Accidental Inspiration (Or What Happened When a Wrench Landed in My Verse Novel), by Sarah Tregay
My next book, Fan Art, will hit shelves on June 17th. Like Love and Leftovers, it is a contemporary young adult romance, and unlike Love and Leftovers, it is written in prose.
Fan Art didn’t start off that way. It began as a short story in verse, and later turned into a proposal for a novel. But the day after my editor said, “Yes, we’d be interested,” I received a second phone call. In order to reach more readers, Fan Art was not to be a novel in verse. I understood. A LGBT love story and a verse novel was narrowing the market too much.
At this point in time, I hadn’t written the novel yet, and the simple request for prose gave me the perfect place to start. Using the idea that rules are meant to be broken, I sat down to write. If I couldn’t write a book in poetry, I could write a book about poetry. This was the moment I decided to include a literary magazine. Fan Art’s main character is Jamie Peterson, a senior who hijacks his high school literary magazine when his classmates reject a graphic short story he cannot resist.
I wrote the first draft in poems—I couldn’t help myself—and then slowly converted them to sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. Some of the poems didn’t make the transition. I placed these in between the chapters in the form of characters’ submissions to the literary magazine, including the graphic short story, which is illustrated by Melissa DeJesus.
As a writer, I have learned to grab inspiration in any way, shape, or form it comes in—even if at first it looks more like a wrench than a gift-wrapped present. Either way, I’ll take it.
Raised without television, Sarah Tregay started writing my own middle grade novels after she had read all of the ones in the library. She later discovered YA books, but never did make it to the adult section. When she's not jotting down poems at stoplights, she can be found hanging out with her "little sister" from Big Brothers Big Sisters or stressing over performance classes at a model horse show.
She has both a Bachelors and Masters of Fine Art in graphic design, and her obsession with typography and layout naturally translates into formatting poetry on the page.
Sarah lives in Eagle, Idaho with her husband, two Boston Terriers, and an appaloosa named Mr. Pots.
Learn more about Sarah on her website and look for Love and Leftovers in paperback May 14th and Fan Art on June 17th.