My Writing Journey | Writing a Story My Teenage Kids Love by Cynthia Watson
As of October, 2011, my Young Adult Paranormal Romance, WIND, is published on Amazon.com.
WIND is a bitter-sweet story about eighteen-year-old Flynn Flood, a Boston college student whose world falls apart when her beloved father dies of the “Irish Cancer”— alcoholism—and her once-vibrant mother, descends into a paralyzing depression.
After a seemingly accidental encounter, help arrives in the form of earthy-looking Dante, an international student from Italy. Dante seems perfect, but when Flynn finds herself descending into a rabbit hole of frightening, inexplicable mystical occurrences, she quickly deduces that Dante is no ordinary boyfriend.
WIND began as an adult paranormal novel, but I’ve always wanted to write something my children (Matthew, 21 & Anne Marie, 17 at the time) would read. When I started writing WIND in 2009, my kids and their friends were heavily immersed in the Twilight series. I would walk by their rooms, and hear them dissecting Stephanie Meyer’s popular novel to death. It piqued my curiosity. My daughter suggested I read the first book, so I did, and thought it was great! I loved the voice, and the desperate passion of the two main characters, Bella and Edward, and I could absolutely relate to the confusion of Bella’s long-suffering father, Charlie (the dialogue between Bella and Charlie sounded very familiar!).
I decided to incorporate more young adult characters into WIND, and, ultimately, it entirely morphed into a YA Paranormal Romance, narrated by eighteen-year-old Mary Flynn Flood (just called “Flynn” by her two best friends, the charmingly gay David, and boy-crazy Siobhan). Then I added, Kevan, Flynn’s sixteen-year-old sister, and the YA feeling was complete. I loved creating the dynamics between Flynn and Kevan; frustrating, but loving at the same time. Often, they can’t stand each other (typical sisters!), but they both eventually learn, the hard way, that “blood is thicker than water.”
At first I wasn’t sure I could create a teen voice, but once I started, it just poured out (I was a teenager once, even if my kids don’t believe it). The story is told from Flynn’s point of view—she’s a bit of myself, and a lot of my daughter, a funny, and uncommonly thoughtful young woman —who is, due to tragic circumstances, forced to become an adult overnight. Incidentally, the only bit of advice my daughter gave me was not to use the word “groovy” (hey, I grew up in the sixties!). When I completed the final edits, both my kids read it, and thankfully, they loved it. My daughter likes young, defiant Kevan, and my son loves the dark, demon side of the story.
I love reading about published authors’ journeys; most went through so many ups and downs before getting published. It gives me great comfort to know I’m not alone in riding the publishing roller coaster. I’ve had my moments wherein I considered quitting – for about an hour – then I realized writing is a calling; you just don’t have a choice, once you start (I got my start writing for my all-girls school newspaper; my first piece was a review of an Elton John concert!). I just couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
WIND, the first book in ETERNAL SYMMETRY SAGA, recently advanced to the second round in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. Cynthia’s writing has been featured on ShortStoryBook.net, QueryTracker.net, Musings from the Slush Pile, Glass Cases, WOW! – Women Writers, Women Books, and Women on Writing.
Look for WIND on Amazon.com in October, 2011. Cynthia is currently writing book two of the ETERNAL SYMMETRY SAGA, SAND.
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