This Writer’s Space: Veronica BartlesPosted: June 11, 2014 Filed under: On writing | Tags: this writer's space, young adult 1 Comment
Today’s guest is Veronica Bartles, whose debut, Twelve Steps, I reviewed earlier this year. It’s a fun story about sibling rivalry. Take it away, Veronica!
Where I Write
My writing space isn’t confined to just one area. We live in military housing, and our house is too small for me to have an office space of my very own. And even though I’m sometimes totally jealous of my writing friends who have desks and offices of their own, I think it’s probably better this way. I’m less creative when I try to write in the same spot every day, so I bounce between several writing spots. Sometimes, I curl up on the comfy couch in the living room with my notebook and story pencils or my laptop.
Sometimes, I relax in my massage chair in the corner of my bedroom. (This is where I like to go when I’m stuck on an idea. The massage helps me to relax enough to track down the plot bunnies hiding in the back of my mind.)
My favorite writing space in my house is my treadmill desk. I’ve discovered that I can’t write first drafts on the treadmill, because I get so involved in the creative process that I forget where I am, and I’m likely to fall off. But I love to work on edits and revisions on the treadmill. With my blood pumping, my mind is more alert, and I feel like it’s easier to see the problems and issues that need fixing.
At least a few times a week, I also like to pack up my notebook and pencil (or my laptop, if I’m revising) and go to the botanic gardens, the library, a park, or a restaurant for a change of pace.
Where I’m Inspired
I get my inspiration pretty much anywhere. (This is why my writing space is so mobile.) But the best inspiration usually hits when I’m in a place where I can shut down my mental to-do list and let my mind wander into the creative zone. I try to go worship at the LDS Temple each week, because it’s so peaceful there, and I can almost always shut off my crazy brain while I’m there.
To Be Read
My TBR list is huge, and it’s growing every single day. This picture is just a part of my list – the print books that I have on my shelves right now that I’m dying to read right away. My lists on my Kindle and Nook are almost as long, and then of course there are the fabulous, pre-published manuscripts I often get to read. I’m glad I’m a fast reader, because even though I often read several books each week, my TBR list grows twice as fast as I can read. I’ll never catch up, but at least I never have to search for something new to read. I always have several more options waiting in the wings when I finish a book and get ready for the next adventure.
About Twelve Steps
Sixteen-year-old Andi is tired of being a second-class sibling to perfect sister Laina. The only thing Andi’s sure she has going for her is her awesome hair. And even that is eclipsed by Laina’s perfect everything else.
When Andi’s crush asks her to fix him up with Laina, Andi decides enough is enough, and devises a twelve-step program to wrangle the spotlight away from Laina and get the guy.
Step 1: Admit she’s powerless to change her perfect sister, and accept that her life really, really sucks.
Step 4: Make a list of her good qualities. She MUST have more than just great hair, right?
Step 7: Demand attention for more than just the way she screws things up.
When a stolen kiss from her crush ends in disaster, Andi realizes that her twelve-step program isn’t working. Her prince isn’t as charming as she’d hoped, and the spotlight she’s been trying to steal isn’t the one she wants.
As Laina’s flawless façade begins to crumble, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for both to shine.
As the second of eight children and the mother of four, Veronica Bartles is no stranger to the ups and downs of sibling relationships. (She was sandwiched between the gorgeous-and-insanely-popular older sister and the too-adorable-for-words younger sister.) She uses this insight to write stories about siblings who mostly love each other, even while they’re driving one another crazy. When she isn’t writing or getting lost in the pages of her newest favorite book, Veronica enjoys knitting fabulous bags and jewelry out of recycled plastic bags and old VHS tapes, sky diving (though she hasn’t actually tried that yet), and inventing the world’s most delectable cookie recipes. TWELVE STEPS is Veronica Bartles’s first novel.
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