Today, we're proud to be a part of the 2015 Debut Authors Bash being hosted by YAReads.com.
We're hosting one of our favorite authors of 2015, the lovely Jennifer Latham. Jennifer wrote Scarlett Undercover (Little, Brown) and is on the blog today to talk about her publishing journey!
A guest post from Jennifer Latham
Author of Scarlett Undercover
May 2015, Little, Brown BFYR
So honored that you requested us for the tour! :) I would love to have you reflect on how you feel about your publishing journey up to this point, and any specific thoughts on writing, readers, and the industry that you wouldn't mind sharing, now that your debut has had the chance to shine in the world.
I’ve wanted to be a writer since forever. I was the kid with the stack of notebooks in her room, each one half-filled with stories and poems and really bad drawings. To this day, I can’t go school supply shopping for my kids without being tempted by a fresh, clean Mead Five Star. And there is no describing the disbelief and utter joy I feel seeing Scarlett Undercover on bookstore shelves.
But there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes in the publishing industry that most people never see. It’s nothing scary or nefarious, just hard, hard work. You know how the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz busts his tail behind the curtain to make the fantasy version of himself appear for Dorothy and her pals? Well, it’s the same thing in publishing. Very few people see it, but there’s this army of editors, marketing experts, copyeditors, proofreaders, graphic designers, publicists, and on and on and on, working behind the scenes to create the books we read. It is awe-inspiring, and I wish more people appreciated all the hours of work and love that go into the final product.
Of course, that’s the thing about really good magicians -- you only ever see what they want you to. Which means that, in the end, the story is on the writer.
I don’t think I ever really GOT that until after Scarlett came out. I needed to see the girl sitting in the YA section of our bookstore, thirty pages into my book and completely absorbed. I needed to read reviews – good and bad. I needed to appreciate that the story I made up in my head and worked so hard to write has the potential to make people feel things.
Now, I don’t want to make this sound too dramatic, or like I’m sitting here with my laptop getting all delusional about the importance of my writing. I’m not. I promise. But more than anything else, having my first book out there has made me even more excited about being a writer. I want to keep going, to get better, to send stories out into the world that readers can lose themselves in for just a little while. And maybe my books won’t be earth-shattering or life-changing, but hopefully they’ll be good enough to make people laugh, or cry, or even just smile.
So I guess what I’ve learned since Scarlett Undercover came out is that being a writer is both harder and infinitely more wonderful than I ever imagined.
…and that I want more.
And thank you, Jess and The Reading Nook Reviews, for the great question, and for all you do to connect readers with books!
Thank you so much, Jen! Your post is such a great reminder on how complex and beautiful the world of publishing is, and how much work goes into not only what the writer does, but also how each person behind-the-scenes contributes to bringing that writer's story into our hands!
Since we loved Jen's book so much, we want to give you a chance to read it too! Read on for a description of the fantastic Scarlett Undercover, and check out our US/INT. giveaway. If Book Depository ships to you, then you can enter!
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Amazon | Indiebound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble
Meet Scarlett, a smart, sarcastic fifteen-year-old, ready to take on crime in her hometown. When Scarlett agrees to investigate a local boy's suicide, she figures she's in for an easy case and a quick buck. But it doesn't take long for suicide to start looking a lot like murder.
As Scarlett finds herself deep in a world of cults, curses, and the seemingly supernatural, she discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation than she thinks...and that cracking the case could lead to solving her father's murder.
Jennifer Latham delivers a compelling story and a character to remember in this one-of-a-kind debut novel.