About Denise Jaden:
Denise Jaden’s novels have been shortlisted or received awards through the Romance Writers of America, Inspy, and SCBWI. The first draft of her debut novel, Losing Faith (Simon & Schuster), was written in 21 days during NaNoWriMo 2007 and she loves talking with writers and students alike about her Just-Get-To-The-End fast-drafting process. Jaden’s other young adult novels include Never Enough (Simon & Schuster), Foreign Exchange (an Editor’s Pick from Evernight Teen), A Christmas Kerril, and the upcoming novel, Avalanche (spring 2016). Her non-fiction books for writers include, Writing With A Heavy Heart and Fast Fiction. In her spare time, she home-schools her son (who is also a fast drafter of fiction) and dances with a Polynesian dance troupe.
What inspires you to write?
I’m inspired by young people following their passions, even against great odds. This may be one of the reasons I am drawn to writing about and for young people.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’ve tried everything when it comes to writing process, from writing by the seat of my pants (pansting) to following 38,000-word outlines. I’ve found that what works for me lies somewhere in the middle. I’ve developed a loose outline, what I call a “Story Plan” in my book Fast Fiction, and it helps me keep track of some main plot points, character traits and flaws, details I might otherwise forget, while not draining the freshness of the story for me. Once I have a Story Plan filled out, I can usually fast-draft a first draft in about a month. I prefer to do it this way so I don’t lose sight of where I’m going.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I hear my characters talk. They all have their own individual voices and diction, and no two characters sound alike in my brain. I can’t say I talk back to them…yet. Maybe that time is still coming!
What advice would you give other writers?
Read a lot, write a lot, and don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. You are on your own path. Enjoy it! Take note of what you enjoy in what you’re reading and why.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I first tried to get published, it was back in 2006, when self-publishing was still a relatively new platform. I went about the traditional route without thinking to much about it. After three manuscripts and many rejections I secured a New York literary agent. Not long after that, I sold my first two books to Simon & Schuster. Since then, I have had experience with small publishers, digital publishers, and self-publishing. I honestly think all these avenues have pros and cons. With a large publisher, you’ll get a larger advance up front, but a lower royalty rate and possibly less personal attention. Small and digital publishers utilize different methods of promotion than their larger counterparts. Self-publishing gives you the reins, but it also means you must decide everything yourself. I think it depends a large part on personality as to what publishing method will suit each author.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I don’t know what the future will hold, but I do fervently hope that paper books will never be obsolete. I’m a sucker for a book I can smell and hold my my page-turning little hands.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Young Adult, Romance, Mystery, Nonfiction
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.