Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A YA Stands Author Update!

Your Crazy YA Writer Lady
Being a young adult author myself, I like to share things with you about what’s going on in my world. Not only is it cathartic, but it is also a great way to announce all the goodness going on.
Releasing this September, SWELL is my second full-length YA novel. I wrote it in six weeks over the summer of 2009 with the editorial help of my writer buddy, Trisha Leaver. I’ve never written something so fast and with such a desire as SWELL, which encompasses a young girl’s journey through love, dysfunctional relationships, and an addiction to alcohol. More than your typical “teen drinking problem” book, SWELL is about the relationships that develop around addiction, and how they can either keep you down in the pit, or help you rise above.
For 15-year-old Beck Ionesco, discovering love with the most popular guy in school is a surprise. So are the bottles and cans he hides in his room and under the car seat. Through Christian, Beck enters a world where you can never be too cool or drunk, and finds herself falling for him, the bottle… and Christian’s dangerous friend Hillman falling for her.
Thank God for that bottle, though, because it’s all Beck has left when Christian abandons her, Hillman begins stalking her, and she finds herself on the wrong end of popularity in the back seat of his car. She’s left to fend for herself and her heart until she finds friendship – and possibly more - with fellow student Jesse.
But Christian wants another chance with Beck, and collides with a drunken fate that becomes his last call. It’s now up to Beck to clean up and reclaim her life, and discover sober love with the one whose life secretly parallels her own.

You might wonder if this book is based off real experiences and people, as A Place In This Life was. In many ways, yes, although this story is not about any specific in my life, but rather a series of experiences belonging to myself and my friends. We were there, in the pit, and had to find a way out. We didn’t even know how we got there in the first place, and that is a recurring theme among all young adults who discover themselves on the wrong end of a promising life. What choice will you make?
I cried a few times while writing this story, because the characters did things I hadn’t planned on, taking twists and turns that led through two climactic events that shape the main character, Beck, for the second part of her youth.
As for the writing process, I hope to one day embrace a story as close as I did SWELL. Every writer should have a magical moment when they know it’s right and just flow with the characters.
Be on the look-out for a SWELL cover reveal and giveaway (Goodreads) coming soon, as well as a book tour at the start of the year. Until then, enjoy reading YA and all the great stuff we have here on YA Stands!!


  1. I can't wait to read it Julie. Sounds intense

  2. I think there is such a need for stories such as yours. There are so many teens out there who turn to alcohol and drugs as a means of escape from their feelings. The fact that you have the characters possibly learning from their mistakes will hopefully help teens out there understand that there are other choices that can be made.

    I can't wait to read SWELL!!!