Hello, you gorgeous people, you!
Today on the blog, Heather Smith, awesome author of Balancing Act, has stopped by to have a chat with us about YA.
But first, a bit about Heather’s debut novel…
One year ago, Callie Harding was the star of the Redwood High gymnastics team. Now, she’s just trying to forget that her Olympic dreams were stolen from her in one failed landing. Most of all, she wants to forget her first love, Ty. That part of her life is over and she’s sure she has got something good with Scott… even if he doesn’t exactly understand her passion for sports.
But when Callie is persuaded to take on the position of assistant coach of the gymnastics team, Ty and Callie are thrown together almost nightly, and she’s forced to confront her memories of the night everything changed. As things get tense on and off the balancing beam, Callie must find a way to stay strong. But is forgetting her accident – and forgetting Ty – the best way to do that?
Guest post by Heather Smith…
So glad to be with you all today! I’m going to talk about something very close to my heart: YA books. If you could see my bookcase(s) you would see that they are dominated by YA books. And most of them are from the last few years. I’ll read pretty much any genre. I have The Selection next to Cinder next to The Girl of Fire and Thorns next to Anna and the French Kiss next to Shiver next to Before I Fall and so on and so on. I love YA, even though I’m not really a YA anymore. I’m 20 now, which is toeing that line.
I also write young adult. Of the 4 ½ manuscripts I have lying around, all of them are young adult novels. My debut novel, Balancing Act, is a YA contemporary romance. I have another ms in the same genre, two period adventure novels, and I am working on a fantasy right now.
So what’s it like to be a young adult and write about it? I imagine it is much the same as being an adult and writing YA. I’m just closer to the struggles high schoolers have at that age. It’s only been a few years since I was a high schooler myself. As a young adult, I intimately know what my friends were going through at that age because it happened not that long ago. Stress about picking out colleges, hovering parents or lack of attention from parents. Trying to fit in a social life around schoolwork. Sports. The politics of getting seated next to your friends in class or getting asked to homecoming. It’s a complicated time in a person’s life.
As a young adult I wanted to read more about the struggles of having to choose who you were going to become when you were only sixteen or seventeen. That was probably the largest struggle I saw with my friends when they were applying to colleges. And the effects going to college had on their relationships. This is a large part of Balancing Act, then. Callie has lost her way, unable to become an elite gymnast. Now she has to figure out who she is without gymnastics, as well as who she is going to become. Her relationships with her friend Jen, her boyfriend Scott, and her ex Ty all influence her decisions.
As a young adult I felt that sense of doubt when I had to decide on colleges and lifelong dreams. I got off easy. I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer. A major was easy for me to pick. But it’s not that way for most people. And that’s what I want my books to reflect. Choices made at a young age that you aren’t sure of. And moving from being a teen to a responsible 20-something (or not).
I hope if you choose to read Balancing Act these choices ring true to you, and you’ll enjoy Callie’s journey of discovering who she is 🙂
And now a giveaway…
About the Author…
Heather Smith is a student of English and History at University of Washington in Seattle. She works as a senior editor at Entranced Publishing, with the Kissed and Entranced imprints. In her free time, Heather loves to ride horses and watch Disney movies. She would like to travel the world one day, and Europe would be her first stop.
Heather’s first book “Balancing Act” will be published in 2014 by Entranced Publishing. You can find out more about Heather and what the future holds at the links below.