The Season of You & Me by Robin Constantine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: May 10th 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: May 10th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Disability
Cassidy Emmerich is determined to make this summer—the last before her boyfriend heads off to college—unforgettable. What she doesn’t count on is her boyfriend breaking up with her. Now, instead of being poolside with him, Cass is over a hundred miles away, spending the summer with her estranged father and his family at their bed-and-breakfast at the Jersey Shore and working as the newest counselor at Camp Manatee.
Bryan Lakewood is sick of nevers. You’ll never walk. You’ll never surf. You’ll never slow dance with your date at prom. One miscalculated step and Bryan’s life changed forever—now he’s paralyzed and needs to use a wheelchair. This is the first summer he’s back at his former position at Camp Manatee and ready to reclaim some of his independence, in spite of those who question if he’s up for the job.
Cass is expecting two months dealing with heartbreak.
Bryan is expecting a summer of tough adjustments.
Neither of them is expecting to fall in love.
Read an excerpt here.
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Ten Tips to Becoming a Better Writer – Robin Constantine
This probably goes without saying but most writers were passionate readers before they ever put pen to paper. Reading helps you learn about cadence, sentence structure, character arcs and plot without even realizing it. You know how some musicians play by ear? A writer can do that with words – when something doesn’t sound right we know it. Reading also expands your mind and keeps your brain sharp, which is essential to writing.
Writers are usually excellent listeners because we’re detail oriented. We always want to know the when, where, how and why. We’re also observant. Our eyes and ears are always open for story ideas or new ways of expressing a certain emotion or feeling in our writing. Warning: you might want to wear dark sunglasses when you’re out on recon or you could be accused of being a creeper!
Join a Critique Group
One of the most terrifying things to do is share your work with others, but it’s a necessary step in becoming a better writer. When you are too close to a story, you might not see its flaws. Or you might even get stuck in a place you don’t know how to get out of – who can help? Your critique group! If a group is not your thing, even having a critique partner – someone who really gets you and is not afraid to point out your manuscript’s flaws – will help you grow.
It can be a certain word count, or an amount of time each day but it helps to set specific, attainable goals. Do you have to write every day? No, but you do need to carve out time for your writing and stick to it. Sometimes that means missing out on events or giving up other hobbies that might interfere with your writing time.
Rewarding yourself for reaching goals is a great motivator to keep moving forward. It can be chocolate, a latte, your DVR’d television shows, a night out – anything that feels like a treat for getting words on the page. Another way to reward yourself and keep track of your progress is Victoria Schwab’s calendar trick. Skeptical? Try it for a month and you’ll be a convert!
Get out of your own way
It’s so easy to fall prey to your inner critic. You know, the one who tells you you’re crazy for writing a novel in the first place. Find a healthy way to silence that critic. Meditation, timed writing, a mantra taped over your workspace – something that will help you focus when those voices of doubt creep in.
Saturate Yourself with Story
We covered reading, but sometimes I like to lose myself in a movie or even a television show to shake loose the creative cobwebs when I’m feeling stuck. I love both The Vampire Diaries and The Originals for seeing how the writers ratchet up the tension. Game of Thrones can teach you how to kill your darlings. You’ve Got Mail can teach you about romantic pacing. Seeing how other writers come up with creative plot solutions can help you figure out your own!
How is this going to make you a better writer? Staying in one place for hours on end isn’t healthy for your body or mind. Exercise, even something as simple as walking, boosts your mood even after you’ve finished – and gets you out of the house. Sometimes I even set an alarm to remind me to get up and move – I think it’s that important. And look – science will back me up on this!
All work and no play (no matter how high it makes your word count) leads to burnout. It’s hard sometimes, especially when you’re in the zone, but when you put your writing away, make sure you really put it away. If you write all day, end at a certain time. Take a day off. Even just a morning off to meet a friend or take in a movie will help your brain reboot.
Never Stop Learning
This is essential in life, but also important for creative endeavors. Can’t afford to go back to school for your MFA? Find a workshop or writing class nearby. Join an organization for whatever genre you choose to write in such as SCBWI or RWA and go to their local conferences. Look for online courses. Read craft books. Listen to podcasts. Visit writing blogs. Keep expanding your mind and your bag of tricks!
Robin Constantine is the author of The Promise of Amazing and The Secrets of Attraction. A born-and-raised Jersey girl, Robin likes to spend her days dreaming up stories where love conquers all, eventually, but not without a lot of peril, angst, and the occasional kissing scene. She loves swoony books, flip-flops, dark chocolate and the full moon.