I'm really pleased to be part of the Embrace the Mayham Blog Tour to help promote the release of AJ Myres wonderful Mystics & Mayham series - Something Witchy, Something Wicked and the new novella Eternally. The books are so much fun - I loved them! And for the blog tour, AJ has stopped by to talk about how to be different...
“Not Another YA Paranormal Romance!”
Yeah, I’ve heard that a lot—usually said with a groan. YA paranormal romances, despite being some of the hottest sellers in books today, get this response all the time. So, how do you make yours stand out in a crowd? It’s easy. Be Different.
When I started writing the Mystics & Mayhem series, that was the goal I had in mind. I wanted something different than what I was reading—over and over again. Seriously, it was like every book I read was the same book, the only difference being that the characters’ names had changed. I’m not saying they weren’t good books, they were just way too similar.
The one thing I kept thinking again and again was that there was plenty of tension, more than enough drama, and absolutely no humor. Also, having a teenage daughter myself, I couldn’t help but see how wimpy and whiny the female protagonists were. Young women today are not waiting on Prince Charming to come save them, nor should they be. They’re perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. I thought it was about time for those strong, capable, independent young ladies to be represented.
Which is how Ember Blaylock came into existence.
Of course, like most authors trying to write a different kind of novel, my first draft went a little overboard. My mentor and editor, Sara King’s, favorite thing to tell me in her comments, all in caps no less, was “SPIDERMAN VS SUPERMAN”. Sure, we all love Superman, but Spiderman—who gets his butt kicked more often than any superhero in history—is more accessible. He’s more…human. In trying to make Ember different, I had turned her into a demigod. All-powerful in 2.5 seconds—or chapters, anyway.
But as we painstakingly fleshed her character out, Ember’s flaws became the funniest aspects of the book. Is she powerful? Sure. Is she good at being powerful? Absolutely not. Is she whiny? Yep, just like every teenage girl. Is she wimpy? Hell no! I don’t think Em even knows how to be a wimp. She’s the jump in first, ask questions later kind of girl. Just like most of the teenage girls I’m privileged to know.
The point is, if you want to make it writing YA paranormal romances, you have to find a way to stand out. In most of the reviews of the first book in the series, Something Witchy, got on Amazon, the fact that it was different was commented on the most. Yeah, it had the drama and tension and romance fans of the genre were looking for, but it was also hilarious. That’s what made it different. That’s what you have to look at when you’re writing for the YA genre—or for any genre, really.
Therefore, my advice is this: Don’t be afraid to be different. You never know what kind of trend you might start by not following the crowd!
You can purchased the novels via Amazon - all the sales links are below: And make sure you check back later for my reviews:)
also available in softcover:
And if you want to know more about AJ Myers and her books, you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and on her website. Links are below: