Today, we have Bethany Harar and her young adult fantasy book, Voices of the Sea. She is on a blog tour with WOW! Women On Writing, and we are super honored to have her on the Lit Ladies!
Here’s a summary of the book from WOW!: Nobody seems to fit in during high school, but being a Siren who can enchant men with your voice can really cause some teen drama! It also gives you a unique way to get even with the school bullies. But seventeen-year-old Loralei Reines has more to worry about than who’s sitting with who in the cafeteria. While keeping her true identity a secret to protect their species, Loralei is honing her powers for when she will claim her birthright as the next clan leader. Life is normal—or as normal as it can be for a Siren—until the Sons of Orpheus, a vicious cult determined to kill all Sirens on Earth, begin exterminating her people. Add to that the confusion of Lora’s abilities strengthening whenever she is near Ryan, a human boy. She knows she shouldn’t be with a human. Yet, she can’t resist her attraction to him, or the surge in power she feels whenever they’re together. And the Sirens are running out of time. If Lora can’t unlock the secret to defeat the Sons of Orpheus, she, along with everyone she loves, will be annihilated.
We also have a copy of VOICES OF THE SEA to giveaway. See the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win!
Now here’s Bethany to tell us about her novel!
LL: Welcome, Bethany! Since half of us write YA, we are excited about you visiting with us today! First we have to know, was it hard to channel your inner siren to get in touch with your main character?
Bethany: A little bit, at first, because Loralei is so incredibly drawn to the sea, so I had to always remember that while I wrote. The ocean is just as much a main character as Loralei is! But I’ve also secretly always wanted to be someone with extra abilities, so it was fun and easy to put myself in her shoes during those scenes.
LL: Me, too! When I was little, I used to twitch my nose all the time, like Samantha in Bewitched! Why did you choose YA as your genre? What made you want to write a young adult novel?
Bethany: I am a high school English teacher, so YA books are a part of my life all the time. I never even thought about writing anything else, to be perfectly honest. Plus, they are our future adult readers. We need to hook them early!
LL: So true! We are into talking about strong girls and female characters as well as girl power! What characteristics does Loralei exhibit that make her fall into this category?
Bethany: One thing I like best about Lora is that she isn’t afraid to stand up and defend the people she loves. I think having the ability to seduce any man with her singing makes her feel powerful, but what makes her really strong is the fact that she doesn’t give up when she is faced with the only men in the world she CAN’T seduce. She fights back, she is spunky, and is one tough female for sure.
LL: Awesome! Go get ’em, Loralei! We have several writers that also read our blog. Can you share a little bit of your publication process with them? How long did it take? How did you find your publisher?
Bethany: I started the querying process in January. And I’ll go ahead and be perfectly honest here – the querying process is brutal and hard and frustrating. I sent out about eight to ten queries at a time. If I didn’t get any positive responses, I revised the letter and tried again. Finally, around May, I had just about given up on agents and heard that some small publishers will take un-agented queries. So, I sent them out, and heard from WiDo Publishers within a few weeks, requesting the full manuscript. About six weeks later, they asked for a promotion plan, and then offered me a contract at the beginning of August. I couldn’t believe it then. I’m still a bit in shock, I think.
LL: I love WiDo publishing! So glad you have had a great experience. What do you love about being a writer?
Bethany: I love it when my characters develop their own personalities, so that they do things I didn’t plan on at all. All of a sudden, it’s as if they are writing their own stories, and I’m just the messenger. I also love when I write something that I know is good, and that I’m going to get the chance to share it with someone else. And lastly, I just love words, and I love putting them together.
LL: Thank you for visiting with us! Best of luck to you.
Okay, readers, enter to win a copy of VOICES OF THE SEA with the Rafflecopter form below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway