Hi everyone! Today I have a guest post from self-published author of The Hayven Series, J.A George. I am so excited to have her on the blog today introducing you all to her book and talking through her writing process. Welcome J.A George!
Well, hello there!
My name is J.A. George and I am the author of GIFTED – The Hayven Series. I’m so glad I have the opportunity to tell you about my novel!
But allow me to start right at the beginning. I’ve always loved writing, whether I was writing a creative story or simply a shopping list, I could write and write until the finger cramps began to set in, and then I’d write for a little longer. But before I decided to become an author, I didn’t see it as something I could do as a future career. Despite this, one day, I kissed goodbye to the idea of having a set future plan, (if you’re interested, more about that here: www.thejourneyofgifted.co.uk) sat on my bed, opened up a blank Word document and typed out a few lines.
I always get asked why I wrote GIFTED and my answer is simple: because I wanted to read it. I wanted to read a contemporary YA fantasy novel that didn’t feature a young woman growing up in a dystopian society, that didn’t feature instant-love, and made me chuckle a few times. So my attempt at that resulted in GIFTED. Where did I get the idea from? People. In a sentence, Gifted is a novel about ordinary young adults with extra-ordinary gifts. People inspired this book because I truly believe we all are gifted. Sadly, it’s unlikely that it’ll be a supernatural gift…but a gift is a gift nonetheless!
One of my favourite things about the entire writing process is the editing. Now, for those of you who write novels, novellas, poems etc., I know what you’re thinking – editing is the worst. It used to be the worst part of being an author for me too. Sending off your work to your editor, getting it back and seeing all the changes you needed to make was exhausting, arduous and quite frankly, it just got on my nerves. I don’t know when things changed, but I learned to love it and what I like most about editing is how much I learn from it. Before GIFTED was professionally edited, I thought I knew a lot about words, ignorance is bliss after all. Turns out, I knew how to spell, but when it came to punctuation, I wasn’t as much of the skilled master I’d once thought I was. Did you know there are three different dashes, and each dash has a specific function? I won’t get into that now because that’s probably when you’ll give up reading this guest post. I’ll move on.
Another of my favourite things about writing GIFTED (and there are quite a handful) has to be the development of my characters because, despite how weird this may make me sound, when I write about a character, build their life, give them a family, a past, a future, friends, describe their features and explain their personalities, their likes and dislikes, it’s honestly as if they come alive.
Hmmm, I feel this is a good time to pop in an excerpt; I’ll go with the blurb:
There is no chosen one in this story.
She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.
Avery Gray is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.
Change can be good. It can bring new opportunities, new friends and a life you never thought possible. Change can be bad. It can bring you people determined to burn your city to the ground.
It all depends on the decisions you make.
As you could probably tell from that little nugget of info, Avery, or Ava, as she prefers, is my main character, and possibly my favourite (it changes every day). The reason I like her so much is because she was a difficult character to form. I’ll let you in on a little secret. In the past, I’ve had problems with writing for other people, as in, I didn’t write to make myself happy, I wrote to make others happy. In my first edition of GIFTED, I tried to write a novel that everyone would like, until I realised that that was impossible. Long story short, Ava was a bit boring, in my opinion, because I was trying to follow trends I’d seen before, trying to fit her into too many different boxes. So after two years, I made the decision to write for myself. Again, I can’t pinpoint when exactly I made this decision, but I honestly think I just woke up one evening (after a nap) and something just clicked. Now, Ava doesn’t really fit into a box; she’s just…Ava, and I love her.
Have I told you enough about GIFTED? I’m not too convinced that I have. Alright, boiled down, it’s all about a nineteen year old university student who meets a woman a little on the strange side, and then meets a young man a little more on the stranger side. These meetings lead to the eventual discovery of Hayven – a city separated from the rest of the world where only those with gifts can go. She makes an eclectic bunch of friends, who, even though I’m biased, are just awesome. But Hayven has its dark side, and they’re called Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, Cliders are determined to see Hayven return to the way it was one thousand years ago when the city was under the dominion of Madrina. Want to know more about her? Read GIFTED.
I immensely enjoyed writing Gifted and I hope enjoy reading it just as much. Thank you, Lily, for allowing me to share my novel with your blog’s readers!
You can catch-up on my novel’s journey here: www.thejourneyofgifted.co.uk
Or follow me on twitter: @JGeorgie_