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June 6, 2016

How Do YA Authors Celebrate Launch Week? --- Guest Post from Kara Terzis and Hannah Jayne


Aspiring to be a published writer is one thing, but actually counting down the days until the release date of your beloved work is a different story! Can you imagine the angst, the nerves, the excitment? In this post, authors Kara Terzis and Hannah Jayne discuss their plans for the summer release dates of their new books, FRAYED and TWISTED. It's hard to believe that Kara Terzis wrote her first short story at the age of 11, but she didn't stop there --- now 19, Terzis has published her first novel, FRAYED. With the book's release date rapidly approaching, Terzis is terrified, but could not be more proud of her young success. Although this is not Hannah Jayne's first published work, she is beyond thrilled for the release date of her new book, TWISTED, and recalls the details of the first time she ever saw her books on the shelves. For Jayne, it's all about being thankful.

Kara Terzis, author of FRAYED
Honestly --- probably by more writing! FRAYED is my first published novel so I don’t have any experience with release days (although I do hope there will be more to come!), and it’ll be a new and terrifyingly exciting experience for me. I think for any author a release day is an incredibly surreal time. Most writers have been writing stories for many, many years before they manage to get a novel published, so I know for me it’s going to be a particularly emotional day. In fact, from the original idea to final draft, I’ve been working on my debut for over four years. Authors pour so many hours into their novels --- and to finally know it’s out in the world? Amazing! 
I’ve literally wanted to be published since I was eleven years of age. There’s always been that part of me who had loved stories, loved words, loved that I could create whole characters and stories and worlds. Words are powerful: they can make people laugh or cry, fear and feel hope. Storytelling has --- and always will be, I think --- be a huge part of my life. (And for that, I can definitely thank my mother who’s always been a big reader; and to both my parents who’ve always, without question, supported my writing endeavors.) So when it comes to release day, I think I’ll keep it simple. If I’m being honest, then release day wasn’t something I’d given much thought of before now; I was too focused on getting FRAYED to be the best it could be. That, and I’ll admit June has completely snuck up on me. 
So while I don’t have any specific plans for release day yet, I do intend to enjoy the day. FRAYED is a book I’m majorly proud of, and I plan on celebrating online (especially on Twitter) when the time comes. Apart from that, probably a small celebration dinner or lunch with my family --- and of course working on writing another novel. 
More than anything else, I think release day for me will be about realizing I’ve accomplished a life-long goal at nineteen. The rest of my writing career will be a long and tough and probably very frustrating road, I know that, but for now, I want to enjoy that I’ve got a book out in the world. (And I wouldn’t say no to some chocolate, either.) 
Most of all, I can’t wait until FRAYED hits the shelves!
Hannah Jayne, author of TWISTED
My first release day, with my first book, UNDER WRAPS, was definitely my most memorable. I had no idea what to expect or how to act --- do I get a tee shirt or wear a crown or something?! Well, my two best friends each took the day off work, kidnapped me first thing in the morning, then drove me to a bunch of local bookstores so we could go “visit” my books. We were making huge fools of ourselves! I was shy and trying to be discreet but my friends were running through the bookstore, asking people if they had read my book (of course no one had, it had just been released that morning!). A very grim looking man in a suit came after us and I was sure we were about to be kicked out --- I could see the topic trending already “Lame New Author Makes Fool of Herself.” He asked us what we were doing and I wanted to crawl into my sweatshirt; sure enough, my friends stepped up and said, “this girl wrote this book!” He didn’t believe us at first (until one of my friends peeled open the cover and forced me to match my author photo pose), but then he got just as excited and asked me to sign some books. 
Later that night I met a bunch of friends for dinner. They had laid out my books on the table where we were eating and a few of my friends had tee shirts made that said “#1 Fannah” on the front with a terrible picture of me on the back. It was completely mortifying but awesome at the same time. The waiters, other patrons and even the restaurant owners came over to check out the books and congratulate me. It was crazy! I’m normally a pretty shy person (or at least I was then!) and although I spent a huge majority of that day completely red-faced and embarrassed, I really did love and still do treasure every minute of that day!
My following release days have been way more tame --- most of them seem to come in the middle of a deadline for another book now! --- but I really try to at least set some time on release day aside to be thankful for my career and for the all the people who’ve helped and who continue to help me in the industry. I really do have the only job I ever dreamed of having and I write the books that I’ve always wanted to read. I’m thankful every day that I get to work but on release days especially I like to remind myself that I did not get here on my own and that it’s the great teams at the publishing houses and in my writer’s group that help keep my career going --- and who keep me (semi!) sane.