Yeah, so....welcome to the blog of Judith Tewes, young adult contemporary fiction author. Here be edgy stories with a side of snark.


Take Tewes with Sarah Tregay

Every odd Tuesday (because Tuesdays aren't odd enough), I feature a different young adult fiction author YOU should know - from best-sellers to debuts. And what better way to do this than asking them TWO fun questions. Short, sweet, and sassy - just the way I like interviews.

Today I'm featuring Sarah Tregay, author of Love and Leftovers, a novel in verse that received great reviews like: From Kirkus ReviewsA verse novel with real depth to accompany all that white space. full reviewFrom VOYAAlthough the words are simple, the themes of Love and Leftovers are not. full review —Ed Goldberg.

Sarah Tregay

Raised without television, Sarah started writing her own middle grade novels after she had read all of the ones in the library. She later discovered YA books, but never did make it to the adult section. When she’s not jotting down poems at stoplights, She can be found hanging out with my "little sister" from Big Brothers Big Sisters. She lives in Eagle, Idaho with her husband, two Boston Terriers, and an appaloosa named Mr. Pots.
FAN ART is coming Summer 2014 from Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.
And now for the questions!
1. Love and Leftovers is a novel in verse, however you also write "regular" (?) prose. ;) How is your writing process similar / different between the two formats?

With a verse novel, each poem focuses in on a little piece of the story and there is often a time skip from one poem to the next. I wrote LOVE AND LEFTOVERS in the same way—in little pieces. With my overarching idea in mind, I wrote the poems first. Then I put each poem title on a 3x5 card and shuffled them around until I had the plot.

I tend to be a little more linear when writing prose. I might skip around and write chapter ten before chapter five, but nothing as extreme as writing all the paragraphs on 3x5 cards and figuring out the plot later. The two types of writing aren’t mutually exclusive—sometimes my first draft of a prose novel will have poems in it! (And sometimes my editor will let me keep them.) My next novel, FAN ART, has poems between the chapters.

2. I see you're a fellow Class of 2K program alumni from the Class of 2k12. Whoopa! I debuted with the Class of 2k10 (under my pen name, Judith Graves). How very cool. For those out there considering...what were some of the benefits you experienced launching your debut title with an author collective?

Debut author groups such as the Class of 2k are wonderful in many ways. First, there’s the marketing side of things. For example, we worked together to promote everyone’s titles to independent bookstores, schools, and librarians. Both the Class of 2K12 and the Apocalypsies put together in-person events the week of Book Expo America. These were opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I were on my own. But more importantly, there’s the immense amount of support on a personal level. Everyone in the group is going through the same stresses—edits, deadlines, and second book jitters—so they understand and can offer suggestions and emotional support. I am really glad that I joined a debut author group and I would encourage others to do the same.

Thanks so much for the interview, Sarah! Want to know more? Check out Sarah's website and follow her on Facebook.


Take Tewes with Jenny Kaczorowski

Every odd Tuesday (because Tuesdays aren't odd enough), I feature a different young adult fiction author YOU should know - from best-sellers to debuts. And what better way to do this than asking them TWO fun questions. Short, sweet, and sassy - just the way I like interviews.

Today I'm featuring Jenny Kaczorowski who...Likes her heroines smart and quirky, her heroes nice, and her kisses sweet. Her debut, THE ART OF FALLING, is coming from Bloomsbury Spark in Winter 2013. 
The questions!

1. As both a photographer and young adult fiction author, you really embody the expression "a
Jenny Kaczorowski
picture is worth a thousand words". If you had just THREE words, however, to describe your upcoming Bloomsbury Spark title, The Extraordinary Art of Falling, what would it be?

Identity, longing, kissing. For me, THE ART OF FALLING is about finding who you really are behind the image you project. My two main characters, Bria and Ben, both have these larger-than-life images at their high school and their journey is really about reconciling who they are with how people see them. They both long to be more than their personas, they long for each other, they long for more than high school. And then there's lots of kissing. This whole story started with two kissing scenes I cut from another story. In my first serious manuscript, the first kiss didn't happen until about 2/3 into the story. FALLING has a kiss within the first chapter. So yes. Kissing happens.

 2. Okay, you brought this up. (Well, it's on your website.) And I can't get it out of my head. You live in, "Avon, Ohio, the duct tape capital of the world". Them's fightin' words. Here in Canada, we love our duct tape. :) Thus, I issue a challenge. Can you list 10 ways a writer can put duct tape to use?

Go Avon! Canada may love duct tape, but can you claim an annual duct tape festival? As home of the Duck Brand duct tape factory, we have a lot of pride. We wear duct tape prom dresses and suits, we duct tape entire cars, we carry wallets and purses and belts made of duct tape. For writers, there are a few special uses:

 1. A case for your laptop. Nothing protects like duct tape.
 2. A cover for your notebook. Those things take a beating.
 3. A restraint system to keep yourself at your desk during edits.
 4. A caffeine delivery system. Duct tape your coffee cup to chest for hands-free drinking.
 5. An emergency paper substitute. Don't let a valuable idea escape! Jot it down on duct tape wherever you are.
 6. A pen/pencil repair kit. Snapped your writing implement in frustration? Duct tape.
 7. An alertness aid. Can't keep your eyes open? Duct tape.
 8. A bandaid. Paper cut from your manuscript? Duct tape.
 9. A theft-deterant. Need to protect your writing snacks? Duct tape.
 10. A sound-canceling device. Friends, children or significant other talking while you need quiet? Duct tape.

 Is there anything it can't do? I guess not, lol....well done with this list. I admit, I'm impressed. Thanks so much for joining me, Jenny. Want to learn more? Of course you do! Check out Jenny's WEBSITE, follow her on TWITTER.