Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mandy Harbin stops by for a visit

A Desire and a Dream to Write Young Adult

Hi y’all! I want to first thank Penny for giving me this opportunity to invade her blog today with my ramblings. I will try to make this as painless as possible. ;)

Many people ask me why I write young adult and the answer is very simple. The Season’s Change series is the first book series I officially started with the book of Summer being the first novel I ever finished. Seriously. I am a multi-published author now, but Season’s Change was the first time I felt passionate enough to see a story through to completion after many years of uncompleted novels in notebooks and old computers. And it all began with a desire and a dream.

I didn’t know how to explain it at the time, but I felt extremely passionate about writing a book on a girl who didn’t need a man to make her who she was. Of course, I love romance, so I wanted the story to have romantic elements—I mean come on! What’s a book without some form of passion? But I knew I wanted the main female character to be the story. I wanted her to be able to stand on her own and be the central focus with the other characters there to support and help her. I was a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I never even saw an episode of until it was finished and in reruns on cable, but when I thought about my heroine, I wanted her to be of similar character. Strong and powerful in her own right, not because of some external force. But this was all I knew in the beginning. I had a desire, but no real direction.

Until I woke up one morning from a vivid dream. A man was sitting on a patio and handed me an antique broach with the numbers 1887 on it, and then lightning fell from the sky like bright confetti. I felt a total rush from it and immediately researched lightning, which took me on a brief learning expedition of mythology. The story fell so quickly into place, I was running on pure adrenaline. In a matter of days, I knew most of the elements I wanted the story to contain and threw myself into research to familiarize myself with mythology. Over the next several months, I wrote character bios, book synopses, and the story arc over the entire series.

At this point, I still didn’t know this was going to be a young adult series, though. I’d considered writing Season older than seventeen, but the story just fit with the young adult genre. One important lesson I’ve learned over the last few years is that you can’t force a story to happen—if you do, it just doesn’t feel right. I let the story dictate were it’ll fall, rather than trying to make it fit one genre over another. Season’s Change had its home in young adult and I wasn’t going to fight it.

Season’s Change is a four part series, starting with the book of Summer and ending with Spring. I am currently editing book two, Season’s Change: Fall and hope to have it out this fall. ;) Each book really is a continuation from the other, so they should be read in order. And that dream I mentioned? It’s in the first book along with several dreams I had during the drafting process. Here is a blurb on the book of Summer:

Season Crete isn’t one for surprises, but at her surprise seventeenth birthday party, she gets a big one. She learns her mother isn’t really dead. Not only that, her guardian gives her a cryptic message about her mother’s return on her next birthday, mentioning something about mysterious changes she’ll be going through up until then. Seasons’ confusion takes a solemn turn when she discovers a death certificate with her name on it dated for her eighteenth birthday.

While desperately wanting to discover the truth about her mom and these so-called changes, Season is plagued with dreams about the weather, which she cannot explain. But she also finds herself focusing on a budding romance with the hottest guy in town, Don Davis, while trying to enjoy her summer vacation, knowing it may be her last.

When Season strikes up a friendship with newcomer Chrys Gorge, she soon discovers everything isn’t always as it seems as he explains the reality of mythical gods and the danger surrounding how she fits in. He holds the key to unlocking her family secrets, but he’s interested in more than just a friendship with her . . . . And he has the power of a prophesy on his side.

Can Season discover the truth about her heritage without losing the guy she’s falling in love with?

More information about the series and its characters can be found on my website at http://www.mandyharbin.com/Season

I love to connect with readers! You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. All links can be found on my website www.mandyharbin.com but please note that I also write erotica. ;) If you’re not at least 18, please do not venture to those sections of my site.

And now for some fun stuff. If you read this blog and send me an email at mandy@mandyharbin.com with the subject of “Summer”, I’ll pick one lucky reader to get a free copy of Season’s Change: Summer!

Thanks again to Penny! Happy reading everyone. J

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