In the Faerie realm, Noli Braddock's relationship with her best friend V has grown into something more. But V's mother, Faerie Queen Tiana, has ruled that they are forbidden to see each other. Returning to the mortal realm, Noli joins the crew of her brother's air-pirate ship, the Vixen's Revenge. There she discovers that her brother has hired the scallywag Faerie huntsman, Kevighn Silver. While serving as shipmates, Kevighn and Noli learn that the Earth Court King plans to find a forbidden artifact--one that will bring destruction to everyone Noli loves.
What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
Being a writer is a process. It’s a lot about figuring out what works for you. Some people write every day for a certain amount of time, some people write a certain amount for words, some people just can’t write every single day. Some people need silence, some people write to music. Do you plot, pants, or puzzle? Do you have to write the book in order or would you rather write scenes as they come to you.
One way to both figure out what works for you—and your voice—is to just write. I wrote nine books before I sold INNOCENT DARKNESS. Some of those books were really bad. However, I learned while writing them. I learned about plots, creating snapping beginnings and great characters, and how stories probably shouldn’t be 120k. I also learned I was better at writing YA than for adults.
I didn’t just write in a vacuum. If I did I’d probably be writing overly long books with no plots. Where writing can be very solitary, I joined several writers groups and critique groups—both online and in person. I took writing workshops online. I learned to take criticism. I read a lot. I also tried writing other things. I wrote a couple of YAs. A steampunk. Some paranormal romance. High fantasy. A space opera. I didn’t always finish them, but crafting these, and learning the nuances to their respective genres helped me find my way as a writer.
All this can be summed up in two points – don’t stop writing and don’t stop learning.
Even now I keep learning. I take online writing classes that interest me. Try to write book outside my genre just to see if I can. (Amish mystery anyone?) I listen to what my betas tell me (even if I don’t always use it, but that’s a post for another day.)
So keep writing, because if you’re like me, you write because you can’t imagine not writing. Keep learning and be willing to change things if they’ll make your story better.
Most of all finish that manuscript. It’s awfully hard to get published if you don’t have a finished story. Now that’s something I wished I would have learned sooner.
Suzanne Lazear is the author of the Young Adult Steampunk dark fairytale series THE AETHER CHRONICLES. Book 1, INNOCENT DARKNESS is out now. Book 2, CHARMED VENGEANCE, releases 8-8-13. She always plays with swords, is never described as normal, and has been known to run with bustles. Suzanne lives in Los Angeles with her daughter and the hubby,and a hermit crab. Learn more about THE AETHER CHRONICLES at http://www.aetherchronicles.com and her at http://www.suzannelazear.com