Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Amy Fellner Dominy | Exclusive Excerpt: HOW TO QUIT YOUR CRUSH
Author Guest / May 15, 2020

Picture a Reptile House. An enclosed space, just a guy and a girl. Low lights. Cool air. Soft music. Kind of romantic. If not for the snakes. If not for the fact that Mai is deathly afraid of snakes. And if not for the fact that Anthony and Mai are both intent on crushing their crushes on each other. 🙂 Here’s a scene from How to Quit Your Crush. Happy Reading! *** “I don’t like thinking about my future, but I like thinking about yours,” Anthony says. “Picturing you with Petri dishes and eyedroppers like in middle school.” “Can they be really good Petri dishes–not the plastic ones?” “They’re primo Petri. And you’re working late one night and all of a sudden, you stand up and cry, ‘Eureka.’” “I have never once in my life cried Eureka.” “Quiet. This is my vision.” “Fine.” I gesture for him to continue. “What have I done?” “You’ve cured cancer. All kinds of it.” “In one Petri dish?” “I said it was a really good one.” “That’s quite the vision.” But I’m smiling because it really is. “And where will you be?” “Like I said, I don’t like thinking about my future.” “Give it…

Emily McKay | Title Challenge: STOYRBOUND
Author Guest / May 7, 2020

My newest YA fantasy novel, Storybound, is about a girl, Edie Keller, who moves to the city where her favorite books are set (in this case Austin, TX) and when she walks through the doors of BookPeople, she walks into the world of those books. It’s all real. The good guys, the bad guys, the book boyfriend she’s been in love with forever. The book boyfriend who dies at the end of the last book. .  . Except he isn’t dead. Not yet anyway. And if she plays her cards right, she just might be able to save his life. Before I get to the actual Title Challenge, I have a funny story to share. I misunderstood the rules for this challenge when I read them. I thought I needed to describe my book using only anagrams of my book title. Which—I’ve gotta say—is a lot harder than the actual challenge. So first, I want to share my anagram solution: Broody book boy toy snubs nutsy nobody! Okay, okay. . . I had to add in an extra s in ‘snubs’ … still, I think I did pretty good! Though, my teenage daughter rolled her eyes and said, “Mom! Please….

Cindy R. Wilson | On My Writing Process
Author Guest / March 13, 2020

I get asked a lot of questions as a writer, but one of the most common ones is what my process for writing each story looks like. Because I’m an organized soul, it’s typically the same for each book. I’m here today to share what that process looks like for me. I’ve written a lot of stories over the years, and after the first several, I started to develop a process that worked for me as I created a story from beginning to end. The beginning doesn’t start with writing, it starts with plotting. In fact, it just starts with an idea. A big idea. For example, with STING, I thought of one of my favorite classic stories, The Count of Monte Cristo, and knew I wanted to write a retelling. But I wanted to have a female heroine and a dystopian twist. So first I get my big idea. Then I test it. Testing it means making sure there’s a big enough conflict to sustain a whole story with twists and turns. With STING, it was a little easier because I wanted to stick close to the original plot, but typically I figure it all out from scratch. I…

Suze Winegardner | THE LOVE PLAYBOOK
Author Guest / November 15, 2019

I always wanted to write a book where a girl knows more about a sport than the boy playing it. I was inspired by watching Draft Day–a movie about the NFL draft day, in which Jennifer Garner’s character is the money person behind the football team. I loved that feeling of going toe-to-toe with the hardened football experts, and being able to tell them where to get off! Avery is the reluctant heroine in my new book, The Love Playbook. She’s sat on the bleachers since she was four, watching her dad coach every football player that ever went to her school, and now, as her family recovers from a tragedy, she overhears one of the team’s key sponsors saying that if the high school football team doesn’t get to the playoffs, he’ll do everything in his power to have him replaced as coach. In a panic to avert another family tragedy–her father losing his job—she agrees to coach the new guy on the team, Lucas, a player (in more than one way) who seems to have lost his mojo. But Lucas comes to her town with a fake name and a big secret. . . a secret that could…

Sara Wolf | Find Me Their Bones
Author Guest / November 8, 2019

Hey ya’ll! Sara Wolf here! I’m super psyched to write this for Fresh Fiction, mostly because they’re a. Awesome and b. It means FIND ME THEIR BONES is almost released to the world at large! Mostly, I wanted to talk about a super serious topic today. I think the question I get most – no matter where I go in the world – is ‘how do you write a book?’, followed quickly by ‘I could never write one’. It’s maybe the hardest question to answer, because I’m not entirely sure how I write a book, either. This might out me as a complete pantser (which isn’t bad!) but it also outs me as the sort of writer who doesn’t really think things through. I always tell people who ask this question ‘I write books because I have to’, and that’s true! When I was thirteen, I came to the horrible screeching revelation that magic wasn’t actually real. The sort of magic you see in books, that always sweeps some unsuspecting down-on-their-luck teenager away to another world. I realized that would never happen to me, and that I’d always been waiting for that to happen to me, and so I launched…

Erica Cameron | Characters: Building Them Up and Breaking Them Down
Author Guest / November 1, 2019

I love worldbuilding. It’s fun, the best kind of neverending logic puzzle, and it’s easy for me to spend days or months layering details onto a burgeoning universe. Nobody wants to read what amounts to a history book about a fictional world, though. No matter how intricate and interesting the worldbuilding is, it’s the people who populate it who are going to be the tethers that pull readers across a landscape. I’m not one of those authors who knows everything about a character down to their blood type before I put words on pages. In fact, often the non-physical truths (i.e. things other than height, age, eye color, etc) I know about a character when I start writing can be listed on one hand. I treat characters like strangers I’m meeting for the first time, and I write partially to unveil the core of an individual. For me, worldbuilding is layering up. Building characters, though, is more a process of stripping down. Everyone has a core of principles, beliefs, motivations, and needs. Sometimes (okay, rarely) these are all in easy alignment and sometimes they’re diametrically opposed, but no matter what, the core of a person is what drives everything they…

Shannon Greenland | 5 Things I’d Tell The Teen Me
Author Guest / August 5, 2019

1. Travel! I spent two years between high school and college seeing the world. I helped bathe orphans in Mexico, saw the wall come down in Germany, rode a bike in snowy Denmark, slept in too many airports to count, sang on a stage in Poland, and so much more. Since then I’ve sailed to the Bahamas, climbed a lighthouse in Bermuda, hiked the Na Pali coast in Hawaii, canoed in Venezuela, zip lined a forest, crawled through caves in Ireland, and the list goes on… Travel! It’ll open your mind and soul to this incredible earth we live on. 2. Be open to change. When your heart and gut tell you to take a less comforting choice, consider listening. 9 times out of 10 your heart and gut are right. 3. Learn a language. Be it Spanish, French, Farsi, or whatever, dig in and learn it. Be willing to travel to a country that speaks your chosen language and do total immersion. Be willing to take more classes than are required for a high school diploma. Knowing another language is an irreplaceable skill. 4. It’s okay to break up with someone you’re dating. What’s it’s not okay to do…

Victoria Scott | Exclusive Interview
Author Guest / February 5, 2019

Welcome YA Author Victoria Scott! Her Young Adult mystery author, WE TOLD SIX LIES, is in stores today. What is We Told Six Lies about in your own words? It’s a story about eighteen-year-old Cobain Kelly, whose girlfriend goes missing. As Cobain searches for Molly, the police look at him as their primary suspect, and as more of Cobain’s friends and family members start accusing him of hurting her – and he replays the memories of their relationship – Cobain starts wondering if maybe he did do something to Molly. You’ve published eight other books. How difficult was this one to write comparatively? This was by far my most challenging book. It’s told in first, third, and second person. You read that right. A good 25 percent of this book is in second person. There are also time jumps between when Cobain is reliving his relationship with Molly, and the present when he is trying to find her. If that wasn’t enough, there are also location jumps. So yes, a challenging book to be sure. What are some fun facts about We Told Six Lies? Cobain gets his name from Kurt Cobain (name that band!), there are handwritten journal entries…