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Amy Zhang

class of 2K14

#MyWritingProcess Blog Tour

Hi everyone! WOOOT NEW WEBSITE!!! What do you guys think? Isn’t Tessa Elwood BRILLIANT?

So the lovely Chessie Zappia tagged me for the #MyWritingProcess blog tour, and I was supposed to post this yesterday but I forgot because I am TERRIBLE. But…um, better late than never? Right?

What am I working on?

…to be totally honest, I’m mostly working on graduating right now. I haven’t really gotten the chance to just sit down and write in SO FREAKING LONG, and I get all crabby when I don’t get to write, so basically I’m constantly raging these days. But I’m working on yet another outline/draft of THIS IS WHERE THE WORLD ENDS, my contemporary WIP about a girl and a boy who make a bet over whether people in general get miracles or apocalypses. I’m also worldbuilding STORYWEAVER, a fantasy set in a castle that sits at the top of a waterfall, in a ridonculously pretty notebook. And still brainstorming MEMENTO MORI, a contemp about a girl with HIV who kidnaps her grandma and takes a road trip with her best friend. And counting down the days to FALLING INTO PLACE’s release, of course (112 DAYS. NOBODY PANIC).

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I think what sets FALLING INTO PLACE apart at first glance is the narrator. Writing through an imaginary narrator is the coolest–it opens up so many possibilities. Time isn’t strict, order is up for interpretation.  It’s was so fun and so freeing to write, and I think it’ll make for a very different reading experience as well. But beyond that, I think what sets FALLING apart are the characters. I know I’m biased, but I really do love these characters, and I also understand how damn unlikable they are at times. I wrote a book about bitches, guys. They aren’t the best people in the world. They just aren’t, but I wanted to make sure that they were people that readers could cheer for regardless. I hope I succeeded.

Why do I write what I do?

Because I have something to say about it. FALLING INTO PLACE is about high school and bullying and good friends and bad friends and everything you overhear in the hallway. It’s everything I wanted to say during high school and didn’t. THIS IS WHERE THE WORLD ENDS is about equality and slut-shaming and victim-blaming…um, everything I wanted to say during high school and didn’t (also, for this one, I have this Paper of Rage titled “I Need to Write This Book Because,” and it’s covered in all-caps and venting). STORYWEAVER, on the other hand, just intoxicates me. I love worldbuilding. I’m making up the religion for the world right now, writing myths and variations and children’s bedtime stories, and it’s, like–I get drunk off that stuff. I love it.

How does my writing process work?

I usually start with a blank sheet of paper. I write a one-sentence summary of the idea, usually. And then I start drawing arrows–the characters appear, the plot develops, lines of dialogue start popping into my head. From there, I start making an outline. I usually make chapter-by-chapter outlines…until I get to halfway-ish point of the book. That’s where I start getting lazy and impatient to actually WRITE. So I do.

And it’s that easy. The words always flow and the characters behave and it just works.


There’s a lot of coffee. A lot of chocolate. Usually some tears. Usually some throwing of nearby objects and pouting. Writing is damn hard. It’s also completely worth it.

I draft using Microsoft Word 2000. It still has the little paper clip dude. I have 2013, but I rarely use it. For STORYWEAVER, I’ve been using Scrivener. I make a schedule. I do my best to stick to it. I give myself stickers when I reach goals. When I revise, I always start with a blank document. And then I revise again. And again. It goes to critique partners. I revise. It goes to my agent. I revise. And then it starts all over again.

Next week on the blog tour:

Stephanie DiazTwenty-one-year-old Stephanie Diaz wrote her debut novel when she should’ve been making short films and listening to class lectures at San Diego State University. When she isn’t lost in books, she can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fan-girling over TV shows. Visit her online at


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2013 Recap

Are we absolutely sure that there were 365 days in 2013? Maybe we skipped a month? I demand a recount. I don’t want this year to end.

It has been a CRAZY AMAZING year. I can’t believe how much has changed since this time last year. I have new interests! I have new friends! I have a friggin’ BOOK DEAL with my dream publisher!!! And so first off, I want to thank all of the people without whom my year would have been very, very different: my editor and the rest the team at Greenwillow, my AMAZING agent, my critique partners, friends, family. Thank you, THANK YOU for indulging all of my writing neuroses (and all other neuroses).

The highlight of my year was probably that “Call me, I have good news” text I got from my agent back in February, but some other ones include meeting my agent and editor without looking too idiotic, seeing my cover and bursting into tears in the middle of class (it is SO BEAUTIFUL. I absolutely CANNOT WAIT to share it with you guys), deciding to go to BEA with one of my critique partners, joining the Class of 2K14 and getting to know so many wonderful ladies, and the crabcakes from G&M Restaurant and Lounge in Baltimore.

I think the best book I read this year has to be Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It’s a fantastic example of so many things–characterization, POV, voice. It made me laugh and cry and stay up until 3:00 a.m, and I don’t regret a minute of it. I also loved Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, and Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen.

As for 2014…okay, I admit it–I’m terrified. Some of the most fundamental aspects of my life are going to change next year. Most likely, I’ll move halfway across the country. I’ll be on my own for the first time in my life. I’ll have a book on shelves. But here’s the thing–my life changes every year. It changes every day. And change is always terrifying, but I guess all you can do is roll out of bed and put on pants anyway, right? (Ew, pants.)

And lastly, some resolutions: I didn’t complete any manuscripts this year, but I started a few and I’m almost done with one. For 2014, I hope to write and revise three novels: MEMENTO MORI, THIS IS WHERE THE WORLD ENDS, and THE STORYWEAVER. I hope to learn more about publicity and marketing. I hope to keep up this blog. I hope to not go completely insane.

Bring it on, 2014.

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“BLOGFEST: Class of 2k14 is Thankful For…”

Hey, guys! The Class of 2K14 is doing this blogfest for Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for? Leave it in the comments!
I’m thankful for everyone who has supported my writing—agent, editor, friends, family. I’m thankful for my critique partners, who deserve a category all to themselves. I’m thankful that my book sold to my dream publisher. I’m thankful that I’m debuting with so many amazing people. I’m thankful that this year has given me the opportunity to grow up a little. I’m thankful that this thing called perspective exists. I’m thankful for this line in A Member of the Wedding: “It seems to me I feel the world going around very fast. I feel it turning and it makes me dizzy.”

Most of all, I’m thankful that though my parents often refused to buy me candy or clothes or movies, they never refused to buy me books.

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Class of 2K14 Website Launch

More exciting news! I’m a part of the Class of 2K14, and today is the launch of our website! *throws confetti*

We’re a group of twenty YA and MG debut authors with books that range from historical to contemporary to sci-fi. In particular, we target booksellers, librarians, and teachers (BLTs!), and we try to get some fantabulous books in the hands of readers. There are some CRAZY amazing people in this group, guys, so make sure you keep an eye out for the books.

The website features the authors, the books, opportunities for author visits, and information for BLTs, including fortchoming discussion guides and other curricular materials (the wonderful Addie Degenhardt is making mine! It’s SO EXCITING because all of this seems so REAL now! I’m abusing exclamation points again!). There will be TONS of giveaways in coming months, including monthly ones of the Class of 2K13’s books, but for the launch, we’re giving away…a $100 gift card to the book retailer of your choice!

One. Hundred. Dollars. For. Books. You know you want it.


And make sure you also check out our Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Goodreads page!

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