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I'm happy to host Heather Smith on the debut of her novel "Balancing Act." Heather's a terrific young author with mad skills. She's an inveterate "List Maker," and has agreed to share why she feels lists are a key tool for authors.
Why Lists Are Amazing for Some Writers
Hey, everyone! So glad I could be with you here today! As I’m sure you’ve seen, my YA contemporary romance, Balancing Act, has just come out. And I’m here to talk about it (sorta). I don’t want to bore ya’ll with a long post about my inspiration, because it won’t make much sense until you’ve read the book. Instead, I’m going to talk about my writing process.
First, a little background on me. I have a problem where I take on as much work as possible. Truly, it’s an illness. I am a full time student at a university, an editor for a publishing house, I work on my own books, and attempt to have a social life (that last one doesn’t always work out). Then there’s life stuff that gets in the way like washing dishes or doing laundry or my summer job. Psh. Anyway, as you can see, my life is very hectic. I am also compulsively organized. All of this is relevant, I swear.
One thing I found exceedingly helpful while writing Balancing Act was writing lists. Whether it was my daily checklist of things to do (yes, I have one every day) or lists of things to research or changes to make to a character, I found them to be very helpful. It helped me to remember what I wanted to get done. Between running to class, homework, work, and supporting my unhealthy Netflix habit, I often forget things that need to get done. Lists are remarkably effective in reminding me. They also hold me accountable. I get such a feeling of accomplishment when I check something off my list, and such a feeling of disappointment when I don’t. By putting writing/editing Balancing Act on my daily To Do list, I basically guilted myself into writing when I could have done something else. Like watched Firefly for the umpteenth time.
And so a book was born.
Balancing Act went through many edits, and the one list I am very proud of was the one I made right after I finished the first draft. I went back through and made a comprehensive list of everything I wanted to change/add/take out. Then I looked at the list carefully to make sure all those changes would make sense together. Callie’s character arc was very important to me, as Balancing Act follows her journey of discovering who she is now that she can’t be a gymnast. My list was essential in making Balancing Act readable.
Now, I know this method of writing doesn’t work for everyone. There are so many processes out there, there’s something for all kinds of writers. I’m just saying, if you like lists and you are a very busy person who’s organized, this may help your writing career.
Balancing Act by Heather Smith
February 3, 2014
One year ago, Callie Harding was the star of the Redwood High gymnastics team. Now, she’s just trying to forget that her Olympic dreams were stolen from her in one failed landing. Most of all, she wants to forget her first love, Ty. That part of her life is over and she’s sure she has got something good with Scott… even if he doesn’t exactly understand her passion for sports.
But when Callie is persuaded to take on the position of assistant coach of the gymnastics team, Ty and Callie are thrown together almost nightly, and she’s forced to confront her memories of the night everything changed. As things get tense on and off the balancing beam, Callie must find a way to stay strong. But is forgetting her accident – and forgetting Ty – the best way to do that?
About the Author:
Heather Smith is a student of English and History at University of Washington in Seattle. She works as a senior editor at Entranced Publishing, with the Kissed and Entranced imprints. In her free time, Heather loves to ride horses and watch Disney movies. She would like to travel the world one day, and Europe would be her first stop.
Heather's first book "Balancing Act" will be published in 2014 by Entranced Publishing. You can find out more about Heather and what the future holds at the links below.
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