|After the Debut|
After the debut… By Nicky Schmidt
As a round up to a busy year and a half of Debut Author Interviews, I decided to find out what happened to our authors after that first thrilling experience of becoming a published author.
Has it been all plain sailing or has it been a challenge? Have riches, success and glory followed? What lessons have been learned, what experience gained? I caught up with several authors to find out what life after the debut has been like.
I have learned so much since Me and Mr J debuted, mainly that the highs of being an author are very high…and the lows are very low. Definitely, the most rewarding aspect of being published has been the messages and emails from readers, particularly girls the same age as Lara who have written to tell me how much the book spoke to them. Meeting so many interesting people and being part of a whole new world has been interesting, too.
The most difficult part has been writing to a schedule. When I wrote Me and Mr J, I wrote for fun and to suddenly have a contract and fixed deadline when my brain didn’t want to play ball was hard. Staring at the blank page is hard! I got through that by writing short stories, sometimes about the characters, sometimes completely unconnected, anything that would unblock my head.
The other huge benefit has been conquering my fear of speaking in public. I’m quite a shy person and I had a crippling fear of this, to the point of being physically ill. Talking about Me and Mr J was hard initially, as it is such a massively controversial topic and some people feel very strongly about. But now I have spoken in front of big crowds in the UK and abroad, and although I still get nervous, I can do it.
I have a second book due out with Egmont in spring 2016 called The #1 Rule for Girls. This one was inspired by the idea of the appeal of the bad boy in fiction and started with an image in my mind of Marlon Brando in “A Streetcar Named Desire”. I’m writing book 3 now and have already planned book 4, so have a busy 2016 lined up.
Krysten Lindsay Hager
When my dream of publishing a book came true, I assumed release day would consist of me answering my door to delivery after delivery of flowers all while wearing one of those old Hollywood long robes with the faux fur on the ends. Instead, I spent most of the day behind the computer, wearing Hello Kitty fleece pants, and waiting for the book to show up on all the online retailer sites.
The first year was all about trying to build a platform for my work by doing interviews about what I was trying to accomplish with True Colors, which was/is helping teens and preteens realize they are not alone with their self-esteem issues. During this time, I finished the second book in the Landry’s True Colors Series, Best Friends…Forever? It came out in March of 2015 and I recently published another YA novel called, Next Door to a Star. I also won the Double Decker Books Awards for author of Tweens and Children’s books along with “best character” and “best Lesson.”
What I’ve learned is that why we write remains the important thing. The focus needs to be on the work and what it can accomplish in the world and with each reader—not about ego. Hearing from someone how the books have made an impact in a teen’s life who was dealing with friend issues makes you step back a realize that you can help people with your work.
The third book in the Landry’s True Colors Series is called, Landry in Like, and will be out early 2016 and I am currently finishing the sequel to Next Door to a Star.