So, we’re all waiting for a big announcement from Swoon Reads to find out which manuscripts got picked for publication. I don’t think it was DAMAGE sadly, as I’m sure they’d have been in touch by now if it was. After all, you wouldn’t announce a new book unless you’d got the author to sign a contract beforehand, I’m guessing. So, as we’re less than a week away from the big reveal it’s looking extremely unlikely.
So, how do I feel about that, and where does DAMAGE go now? I started off really loving the Swoon Reads community. Lots of supportive writers happy to critique each other’s work and leave constructive feedback. Loads of books to read, most of which made me feel that DAMAGE deserved its place in the top ten and several others that made me feel I still have a lot to learn! It was great to log-on every day after work and see how my book had gone up in the ratings. It was fun to read the daily blog too, although it rarely had much to do with publishing. It was more about cupcakes and kittens for some reason.
But after six months I’m feeling a little bit jaded with it. Most of the books on there are obviously American. It’s an American-based website after all. But, whilst it’s good to get that perspective I found that was the problem after a while. It wasn’t very multicultural. Nothing wrong with each individual manuscript, but collectively they make up onekind of world view and I find myself craving other ones now just for comparison. I want to read something set in India or Australia or Norway. One thing’s for sure; I think It will be a long, long time before I read another ‘high school’ drama! Now I fully understand why Paranormal and Dystopian are such popular genres. If you build your own world at least it will be unique and interesting!
So if I was on the Swoon Reads team which books would I pick and why?
1) Velvet by Temple West because I love her characters. They made me laugh out loud and cry a little bit too. I love the fact the main character thought the vampire guy was gay because he was so attractive, and the ending was awesome too. I also think Temple would do fantastic author events!!
2) Solstice by Jane Redd because she built a great Dystopian world that seemed fairly unique and totally believable and her writing style and plot progression were pretty much flawless.
3) Damage, because if the new big genre is supposed to be tragic realism (aka Fault in our Stars) then Damage is all about that. It’s about life and death and it’s about my friend Lester who drowned when he was 24, even though someone in the lifeboat had hold of his hand. He still went under. And I went under too for a while. It’s about people who choose to be survivors no matter what, and about people who can’t cope with what life throws at them.
4) Miles to Go by Marisa Kanter because she writes really well and her book totally fits the cute US YA romance brief. I quite like the USA road trip plot and started following it on Google Maps!
So, what next for DAMAGE. Well it was never destined to sit in a drawer and since it’s been up on Swoon Reads it can’t go back in the drawer in case someone out there decided to copy it. So it’s going up on Amazon next month after one final edit and we’ll take it from there. and then maybe I’ll write some fan fiction about the Musketeers!