The Wattpad Endeavour (part 2)

Hello gentle reader,

Six months ago I wrote a post about my decision to join Wattpad and to share a couple of my manuscripts online. Since then, my stories have been read over 47,000 times, and on Friday, my YA Historical Fantasy THE BRIGHT AND THE LOST won a “Watty” (a 2017 Wattpad Award).

EM Castellan The Bright and the Lost Wattpad

I’m still amazed this happened. I’m also incredibly grateful to everyone on Wattpad who made this happen.

Wattpad is a VERY crowded platform, where it can be really hard to find an audience. I was extremely lucky when THE BRIGHT AND THE LOST was chosen as a Wattpad Featured Story for 5 months (between February and July 2017). Once in the spotlight, as it were, my story garnered interest. Readers reached out to say they loved my characters and to ask about a sequel. I thought this was as good as it would get.

I still decided to enter the Wattys, but without much hope: there was a mind-blowing total of 195,000 entries for the contest. A month ago, I found out THE BRIGHT AND THE LOST was among the 100 shortlisted stories. It was at the bottom of the list, in the “Newcomers” category, but it was there. I was thrilled! Readers reached out again, saying it would win, for sure. Their confidence and excitement made me smile, but I still didn’t think it would happen. Too many stories on that shortlist, with far more readers than mine.

And then on Friday, I received the news: THE BRIGHT AND THE LOST had won. You can find the complete list of winners here.

Wattys 2017 Newcomers category

When I joined Wattpad, my goal was to have at least 1000 people read my story. Needless to say, what’s happened has gone much beyond my expectations.

So if you’ve read my stories on Wattpad, thank you. Your support means more than you can imagine.

And if you’re a writer wondering if it’s all really worth the effort and the creative anguish, don’t give up. Write your next book. Query widely. Enter contests. Join an online writing platform. Network on Twitter.

In time, good things will happen. Especially the most unexpected.

Have a lovely Sunday!

The Wattpad Endeavour

Hello gentle reader,

Last November, I joined Wattpad and posted online one of my manuscripts, THE BRIGHT AND THE LOST. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know I’m still working on getting traditionally published, but I decided to reach out to YA readers via a different channel in the meantime. Having had to shelve THE BRIGHT AND THE LOST for various reasons two years ago, I decided it would be the perfect story to share online for free.

In February, THE BRIGHT AND THE LOST was picked to become a Wattpad Featured Story. It has had over 13K reads so far, and it has made it into the Top 25 on the Wattpad Historical Hot List.

Following this positive first experience with Wattpad, I posted on the website a short story, THE FORBIDDEN ROOM. So far the first four chapters are available, and I will upload the rest of the story in the weeks to come.

If you’re a Wattpad user, or if you’re interested in reading my stories, you’ll find the links below. I’d be delighted to connect with you on Wattpad and to read your comments on my stories. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!

the-bright-and-the-lost-front-cover-upd

THE BRIGHT AND THE LOST

DOWNTON ABBEY meets Libba Bray’s THE DIVINERS in this YA Historical Fantasy set in 1922 England.

THE FORBIDDEN ROOM FINAL promo

THE FORBIDDEN ROOM

**A Blue Beard retelling** Based on Charles Perrault’s fairytale, this short story set in Victorian England mixes romance, magic and mystery.

Are you a Wattpader? If so, leave me a comment below!

The Writing Process Blog Tour

Hello gentle reader,

I was invited by the awesome Rhiann Wynn-Nolet to join the Writing Process Blog Tour. Rhiann is one of the co-founders of the Like A Virgin Contest and the CriTiki Lounge, which both help writers in their querying process. She’s represented by Stefanie Lieberman of Janklow & Nesbit, and writes YA/NA fiction with a gothic atmosphere and passionate characters. She blogs here and you can also find her on Twitter here.

What am I currently working on?

I’m working on a YA Historical Fantasy entitled THE BRIGHT AND THE LOST. It takes place in the 1920s during the London Season and it involves flappers in jazz nightclubs, debutantes in Mayfair mansions, dark magic and strange creatures. I like to think it as THE GREAT GATSBY meets DOWNTON ABBEY with magic, because that’s not ambitious or anything 😉


How does my work differ from others of its genre?

YA Historical Fantasy – Fantasy set in a specific historical era – is quite a niche genre. When I researched YA Fantasy books set in the 1920s, I found that most of them were set in the US and I thought it’d be interesting to write a story set in London instead. The Roaring Twenties did cross the ocean after all, and post-WW1 England is a great, dark setting which I wished to explore.

Why do I write what I write?

My answer to this question is always the same: I write the books I want to read. So I write books with clever, strong female characters, with magic and monsters, with darkness and love.

How does my individual writing process work?

I’m not the kind of writers who gets a Shiny New Idea and spends the next three months turning it into a book. I’m quite a slow writer. I get a Shiny New Idea, then I mull it over for months. Once this New Idea is fleshed out with a world, main characters and a loose plot, I outline. Only then do I start writing a first draft, which will need many, many rounds of revisions before it finds its way into the hands of my beta-readers. My CPs are the only one whom I ask to read earlier drafts, and I’m so lucky they’re the most patient people in the world.

And now, to tag some friends!

The wonderful Katie Bucklein who let me read her AMAZING YA Fantasy novel with pirates. She’s the Next Big Thing, you’ve been warned.

The lovely Melody Marshall who writes YA Fantasy and Science Fiction and is always happy to chat on Twitter.

My wonderful CP Jessica Rubinkowski who writes YA Fantasy and who just had a baby! She’s awesome, I’m telling you.

If I haven’t tagged you and you’d like to share your answers to the writing process questions, please feel free to do so in the comments section below!