Here's a blurb from Goodreads:
When Ivy Emerson’s family loses their house—complete with her beloved piano—the fear of what’s to come seizes her like a bad case of stage fright. Only this isn’t one of her single, terrifying performances. It’s her life.
And it isn’t pretty.
Ivy is forced to move with her family out of their affluent neighborhood to Lakeside, also known as “the wrong side of the tracks.” Hiding the truth from her friends—and the cute new guy in school, who may have secrets of his own—seems like a good idea at first. But when a bad boy next door threatens to ruin everything, Ivy’s carefully crafted lies begin to unravel . . . and there is no way to stop them.
As things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother. She may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were . . . including herself.
Debut author Sharon Huss Roat crafts a charming and timely story of what happens when life as you know it flips completely upside down.
So here's Sharon!
My Editor Made Me Do It: Three Character-Building Revision Tips
I’m thrilled to be guest-posting on Literary Rambles today! Since Natalie invited me to write about the editorial process, I thought I’d share a few of the actual revisions my editor asked me to make. (A peak behind the curtain!) These aren’t necessarily the most significant changes I made, but they all helped me write deeper, more developed characters.
1) Turning Two Characters Into One
It happened during my second round of developmental edits with my editor, Karen Chaplin, at HarperCollins. She asked me to do the unthinkable: turn two beloved characters into a single person.
Whaaaat? My initial reaction was one of strong resistance. These two characters—new friends of
2) Throwing a Pity Party
I was so worried about making Ivy likable, I hesitated to let her react fully to her circumstances. I didn’t want her to seem bratty or whiny. What I didn’t realize, though, was that Ivy (and her story) needed this authentic and relatable teen moment. Her world had just turned upside down. My editor encouraged me to let her throw a fit, to feel her “poor me” moment.
Will some readers think Ivy’s a brat because of it? Perhaps. And that’s okay, because it’s true. She isn’t perfect, and she reacted to a crappy situation as any teen might: badly. The scene ultimately became an important turning point for Ivy, as she recognizes how her circumstances are affecting everyone in her family—not just herself. She had to have that bratty moment to move beyond it!
3) Avoiding Caricatures
Every school has its mean girls, and my manuscript did, too. Karen encouraged me to give them more depth and development, so they wouldn’t feel like caricatures. I did so by looking beyond their shallow and materialistic behavior to what made them so. I explored their relationships with their parents. They were spoiled, for sure. But also somewhat neglected. One was essentially raised by her “Nanny du jour” and the other was a product of her mother’s obsession with appearances. Weaving in these little bits of backstory along with a few moments of vulnerability helped turn my two stereotypical mean girls into something a little bit more.
Thanks for the great tips, Sharon. You can find Sharon at:
Sharon has generous offered a copy of BETWEEN THE NOTES for a giveaway. To enter, you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through May 23rd. I’ll announce the winner on May 27th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.
If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This is for US and Canada.
Here's what's coming up:
On Monday, I have a guest post by debut author Holly Bodger and her agent Lauren MacLeod and a query critique giveaway and a giveaway of Holly's YA futurist, multicultural story 5 to 1.
I'll be off the following Monday for Memorial Day.
Wednesday that week I have a guest post by Elizabeth Varden and a giveaway of her new MG mystery IMOGENE AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING PEARLS.
I'll be off on Monday June 1st to get ready for my daughter's graduation.
Monday, June 8th, I'll have an interview with debut author Sarah McGuire and a giveaway of her MG fairytale retelling VALIANT.
Hope to see you on Monday!