Day two of my book research trip took me into the hills outside of Westwood to the famous neighborhood known by its main street: Bel Air. I hadn’t realized the area was so close by until I did a Google search for the most expensive houses in Los Angeles. There, I found a real estate site listing a $185 million French provincial hidden away on Nimes St., less than a mile from my temporary residence. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘The Devil’s Throne series’
March 21, 2012 by Kiersi
March 19, 2012 by Kiersi
I wish I had some better photos to show off than this one, but I was too busy looking with my eyes to take any real monumental works of art.
So I’m in Los Angeles, doing some much-needed research for my upcoming debut novel (and its two sequels). All three books take place in LA, but I’ve spent so little time there that my inaccuracies had become embarrassing–like a zit that sits in the bottom corner of your face and no one mentions it to you, and when you look in the mirror later that night and see it you just want to scream.
It’s kind of like that. (more…)
March 11, 2012 by Kiersi
As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I’ve just signed a contract with an independent Portland publisher called RainTown Press for a series of paranormal YA books called The Devil’s Throne. The first book will be worked over from now until June or so, aiming for a Spring 2013 release date. The second book in the series is scheduled for Fall 2013, and the final installment in Fall 2014.
This is my debut novel–and to have the publisher take it on as a three-book series, well, I’m a pretty lucky girl. I’ll have the opportunity to sketch out an epic, an opera of unexpected twists, turns, and big reveals. That will be awesome. But in some ways, it’s also totally terrifying. I’m glad to have an editor to help me keep track of all the threads, and make sure they tie up neatly at the end. (more…)
March 9, 2012 by Kiersi
Yesterday I signed a contract with RainTown Press to publish my three-book series, The Devil’s Throne. I’m so excited to be working with them.
Look for it on bookshelves in Spring 2013!
January 20, 2012 by Kiersi
It’s about 11:07 p.m. Argentinian time. The temperature? Upper-90s, at least. Hot enough that sitting inside with the overhead fan whirring full-force and the window wide open isn’t enough to stop the sweat from pouring off my forehead, dripping down my cheeks and ears and neck.
I told some of my pals on Facebook about this, but I received a response from my fourth literary agent query (first was Andrea Brown Lit Agency, second was the agent who represented Hush, Hush, and the third I can’t even remember). Her name is Alyssa Henkin, with Trident Media Group.
It’s been over a month since I emailed her back with the full manuscript of Fire and Brimstone (from The Devil’s Throne series) and, as she requested, The School Under the Mountain (a middle-grade adventure/thriller). So maybe all that Argentinian sweat isn’t totally due to the Argentinian heat. (more…)
December 8, 2011 by Kiersi
How Do You Write?
Jen Fejta holds a BA in English and French Studies from Lewis & Clark College. She works at Literary Arts in Portland, Oregon, where she directs Delve: Readers’ Seminars, a program that engages readers with discussion-based seminars led by professional writers and scholars on classic and contemporary literature.
She is also my friend and cohort in the writing and editing process.
Jen: So let’s start with your day. What time do you wake up? Is writing the very first thing you do, or is it the last thing? Now that you’re working at home, how is your day structured?
Kiersi: I’m freshest in the morning. A lot of my stories are based on dreams. I find that when I wake up in the morning, sometimes I am exhausted and lazy. Those times, I have to take a long shower and cook a big breakfast for myself to feel ready for the day. Most of the time, though, I wake up rejuvenated, with the energy that I need to write.
I like to start early if I can. The other morning I woke up at 5 a.m. My neighbor was making some noise, and I’d gotten to bed early, so I just jumped out of bed and I was ready to rock and roll for about four hours until I stopped for breakfast. (more…)
September 11, 2011 by Kiersi
Sometimes I spend so much time on beginnings that I just don’t know when to stop.
It’s debatable whether the beginning of a story is the most important part—but at the least, it’s the part that hooks your reader, the part that gets him or her to read more, to want to read more, and maybe even buy your book (or represent you, or pick up your manuscript, or whatever it is that you’re looking for).
Beginnings tell us, your readers, what to expect from you. Not everyone is interested in the type of book you write. For example, my mom would never find herself hooked on a fantasy book. That is not a bad thing. You don’t want to try to tell my mom your book is a mystery thriller if it’s actually a fantasy book, because she’ll read a little bit further and just be disappointed.
1. Be honest what you’re about. If you like to write stream of consciousness, tell us right away. Make it good, make your impression fast, and make it interesting, for god’s sake!
When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim’s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course, she did. This is the day of the reaping.
-The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Bam. Suzanne tells us right away, in her very first paragraph, what her book is all about. We know two of the main characters instantly. We know how Katniss narrates. We know this is a no-bullshit story and we’d better be prepared for that. Now we’re wondering: What is the reaping? Why does it terrify her sister? Getting your reader wondering is the key to The Hook (write this one down, it’ll be on the test).
2. Jump right into the action. Let’s be honest about the YA audience: they have a shorter attention span than most. They want the juice (the reason to keep reading), and they want it now. Doesn’t matter how you juice it, honestly. Start with a fight scene if your book has fights. Start with a sexy scene if that’s your audience. Like this:
“I’m dying,” said the voice. Dusty clutched the phone.
-first line of Frozen Fire, Tim Bowler
Tim knows how to start out a thriller, let’s just put it that way.
3. Last but not least, work on your first few pages a lot, but not too much (the mistake I mentioned at the beginning of this post). As I said in #1, you need to be honest with your reader about your writing style, your storytelling style, and your characters. If you work and work and work those pages to impress a reader or an agent or a publisher, you’ll find yourself with a stellar intro and a manuscript that just can’t match. Make sure that you use your intro as a chance to learn.
You want to write a page-turner. The way to do that is to take what you’ve learned from your intro and apply it to the rest of your book (this is the juice to which I was referring). You want your reader to not only buy your book, but also to never put it down. You want your reader to rave about it to his or her friends. Find those moments that ratchet up the tension or play the harpsichord of your readers’ heart strings.
Just remember to fill your book with juice and you’ll do fine.
Then the light from the streetlamps began to dim. With each step, the path was harder and harder to distinguish. I wouldn’t make it to the buildings in the distance before everything went dark.
Armed with a spurt of adrenaline I tried to run, but my legs had suddenly become too heavy; I was rooted to the ground.
Then the night enveloped me.
-Fire and Brimstone