YA contemporary writer who is drafting and revising a lot
Hi, everyone! My name is Averill, and I write YA contemporary novels. I have a few WIPs, one where I’m hopefully going to be querying in the next couple months. However, I have lots that I need help with! I usually write heavier books with romance (but not always HEA stuff). I’m one of those writers that everyone hates with a million ideas at once, though I do my best not to bounce around too much on projects. (But no promises!)
I run a large writer’s group where I live with more than 1,700 members, where we run about a dozen critique circles. I personally take part in one or two, depending, so I’m a pretty experienced critiquer. I’m currently in university trying to start a second career, so I’ve got a pretty flexible schedule!
I’m a huge fan of LANDLINE, JUST ONE DAY/JUST ONE YEAR, GRAFFITI MOON, LETTERS TO THE LOST, WE ARE OKAY, I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, the SCYTHE series, SIX OF CROWS/CROOKED KINGDOM, THE FORGETTING/THE KNOWING. I read pretty widely!
I read basically anything with a good romance thread, though I’m a bigger fan of b-plot romance. I love lyrical prose, but also commercial, which is more my personal writing style. I like heavy themes, character-driven stories, anything with a redemption arc (that’s not about overcoming racism/sexism/whatever), hate-to-love, and anti-heroes/gray heroes/unreliable narrators. As someone living with mental illness, I always like well-written stories about that. I love a unique premise.
I don’t do well with most graphic violence. I’m totally cool with fighting and war and that kind of thing as long as it’s not overly descriptive. (Think GAME OF THRONES level.)
I’m not a good person for mysteries, thrillers, or sci-fi stories, as I just don’t read enough of them. I’m also a hard pass on paranormal romance.
If you can use Sarah Dessen or John Green as a comp, I’m probably not your gal.
I just started writing it, so no query. However, here’s the log line:
Teenage TOP GUN with Cessnas and a PRIDE AND PREJUDICE twist.
It’s based on my time as a teen pilot at a military-run summer camp. Not auto-biographical at all except for all the cool stories my friends insisted I include.
“If I never see another teenage boy wearing aviators and puffed up on his own goddamn self-importance, it’ll be a day too soon.” Roxie chews her gum open-mouthed as we watch the newest crop of pilot wannabes file off the bus.
“Well, we’re not teaching them,” I say. “We’re teaching them.” I gesture to the gaggle of kids behind us, thirteen-year-olds here for the Introduction to Aviation summer camp.
“Joy of joys,” she says, rolling her eyes and fixing the shoulder lapels on her flight suit.
“You shouldn’t be chewing gum in uniform,” I say.
“Yes, boss.” She tosses her gum in a trash can on the way to the kids. I’m chief instructor for the ITAC course, so, technically, I am Roxie’s boss.
Stargazer Academy is an elite aviation summer camp for teenagers. There’s an extensive application process, including an evaluation and interview. The tuition is pretty steep and there are only a limited number of scholarships. Roxie and I met during pilot training last summer. She was a scholarship kid. I was not. Now, we’re instructors. I wasn’t sure at first if I wanted to come back after what happened last year. The fear still tugs at my gut, but I shake it off.
“It’s still such bullshit I didn’t get a flight instructor position,” she says as we head over to organize the kids we’re going to be spending three weeks with. This is just the first batch. We get another group after this. Six long weeks. “I need to build up my hours.”
“You’ll still get some hours,” I say, referring to the number of flight hours pilots need to stay current for their licence.
“Not as many as I would flying those little jerks around,” Roxie says, and I can’t help but laugh. “Now let’s go make some memories.”
I have several other projects on the back burner. One is fully drafted and in its second draft. I’ve shelved it for now, but I’m going to get back to it. I have about four others started, between 5K and 20K written so far. MAVERICK & IVY is the one I’m going to draft next, at least for now.
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