Wednesday, September 18, 2013

EVER NEAR by Melissa MacVicar:
Becoming a Writer

Melissa MacVicar returns to the blog for the latest stop on the tour for her awesome YA urban fantasy debut, EVER NEAR. I am so excited to have her as a guest on the blog today, because she's sharing her journey of becoming a writer. Her story is a true inspiration and well worth the read.

Becoming a Writer
by Melissa MacVicar

I quit writing for eighteen years. Even though becoming a writer was always my dream, I just stopped doing it when I graduated from college in 1992. Some of my reasons were:
  1. Not enough time to write
  2. Writing was not serious enough
  3. Writing was not a money making activity
As a teen, I wrote tons. I wrote in a journal about my life, I wrote short stories, I wrote poetry, and I wrote incomplete novels about girls at boarding school and girls at horseback riding camp and girls living on Nantucket for the summer. I had a knack for all kinds of writing and I loved reading so writing seemed like a natural progression.

Unfortunately, as a young person, my idea of being a writer meant that I needed to be a literary genius right off the bat. I thought I needed to write something mind blowing and amazing that would make everyone sit up and take notice of me. This was more about me than any professors or other person in my life, but with that as my ideal, of course I quit. My standard was way too high and I had more pressing issues to deal with at the time, like making money, getting an apartment, partying, and figuring out a real career.

So that is my quitting story in a nutshell. Instead of a becoming writer, I decided to become a social worker and then a teacher. I also became a wife and a mother so my life was very busy.

It wasn’t until in 2010 that three events came together that got me writing again.
  1. Self-publishing success stories started hitting the news.
  2. My kids were grown up enough that I had some time.
  3. I read the Twilight novels (yeah go ahead, make fun of me) and I heard about the wild surge in the Young Adult market as a result of these books.
I started off writing Adult Romance. In the beginning, I just focused on the story lines and didn’t think too much about character development or finely wrought prose. I wrote for about six months just for the fun of making up stories but in the fall of 2010, I decided to start taking it more seriously. I started researching online everything about publishing and the craft of writing. I was reading a lot too and was having those little moments in my head where I’d say, “I could write this. I can write as well as this. Maybe I can write even better.”

I got a novel completed by the summer of 2011 and began sending it to agents. It was not EVER NEAR but a contemporary young adult novel. I had about 10 agents request to read it. However, some of the feedback on it made me realize what it was lacking so in October 2011, I put that novel aside and instead started focusing on EVER NEAR.

The rest of the timeline goes something like this:
  1. Sent EVER NEAR to about 40 agents in the spring 2012 with no success.
  2. Rewriting of EVER NEAR began in July 2012.
  3. Resumed sending EVER NEAR to agents and publishers in January 2013.
  4. Offer to publish EVER NEAR from Red Adept February 2013.
So when exactly in this process did I officially become a writer? Looking back, I see that I was a writer all along. All these milestones and attempts and rejections did not make me a writer. I was a writer even when I wasn’t writing. I have probably been a writer since the day I was born only now I know the truth about becoming a writer. I know that someone becomes a writer when they finally stop listening to all the voices in the world that say they can’t do it. I think I officially became a writer when I decided I only needed to listen to that one little voice inside my own head. The voice that has a story to tell…

About Ever Near
Love is ever near. But trouble is never far.

Nantucket Island is haunted, but only sixteen-year-old Jade Irving knows it. Ignoring the disturbing spirits isn’t an option, because one dwells in the enormous historic home she shares with her newly blended family. Jade is finding it more and more difficult to explain away Lacey’s ghostly, anguished tantrums, especially with Charlie, her gorgeous, almost step-brother, living right across the hall.

When a power-hungry ghost hunter tracks down Jade and blackmails her, Jade’s secret teeters on the edge of exposure, and her entire future hangs in the balance. If anyone finds out Jade can talk to ghosts, her life will be forever changed.

Can she save herself, free Lacey, and hang on to her tenuous connection with Charlie? Or will everything she ever wanted slip through her fingers?

About the Author
Melissa MacVicar lives with her husband and two children on Nantucket Island. She loves classic rock, watching football, and reading anything romantic and suspenseful. She survived prep school, and was brave enough to attend her college reunion.

When she turned forty, Melissa decided to renew her adolescent passion for fiction writing. Having once thought publishing a novel to be an impossible dream, she’s proud to be achieving her lifelong goal. In addition to writing, she’s a full-time teacher, an avid runner, and a somewhat reluctant tri-athlete.

Find her here:

Don't forget to pick up EVER NEAR by Melissa MacVicar as it hits retailers this month from Red Adept Publishing.

4 comments :

  1. Thanks for having me on Tina! Writing this was sort of cathartic!

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    1. Loved your post! Thanks for coming on the blog. :)

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  2. Like you, it took me a long time (and having kids) to get serious about writing. Wish I had done it when I was single with loads of time.

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  3. The money thing doesn't bother me. I have a career. The not-enough-time thing is what I battle.

    Best of luck. :)

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