Debut YA author Amelia Diane Coombs guest blogs today about her writing must-haves. Be sure to keep reading for more about her YA romance, Keep My Heart in San Francisco, available TODAY! (This one sounds RIGHT up my alley & I can’t wait to read it!)
When I was growing up, I would write wherever, whenever. At my parents’ house, there are old school notebooks jampacked with half-finished stories. (I failed high school geometry because all I would do is write in class!) There was very little to my creative process. After college and my MFA, I began writing full-time. Gone were the days of trying to squeeze in writing whenever I found the time. Now, I had all the time in the world—and I wasn’t that great at managing it. After writing full-time for about a year with varying results, I became committed to developing a structured routine. Along with my routine, I discovered five writing “must haves” for my creative process!
- Silence. I live in serious envy of those who can write while listening to music! As someone with some minor attention issues, music is usually too distracting while I work. Despite this, I still make Spotify playlists for each of my projects.
- Scrivener. I wasn’t a Scrivener fangirl until the last few years, and now I can’t imagine drafting without it. For those who might not know, Scrivener is a word processing program and it’s magic. Seriously, pure magic. It helps me keep organized and visualize my project. There’s something really helpful about having all your drafting tools in one place. I outline, write notes, and work on my manuscript in one program—it’s a dream.
- Coffee! I’m a huge coffee nerd and lean into the cliché of the Seattle author. I don’t have any hard evidence correlating my productivity with caffeine intake, but I’m pretty sure a cup (or two or four or whatever) helps me stay focused.
- A Comfy Outfit. Since I largely write from home, I have the freedom of writing in whatever I want. Usually, a sweater and joggers. While working on edits for my debut, I had to overhaul the emotional arc (my edit letter contained the word “emotion” so many times, it wasn’t even funny), and I came across a sweater with FEELINGS embroidered across the chest. I wore it every day I worked on my debut revisions!
- But honestly, the only true “must have” is confidence and passion in my project!
Sparks fly when two ex-best-friends team up to save a family business in this swoon-worthy and witty debut perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett and Sarah Dessen.
Caroline “Chuck” Wilson has big plans for spring break—hit up estate sales to score vintage fashion finds and tour the fashion school she dreams of attending. But her dad wrecks those plans when he asks her to spend vacation working the counter at Bigmouth’s Bowl, her family’s failing bowling alley. Making things astronomically worse, Chuck finds out her dad is way behind on back rent—meaning they might be losing Bigmouth’s, the only thing keeping Chuck’s family in San Francisco.
And the one person other than Chuck who wants to do anything about it? Beckett Porter, her annoyingly attractive ex-best friend.
So when Beckett propositions Chuck with a plan to make serious cash infiltrating the Bay Area action bowling scene, she accepts. But she can’t shake the nagging feeling that she’s acting irrational—too much like her mother for comfort. Plus, despite her best efforts to keep things strictly business, Beckett’s charm is winning her back over…in ways that go beyond friendship.
If Chuck fails, Bigmouth’s Bowl and their San Francisco legacy are gone forever. But if she succeeds, she might just get everything she ever wanted.
Amelia Diane Coombs writes books for young adults. Back in the day, she majored in English and went on to receive her MFA in Creative Writing. Now Amelia writes unlikable female protagonists, positive mental health representation, and swoony romances with soft boys. She’s a Northern California transplant living in Seattle, Washington, with her partner and their Siberian cat. When she isn’t writing or reading, Amelia happily fills her days beekeeping, playing card and tabletop games, hiking, and volunteering with cats.
KEEP MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO is her debut novel.
- Twitter: @sincerelyamelia
- Instagram: @sincerely_amelia