A Debut Author’s Countdown to Publication, Part 1

With less than three weeks before the release date of my debut YA novel (A Work of Art, Merit Press), I thought I’d start blogging about what the journey from contract signing to release date has been like so far. This first installment will be a recap from the time I signed the contract up until three months before publication. Zero to five months after signing the contract: I signed the contract in February 2014 with a release date of “Spring 2015.” I spent most of this time trying to guess what “spring” meant (is June considered spring?) and deflecting...
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Self-Editing: My Writing Affliction

Some people see writing as an outpouring of words. The Muse visits, and words appear on the page. Not for me. My writing is more of an extraction—and a painful one at that. More times than not, I feel like I’m pulling out every word by force. The truth is, I’m a chronic self-editor—maybe because I was a professional editor for fifteen years and old habits die hard. Or maybe because I’m a tiny bit obsessive. So when my writer friends say things like, “I write two-thousand words a day,” or “I wrote my first draft in three months,” I’m...
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Media Resources

Feel free to download any of the following items for media use. If you need further assistance, please contact me via the contact form page. Cover Art Headshot Author Profile Author Q&A Press Release Praise Sheet Chapter One Excerpt from A WORK OF ART...
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The Elusive Kirkus Star

As a debut author, getting your book reviewed is a big deal, so in the weeks after my advanced reader copies (ARCs) went out to reviewers, I’ve been nervously waiting, telling myself that if my book gets slammed, it’s just one person’s opinion, right? Well, I just got word that A WORK OF ART received a “starred” review from Kirkus Reviews! When my publisher told me, I had the same feeling as when my agent sold my book all those months ago—relief (since those Kirkus stars are hard to come by) mixed with validation. (Getting my book published wasn’t just...
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Writing for Young Adults: 3 Things I Learned the Hard Way

When I began seriously pursuing writing as a career, I didn’t intend to write for young adults. My upcoming book, A WORK OF ART, was originally aimed toward an older audience, but my critique group convinced me (and rightly so) that it was suited for young adults. After all, its protagonist was a teenage girl, and many of her problems were teenage problems. But making the transition from an adult audience to a YA audience was tougher than it seemed. My early drafts were written in third person, where everything was seen through the eyes of my protagonist. That’s all...
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Realistic Dialogue: 2 Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

There’s a lot to say about writing dialogue—more than anyone wants to read in a single blog post. But here are two lessons I learned the hard way. (That is to say, I learned these lessons through lots of study, trial-and-error, and getting ripped apart by sharp-clawed critiquers.) Lesson 1: Realistic dialogue does not imitate real life. I used to think realistic dialogue imitated how people really talked. But the sad fact is: Most people—even smart people—aren’t that articulate when it comes to speaking. If you don’t believe me, read a few unedited interview transcripts. They sound something like this:...
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Helpful Links

Discussion Guide for A WORK OF ART http://www.melodymaysonet.com/?p=479 Uncommon YA: Gutsy YA fiction by traditionally published authors who tell it like it is http://uncommonya.com/ 2015 YA and MG Debut Authors https://fearlessfifteeners.wordpress.com/ Resources/Statistics for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse http://www.melodymaysonet.com/resources-for-victims-of-child-sexual-abuse/ Discussion Guide for A WORK OF ART http://www.melodymaysonet.com/?p=479...
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Praise for A WORK OF ART

[Starred Review] “Maysonet’s … prose is unflinching as it illuminates one girl’s traumatic experience with deeply felt compassion and brutal honesty, inviting readers into a very dark place that nonetheless has edges gilded with resilience and hope. An important book about endings, beginnings and the choice to move on.” —Kirkus Reviews (KirkusReviews.com)   “Beautifully drawn, convincingly flawed characters create a world in which Tera’s own childhood slowly moves from remembered happiness to dark understanding. This debut novel skillfully explores the consequences of self-deception, relationships, and the lengths we go to please the people we love.” —Booklist (BookListOnline.com)   “…Maysonet’s novel...
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Resources for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse

To obtain help for a victim of child sexual abuse:   Stop It Now Helps protect children from sexual abuse through help services, prevention advocacy and education, and technical assistance and training. StopItNow.org Help Line: 1-888-PREVENT   RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) The largest anti-sexual violence organization in the U.S.; created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline Online.Rainn.org 1-800-656-HOPE   National Child Abuse Hotline A 24/7 hotline dedicated to the prevention of child abuse 1-800-4-A-CHILD   ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:   The Children’s Assessment Center CACHouston.org Abuse Hotline:  1-800-252-5400 The mission of The CAC is to provide a professional,...
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