Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Graffiti Wall Explores Social Media & the Dreaming Anastasia Trilogy

As promised, Young Adult Author Joy Preble is back to chat with us about social media, the first two books in the Dreaming Anastasia trilogy, and to answer a signature Graffiti Wall question. You can find yesterday's discussion HERE.

Welcome back, Joy! 

Are you a social media fan? (heee….) How do you feel a writer, either pre-published or already published, can use social media to their advantage?

For me social media is a tool to promote, chat about the industry and topics like books and literacy, and to communicate with my readers. I think for most writers it is crucial to have a web presence and in some cases a well-defined platform. I know for a fact that publishers look at this before taking on a debut author. It is not a deal-breaker, but it does help. I happen to like blogging because I began my writing career in non-fiction, doing a lot of personal essays for the Houston Chronicle. So it comes naturally to me. Facebook and Twitter took more adjustment for me. It’s tricky sometimes to make those distinctions between Joy the public persona writer and Joy the private person. This is why many authors have two FB pages – a fan page and a personal page for just their actual friends. Sometimes I actually have had to remind my long time friends that what I say on line is being read by fans and readers. And sometimes, my Tweets are pretty lame. “Just bought avocado. Time for guacamole.”

Inspiration for writing Dreaming Anastasia?

The Dreaming Anastasia series began with Anne. I was at school grading papers late one afternoon and it was raining too hard to leave, and I wanted to bring something new to my critique group that night. At that time there was a history teacher/coach across the hall from me who had a very loud voice and was, well, pretty boring and not exactly creative. Each day during my conference period, if my door was open, I’d listen to him blab on and on about history in a dull monotone and much of the time he didn’t seem to know his subject very well. So I guess in the back of my mind, I was always thinking about how horrible it would be if I was a student in his class. So that afternoon, I wrote two pages from the POV of a girl I didn’t even have a name for but who was indeed stuck in this class. She was funny and snarky and smarter than her teacher and wishing that something extraordinary would happen in her life. And later that week, I wrote some more and realized she was Anne and that I was about to combine her with my other loves – fantasy stories, Russian history, and family drama. Plus a handsome hottie. Somehow, the series developed out of that.

What’s your method for story development? Did you map out Haunted, the next book in the series which was released 2/1/11, as you were writing Dreaming Anastasia or did you wait until you knew the first segment of the story would sell?

Initially when I start a book, I write about fifty pages or so to get to know the characters and story line. At that point, I do some outlining. For me this usually includes both a bullet point outline and some pages – generally single spaced – of general musings and ideas and explanations. This is where I will spend a couple of pages letting a character like Viktor ramble on about what he really wants, what his secrets are, etc. Not all of this finds its way directly into the novel, but it informs what happens to the characters. As for the series arc, I did know from the beginning that this story was going to take and Anne and Ethan on a journey that would last more than one book. And I wrote about fifty pages of Haunted immediately upon finishing Dreaming Anastasia. But DA sold as a stand alone. So it wasn’t until Sourcebooks asked for more that I actually moved forward. 

Signature Graffiti Wall question: You’re in a grocery store line with books on one side and magazines on the other. What book do you choose? What magazine?

Depending on my mood – a fantasy or a romance. Magazine: if I’m about to fly, I’ll take US Weekly  - a magazine that requires even less of my brain than People. I don’t want to read the article about Tori Spelling’s new Mommywood reality show. I just want to look at the pictures and wallow pleasantly.

Haha...I hear you there.

One piece of advice for writers on their road to publication.

Write, write, write. And read, read, read! If you want to write a romance, you need to read 100 romances. If you want to write a picture book, you need to read hundreds of picture books. Keep up with the industry. Join a critique group. Learn. Get a mentor or twelve. Be willing to be collaborative. But mostly, believe in yourself. Do not give up on your dream.

Thank you, Joy!! (and Kay, Sourcebook Publicist!) Once again, feel free to connect with Joy via cyberspace: WebsiteBlogYA BlogTwitterFacebook

AND now, for a chance to win a SIGNED copy of book II in her trilogy - HAUNTED - fill out the form below! You must be a follower to enter. Giveaway is open until September 22nd. Winner announced on the 23rd!! Good luck and spread the word!

Hearts ~


  1. Great interview and great advice for writers.

  2. Hee hee. I'll take a free book. Please.

    I love the READ, READ, READ, advice. Everyone always says write, write, write.

  3. Stunning interview! Thank you, Joy and Ally.

  4. Agree with the platform - and blogging is definitely my choice.

  5. Fantastic interview! I love how Joy got her initial idea for her first book. :D

  6. It is really nice to hear your discussion on specific topic here. I too agree with your points here. keep posting good blogs. Thanks.domain registration india

  7. I've been seriously thinking about creating a separate Facebook page for Author Me and Personal Me. I hadn't thought about the fact that, once you have fans, those fans will read not only what you write, but what everyone else writes on your wall as well. All the more reason to separate the two. Great interview!

  8. I love to hear what those first bits of inspiration were before the whole story took shape. A boring history class---never would've guessed it!

    It seems sort of sad to me that a web presence is practically a requirement for publication these days. How many great manuscripts get passed by because the author spent time writing instead of Tweeting, you know? But I guess publishing IS a business.

  9. That is so true, Nicki. And balancing your online persona plus actually writing can be tough. Let's not forget that most of us have families, too. Some days, it feels like I get no writing done.

  10. Great interview! Thanks Sheri. And nice to meet you Joy!

  11. Great interview. :) I agree, READ! :) Thanks for stopping to see my book cover yesterday.

  12. this is AWESOME!!! Thanks for the supportive interivew ladies. Joy, you're an inspiration and your books sound fab! :D

  13. Thank you for the interview, Sheri! It's always nice to meet other authors with fabulous books! :)


    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?

    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

  14. Very cool! Yay, Joy! I love the way you started the story w/the boring history teacher. Sometimes it happens that way w/me, too. Just following an idea around. Best of luck w/your trilogy~ :o)


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