Wednesday, 10 April 2013

GUEST BLOG: Dina Can't Write Young Adult! - Dina James

When I was first asked to consider writing a vampire story for young adults, I was horrified. Me? Did the person who asked even READ my stuff? Blood! Guts! Gore! Uh…"friendly" encounters! Not exactly something parents would approve of for their small humans.

I thought about it (all right, I agonized) and, after much discussion with friends and family, agreed to try it. I wrote a short story with the specific intention to prove that I couldn't write for a younger audience. I deliberately went the complete opposite direction of what was expected of me. I didn't write about a girl turning into a vampire or finding out her boyfriend has joined a vampire clan or learning she's a vampire hunter.

I wrote about a girl who learned she was a vampire healer.

(Seriously, all these vampire hunters and slayers about and not one person takes pity on these poor fanged fellows? How awful! Not all slayers and hunters are competent, you know! Sometimes they miss and only wing the intended target. That has to hurt! So where does a hurt vampire go for help if they need it? That's the question I set out to answer.)

My evil plan to prove I couldn't write for young adults backfired. The short story was loved. More was desired and after many drafts and over a year, the novel version of that original short story is available now as All Wounds.

The main character, Rebecca, doesn't just heal vampires, she heals Ethereals in general. If it's supernatural or thought to be imaginary, chances are it will be coming to her for help at some point.

From the back cover:

It's said that when opportunity knocks on your door, you have only one chance to take it.

No one said what you're supposed to do when it kicks it.

All Rebecca MacDonnell wants to do is get through high school with grades good enough to win a prestigious scholarship so that she can finally leave her miserable life behind. One evening, after a particularly bad day, she finds out that people other than her aging grandmother need her help, and desperately so.

Well, not "people," exactly. Vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts, goblins, and other things thought only imaginary all need help sometime, and Rebecca was born with the unique ability to heal ethereal beings. She is about to turn seventeen, the age at which her talent will manifest in its entirety, and become a true Healer…if she lives through the event.

A war between various ethereal factions is brewing, and Healers are a valuable commodity to any side. Those who wish to harness Rebecca’s manifesting healing powers for their own purposes must get to her before her seventeenth birthday.

Only two vampires and a rogue werewolf stand between Rebecca and those determined to make her serve them, and the fact that Rebecca has no clue what she's doing doesn't exactly help matters.

Neither does being seriously attracted to more than one of those just trying to protect her.

For a soon-to-be seventeen-year-old Healer-in-training, that's a lot to handle.

Especially on top of her homework.

Again, my plan backfired. I thought I'd write this one, get it out of my system, prove to everyone that Dina Can't Write Young Adult, and that would be that.

Um, yeah. About that….

The series (that's right…it's a series now) is called Stranger Things, and its second book, titled Time Heals, is scheduled for release March 26, 2013 from Mundania Press.

Here's the part where I let you all in on a little secret: there will be a third book in this series.

Its working title is Death Knell and that's all I can share with you for now. It's in the very early stages of becoming part of the Stranger Things series, and this is its official announcement to the world that such a thing exists.

For not being able to write young adult, I certainly seem to be doing quite a bit of it. Whether or not I do it well is entirely up to you.

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