Sunday, January 8, 2012

Scared to Death of Being a Teen Writer?

Is this you? I hope not...-_-

Riddle me this, what is the scariest thing about being a writer of my age? What fills the nightmares of a sixteen-year-old aspiring author, what stops them dead in them dead in their tracks?

It's the fear of them not being taken seriously.

Fun little story here for you, it took me a full year to decide to get published. I mean, yes, it has always been a dream of mine to hit the shelves. But it took me a year and about the relentless efforts of fifteen different people to convince me to go after publishing before I graduated. And I wasn't even planning to make Scrapper my debut novel. I wanted to gain more experience in the industry, both with the business and the craft with another, less important book. And since then I've spent the better part of my summer and school year getting to know the industry inside out (if that is even possible, which I'm sure it's not) and going over ever painstaking detail of my drafts before I dared to deem myself acceptable. (I studied Nathan Bransford's blog like it was the bible. I'm sure that's some sort of blasphemy, but whatever.) And then it took me two weeks to believe it when I told my imaginary friends. (Mostly because one of them just kept on shaking their head and laughing.)

Yes, I know teens younger then me have gotten published. But it's still so hard to believe. And here's some reasons why.

1) I use a pen name.
Now stay with me here, I have a genuine reason as too why this worries me. I have talked to many people who have told me that while it is ultimately my decision I should not use it. They say it's usually only used for people who really need it. And my friend in the ALA told me that some might see me using a fake name as some sort of immaturity. But here's the deal, by time I realized this I was already very well know on the internet as Becca Lathorn. It's taken me a long time to build up all that rep, and I'd rather not have to build it up again.

2) Scrapper is a Paranormal YA. 
It's, as I fear it being seen as, a stereotype. (Curse you Twilight.) And while I have been a life long addict of anything paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy or otherwise, the fact of the matter is, I am a teenager writing paranormal. But wait, it gets worse. There is some romance in it. Granted, it's not the main point of the series, but the fact that there is a love interest is enough. I feel like I'm nailing my own coffin here monkeys.
*Yes, there are technically vampires in my series. 
Keep in mind, I started coming up with this idea long before the days of Twilight. And while I am not a particular fan of Vampires, I felt I needed to fill a gap. See, without spoiling anything, one of the species in my books are called Thieves. They are suppose to be a spawn point for all other species in the planet I've created. They have the strength, endurance, and instinct of werewolves, the magically capabilities of gypsies, and the grace and intellect of __________. See, there's something missing. I could have filled that with mermaids or vampires. And I'm sorry, but I save mermaids for my romantic comedies. And vampires just happened to be dark enough to fill the plot. In the rag-tag group of main characters, there are no vampires though. They are just there to take up space. (Wasted space, might I add.)

3) I don't live in New York.
Shut up monkeys, it's a legit point of concern.

4) What if secretly everyone I know has been lying to me and my writing is truly crap?
I have no time to explain the multiple conspiracy theories I have in my head, so I'll just leave it at that.

Having all that said, I sent out my first query two days ago.
Excuse me while I go throw up.

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