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


Leap Books SHINE: Call for Submissions

In case you aren't aware, the other me, Judith Graves, is also co-publisher of Leap Books, LLC and acquisitions editor for our YA/NA novella line, SHINE. I'm always on the lookout for manuscripts. Here are the details if you have a story you'd like to submit.

Leap Books SHINE: E-Novella Line for Young Adult & New Adult Fiction

Here you’ll find exciting, fast-paced, emotional, and engaging young adult and new adult fiction stories that are a bit edgier than other Leap Books lines. All titles will be released in ebook format. In addition, select titles will be made available in themed print and audio anthologies.
We are currently developing a solid roster of authors for our debut set for Fall 2015 and look forward to providing readers with stories that SHINE.
AUTHORS: Not sure what we’re looking for in a novella? Here are some examples: Love Struck by Melissa Marr, Snark and Circumstance by Stephanie Wardrop, Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfeld, Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover, and Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick.
Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Tumblr.

Shine – open to both agented and unagented submissions

We are looking for short, fast-paced young adult and new adult fiction stories, of approximately 15-30,000 words, in all genres, with characters that LEAP off the page. All Shine stories will be empowering, uplifting, and, in particular, our new adult fiction titles will feature dynamic characters and shatter-the-mould plotlines.
Submissions should demonstrate:
  • strong, polished writing
  • engaging / authentic voice that will appeal to the target audience
  • dynamic characters readers will identify with and root for
  • commercial, entertaining stories with heart
  • powerful world building
  • an exciting plot with romantic elements (does not have to drive the story)
*Preference for thriller, mystery, contemporary, and horror submissions at this time. Please send a query, along with the full manuscript to submissions@leapbks.info


Cover Reveal: Beware the Little White Rabbit

2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll's timeless classic.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first published in 1865, followed by Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There in 1871, and many events around the globe are planned to celebrate this year.
Join Leap Books on this curious exploration of madness, tea parties,

Our select group of talented authors are united by their passion for all things Alice and will delight you with their take on what really happened down the rabbit hole.
BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT releases on April 14, 2015.
Contributing authors:

Laura Lascarso - Charlotte Bennardo - C. Lee McKenzie - Christine Norris - David Turnbull - Jacqueline Horsfall - Medeia Sharif - Tom Luke - Jessica Bayliss - Crystal Schubert - Holly Odell - Jennifer Moore -
Liam Hogan
Leap Books, LLC
Publication date: April 14, 2015

And now . . . here she is!


Take Tewes with Nicole Luiken

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 a very prolific Alberta author, Nicole Luiken. I've had the pleasure of meeting Nicole at several events and I'm always impressed with her smarts and experience in this industry.

On to the questions!

1. You have nine novels published for young adults. Quite the accomplishment and I know you have more in the works. How has your writing process changed from your first book to your current project? Or is it the same?

I wrote my first book when I was thirteen, after being inspired by reading Guide to Fiction Writing by Phyllis A. Whitney. The book detailed step-by-step how to write a novel: plot it out, write an outline, do a first draft, let it rest, revise, submit to a publisher. For the most part, this is still my pattern.

What's changed the most for me is me revision process. Teenage Me did only a quick clean-up rewrite before submitting the book. (In my defense I wrote my first three books on a manual typewriter, where even small changes meant retyping the whole page and using liquid paper to correct typos and messing with carbon copies). If it was rejected, I would do another draft, just kind of throw myself at the wall until I got over it or gave up.

Now that I know so much more about writing and understand how plots should work, I do four drafts before submitting. In the second draft I make large scale changes: rejigging the plot, adding whole new characters, chapters and subplots. (I find this part fun) Then, when I'm a few chapters into the second draft, I simultaneously begin the third draft, which is the fine editing or polishing draft: working on a sentence level and keeping an eagle eye out for my particular weaknesses. By the time I finish the 2nd draft, I'm usually 2/3 through the 3rd draft. Since I hate polishing, this makes the task ahead of me a lot less daunting. The 4th draft is quick going over, searching for consistency errors and checking arcs (plot, subplot, character).

I've also started working on multiple projects. For instance, right now I'm working on the 4th draft of a paranormal romance, while plotting out a YA werewolf novel.

2. As a science fiction writer, what's your take on the importance of world building?

What can I say about world-building? World-building is a third task that writers of SF and fantasy take on. In addition to an interesting plot and fascinating characters, SF/Fantasy writers must provide a cool setting.

In near-future SF like my Violet Eyes series, I extrapolated a few current trends. I
invented a genetic super-species. People fly in aircars, and there are space colonies and beanstalks. I also invented Historical Immersions, which are a cross between historical reenactments and reality shows. I gave my world an environmental crisis in its near past, which resulted in the change of political borders. I made a few social changes: a license is required to have children, and people indebt themselves to the government for post-second education and have to work the debt off.

Do I think this is what the world will actually be like 100 years from now? No. I was merely trying to tell an interesting story. SF in the '50s focused on expected changes in transportation: jetpacks, space colonies--and totally missed the communication revolution--personal computers, cellphones, videos. I'm sure I missed something vital, too. The point isn't to get everything right; the point is to make people think a little about future consequences of current trends.

Thanks so much for these insights, Nicole! Get updates on Nicole's projects via her website and follow her on Facebook.


My Fav New Adult Titles Read in 2014

Last Christmas break I went on a new adult fiction reading binge to get a handle on the genre. I discovered, that like any other genre, it has its tropes - you can check out my list of them here. It's powerful to know the tropes / cliches of a genre, especially if you're attempting to write within it. ;)

My new adult reading list grew throughout the year and I discovered titles that drew me in, had me recommending them to friends, made me fall in love, or laugh, or cry, or were so damn good - I even re-read them. But most of all - I learned a ton about what works for me within this genre - and that I was surprisingly comfortable with a wide range of "heat" levels. Some of my favs were downright dirty reads and others remained on the sweet side.

So...in no particular order...here be a few of the standout new adult titles I read in 2014:

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Losing It by Cora Carmack

Amour Amour by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre

Game of Love by Melissa Foster

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Beautiful Bastard by the writing team known as Christina Lauren

Losing Logan by Sherry Ficklin

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

Love, In English by Karina Halle

Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones

Real by Katy Evans