This book is about me, no not really, but maybe a little

So in keeping with my epiphany theme (since I seem to have them quite often, lately), I thought I'd share the latest thoughts from yours truly.

The other day while I was getting my hair cut, my lovely hair lady and I were yapping about life (as per our normal routine). Being as I'm a mother of three girls (about to start 5th, 6th and 7th grade - eek!), we tend to discuss our children and life as mothers quite a bit, whether it's stressing what the chitlins are doing, discussing how well they're (kind of) getting along, or sharing the interactions we have with our husbands regarding decision making for the kids.

I was telling my story for the billionth time (not billionth time to her, but to people in general), just a little part of the overall picture that lead Lovemuffin and I to be where we are now. Didn't think anything of it at the time really either, I was just making conversation.

Then a while later when I came home, I was on blogger (of course), commenting to a bloggy friend who's around the age I was when Lovemuffin and I started going out, and for some reason, this idea popped into my head...

What if I used *my* life as a sort of loose example for another YA story?

As I'm typing this, I think I know where the epiphany came from - I've been reading Stephen King's On Writing and am at the part where he's said some of the books that he wrote really had a lot to do with his life at the time.

Now, I'd like to point out this may never even come to fruition because

1) I'm in the process of working on two other projects at the moment anyway


2) The idea that anyone would even follow a story like that might be completely ridiculous.

But still. It got me thinking. My high school years weren't that crazy or anything, but there were definitely ups and downs that could be embellished enough for entertainment.

The only problem is, since Lovemuffin and I *are* raising three girls, and we're way over there on the *strict* side of the parenting spectrum, would this kind of story (made fictional, of course) be something I would want my kids to read, if it were YA? Or any other kids, for that matter?

And if not, is there a place out there in the literary world for an adult book starting out with a seventeen year old girl as the MC?

I don't know. And I'm not going to think that far ahead at the moment anyway. I think I'll just entertain the whole idea for a while and see if anything comes out of it. Maybe nothing ever will. But here's the cold hard truth to the craft of writing - often times, it's easiest to write what you know.


Lila Swann said...

Oh, wow! I really liked this blog post. Right now is my "read-only" time (so I come back to comment later) but I am definitely commenting now because I liked it THAT much!

I love your idea! As for the YA/Adult split, here's what I think. If you wrote YA, I think you should keep the story in high school. I think it's just more accessible (and more YA-ish) that way. If you really want to include the later, more adult bits in your life (for example, taking the story all the way to your kids), then I don't see why you couldn't write it as an Adult novel. Just because the MC started the book at 17 doesn't mean that she has to end the novel there, and every adult was a teen once. It'd be interesting to read your (fictionalized!) journey into adulthood and I would think that's a perfect book for Adult readers.

Ooh, idea! Or you could write totally separate series! Like the story of your life at 17 (in YA) and then a later series continuing your life (in Adult). I'm sure that readers would make the switch once they liked the story, and all of your YA readers grow up eventually.

But, you know, as a YA fantasy nerd, I think you should tell your life story as it is, but throw in some fancy paranormal monster bits. What's life without magic, elves, etc.? (BUT I DO NOT MEAN VAMPIRES OR WEREWOLVES. Back away from the sparkles.)

Hehe. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

I'm always concerned to think that when I'm published my daughter will read what I've written and wonder. But I think I'm raising her in such a way (*strict* as well) that I'm giving her the guidelines to appreciate good fiction. Good writing. I want her to be proud of me, of what I've done and accomplished, rather than just looking at the words.

Lila Swann said...

Oh, and another thought... I know that you aren't that far from 17 yourself so you probably know this, but here's my take on it.

I know the basic story of what my parents did back in their day. I'm sure there are lots of pieces that they haven't told me (and might never tell me!). But I generally know that they're human, and everybody makes mistakes/does things that they aren't proud of.

But that's subjective. There are lots of things that my parents like to do/have done that I would never do. And I'm sure it's vice versa. If you're really, really concerned about what you're writing, then either keep it from them for a few years (until they're like, 15) or write with a pen name. Once they're old enough, they'll have their own values and beliefs about things, so they're either already doing what you don't want them to know YOU did, or they've already decided against it.

You know?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Book I of my YA series began with a 17 year old, but the characters in subsequent books were older. I've heard word of a new genre "New Adult" and that's definitely where mine belong rather than YA - maybe that's a good fit for you as well?

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...


What? Back away from the sparkles? Are you crazy? That was the whole plan! LOL!!!

I like the YA idea best as well. And honestly, I don't think anyone would care about the kids part. Many people have kids. Big whoop. But the teenage part, I can see that going somewhere.

Regarding the keeping it from them for a few years part, I don't know how easy that would be. What if, by some strange crazy reason, it ever went somewhere? Then people they know would read it as well. And it could get back to them. Hmmm. It's kind of one of those "do as I say, not as I do, and I'll ground you to the house forever if I find out you even think about it" sorts of things.;)

Oh and I'm *so* going to find a way to reward you for saying that part about me not being that far away from 17. =)

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...


You have a point there. Maybe I should be looking at it as a "this is what I went through and what I learned" sorts of things, and I'm going to write about it as best as I can=)

L. Diane,

I like that category! Hopefully New Adult will catch on and we will see more of it in the next few years!

Anita said...

Implement the note card system specifically for "that" project. Who knows when you may go through the card box (was it a box?) one day and have a book. :)

I could write a book on my life too, but I don't want my kids reading it until I'm dead. Just kidding. lol

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

LOL Anita, I was thinking about it last night, and that's such an issue for me! Is there a way to get restraining orders for your books? :p And the note card idea is great. Wonderful idea. You get free virtual coffee.

Anita said...

"Index" cards/box...that's what I was "trying" to spit out.

Anyway, thanks for the coffee! I'll treat myself and consider it from you. :)