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Superhero High by T.H. Hernandez
Publication Date: July 5, 2018
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Sixteen-year-old Annarenee Stevens is the sole member of her family without a super power. The only time she feels powerful is in the pool. With her sights set on swimming for U.C. Berkeley, she’s ready to win it all at the State championship and secure her future.
When the government unexpectedly ends the secret Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program, Annarenee is uprooted from Dayton, the only home she's ever known, and relocated to San Diego with all of the other GEA families. Queen of her public school, Annarenee is just another zero at Superhero High, a school without any sports teams.
With the end of the program, her hero older brother now needs a college education, too, meaning the only way Annarenee is getting into Berkeley is on a scholarship. Her dream is slipping through her fingers, no matter how tightly she clings to it. To make matters worse, super hot superhero, Ren Gonzalez, is paying too much attention to her. The kind of attention that has Ren’s ex-girlfriend intent on making Annarenee’s life even more miserable.
But when heroes begin disappearing, zeros and heroes will be forced to team up in order to solve the mystery. If they don't kill each other first.
If I Knew Then What I Know Now About Writing
Writing is definitely a journey, but one without a destination. There’s a definitive starting point, but if you do it right, it doesn’t end until you’ve left this earth. When I decided to try writing a novel, a big departure from the technical and proposal writing I’ve spent most of my career doing, I thought I knew how to write, so I focused on learning how to develop a plot. But what I didn’t know is that writing a novel is so vastly different than writing a proposal or technical papers.
Every new aspiring author hears “show don’t tell” more than anything else. And it’s a tough concept to grasp at first. On a high level, it’s easy to understand you don’t want to tell a reader what they should feel. But determining how best to show them that information opens up so many possibilities, it can be overwhelming. Should you show it through dialogue? Through sensory details? Action? I felt as if I needed a formula that I could apply to my writing to help me get the right balance of story elements.
But writing a novel isn’t about formulas or applying technical concepts. Fiction is art. It’s about telling a story, using just the right words to convey the right tone, setting, and emotions without telling the reader what those are. It’s so easy to overthink everything. Just as before you take a trip, you may write a dozen packing lists, prepare guidelines for your pet sitter, make a checklist of things to do before you go, not to mention the lists of all the things to do on your trip. Just as it’s possible to get caught up in the planning of a trip, it’s easy to get caught up in the planning of writing.
I recently co-wrote a novel with fellow young adult author, Jennifer DiGiovanni. I learned more about my own writing through this process than I did about hers. I’m a planner, she’s a pantser. So, we compromised and came up with a high-level outline and then alternated chapters. Where I’m wordy on my first drafts, Jen is less so. My chapters became shorter as hers grew longer. I saw the way she wove in her details in second and third drafts, focusing on plot in the first.
It was an eye-opening approach that I’ve adapted to my own writing. I still need a basic plot structure so I know where my story is going, but I’ve learned to let go of some of the other constraints of my pre-writing stage. The words flow, whether or not I’ve got pages full of notes before I get started.
If I knew then what I know now, I’d have spent far less time preparing to write and more time just writing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
T.H. Hernandez is a published author of young adult novels. THE UNION, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category. SUPERHERO HIGH, an urban scifi teenage romance, is releasing July 5, 2018.
She thrives on coffee of any kind, though pumpkin spice lattes are her favorite. Her free time is spent hiking, reading, painting, and binge-watching Game of Thrones and Stranger Things. She adores Star Wars, Comic-Con, Doctor Who, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three who share her home.
When She's not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, you can find her in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband, three teenagers, who are far too tall to be considered children, a bearded dragon, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he's a cat, lovingly referred to as the puppycat.