O.M.G. I have such a treat for you today! A group of VERY fabulous writer peeps have joined me to talk about their BRAND NEW book venture, which if you LOVE YA, diversity, #ownvoices, finding new reads, and just everything reading, then IT IS FOR YOU! (Sorry for all the caps but I'm a bit excited to have these guys on the blog!) So, without further ado, let me introduce you to all the awesome that is...
I know! I'm honoured to host these guys today. And, more precisely, these guys are...
Gracie, Louisa, Julie, Erika, Shain, Kate, Lorna,
Emily, Heidi, Michelle, Katherine, and Susan.
Just click here to find out more about each writer individually.
Rather than let you listen to me blabbering and rambling on, I'll hand straight over to the LOVE AT FIRST CHAPTER crew...
So go on, tell us in a nutshell … what is LOVE AT FIRST CHAPTER?
Love At First Chapter is a biweekly young adult fiction newsletter that introduces the first chapter of an upcoming or new release to subscribers. With each newsletter, subscribers can “fall in love” with the book and either purchase or preorder it at the end of the email. It’s a fun reader resource that allows a wider audience to sample new, diverse releases -- and introduces authors to more engaged readers who are likely to be interested in their book. A win-win for everyone involved!
You guys are all YA writers and met during Author Mentor Match. But how did you go from not knowing each other to setting up this amazing new service for YA book lovers?
Amidst talk of revisions and drafts, Graci Goldhart, our founder, introduced the idea as a fun way to promote upcoming YA releases we’re excited for. The rest happened pretty quickly after that. We set up the website, assigned roles, came up with a list of our most anticipated releases, and prepared for our Valentine’s Day launch.
Since you’re a part of the AMM family, what advice would you give to people looking to apply next month?
Louisa: Apply, apply, apply! Your AuthorMentorMatch mentor will be there to help you shape your manuscript, curate an agent list, and/or navigate the tumultuous waters of your debut year. The best thing about the program is that it promotes long-term mentorship (and friendship, if we’re being honest), and if there’s anything you need when you’re trying to make it as a writer, it’s a mentor and a friend.
Lisa: My advice is to go for it. My mentor has been amazing and she immediately found some issues I just didn’t see because I was so wrapped up in my story. I’ve gotten great advice and she’s been there for me through every step of the process. That being said, I also want to add that I’ve also bonded with the other mentees and they have been amazing also. When I received feedback from an agent that I wasn’t sure how to interpret, I asked them about it. They all responded with some excellent advice and shared tools that would help me clear up the issues the agent brough to my attention. It has been an incredibly positive experience for me.
Shain: To quote Nike, “Just do it!” You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain, including at least one amazing life-long friendship. The other mentees and I have really bonded as well, obviously. Alexa Donne (one of the founders of the AMM program) really works to vet the mentors so, just like with the pieces we share, you can know that they are gems. Although my experience was halted a little by just crazy timing things on both my end and my mentors, we’ve finally gotten started and it’s amazing. Kevin (Savoie) and I are both Pisces, Disney-philes, gamers, and our birthdays are literally days apart. He’s amazing and I even bought him Christmas presents and the same copy of TLM that I have so we can (hah!) be on the same page. And yes, I use the word amazing so much because I’m still in awe about the whole situation.
Michelle: Do. Not. Self. Reject. I had counted myself out when my CP asked if I was submitting. I owe it to her that I applied. I’m still a bit in disbelief that I got in and Gail (Villaneuva) has turned out to be such a blessing. She’s in my corner for the long-term to help my manuscript be the best it can be and is guiding me through every aspect of the industry. And beyond my mentor, I’ve met such an incredible group of mentees who I now consider friends and writing buddies.
Who came up with the amazing idea of LOVE AT FIRST CHAPTER?
The brilliant Graci Goldhart thought up the concept of LAFC and asked us if we wanted to join her -- and we immediately fell in love with it!
Will you share only standalone novels, or do you intend to share books within a series too?
We are open to sharing both. If the first book in a series is highly anticipated and we’re also really excited for it, then we’d love to feature it!
Will it be only novels, or will you share anthologies or perhaps novellas as well?
As of now, we’re focused on sharing YA novels, but may open to anthologies in the future. There are so many good ones coming out lately!
Will you share only traditionally published books or indie and self published as well?
We focus on traditionally published books.
Will you consider adding other age groups in the future?
It is something we’ve talked about and are open to exploring, but we’re currently set on curating YA.
What’s different about the reader service you’re providing?
All the books selected for Love At First Chapter have been recommended by one of our curators. That means we’ve read and can vouch for the book, have enjoyed it, and want to share it with others. We like to think of it as an unconventional book club of sorts: recommending books and building a community based on readership.
Why should readers sign up?
We’re unlike any other YA newsletter or book service -- it’s 100% free to sign up (and will remain that way!) and you get a surprise first chapter of a new or upcoming YA release straight to your inbox. Like the chapter? Purchase or preorder through links in the newsletter. Don’t like the chapter? Feel free to delete the email. It’s pressure-free and only aims to spread our love of books.
What are you guys reading right now?
Shain: Reign of the Fallen and 101 Best-Loved fairy tales… The latter there is a writing reason for and I got it on sale at Barnes and Noble for seven dollars exactly. JUST SAYING. Don’t agree with what they just did to their employees, but think it’s important we not let brick and mortar stores get outright overpowered by Amazon.
Lisa: At this moment my TBR pile is huge. There are just so many great stories out there, but currently I’m reading KEEPER by Kim Chance and it’s a great story!
Julie Abe: My TBR list is miles long! Currently in my queue: Princess Academy (Shannon Hale), The Adventurers Guild (Zack Loran Clark), The City of Brass (S. A. Chakraborty)
Louisa: My next YA read is THIS SIDE OF HOME by Renee Watson, which I found - surprise, surprise! - from a friend’s recommendation.
Heidi: I’m reading an ARC of my mentor’s book, THE DIMINISHED. It’s pretty great so far!
Michelle: My TBR is beyond manageable right now, but I’m pages into S. Jae-Jones’s Wintersong and AMM mentor Adrianne Finlay’s Your One and Only.
HOW FREAKING COOL IS THIS?! I'm signing up and I highly recommend you do the same. And, if you sign up right now, you'll be just in time for their next newsletter which comes out on March 14.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Love at First Chapter, and I wish you SO MUCH LUCK with this fantastic new book-loving service.
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!