Melissa MacVicar –Author


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Release Day! The story behind the story.

 

Dandelion

I began writing this book a very long time ago—December 2012 to be exact. I don’t usually keep track of dates this closely. I have quite a few stories I have started and stopped, left in word files on my old laptop.  Most will never to see the light of day. When I tell my students that I write for enjoyment and sometimes nothing ever happens with it or worse yet,  it gets deleted, they are horrified. Why would I do all that WORK for NOTHING!? But that is a story for another post. This post is about the long and winding road to ONE BROKEN DAY being out there for people/teenagers/readers to take in.This is about working on a very emotional book for a very long time.

The reason I know the exact month and year that I started ONE BROKEN DAY  is because the inciting incident behind it was the terrible tragedy that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. As a parent, a teacher, and a human being, I was deeply affected by that event. I, like many others, could not wrap my brain around it nor could I make any sense of how something like it could happen. Sandy Hook sparked national conversation about so many issues from gun violence to mental health and more.

One part of the story that I became interested in was the family of the shooter. Many people felt that there were warning signs, and that the perpetrator’s family (I will not name him here because part of what he wanted was notoriety in death) should have seen what he was capable of. In the days that followed, some blamed his family for not stopping him. His brother, in fact, was arrested at gunpoint in the aftermath.

Gray Wooden Floor Background

As a result of my pondering this tragedy, I found myself considering what responsibility we all have for the actions of the people we are close too. My husband being in law enforcement in a small town has made this an issue I’ve dealt with. Some people dislike me simply because I am married to him. Does closeness to another imply you are somehow responsible for their actions? Is everyone, in fact, culpable for the actions taken by those they love? Surely, we can distance ourselves and leave everyone in our lives if we don’t like how they act but does the world ever  let us leave our family-—blood or otherwise? Maybe we are always stricken with guilt by association when it comes to them. These are just a few of the  questions that led me to write this book.

Despite how heavy it sounds, ONE BROKEN DAY is not an overly sad novel. It is actually filled with humor and love and many universal, coming-of-age themes. In the story, the fictitious Lizzie Berringer must face all of the ordinary things of life as well as the tragedy of her past. Does she deserve a normal life after what her brother has done? Can she forgive herself for not seeing the warning signs?

I wrote 25,000 words that became  ONE BROKEN DAY in one week over Christmas Break 2012. I had never written anything that fast, and I have not done it since. The road from 2012 to 2017, however, has been a winding one. First, the story was put aside while I focused on publishing my first two books: EVER NEAR and EVER LOST (yes the third one, EVER AGAIN, will be written).  Then, the path to publishing the work included landing an awesome agent, Meg Ruley, going on submission at the big pubs, and getting a revise/resubmit from Harper Teen that was ultimately a “no”. There have been approximately one thousand and one rewrites since that first 25K words, too. In the end, ONE BROKEN DAY is finally being published. It is being published because I want it to be. It is being published because it’s a beautiful, timeless story about growing up.  

Togetherness

It has been an emotional journey getting to this moment, and I hope that when you read this novel, you will feel all that I have put into it—the heartache and the fear and ultimately, the triumph that it represents, both for my characters and for myself. God help me, I still love getting lost in a good story, especially the ones of my own making.   

Thanks for reading.

Melissa

 


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One Broken Day Cover Reveal

one-broken-day-800-cover-reveal-and-promotionalI am pleased to announce that I will be releasing a new young adult novel in 2017. ONE BROKEN DAY has had many iterations and has been a true labor of love for me since 2014. Happily, I am in the final stages of editing it for publication. When it’s ready, I will be submitting it to an Amazon program called Kindle Scout. More details to come on that later, but for now, please enjoy the awesome cover art by Streetlight Graphics.


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Our Collective Carpe Diem-Prince Style

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Me circa 1992

Confession: I haven’t intentionally listened to a Prince song in years and I don’t think I ever bought one of his albums. When I was a teenager, I thought Prince was a bit too glam rock for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved his songs. They were wild and quirky and full of amazing lyrics that spoke to me. I just don’t want to portray myself as his biggest fan ever. I was not. When I heard he died on Thursday, I was not overly shocked or even that sad. Everyone dies, right? Rock stars and actresses. Kings and queens. He may have been called Prince but in the end, he was only human, just like the rest of us.

Since then, I have been watching the coverage and the tributes on TV. I have been listening to his music and trying to figure out what was so fundamentally special about him and what he did. I bought Raspberry Beret on iTunes and played it for my daughter. I wanted her to like it and I found myself saying, “It’s a song about young love—Prince style.”

She was not terribly impressed. So why was I and the majority of my contemporaries so drawn to the music of that short guy in high heels with an unsexy mustache and too much hair gel?  What did Prince inspire in so many of us?

I found it could not be easily explained.  It was more of a feeling, something we all lived through. Back then, Prince represented a sexy rebellion for teenagers. Kids like me who lived in the era of Ronald Reagan and Dan Quayle, the start of the AIDS scare, and the war on drugs—we needed Prince. Prince understood. He was the one who told us to “Just Go Crazy, honey child!” He told us to go in through the out door, enjoy our extra time and that kiss, and party like it’s 1999 because in this life, things are much harder than in the afterworld. In this life, you’re on your own.

Prince gave us permission to be young and free. When the rest of the world was telling us how serious everything was and how serious we had to be, he told us to let loose and be ourselves—to go joyriding in that little red corvette and swim in the purple rain of life.

I guess that is what my nostalgia boils down to today—my youth and one exceptionally talented man who understood what it was like to be confused and excited and scared and full of desire all at the same time.  My God, what a ride. Godspeed to him now.prince


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PROMOTION UGH

Writers get terribly tired of hearing that they need to promote themselves. After all, we didn’t start writing because we love marketing. We did it because we love storytelling and words and creating something from nothing. Despite that, we have to try to get our work in front of people so they can enjoy it. Here is a link to an article about good hashtags for writers that I am using now to try to make my tweets etc more effective. As I have said to friends before, sometimes promotion feels like throwing a bucket a hot water into the ocean and expecting it to make the ocean warmer. But I’m trying anyway! Thanks for reading!
Melissa

102 Hashtags by Lori Taylor