Novel Aesthetics for The Last Wish of Sasha Cade

Today I’m sharing some novel aesthetics for The Last Wish of Sasha Cade! My new book releases over a year from now, but until that glorious day, I want to share some insight and behind the scenes info about this book that is so close to my heart.

[All of the images were taken from Pinterest, and you can view my inspiration board here to see more photos and where I got the ones from this collage.]

Fun fact: I haven’t always used inspiration boards. I’ve only recently started this past year,  and I’m really loving what having some great photos can do to the writing process. For example, if I know I want to use an old church in a scene, I’ll look up old churches and pick one I like the best. Then I use that photo when I’m describing it in my writing. I think it makes for more authentic writing and descriptions when I’m not just pulling everything out of my brain. (Let’s face it, my brain is about 75% coffee by now, so it could use some imagery help.)

Now, my favorite part of the outlining process is finding images that fit the tone and vibe of the story in my mind and making them into a collage. I then set the image as my computer’s wallpaper so I’m seeing it all the time and keeping the story fresh in my mind.

Psst: If you’d like to add Sasha to your Goodreads list, you can find it here.

Here are the aesthetics for Sasha:

I’d love to know what you think! As a writer, do you use inspiration photos? As a reader, do novel aesthetics get you excited to read the book? Let me know in the comments! 

Announcing my new book deal for The Last Wish of Sasha Cade

Eek! Do you know how long I’ve been waiting to tell you all about my new book? It feels like forever, but it’s really been a few months. I am so unbelievably thrilled to announce that my new YA novel, The Last Wish of Sasha Cade, sold to KCP Loft for publication in the fall of 2018! I am honored to join the team at KCP Loft, which is the fairly new YA imprint of Kids Can Press, a publisher who just this week won the Publisher of the Year award from the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. I’m working with editor Kate Egan, who edited The Hunger Games series. (I mean, WHOA!)

From Publisher’s Marketplace:

SASHA is a book of my heart. It is a book born from a random thought that spiraled into a fully plotted novel before I could even write down the first word of my idea. It only took me 27 days to write the novel because the words just fell out of me and onto the computer. That has seriously never happened before, and I knew the book was special because of it. (I’ve sense hoped lightning would strike twice, but my next two novels are back to being difficult to plot. Such is a writer’s luck.)

I started calling it my “perfect YA book” or PYA for short, because from the moment Sasha Cade and her best friend Raquel Clearwater came into my mind, I knew it was The One. The book I’d been waiting my whole life to write. And now I am still dancing around, unable to stop smiling, because Sasha and Raquel (and swoony Elijah!) will be in a bookstore near you next year!

Until then, I’ll be sharing weekly behind-the-scenes info on The Last Wish of Sasha Cade, and looking forward to working on edits and having a cover reveal! This book publishing thing is an absolute dream (disguised as a ton of hard work). Totally worth it.

PS- If you’d like to add it to your TBR on Goodreads click here.

 

Find me at these 2017 Book Events!

February is officially over! Can you believe it? I thought I’d share three events I’ll be attending this year. If you’re in the Houston or Tyler, TX area, I’d love to see you!

April 8: Copperfield’s Books 2nd Annual Author Fair

Spring, TX

I will have LOTS of free stuff! Books, swag, and probably candy. Yes, there will be candy. Come by and say hello and meet many other local authors. Plus there’s FREE FOOD! Learn more: http://www.copperfieldsbooks.net/2017-author-fair.html

May 12-14: Houston Comicpalooza 

This will be my second year attending Comicpalooza as an author and I’m very excited for it! Last year I got to chat books and publishing with some amazing people, and I also met Norman Reedus, so yeah. It was a good weekend. This year, I’ll be on more YA writing themed panels, and I’ll have a couple copies of The Breakup Support Group to give away! Plus, uh yeah, there will be like mega huge celebrities there. But also me. I’ll be there, too.

Buy tickets here: http://www.comicpalooza.com/

August 5th: East Texas Book Bash

There’s going to be over 60 authors at this book convention! From the website:

East Texas Book Bash will be having 60+ authors and models in attendance. You will be able to meet and talk and take picture’s with your favorite author and model. We will also have a Photobooth on site so you and your friends can take pictures and take them home with you the day of the event.

Buy your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/east-texas-book-bash-tickets-26361307380

If you can’t attend but would like to purchase a signed book anyhow, email me! I’ll be happy to send you a copy in the mail.

 

I might be adding more later in the year. You can always check out the Events tab on my website, or sign up for my newsletter to be kept in the know!

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Looking back on City of Legends one year later.

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Last year on this date, my teen superhero series was published by Alloy Entertainment. It was very exciting because after a few years of being an indie author, this was my first traditionally published book. (And it wasn’t just one, it was a whole series!)

The best part of the day was when Alloy’s official Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars accounts tweeted about my book. I was completely star struck because I love both of those shows.

I still remember how it all started. I had just officially quit my day job in pursuit of writing full time. I was hanging out on the computer after having hit that day’s word goal, and I got an email from who would become my editor at Alloy. They’d read the first book in my self published series, (then it was called Powered) and were interested in publishing me.

I was completely beside myself. She also included some info on who Alloy Entertainment was, and what kinds of books they’d published. The thing is, I already knew all of that. I knew exactly who they were. I’d had Alloy’s “submit your manuscript to us” website bookmarked for about two years by that point. I never actually submitted to them because I feared rejection and disappointment. But i can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve looked at that website over the years, wanting to submit something.

And now they were contacting me. In my first phone call with my editor, I remember telling her about how I’d always wanted to submit to them but was too scared. She said you should always submit. You never know what might happen! Since then, I’ve taken her advice to heart, and it’s what got me my agent and my second traditional book deal last year.

I am so grateful to Alloy for the opportunity they gave me and my books. I learned so much about writing and crafting a story while working with my team at Alloy, and it’s helped my writing tremendously. I know how how to write a beat sheet, and I pay attention to all the areas in writing that I had neglected before. I am a stronger writer because of Alloy and I will always be grateful that my books were chosen to be published by such an awesome company.

Today is the one year birthday of City of Legends. If you haven’t read it yet, Amazon has the whole series as a monthly deal at 55% off. (Find it here)

 

2017 Writer Goals

It seems like just yesterday I was writing my goals blog post for 2016. I was lucky last year and managed to achieve all of them. 2016 was a great year for my writing and I hope to be as lucky this year, too! Of course, the thing about setting goals is that luck only plays a little into it. The rest is massively hard work.

I’m going into my third year of being a full time writer, and as always, my biggest goal is to stay self-employed as a writer. See below for how I hope to accomplish that.

Cheyanne’s 2017 Writer Goals

  • Get another traditional book deal. My agent and I currently have a book on submission, so hopefully this one will work out! If not, I’ve got plenty more manuscripts to share with my agent in hopes of landing another deal.
  • Co-write a YA novel. One of my best friends and I are currently planning a YA novel together.  I’m not going to share details just yet, but we’re both very excited about it and she is a fabulous author so I know half of this book is in capable hands. Now I just have to fulfill my part!
  • Write at least 2 additional YA manuscripts. That’s 3 books in a year,  which is low for me. But if I manage to reach goal number 1, I’ll be busy with edits and revisions, so I’m making time for that. If I don’t sell a book in 2017, I’ll up it to 3 or 4 more manuscripts. Also, there’s this whole other part of my life that I don’t talk about on here, and that takes up at least 2 weeks a month, so my writing time is limited this year. Still, I’m hopeful I can accomplish great things!
  • Blog twice a month. I’m tired of telling myself to “blog more.” So this year, I’m making it a goal. I’ve already gone through my Passion Planner and marked the places where I need to blog. Luckily, this post counts as my first one for January. If all goes well, you’ll see more of my ramblings in the coming year. Not sure if that’s good news for you, but it is for me.
  • Read at least 52 books.  If we’re not Goodreads friends, feel free to add me! This may sound like a reader goal but it’s actually a writer goal because I firmly believe that reading widely improves your abilities as a writer. I make an effort to read one book a week both because I adore reading and because it makes me a better writer. And because I have a TBR pile that could kill me if it accidentally fell over.

There we go! My goals for this year, typed out and posted publicly. I am really looking forward to this year, and I feel like I’ve really hit my stride as far as figuring out the best way to research, outline, and draft novels as a full time writer. Here’s to a wonderful year with many things to be grateful for.

What are  your goals for this year? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Using Instagram as a Writer

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If you’ve been following me for more than five minutes, you’ll know I’m a huge believer in being a person online. I absolutely can’t stand the mindset of an author marketing themselves in the form of spam on every social media outlet. If someone wants to buy your book, they will. Asking them 10 times a day in the form of a Tweet or post will not make them buy your book. The best way to connect with readers and other writers is simple: be a person. Just a living, breathing, book loving, book writing, person.

The old adage to “just be yourself” works perfectly here. The thing is, your books aren’t you. They’re a product you create and they should be advertised separately. YOU are an author. You have quirks and hobbies and unique skills. You might even have photogenic cats, which is always a plus. You bring a new perspective to everything around you. Let that reflect in your social media account.

Facebook is out. Twitter is becoming a political trash talking message board. Instagram is where the book people are. I’ve talked with a few writer friends and we all agree that Instagram is the most fun you can have in the online book community.

So how do you get the best out of Instagram as a writer?

  • Let your readers see behind-the-scenes. Nothing makes me fangirl more than when my favorite authors post details of their writing lives, snippets of their WIPs, or cute cat photos. Where do you write? What’s your desk look like? Did last night’s casserole inspire a scene in your WIP? Let’s see it.
  • Post Tips and tricks. I’m not the only writer who adopted Victoria Schwab’s using a star-sticker-on-the-calendar-page to mark your writing progress trick. If you have a unique way of laying out your index card plot, post a photo of it. Have a book shelf organizer that’s unique? Post it! Did you finally figure out how to make Word stop correcting already correct grammar? Let us see.
  • Exclusive book stuff. Readers love photos of your first set of ARCs, your cover reveal, the hardback sighting on a bookstore shelf. Anything new about your books should always go up on Instagram first. It gets readers excited and they can spread the word of your new book/deal/cover/etc faster than you can alone.
  • Be a person. This is my favorite one. Post fun and interesting photos of your normal life outside being a writer. This is where your cat photos are necessary. From lattes to silly socks to a rock you found that’s shaped like a heart. These are the posts that separate you from the spam author who only wants to sell books. Trust me, you will sell more books in the long run by making a personal connection with people and from being yourself.
  • Make friends! Interact with other users, both writers and readers. Book bloggers are on Instagram and they’re some of the hardest working most book loving people you’ll ever meet. Comment and like posts and follow people who share your same interests. You’ll make friends in no time.
    • Note: Don’t forget to thank people who post about your book!
  • Share the book love. #Bookstagram is a very big thing right now. It’s the art of arranging books and decorations into taking beautiful, artistic photos. And although I am NOT the least bit talented with photography (sad face), so many book bloggers and readers are! Use Instagram to post photos of your favorite books, your bookshelves, your TBR list. Tag the authors in the pictures you post so they can repost it if they want. Get creative! Nothing makes my day more than seeing a beautiful photo of one of my books on Instagram.
    • Post Reviews. #Bookstagram is a PERFECT way to leave book reviews as well! Since Instagram lets you leave a very long caption for your photos, you can write a review (or copy/paste it from the one you wrote on Goodreads since cell phone typing is annoying) and tag the author. This is a great way to spread the #booklove to your followers.
  • Utilize hashtags! I get about 200% more likes and comments when I use the appropriate hashtags for my book photos. Be sure to click on your favorite ones every so often and like other users’ posts.
    • For authors: #writersofinstagram #authorsofinstagram #WIP #amwriting #amediting #wordcount #writerslife #NaNoWriMo #WritingTip #TeaserTues

    • For sales & book promo: #FreeBooks #ebooks #kindle #Nook (or any other ebook retailer) #KindleUnlimited #NewRelease #CoverReveal #KindleBargains #KindleBargain #BookGiveaway
    • For Young Adult specific: #yalit #IReadYA #YoungAdult #YAbooks #YALitChat #YA
    • For general books or reader posts: #bookgram #bookishfeatures #book #books #bookstagram
      #booknerdigans #bookworm #bookaddict #booknerd #booklover #bookstagramfeatures #booklove #booklovers #bookish #bookswag #bookboyfriend #Bookshelves #Bookshelf #BookPhotography #BookChat #Goodreads #WhatToRead #EpicReads #bibliophile #instabook #instabooksm#igreads #igbooks #reader #amreading #TBR
    • Have your own hashtags! Your author name: #CheyanneYoung, and your books should have one too: #TheBreakupSupportGroup

There you have it. A guide to using Instagram as a writer, and doing it in a way that won’t make you annoying. 🙂 I’d love to hear any more tips and tricks you have in the comments! Until then, if you need me, I’ll be hanging out on Instagram.

Read the first 3 chapters of The Breakup Support Group!

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It’s been three weeks since my newest teen novel was released into the world. I’ve been busy giving out bookmarks and swag and spreading the word so people can find it and hopefully enjoy the story of Isla Rush, a girl who gets her heart broken and then slowly put back together again. And let me tell you, it has been slow going.

It is so very hard to get your book into the hands of readers, especially when you’re published by a small press. Big books get big attention and small books fall by the wayside. Many authors know this struggle so well: You finally get your book published, and then no one knows about it.

So I thought it’d be fun to share a three chapter excerpt with you on the blog today. Although many readers have told me the ending of chapter 5 is epic and lol-worthy and also kick ass, the first three chapters should get you hooked and wanting to read more. (In my authorly opinion, at least.)

So click here to read it since WordPress doesn’t let me embed HTML code and then please leave me a comment telling me what you thought!

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Read the first three chapters of The Breakup Support Group now! 

PS- If anyone knows how to embed HTML code into WordPress, I’d love to hear about it!