Saturday, August 22, 2009

Guest Post: Jess C. Scott author of EyeLeash: A Blog Novel

Today Jess C. Scott, author of EyeLeash: A Blog Novel, stopped by to share some of her experiences writing and publishing her novel.

On Writing and Publishing EyeLeash

EyeLeash is semi-autobiographical. Maybe that’s the reason why I remained un-phased by the rejections I received from literary agents.

EyeLeash is about love and lust (and everything in between). I first started writing the book in mid-2005. I chose to let Jade have a private blog, because I wanted her to have the freedom to say/think whatever she wanted. The blog would be a safe place to explore her deepest feelings (and desires). I chose the blog and IM mediums because I thought the format would be refreshing and relevant to today’s readers.

Comment after comment I received from agents didn’t deter me—“doesn’t ring true”— “reads more like a journal than a book”—“not enough conflict”—most of whom had read sample pages, or the query letter, not the entire manuscript.

One problem seemed to be the category the book fit in best. Was it a blog, or a novel? Was it geared towards adults, or young adults?

That didn’t phase me either. If a teen is sexually active, I don’t see what’s in EyeLeash that they wouldn’t already know (or be able to relate to). I let the story take the priority, over the genre it could best be labeled as.

Perhaps I am a delusional optimist. I like to go after something, if I believe strongly in it.

When I was 19, I wrote (in my own journal) that I wanted to write my first novel by the time I was 21, and have it published by the time I was 23. I added the footnote: “even if I had to do everything myself.”

That turned out to be the exact case.

Throughout the publishing process, I’ve found (and am finding) myself being all of the following: writer, proofreader, editor, designer/artist (dug up an old drawing in 2004 for the cover of EyeLeash—never thought I’d ever use it!), typesetter, video producer (think book trailers), financier/accountant, marketer, and business manager.

It’s been very fun so far. I’ve always liked learning on the go, working at my own speed, and generally being left to my own devices. Perhaps it’s just part of how I maintain my own self-identity (both as a writer and a human being).

Which is what Jade Ashton (and Novan, the other lead character in the book) go through in EyeLeash as well—the soul-searching aspect of being true to oneself. They are unflinchingly honest with their thoughts and experiences—on a theme which is universal (with the possible exception of people who identify themselves as being “asexual”—which, of course, is another story altogether).

That, I believe, is what makes the story authentic. I could have chosen to leave EyeLeash in a closet—but I don’t think it’d do the characters, the story, or teens today, much justice.

About the book:

Jade Ashton is a sassy virgin. In her private blog, she vents about “fitting in” a world where superficiality reigns supreme.

Suddenly all logic flies out the window when she meets Novan: the former geek, who’s morphed into a delicious songwriter-musician.

They decide to be “friends-with-benefits”. But it’s Novan, with his poems and riddling passages on his own blog — which *isn’t private* — that backs out.

EyeLeash captures self-discovery in the 2000s, and showcases the colorful, intricate drama in two youths’ relentless search for themselves — and what’s really in their hearts.

About Jess:

Jess C Scott is an ambitious, 22-year-old writer/artist/non-conformist.

She reads, writes, loves, lives, and throws herself whole-heartedly into experiences. It is her modus operandi for storytelling.

Jess is getting ready to launch her second book, a short story collection, in Fall 2009.

Thank you so much to Jess for joining us today! If you'd like to pick up a copy of her book EyeLeash: A Blog Novel, click the cover image below.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thanks for your comment regarding my guest post at the Pudgy Penguins. Good luck with the giveaway!

L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”

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