Thursday, December 13, 2012

Interview with author Juliana Haygert

You've probably seen her on Twitter before. If you haven't, go ahead and follow her -- you won't regret it. Juliana loves New Adult fiction and is very enthusiastic about it. New Adult heroines inhabit her mind, and she tells their stories as if talking about old friends.

Yesterday, we announced the release of her NA novelette HER HEART'S SECRET WISH (don't forget to sign up for a chance to win a copy of the book and either an Amazon or a nook gift card). Today, we welcome Juliana at YA Stands to talk a little about her book, writing habits, new projects, and the reason why New Adult fiction is a delicate topic in the publishing world today.

1) What inspired you to write Her Heart's Secret Wish? Is this your first book? This is my first released book, but certainly not the first I ever wrote. Honestly, I don't have a fun story for how this story came to life. I saw a few call of submissions asking for short Christmas stories and I decided to try it. That's how Her Heart's Secret Wish was born.

2) Why do you love NA fiction? How long have you been writing NA fiction? Writing NA wasn't a conscious decision. When I was younger, I wrote about me and my friends in school, because I was in school, I think. Later, when I was in college, I wrote about characters in college. And even after I was out of college, that stayed with me. I wanted to tell stories of people in college. I had no idea that it would be hard to sell NA, that people frowned upon it. I didn't even know this term, new adult. 

I found out about the term and all that came with it after I decided to take this writing thing more seriously, and was already well into my third manuscript. I thought about giving up and turning to YA or adult many, many times. But each time I tried, my writing seemed forced and I lost interest in whatever I was forcing myself to do. So I stuck with NA, fully knowing this would be a hard road to ride on, because that's what I love and want to write about ;)

3) Although there are many good NA writers out there, why do you think it still is hard to get an agent when you're trying to debut with an NA book? Do you suggest going straight to publishers? Agents and editors are turning around. I also believe in that good mantra: if the story is really good, it's going to sell, no matter what. That said, agents are still wary of NA. A former agent told me that the problem is the bookstores--they don't have the shelf to put the NA novels, so editors know this and don't ask for NA novels, and agents, knowing editors won't buy NA, don't accept it. It makes sense. But then again, it seems like that question: who came before, the egg or the chicken? Bookstores will only create a shelf for NA once there are enough books out there for it. But I believe things are turning around. Since many of these NA writers hit the NYT bestseller list by themselves, editors and agents are hunting them now. As for going directly to publisher, I suggest trust your gut, especially since many editors don't accept queries directly from writers.

4) What makes NA and YA books different? The situation and the reaction to that situation. When you're 19-25, you're considered adult, but you haven't found yourself yet. You're in college or working, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of your life. Doing laundry, paying rent, and other bills are becoming a serious concern in your life. The boys are becoming men. I really like what NYT bestselling author Cora Carmack wrote about NA on her blog:

"Whether you’re at college or moving out on your own or working your first full time job—your life seems to change radically overnight. And yet for most people in that age group (18-25ish), you’re still not completely on your own. Your parents are still a large part of your life. You’re not a child anymore, but you’re also not quite an adult. You may call yourself an adult (as will others), but deep down inside you are petrified because you don’t feel like one. [...]

Young Adult books are about surviving adolescence and coming of age. New Adult is about how to live your life after that. New Adult is the “I’m officially an adult, now what?” phase. 
Just like growing up, that life stage is different for everyone, but I do think there are some things that are constant."
I think she hit the spot right here.

5) Tell us a little about your writing routine. Do you write daily? Do you write full-time? I write full time, but let's agree that, when you're home all day, you always find something else that needs to be done. Laundry, cleaning, dinner, calls to make, take kiddo to doctor, or a play date … and there's always too many emails to answer, blog posts to read, interesting chats on Twitter ;) I wish that I could tell you I write for at least 6 hours every day, but I don't. That's one thing I'm determined to work on in 2013. I will write more everyday, even if the house goes unclean for a while or if I have to pop a frozen dinner in the oven hehe

6) Your novella HIS ALLURE, HER PASSION will be released next year, right? Tell us a little about it. Yes. HIS ALLURE, HER PASSION comes out in Feb. - it's a Valentine's Day novella. Hm, I have an unrevised blurb I can share:

In his father’s eyes, Dylan Deveraux is just a playboy spending the family fortune on prostitutes, alcohol, and fast cars. And it isn't even with the cars his father produces. Because of that, his father forbids his presence at the ball that will mark the launch of the US plant of his company, strategically scheduled on Valentine’s Day.

Hayley Allen is a failing model with the worst luck in the world. She always ends up in the hands of cruel designers and photographers. At least, that’s what she tells herself. Better than admit having a weak nervous system that always reacted during her gigs. Desperate, she would do anything to help her career.

Dylan shows up at her door, wasted as usual. Friends for a long time, Hayley is the only one able to put up with Dylan’s bullshit, and he appreciates that, but not the way her heart wants.

Even though he doesn't believe in Valentine's Day, Dylan has an idea for his father's ball. When he suggests a deal to Hayley, a deal that could finally put her in the spotlight of success and help him impress his father, she doesn't hesitate. Even if it means hurting her heart a little more.

I love talking about New Adult ;) 

Thank you for having me!


Her Heart's Secret Wish

Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Release Date: 12/12/12
Genre: NA contemporary romance
Length: 13,000 words

Book Description: 

With a renowned reputation as a player, she had everything figured out...
Twenty-year-old college student, Natasha is the life of every party and the reason behind many celebrations. The easiest girl on campus has all guys at her feet and more than a few in her bed.
…until he came into the game…
Having entered the academic world by chance, Professor Jason Stone is surprised to find one of his young students a huge temptation. The infamous Natasha has caught his attention. But is there more to her than meets the eye?
…and changed the rules.
As their unexpected friendship grows, so does their attraction to each other. When Jason’s Christmas plans are canceled and he ends up at the same party as Natasha, sparks flare, destroying the safe zone around them. Will they figure out how to break through their self-imposed barriers to be together, or lose one another forever?

Contact Juliana:

Juliana Haygert is a Brazilian girl living in Connecticut. She would love to be Wonder Woman, Cheetara, Elektra, Buffy, Phoebe, She-ra, Rose, Korra, Cornelia, a blood elf shadow priest, and other various kick-ass female from books, comics, TV series, movies, and games, but she settles for—the less exciting but equally gratifying life—a wife, mother, friend and a writer. Her heroines are like the ones cited above and she also writes about the heroes who drive them crazy—and occasionally hot.

Since her first stories, she wrote about 20-something year old protagonists, and today she's part of NA Alley, a blog dedicated to New Adult.