Cat Scully: Five Things I Learned Writing Jennifer Strange

Feline Scullys illustrations bring the ghosts and demons of her fictional world to gorgeous and spooky life, harkening back to the design of SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK and Ransom Riggs MISS PEREGRINES HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN.

A hectic and splattery romp, fans of Supernatural, Buffy, and Evil Dead will take pleasure in JENNIFER STRANGE– the very first illustrated novel in a trilogy of stylish queer young person horror books with big scares for readers not quite prepared for adult scary.

Drawn to the power of the Sparrow, the supernatural creatures taking advantage of Savannah, Georgia will do anything to get Jennifers effective gift. The sis must discover to trust each other again and discover the fact about their family history by understanding their dads journal … since if they cant, Jennifers uncontrolled power will rip apart the veil that separates the living from the dead.

Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Strange is the Sparrow, cursed with the ability to give ghosts and demonic spirits a body-a flesh and blood anchor in the mortal world-with the touch of her hand. When a ghost attacks her high school and awakens her powers, her daddy dumps her unceremoniously in the care of her estranged older sister Liz, leaving only his journal as a description.


Its all right to be gross

The nature of Jennifers power called for it. As a female writing a young adult horror book, I got pushed in a lot of directions, many of them re-concepting Jennifers present into the romantic and gothic arenas. Going down this path would imply disregarding a lot of guidance, to collect the courage to write gore despite what everybody told me.

Get over your fear of conference individuals, but dont assume you own their time

It took me a lot of years to get this book released, about eleven all informed. During those years, I collected my courage and decided to fulfill as lots of authors as possible and provide back as much as possible to discover the publishing company. I signed up with Pitch Wars as a coach for five years, helped authors using my graphic style abilities to produce pre-order projects, I showed world maps for books, I was the Young Adult Editor for the Horror Writers Association, and ran conferences as a track director. Again and again, despite how afraid I was to increase and talk with authors who were even more along in their careers, I did it. I attempted to be vibrant, but never ever presume anything of their time. I really desired to get to understand them and never ever assumed any of them would read my work, critique my book, or break me in. I had actually spent years in the south alone, not understanding any other writers who enjoyed unusual and dark speculative fiction like me. It wasnt until I began being brave and genuine that I began to find my core people. Im sure thankful I did, due to the fact that years later when it was my turn for my book to come out, my publishing house went through a seriously difficult spring. I was delegated handle the majority of the book publication process alone. I needed to gather my tribe and ask for aid to get the word out about my book, produce boodle, modify the book, get it on Netgalley, find trade reviews, and strategy occasions during the coronavirus pandemic. Since of the people Im lucky enough to call my good friends, Ive had a project that went about the exact same as it would have (minus the in-person events). I truly doubt anybody would know about my indie young person scary series without them.

There is such a thing as taking excessive suggestions

When I was a baby author querying Jennifer Strange back in 2012, I eagerly lapped up every post I could discover. After chucking Jennifer Strange, I rage-wrote an entire unique about a seafood chef combating fish monsters. After recovering Jennifer Strange out of a dirty trash shoot, cleaning it off, and getting it released, I had to discover to find what I enjoyed about my work and my voice once again.

Researching “real-life” ghost encounters are way scarier than film ones

For Jennifer Strange, I went down a rabbit hole of enjoying every ghost film I might find. Researching the book ended up being more scary when I turned around on a walking tour in Roswell, Georgia and discovered myself in person with a ghost when I wasnt looking for one. I think to this day thats why Im never scared of book beasts and always of film ones– Ive seen something I cant explain.

Its okay to discover a writing technique and after that absolutely change it

Cat Scully is feline author and illustrator of the young adult illustrated horror series JENNIFER STRANGE, out July 21, 2020 from Haverhill House Publishing. Cat is best known for her world maps featured in Brooklyn Brujas trilogy by Zoraida Cordova, Winterspell by Claire Legrand, and Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis. She works in video game development for the Deep End Games, working hard on their next title.

I didnt understand I had cardiac arrest till I was in the medical facility dealing with a difficult diagnosis. It was hereditary mutation, an uncommon misfire of the heart that causes it to swell and then stop working under tension. Before my heart stopped working down to 10 percent in 2018, I had an approach as an author that worked for me. Without stop working, I d put on my playlist and write no matter the sound or interruption at two thousand words an hour speed. I would plot whatever out in advance, and I was lightning throughout the keyboard, sure and stable. After 2018, whatever altered. With my cardiac arrest came the loss of being able to read, and consequently, to compose. I left the healthcare facility to discover my very first book Jennifer Strange had actually finally sold. Came the delight and then came the panic. I couldnt read a sticky note to myself much less my own manuscript. Coming from clocking the pace I utilized to pull, going back to the drawing board in my approaches was the most uncomfortable thing Ive ever gone through. When the words swam and every sound would send my brain reeling into fog, I had to teach myself how to compose and check out. I pressed the books publication date back from 2019 to 2020 and was client with myself. I found audio books and consequently Microsoft Words “Read Aloud” function assisted me check out again. Gradually however certainly being just able to check out auditorily turned to being able to check out sentences, and after that paragraphs, and then pages. Writing ended up being a muscle I had to train all over again from square one, with new methods and workarounds and tricks to get me writing, like exercise to get the blood streaming to my brain. And you understand what? All of it was fine. All of it deserved it. When my health called for it, I found out to begin over and reconsider my method. Composing as a practice has actually constantly been developed by inches, not by miles. In some methods, Im glad my health took a damaging ball to my previous writing practices. Im more thoughtful now, more cautious in my word choice, because I need to slowly digest every word then read it aloud to hear if it equated to the page. And for that lesson, Im grateful.

Feline Scully: Website|Twitter.

Jennifer Strange: Indiebound

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As a female writing a young adult scary book, I got pressed in a lot of directions, many of them re-concepting Jennifers present into the romantic and gothic arenas. I had to collect my people and ask for assistance to get the word out about my book, create swag, edit the book, get it on Netgalley, find trade evaluations, and strategy events throughout the coronavirus pandemic. After obtaining Jennifer Strange out of a dirty garbage shoot, cleaning it off, and getting it released, I had to learn to find what I loved about my work and my voice once again. For Jennifer Strange, I went down a rabbit hole of viewing every ghost film I might find. I left the health center to find my first book Jennifer Strange had actually lastly sold.

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