I’m Australian YA author Rhonda Sermon My debut YA urban fantasy novel Timesurfers released on 28th of August 2015. I have written a letter with some advice to myself when I first started writing. I hope you enjoy.
Dear 2010 Rhonda,
You’ve just started writing a YA fantasy novel. I know this because I’ve already written it. High fives all round. Despite a flair for doing everything wrong numerous times, it turned out okay. People you don’t know are buying it and reading it. The cover is gorgeous!
Because I love you I’m going to give you a few tips that will save you a lot of hair pulling.
1. Firstly the last Harry Potter book was made into two movies and they were both amazing.
2. A bit of housekeeping. You are still married to the same man and live in the same house. Both kids are healthy and doing fine. Your parents are doing great. They just sold their house and are moving. You are now FIFTY KG lighter and a size 8!
3. Congratulations on finding something that you absolutely love. Thank goodness you don’t know how bad that first chapter you wrote is. It’s 1000 times worse than you think. Please research point-of-view.
4. Time travel, wizards and zombies...yes you got them all in there.
5. You will rewrite the first chapter of Timesurfers over 200 times. Absolute truth.
6. Cate will often be moody, annoying, whiney and a bit self absorbed. So like a real teenager. Her powers will evolve as you go. Then one day as you’re listening Cher on the radio it will come to you.
7. Austin will be the most difficult character to work with. The boy has serious swagger. His look, his dialogue everything will be hard work. But in the end people will love him. Go figure.
8. Jonah will always be your favourite character. But you knew that already.
9. Eve will scream PLOT TWIST at the most unexpected moment. It will be brilliant.
10. Rose is a complete bad ass. She says all the things you wish you could say to people.
11. When you get to Chapter 15 and realise there is no actual plot to your story. Step away from your laptop carefully. This is actually the best thing that could have happened. You will go through all the stages of grief before that becomes apparent.
12. To get the finished 91,627 words you will have written well over a million.
13. I know a pen name seems like a good idea now, but when you set up your social media and start your cover artwork use your own name. I can’t tell you how much time and money that will save you.
14. Ignore the person who is mean the first day you join TBNW. You will meet a fabulous group of super talented writers who you now call your friends. Don’t let it worry you when they write and release 4, 5 or maybe 6 books while you are still working on your first.
15. Self Publishing –learn about it.
16. Ebooks – They are here to stay don’t let anyone tell you different.
17. The lotto numbers next week are... (Yep I’m still hilarious!)
Ok I think I’ve been more than generous with my advice. There are a bucket load of things you are going to mess up or get stuck on. But my word you will learn a lot. All of which will be invaluable to get Book 2 written way quicker than the Book 1. Book 2 is going to be a whole other challenge. I can say this because I’m half way through it now. I can only hope that a letter will arrive from 2016 Rhonda with some hints and motivation.
Love 2015 Rhonda
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