Monthly Archives: July 2014

Feeding Fandom with Ally Carter, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Rachel Vincent

Young Adult and authors and books have been on my mind since I returned from the Romance Writers of America national conference and Indie Book Signing in San Antonio, Texas.


Jennifer Lynn Barnes (, Ally Carter (, Sarah Rees Brennan (, and Rachel Vincent ( led an excellent marketing panel on “Feeding the Fandom: How to Turn Regular YA Readers into Raging Fangirls (and Boys).”


“Fiction is an Invitation to Imagine.”

Readers are passive. But in fandom, Super Fans rally around characters, stories, romances, and/or an author. The Super Fans live and breathe the stories, creating their own book-related art, stories, and character romances.

Gaps and Hints

Of the many great tips the panel offered, this one particularly resonated with me. Super Fans latch onto gaps or hints left by the author. If an appealing minor character doesn’t have a love interest, Super Fans will write a romance for the character. And if the author has dropped hints that two characters are interested in each other, Super Fans will create a fan fiction romance.

Acknowledge Your Fans

Fans and word of mouth can drive a book or author onto the Best Seller lists. So acknowledge your fans! Some authors (Ally Carter is an excellent example) provide links on their website or blog  to their Super Fans’ blogs and other social media accounts. This not only acknowledges the Super Fans, it gives them a place to connect with each other.

Middle Grade vs. YA

Here’s an excellent article from Publishers Weekly on “Middle Grade and YA: Where to Draw the line. Enjoy!

~Ariella Moon

Teen Wytche Saga banner


USA Today Picks Spell Fire as a Must-See Video

Robin Covington, Special for USA Today, chose the Spell Fire book trailer as a “Must-see” video.

I hope you’ll agree with Robin that the book trailer makes you “giggle in all the right places.”

To read more and see the video, please go to:


Book trailer by Opal Campbell, Videos by O

Spell Fire is the third book in the Teen Wytche Saga by Ariella Moon.

Spell Struck: Sweet Teen Fiction

blue stocking meme 2

The Teen Wytche Saga grew edgier last July with the publication of Spell Struck, the second book in the series. The teen romance alternates between the point of view of Salem, a goth outcast, and Aidan Cooper…

As a child Aidan thought he was being rescued, not abducted.
handsome young man in wet clothes stands in water

Now fifteen and homeless, he realizes he was taken because of his Gypsy blood. His kidnappers believe he’ll lead them to the Grey Grimoire, a valuable gypsy spell book. Madness. The book doesn’t even exist.

Or does it?

Salem is charged with fixing a half-destroyed spell book, her last hope for saving her sister. Amy attempted suicide and the meds aren’t helping. Maybe a powerful Get Well Spell will cure her.

Aidan’s kidnappers will kill to attain the Grey Grimoire. But if he destroys it, Salem will hate him. Either way, he loses. Again.


Aidan lowered his hand. His finger pressed against my skin, shooting a delicious tingle up my arm. When I didn’t move away, he hooked his finger over mine. My breath caught. We stayed, frozen, hyper-focused, for what seemed like three lifetimes. Then Aidan trailed his fingertips across the back of my hand. The soundtrack, popcorn smells, and theater audience melted into the background. The world narrowed down to the unspoken grief and need entangled in Aidan’s touch.

I rotated my hand so my palm faced upward. Aidan hesitated. Our gazes locked in the flickering light. The spell link humming between us lit up like blue lightning. At least I think it was the spell link. Aidan plunged his fingers between mine. Our palms pressed together, igniting a current. Air shuddered from my lungs. Magic rippled from us in successive waves.

My heart stuttered. My breath ceased. Every cell within me vibrated. Troops of fairies or dragonflies took flight in my lower abdomen. It’s possible blue lightning shot from my boots.

Good thing I wasn’t holding the popcorn.

Buy Links for Spell Struck and the rest of the Teen Wytche Saga by Ariella Moon

About the Author

Ariella Moon is the author of the Teen Wytche Saga, a sweet Young Adult paranormal series. Ariella writes about magic, friendship, high school, secrets, and love in Spell Check, Spell Struck, and Spell Fire from Astraea Press.

Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety, and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. Ariella is a Reiki Master, author, and shaman. She lives a nearly normal life with her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.

Ariella loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at or visit her on Facebook at

Get Your Unpublished Manuscript in Front of an Editor or Agent

Many publishing imprints are closed to un-agented authors. A good way to circumvent this closed door policy is to enter writing contests.

Writing contests are an excellent way to receive feedback on your unpublished manuscript and possibly have it read by an editor or agent. Before my first book, Spell Check, was published, I targeted writing contests that had editors and agents in my genre as final judges. This led to Spell Check winning the PNWA Literary Contest’s Zola Award, and First Place in my category (Young Adult). Not only did I earn a $600.00 prize, Spell Check was taken to Acquisitions by a senior editor at Scholastic (alas, where it was ultimately turned down).

I often judge the Heart to Heart Contest sponsored by the San Francisco Area Romance Writers. It is now open for entries! In the past, this contest has yielded many requests for full manuscripts from the final judges. Check them out below!

CONTEST CATEGORIES: Contemporary, Erotic, Historical, Paranormal, and Young Adult

WHAT TO ENTER: Send us that magical scene in which your hero and heroine meet for the first time, maximum 15 pages. (An optional one-page set-up may be included, but will not be judged)


Electronic submissions only — Rich Text Format (.rft) only

Cost: $15 for SFA-RWA members, $20 for non-members

Eligibility: Open to all writers unpublished by an RWA-approved publisher as of the entry deadline

Scoring: Scoring is based on 20 key areas. First round entries receive fours scores with the lowest being dropped.

Top three entries will be forwarded to the final judges.


August 31, 2014 – Deadline for submissions

October 5, 2014 – First-round finalists notification

November 6, 2014 – Final round winners announced

FIRST ROUND JUDGES: Our first round judges include RWA PRO and PAN members. Each entry is matched with at least one published author.

FINAL JUDGES: Three in each category: one agent, one print editor, and one e-pub editor. Judges listed below.

TOP PRIZE: Certificate.


For questions, email our contest coordinator at



Chelsey Emmelhainz, Harper Collins, Print Editor

Emmanuelle Morgen, Stonesong, E-Pub Editor

Jay Austin, EIC, Agent


Tera Kleinfelter, Samhain, E-Pub Editor

TBD, Print Editor

TBD, Agent


Nicole Fisher, Avon, Print Editor

Gwen Hayes, Entangled, E-Pub Editor

Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, Agent


Leis Pederson, Berkeley, Print Editor

Kerri Buckley, Carina Press, E-Pub Editor

Tamar Rydzinski, Laura Dail Literary Agency, Agent

Young Adult

Natashya Wilson, HQN, Print Editor

Kimberly Blythe, Omnific Publishing, E-Pub Editor

Laurie McLean, Foreword Literary, Agent