It may be raining where you are, but on my bookshelf it’s sunny. I’m pleased to announce that my latest Joss Stirling book, last in the series that started with Finding Sky, is about to come out. It’s called Summer Shadows and has what I think might be my favourite cover to date.
This series has been one of my most successful so I thought it a good idea to look back over what I think makes it popular. If you are wondering about writing a YA book, maybe some of these factors will help?
First, I think, is that the romance follows a family of seven boys. You anticipate the next part when you see them in the background of the previous story so are encouraged to read on.
The second aspect is the main voice of each part is (what I hope) a strong and distinct female character so readers can identify with her, and root for her as she struggles with a major challenge. In Summer’s case, she has a really difficult home situation. I was thinking of a fictionalised form of being a child carer so though her problem has no ‘real life’ match, her limited choices and pressures do.
I think the third point might be the attraction of the paranormal, or fantasy, in romance. My characters are savants, people with extrasensory perception. It’s a little like having a super power with all the ensuing problems and temptations that come along with that. Haven’t many of us had that daydream where we imagine being able to read thoughts or tell the future? My characters have that as their reality. I think this appeals to readers who might want a little fantasy with their romance without the full vampire/werewolf/fallen angel fashion of a few years back.
And finally, I try to make the boys to-die-for gorgeous. ‘Nuff said.