Family Collage

Family Collage
Lots of Love in this Bunch!
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fantasy vs. Realistic Fiction!

During the baby stages of Book #1, I visited countless bookstores and researched extensively online to learn that fantasy, paranormal, and futuristic novels are extremely popular genres amongst young adult readers. It was a no-brainer, I thought, to follow suit of these trendy styles and create an intriguing story that would capture the minds of high school students. But the more I tried to incorporate these elements (vampires, werewolves, fairies and hocus pocus) into my outline, the faster my story fell apart. I quickly became overwhelmed and even contemplated throwing in the towel.

After several hours of brainstorming, I thought of stories I enjoyed as a teenager: S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, Lois Lowry's Number the Stars, and Louisa May Alcott's Little Women , none of which had hocus pocus elements and eventually became bestsellers. These stories had one thing in common: they dealt with realistic issues that grabbed the reader's attention on the very first page.

It didn't take long for me to realize, however, if I was going to pour my heart and soul into writing a novel, then I needed to include elements that resonated with today's youth. Therefore, it seemed only natural to gear my project around the stories I enjoyed reading as a teenager: multilayered, realistic fiction.

So, when opportunity knocked, I was in the final weeks of a long-term maternity leave position at a school in Gilbertown, AL and knew there were no teaching units available for the remainder of the school year. I decided this was the perfect chance to get Book #1 in the best shape possible and begin querying agents. In other words, I didn't just quit my day job to pursue a career in writing. Unfortunately, it chose me!

You see, instead of allowing my circumstances to get me down, I remained persistent and took advantage of every spare minute of my day (usually during the children's naps and late at night) to finish Graduate School and seek representation for my first novel.

In the weeks, months, maybe years to come, I'm hopeful that young readers, librarians, teachers and YOU will have the opportunity to fall in love with my multilayered, realistic novel as much as I have. For all the support and encouragement you've given thus far, I appreciate it greatly and hope you continue to follow along as I write about this exciting journey in my life!

Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone! Tory


  1. Great post. I think we should always write what we love, and trust that if we write it realistically by todays standards, others will love it too. :)

  2. Hi, Angela! I'm so glad you agree that writing is an emotional impulse. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that it's best if one stays true to themself not only as a person, but also as a writer. It's nice to know I'm not alone on this principle. :-)