I’m delighted today to welcome author Beverly Stowe McClure to Thoughts in Progress to talk about her latest release, UNDER A PURPLE MOON, a YA contemporary fiction.
Until I started blogging I wasn’t that familiar with YA (Young Adult) novels. I guess I though they wouldn’t be intense enough for me. Boy, was I wrong. Beverly’s book is a prime example of that. She’s joining us today to talk about how she wrote her latest book.
But first here’s a brief synopsis of UNDER A PURPLE MOON:
Eden Rose has learned to deal with her mother's criticism that she can do nothing right. What she can't deal with are the arguments between her parents. To escape their angry words, she finds refuge in an old abandoned house. She always returns home, hoping her mother will love her one day. even though Eden's not sure what the word love means.
Three other teens with problems also hang out at the Old House. Meeting Murphy, Toby, and Josh changes Eden's world, and she begins to have faith in herself. Perhaps she can do something right, after all.
Thanks to the boys, she begins to understand the meaning of love. But will it be enough to save her broken home life?
Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.March 15, 2016978-1939844132 Print978-1939844149 eBook
UNDER A PURPLE MOON won silver in the teen division of the recent Children's Literary Classics competition.
Now please join me in giving a warm welcome to Beverly as she explains about her writing. Welcome, Beverly.
Thank you, Mason, for inviting me to share how I wrote my latest YA novel, Under a Purple Moon. I guess I’m still part teenager at heart. I love to read YA books; I enjoy writing them too. Teens’ lives are so complicated. They have so much to learn, and when they get little guidance from parents, they often seek help from friends, who sometimes are as confused as they are.
Four years ago, I was tossing around ideas for a new story, and it came to me: teens with rotten home lives. They could form a club to support each other. My story, Survivors’ Club, was born. And what better place to discuss their problems than an old, abandoned house at the edge of town?
Creating the characters just happened. The girl, Eden, and three boys, not friends before, soon became friends. They presented me with problems that teens and even younger children have: parents that didn’t have time for them or parents that wanted them to be someone the teens didn’t want to be. A couple of the characters even suffered from mental and/or physical abuse, which surprised me, since the novels I usually write are gentle stories.
The characters led me, however, telling me the details of their lives. So I listened when Toby said he did not want to be a football star like his father wanted him to be. I listened when Eden was rejected first by her mother and then her father. Josh’s bruises were evidence of his abuse. And Murphy was the kid bullied at school because he was different. These teens were living the way many real-life teens could relate to.
I sent the manuscript to my critique partners for their thoughts and advice, and they helped point out places that didn’t work. After six months or so of revisions, I sent my story to an editor for her opinion. She had a lot to say. At first, I was overwhelmed. Then I decided she was right. So I went back to work on what I once thought was the perfect novel.
The characters stayed the same, only now they were better developed. I gave the book a new title: Under a Purple Moon. It seemed right because of something Eden says at the end of the story. I submitted a query letter and sample chapters to a publisher that I thought was great, crossed my fingers, and waited. The publisher asked to see the whole manuscript and soon offered me a contract. Thank you, Freedom Fox Press, for your faith in my story. If even one young reader finds hope in my story, I’ve done my job.
Beverly, thanks so much for joining us today and sharing how this story came about. YA stories have a lot of depth to them and deal with some difficult issues.
|Author Beverly Stowe McClure|
She’s sometimes known as the “bug” lady. She’s not telling why. She also enjoys playing the piano. Her cats don’t appreciate good music and hide when she tickles the ivories. She loves them anyway.
Beverly, a member of the SCBWI, has fourteen books published for children and teens, as well as short stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul Anthologies and children’s magazines. Her novels have won many awards. She’s thankful.
For more on Beverly and her writing, visit these sites:
Thanks for stopping by today during Beverly’s visit. Are you a fan of YA novels? Do you shy away from a book just because it’s listed under YA? Don’t you just love the cover of Beverly’s book?