Guest Post: Gwendolyn Heasley
I am pleased to welcome Gwendolyn Heasley, author of Where I Belong, as part of a tour with Teen Book Scene. Check back here on the 31st for a review of Where I Belong, or take a look at some of the other blogs on the tour.
Where I Belong tells the story of a wealthy teen forced to move from NYC to a small town in Texas after her father is laid off; in your website bio, you mentioned that the recession helped renew your dream of writing and becoming the next Ann M. Martin. In what ways has the economic recession influenced your writing and Corinne’s story? How have your experiences compared to your childhood dreams?
The economic recession gave me a plotline. I wrote the first draft of WHERE I BELONG in a Mediabistro class for YA writing. I wrote in the Spring of 2009 when the recession was everywhere- in the news, in conversations etc. It provided a lot of inspiration and parts really are “ripped from the headlines.” After the editing process though, the story became bigger than just the recession. The first title was actually CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE RECESSIONISTA but it was changed to WHERE I BELONG because it is more (hopefully) than just a recessionary tale.
Being a writer is great! It’s been better than my childhood dreams. There weren’t blogs or reading communities that connected the world when I was a teen, so I never imagined being interviewed or in contact with so many actual readers. I think it’s amazing that teens are connecting to each other and to writers on the web! I would have loved that when I was a teen! I have also learned that being a writer is also being an editor, which isn’t something I realized as a kid. You spend as much time thinking and editing as you do writing!
Also, since my book isn’t out yet, I am still grasping the fact that I am in fact an author. I am sure it’ll hit me once I see my books at bookstores and get to meet real readers at signings!
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