deal!

Okay, so last year I got to share that my book was going to be published in Brazil, which made me all sorts of happy. Well today I'm thrilled to announce that THE EDGE OF FOREVER will be published by Sky Pony Press in the United States!





Y'all, I sososososo excited that you'll be able to read about Alora and Bridger's adventure next fall, and I hope you will love them as much as I do. I seriously had a blast writing a time travel novel, even though it was also OMGSOHARD at times. My awesome, wonderful, fantastic agent has done a great job of finding the perfect home for my book, and I just love her to pieces for it. And I'm super excited to work with my new editor Kelsie and the team at Sky Pony!




Monday, January 27, 2014

Why YA?

Since a lot of people in my hometown know that I write books now, I've been asked a few times how I started writing for teens. See, I didn't actually start out wanting to write YA. When I think back to all the years I wasted wanting to write, I saw myself writing for adults. I thought it would be romance for a long time, then I thought I'd try science fiction or fantasy since that's been a consistent love of mine. It wasn't until I had my first child and I was checking the catalog for a mail-order children's book club that I discovered Harry Potter. At the time, the fourth book in the series had just been released and it looked, well, really good to me. But I needed to read the first three books in the series first. So I ordered them and inhaled the books over a two week period.

After that I was officially hooked on middle grade literature and read tons of MG books. I thought, Hey, I could do this, especially since the book that made me want to be a writer was A Wrinkle In Time. But then I landed my first teaching job and between teaching all day and being on mom duty in the evenings, I was wiped out. However, I continued to read a lot of books in the meantime, constantly trying to think of something I could write. The problem was that I just couldn't come up with a good idea. Everything I thought of seemed too derivative of what I'd already read.

It wasn't until after I had my second child that I discovered another category: young adult. I'd been hearing a lot of buzz about the Twilight series, and I decided to check it out. And once again, I was hooked. Some of the first YA books that I devoured included A Great and Terrible Beauty, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Fallen, The Dark Divine, Uglies, The Golden Compass, and of course The Hunger Games.

With those books, my very first ideas were born. Sure, it took a few tries to find The Idea, but once I did, I sat down, created an outline, then over the next year wrote my very first book. I ultimately ended up trunking that novel even though I loved it, but I knew it wasn't going to be The One. But that didn't stop me...I wrote another book, revised it several times, then signed with my awesome agent a few months after it was finished. Now I'm not going to say I'll only work on YA books from now on. If I have an idea for a MG or an adult book, I'll certainly roll with it. But for now, YA is what I'll write.