Happy Book Birthday, ERICA WATERS!
I'm delighted and thrilled and so excited to welcome today's author guest and help celebrate the release of their debut novel and what looks like an INCREDIBLE YA contemporary fantasy!
Erica Waters grew up in the pine woods of rural Florida, though she now resides in Nashville, Tennessee. She has a Master’s degree in English and works as a university writing tutor. When she’s not writing books, you can find her hanging out with her two dogs, Nutmeg and Luna. Ghost Wood Song is her debut novel.
YA Contemporary Fantasy
July 21, 2020
Sawkill Girls meets Beautiful Creatures in this lush and eerie debut, where the boundary between reality and nightmares is as thin as the veil between the living and the dead.
If I could have a fiddle made of Daddy’s bones, I’d play it. I’d learn all the secrets he kept.
Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness.
But when her brother is accused of murder, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets.
In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing.
Family secrets, a gorgeously resonant LGBTQ love triangle, and just the right amount of creepiness make this young adult debut a haunting and hopeful story about facing everything that haunts us in the dark.
What do you write?
My first two books are YA contemporary fantasies, although sometimes Ghost Wood Song is called a paranormal mystery. Pretty much everything I write is spooky, atmospheric, and character-driven. The book I’m working on right now is a haunted house MG, which I’m having a ton of fun with. My writing tends toward Southern characters, gothic atmosphere, and lyrical prose.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
I’ve always been a writer in some capacity, but I got serious about wanting to write and publish YA fantasy in my 20s after reading Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. That book made me realize how beautiful and powerful writing in the YA category can be. And when my dad died in 2013, I got really serious about making my writing dreams a reality.
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
I wrote and queried three novels over the course of three years, amassing 101 agent rejections. But my third book was the one where I found my voice and style. It got me an agent and a book deal. That deal was for two books, so I’ll have Ghost Wood Song out this year and another stand-alone out in 2021.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
The hardest part has been the waiting. Writers do so much waiting—to hear back from agents we’ve queried, to get an edit letter from our editors, to see our books on shelves. I wrote Ghost Wood Song in 2017, sold it in 2018, and it debuts in 2020. That’s two years of waiting for it to come out, not to mention all the years of writing and hoping that came before.
However, there is a ton of joy in the writing/publishing life. I find most of my joy during the actual writing—getting lost in a story, caring deeply about my characters, seeing a whole world take shape under my fingertips. That’s heady stuff. But there are great things about publishing too, like all the brilliant, kind people I’ve met, whose input has made me a better writer. And you really can’t beat the feeling of holding your book in your hands, with a beautiful cover and your photo on the back. That’s worth all the waiting and work.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
I think what matters most is persevering. Lots of super talented people aren’t agented yet and don’t have book deals. Creativity and talent matter, but so much of getting published is luck and timing. So keep writing books you want to read, put in the work to become a better writer and to understand the publishing industry more, and don’t get discouraged when you aren’t successful right away.
And most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? - Ketchup
Night or Day? - Day
Inside or Outside? - Outside
Dogs or Cats? - Dogs
Twitter or Facebook? - Twitter
e-book or Paperback? - Paperback
Sun or Rain? - Rain
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? - Keyboard
Comedy or Drama? - Drama
Chips or Chocolate? - Chocolate
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