Decadent Publishing YA DAY!
Author Ciar Cullen moonlights as an editor for Decadent Publishing’s Young Adult line. She interviews four of Decadent’s YA authors who each have very distinctive writing styles and stories.
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Which of your characters would you have wanted as a best friend in high school?
Rebecca Royce: Rachel or Deacon. Rachel because I think she’s loyal, smart, and trustworthy. Also, Deacon because of his loyalty. He’d never betray his friends.
Julie Campbell: Steph, all the way. She’s got that “you’re my best friend no matter what” loyalty down pat. I mean really, her best friend gets turned into a vampire, and she doesn’t freak out. How can you get more ‘best friend’ than that?
Rusty Fischer: Hmmm, that’s a toughie! I like all four of the “ushers” in Ushers, Inc. I probably would have hung around Cliff and Zach anyway, since they’re a lot like me in the “geek” department, but Tracy and Abby would have rounded out this great group. IF they’d let me join, that is. (Ciar: I have friends that are STILL like Cliff and Zach, and I wouldn’t trade them in for a million dollars. One of the things I love about your characters is that they are familiar—but just a hair cooler. Well, with almost super-powers of course.)
Vanessa Barger: Actually, I think Cornelius would have been an awesome friend to have. He’s the Victorian equivalent of a nerd, and he makes cool things, while still getting to do whatever he wants because no one’s paying that much attention. I would have loved helping him build things. The fact that he’s easy on the eyes would have nothing to do with it. (Ciar: Cornelius is so freaking lovable, hero material of the beta variety. My favorite character type. And the awesome steampunk world doesn’t hurt. I mean, if I were 40 years younger LOL…)
What is the most important thing for a young adult writer to keep in mind, to sound authentic?
Rebecca Royce: Teenagers feel things much more acutely than we do. They don’t know themselves as well as we do. They’re still trying to figure it out.
Julie Campbell: Despite what parents think, teens are often very smart. Keep that in mind. Also keep in mind that while they may be smart, their priorities are more based on fitting in than making the mortgage payment.
Rusty Fischer: I would say don’t try too hard. Ushers, Inc., went through many drafts where I felt I was just pushing the “cute” or the “funny” or the “clever” a little too much. I had to reel it back in so I didn’t cringe when I read some passages. It helps if you can hang where your target audience hangs (you know, without being too creepy about it). Luckily I was a public school teacher who taught high school and junior high English for years, and even though I don’t teach anymore the certain rhythm, patterns even the brevity of “teen speak” is kind of seared in my brain. For a refresher course, I spend a lot of time in the teen section at my local bookstores.
Vanessa Barger: Don’t write to your high school self. You have to write to high school kids now. Things when I was in high school were a lot different than they are now.
What message would you like to send back to your 17-year-old self?
Rebecca Royce: Oh wow. It’s all going to be okay. You’re not lost and the things other people seem to value that you don’t care about will ultimately make you a better person. College is better. Much, much better.
Julie Campbell: Keep writing. You’ll get there.
Rusty Fischer: Oh, gosh; seriously? Wow, well… not to get all serious but I would probably send them the great book cover for Ushers, Inc., and say, “Look; you have this to look forward to! Keep your head down and stick with it!” I’ve been writing since I was nine years old, books and stories and poems all this time. And while I’ve taken as many as a few years off over the years, it’s been a pretty constant struggle to finally get to a point where a book or two is coming out with my name on it. That’s a lot of time, a lot of rejection, but I believe every author has his or her own path and I wouldn’t change my path for the world! (Ciar: for someone with one of the most unique voices I’ve ever read, I would say the wait was really worth it! I have never, ever laughed so much as I did when reading Ushers, Inc.)
Vanessa Barger: You’re cooler than you think you are. You’re skinnier than you think you are. Have more confidence about life.
Question for readers: What was your favorite book as a young adult?
2 entrants from the week will each win one Decadent Publishing YA book of their choice!
Initiation: The Warrior, Book 1
My name is Rachel Clancy. Thirty years before I was born, the world ended. Today is my sixteenth birthday. Today I will go Upwards to fight the monsters and, statistically speaking, I won’t be coming back—at least not still living.
Driven: The Warrior, Book 2
My name is Rachel Clancy. Forty-six years ago, life as humanity understood it ended. Armageddon. Well, that’s what we call it, anyway. What other term works as well to describe the day the Vampires and Werewolves slaughtered nearly all of humanity?
J. A. Campbell
Senior Year Bites
Fight supernatural crime, it’s what superheros do. Only I’m a vampire, not a superhero. That hasn’t deterred my best friend Steph though, so while I’m trying to survive my last year of high school as a blood-sucking non-hero, she’s dragging me and our other friend around looking for crime. Only there isn’t any, at least not until the murders start.
Who would you call if zombies, vampires AND werewolves and started wandering Main Street, taking a bite out of your neighbors, family and friends? (Here’s a hint: they’re not ghosts!!!)
How about four young ushers who have seen every monster movie made in the last 30 years?
When the cops, the FBI and even the CIA can’t help you, it’s time to call… Ushers, Inc.!
My name is Cornelius Latimer, and I have fallen in love.
My love belches steam and breathes fire. It’s heady, this feeling of power. But I made a My love belches steam and breathes fire. It’s heady, this feeling of power. But I made a fatal error. I told a friend about my machine. And now someone who should not know, does.
Lorelei Stamper is a selkie, and holds the key to breaking a curse.When Declan, one of two bodyguards sent to protect her, wakes her sleeping heart, she must try to balance love, surviving her senior year, and deciding whether she wants to be human or not. No matter what she chooses, the fact remains that breaking the curse demands blood. Hers.