Today we are beyond honored to have the incredible Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency here with us about the YA world, writing and Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey.
As an agent, what would you say is the state of YA today? What are you seeing too much of? What aren't you seeing enough of? What would you like to see?
From my view, YA books remain stronger than ever in contemporary publishing; editors are excited about them, readers are excited about them, and authors are excited about them. I think one of the biggest challenges facing authors today is to find the story, hook, or character that feels completely fresh and new. There’s a wide and wonderful body of work out there, and it’s growing every day, and if there’s anything I am seeing a little too much of it would have to be “the same old thing.”
And on the flipside, what am I looking for? Something that feels utterly new and different. Something that surprises me. Something that knocks my socks off. I’m looking to fall in love—with a character, with an idea, with a storyline. Sweep me off my feet and make me swoon!
What's one the most common errors you see in a new writer's work? Any suggestions on how to overcome that?
One of the biggest things you can do for your writing is to develop your voice. Really dig deep into the character’s psyche; analyze his or her personality and figure out what makes him or her tick. Then convey that to the readers through tone, mannerism, and way of speaking. Voice is a very individual thing, and every author will approach it differently—and it will also be different for each book. But this is what will give your story the ring of truth and authenticity: finding your way into the heart of that world, seeing those events through your character’s eyes, and living that story in real-time. Something to ponder: How would the story change if it were related by a different main character? Who your character is should affect how the story is told and the layering—and relaying—of the story.
What drew you most to SHATTERED SOULS? Was there a moment in the book (that you can tell us) or something about the story that made you want to work with SS and Mary?
Goodness, I love so many things about SHATTERED SOULS it’s hard to narrow it down to just one! I think Mary is a perfect storm of an author: she’s smart, she’s prolific, she’s professional, and she really inhabits her characters. I love how every aspect of her book is excruciatingly real—from the dialogue to the characters to the world and everything that comes along with it. You open the cover and it’s a door and you walk through and you’re somewhere completely new. And then you never want to leave.
How would you describe SHATTERED SOULS in six words or less?
Dark, gripping, swoon-worthy page-turner!
Thank you so much Ammi-Joan for answering our questions. If you want to learn more about Shattered Souls you can check it out on Goodreads and order it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon. It comes out tomorrow!! Also, this is just one stop in the release tour for the book, so you can check out other stops here and learn more from Mary's agent and editor.