Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Guest Post: Ann Redisch Stampler + Where It Began SWAG GIVEAWAY!


I am lucky to have Ann Stampler on the blog today sharing her thoughts about finishing her second young adult novel. She has also shared some signed Where It Began bookmarks with us! 

On Finishing the Second YA Novel

I am writing this immediately (we’re talking ten seconds) after pushing the send button to shoot the manuscript for my second YA novel into my editor’s email box.

I am writing this in a state of minor panic. Not so much in a will she like it/love it/throw a party/think it’s blah/actively hate it/throw it against the wall kind of way, more in a state of feeling an empty space where Emma, the narrator of my new book, used to be.

And happy and excited as I am that her story is about to become a book (with a truly gorgeous cover – just wait!), after spending many hours a day being in character, using Emma’s voice, thinking and feeling as Emma, I realize that this is the end of it. The button is pushed. She’s gone.

I’m not trying to say that I get in character in a psychotic haze, but the way my imagination works, in my mind’s eye, I see what’s happening throughout the book, and that’s what I write down. I walk through it. I look around. I see the buildings and the pathways and the way the characters dress and shrug and turn away. And when I’m seeing the scenes, the narrator is never there, because my vantage point is her head.

I never saw Emma careening through the halls of the Camden Hotel looking for Siobhan; I saw the ballroom and the long, carpeted corridors and the feral cat that she saw, through her eyes. In Where It Began, when Gabby and Billy were in the laundry room sitting on the washer and the dryer, I was looking at him and seeing just what Gabby saw. I was not seeing her; I was seeing as her.

And it’s hard to let go.

Gabby speaks in
Where  It Began
With Gabby, she just wouldn’t get out of my head. When I started writing the new book, she would pop up. She wanted to speak to the new narrator. For a while, I contemplated introducing them, and (not a spoiler), it almost happened at Andy’s New Year’s party. Eventually, I got Gabby a twitter name (@GabbyGardiner) and unleashed her on the cyberworld.

And then, maybe six months into Emma, Gabby Gardiner was gone. Emma’s voice had eclipsed hers almost entirely. And although I could conjure her up if I needed to, I could conjure up visual images of her and of Emma if I made a conscious decision to see either of them from the outside, it was different.

So here I am, at the beginning of the wonderful process of working toward making a manuscript a book, excited, happy, enthused, relieved, exhausted and terribly sad that Emma has left the building.

Thank you so much for stopping by and
for sharing a little about your writing experience with us!
I'm excited to read about Emma, hopefully soon.

I’m giving away 
to four lucky winners
courtesy of Author Ann Stampler!


These are SO PRETTY!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good Luck! 


  1. Wonderful post! It sounds like it is hard to let go of your characters. I really enjoyed reading about your connection to them. Almost like empty nest syndrome.
    Congratulations on your upcoming new release. Your cover art is alluring.

  2. I love this post. It's so interesting reading about authors and their characters. I can't imagine what it would be like being an author and have to say goodbye; it sounds hard (and sad). *hugs Ann*

    I'm looking forward to reading Ann's newest story and meeting Emma! Thanks for this gorgeous guest post and for the lovely bookmark giveaway :)

  3. It's always fascinating to read about how authors write, especially when it comes to creating characters. I think it's awesome if the writer is able to get into a character's head. Can't wait to read this book!

  4. I'm looking forward to reading about Emma.

  5. After reading, and falling in love, with Where it Began it doens't surprise me at all that the characters get stuck in Ann's head so much. I was shocked at how well she was able to make me see through her character's eyes and I'm pretty sure that is why I have dubbed Ann my 2012 contemporary fiction hero! I absolutely cannot wait for her next book.

    Thanks for sharing this guest post Asheley!

    Bonnie @

  6. i added this title few days back when its cover caught my eye later when i read its summary and some reviews i am sure i want to read it... :)

  7. OMG I want these!!! I won the book a while ago and the bookmarks would go perfect :)

  8. They´re really pretty!!!! The cover is one of my favorite! I'm really looking forward to read Wher it Began! (ileana-rafflecopter)

  9. I loved this post, Ann! You described exactly how I feel when I finish reading a book, so I can imagine how much more intense that feeling of loss can be when you finish WRITING a book. I often remember characters from books that I truly admire and have to remind myself that they aren't real people, and even that thought makes me sad because they never existed in this beautiful world. I admire what you do, Ann, and your ability to create such unique worlds that can be shared by others to cause dialogue...especially for young adults who need it more than anyone.

  10. EEk awesome! I just stumbled on this blog and am excited to read all the reviews

    1. This comment was left by Keara

  11. I would buy this book for the cover alone- it's just gorgeous! :D

  12. I just wanted to thank, you again, Asheley, for hosting my post and sponsoring this contest, as well as your lovely review of Where It Began -- and to thank you all for your kind comments. I've spent most of today in revisions of the Emma's book, Afterparty, and words like "I'm looking forward to reading about Emma" are inspiring.

  13. Where It Began is an amazing contemporary debut novel that you should at least add to your to-read lists or even pre-order immediately. Even though I already expected it to be a good novel, I was completely surprised by its awesomeness, which makes it deserve a place on my list of favorite books.
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