Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Part to Play by Jennifer L. Fry: Guest Post and Giveaway!

Brought to you by Goddess Fish Promotions...

I'm thrilled to present the release of Jennifer L. Fry's debut young adult novel today! Read on to reveal a guest post directly from the author and enter an awesome giveaway!

From Rogue Phoenix Press...
When fifteen-year-old actress Lucy Carter loses her older sister in a car accident, her mother shuts down and her father can’t hold the family together. Their only choice is to ship Lucy off to the Edmond School for Performing Arts. But boarding school is no cure for Lucy’s grief. With failing grades, wooden stage performances, and curfew violations, Lucy is threatened with expulsion. For the once talented Lucy, it feels as though she has nowhere to turn.

One night, Lucy hears mysterious music drifting through the school’s old heating system. The music leads her to a troubled but passionate songwriter whose brilliance gives her the strength to perform like never before. Yet their intense relationship puts Lucy in a precarious position: if she follows her muse, will she lose herself? And if she breaks it off, can she stand on her own again?

From a First-Time Author's Perspective...

I've been writing since I was a young child. As such, I have an attic full of poetry, short stories, character sketches, and plenty of unfinished work. At the age of 30, I had this epiphany moment where I decided it was time I write an entire novel from start to finish. Why had my attempts at novel writing failed in the past? Because I didn't have a complete plan.

I also realized that despite the fact that I am a prolific writer, I didn't know anything about how to structure a novel. So the first thing I did, once I made the decision to write a novel, was take an online writing course that was all about story structure. While I participated in the exercises for the class, I also began developing the plot for A Part to Play. I've always loved learning, so I found this part really exciting – I learned how to take a premise for a story and turn it into a complete idea with all the necessary structure to help it hold together.

I turned my writing lessons into an outline for my story. It was a connect the dots of sorts; I had all the dots, so the next task was to write the words to get from one point in the story to the next. I felt much more confident knowing where my story was going. I knew it wasn't going to evaporate the way so many of my novel writing attempts had in the past.

The next thing I needed was a deadline. I need to feel pressure to be motivated. So I made my goal to write the first draft of my novel in thirty days. Ambitious? Maybe. It turned out to be a lot easier than I expected. I wanted to write about 80,000 words, so I figured I had to put down about 2600 words a day to meet my goal. To some, this may sound crazy. But I had set myself up for success by: 1) Having a well organized outline, 2) Not having a full time job, therefore allowing time and bandwidth for several hours of writing a day, and 3) I made a conscious decision to turn off my inner critic. I did not self-edit, nor review what I wrote. Whatever words came out, I put them down. Period.

Writing the first draft of A Part to Play was the most exhilarating, freeing experience of my life. My end goal was not to be published; it was to accomplish writing an entire novel that told the story the way I wanted to tell. It didn't matter if it was good, it didn't matter if no one else understood it.

But then an amazing thing happened. By turning off my inhibitions, I allowed my natural talent to come through. As a result, my first draft was coherent. Even better than that, I actually liked what I had written, and so did my very first beta readers. Of course, I still faced edits and rewrites, which ended up taking about two years from that initial draft. I don't want you to think that everything from your stream of consciousness comes out perfectly the first time. But it gets you that all important first draft with a beginning, middle, and end. Then you have something to work with until it eventually becomes the final book that gets into reader's hands.

About the Author

Jennifer L. Fry is a writer, artist, and teacher in Marin County, California, where she lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable dogs, and orange tabby cat. Though she has been writing since she was young, A Part to Play is her first novel.


Thanks to the author and Goddess Fish Promotions, one lucky reader will receive an eCopy of A Part to Play! To enter, all you have to do leave a meaningful comment telling us what about the book interests you :) In addition, there is a tour-wide giveaway for A Part to Play's character illustration prints! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rules and Disclosure:
Both giveaways run through 14 December 2012 at 11.59 pm (EST).
Open to US/CAN residents only!
Please leave your email address in your comment so I have some way to contact you when you win.
I will be selecting the winner for the book using Jennifer will select the winners for the character prints via Rafflecopter.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prizes will be forfeited.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!