I literally cannot believe that today is the day. FRAYED, my YA psychological mystery/thriller, is out TODAY. (P.S if you see a picture of FRAYED in the wild, tweet me a picture @kara_terzis!) I literally have NO IDEA how to write this post properly without a lot of squealing and excitement (and tears. I’m literally tearing up as I’m writing this). This post is probably going to be longer than my average ones—I have so many feelings I’m not even sure I can translate them into proper human words … so just bear with me. I intended to keep it short but I realized quickly that was not going to happen.
Right now, I’m not even sure how to feel. I’m excited, I’m terrified, and everything feels so damn surreal. After so long, I’m finally here, writing this post.
I’ve wanted to be a published author for so long. I’ve written dozens of drafts. I’ve written, I’ve revised, and I’ve been as frustrated as hell with writing, but I’ve always kept at it. Because at the end of the day, that’s all you need to be a writer: persistence, and a passion for stories. There’s something just so magical about writing stories. Characters and plots come to life, and no matter how hard or how frustrating it can get, it’s worth it for those moments where the story just… falls into place. And, if I’m being honest, I’m not sure what I want to do for the rest of my life, but writing will always be a huge, huge part of it.
I started writing FRAYED in NaNoWriMo 2012. It was the first time, ever, I’d written something outside of fantasy and sci-fi (which will FOREVER remain my one true love.) And because of that (and my growing love for psychological mystery/thrillers), Frayed is a novel I’m unbelievably proud of. It was a challenge, but a challenge that was completely worth every moment of blood, sweat, and tears.
A few months after NaNo I rewrote the story. Literally rewrote it from the bottom up. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the story I’d written during NaNo… it was that it wasn’t the right story. I needed to find the core of the story, of why I was telling that story specifically. Once I had that, the core of the story, it was much easier to revise.
And I’m so, so excited to share Ava Hale’s story with you. I hope you all love her as much as I do.
But more than all that, this is also a post to say thank you.
To everyone, even if your involvement in my story was small. Even if you were just browsing the internet and saw the pretty blue cover with strings and thought, Hey. That’s a cool cover.
To my first, first readers—
I posted Frayed on Wattpad a few years ago (then under a different title) and the comments, votes, and fans literally kept me going as I revised. They were the things I looked forward to every morning; they were the things I turned to when revisions got frustrating. You are incredibly amazing. To everyone who read, commented, offered me support: THANK YOU. Guys, this book is for you as much as it is for me. <3
Without Wattpad, Frayed quite literally would not exist. I entered the Sourcebooks Development Prize—what got me published in the first place—on a whim, almost literally at the last minute. In fact, I almost didn’t enter because I thought I utterly had no chance of winning. Thank you, Wattpad.
To the whole team at Sourcebooks—
There’s so much work involved in publishing a novel, and not just from the author’s side. I’m incredibly grateful for all the work that has gone into making Frayed a reality. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes—editorial staff, cover designs, publicists just to name a few—and every one of them worked hard to make Frayed what you’ll read. So thank you.
To bloggers and reviewers—
You guys are awesome, really. I don’t know how writers, and authors, would survive without your passion, your readiness to work hard (and for most of the time—for free.) And speaking of bloggers, Jana at That Artsy Reader is hosting an international giveaway for a finished copy of Frayed for her Debut Dish feature… and you can find out what the weirdest thing on my desk is right now, as well as what my favorite junk food is.
To my parents—
They fed me stories like food, and even years later, they encourage my book-buying habit. Thanks, guys. Thanks for the endless love. Thanks for not looking down on me when I said I was a writer, or that it was my dream to become a published author.
To celebrate the release of Frayed, I thought I would share some of my writing playlist. (Some of—seriously, this playlist is LONG.) I found that when I wrote Frayed, I listened to a lot of a) classical music and b) songs with female vocals. I felt they just… fit Ava’s voice and her story.
Moonlight Sonata (Mov. 1) – Beethoven
Pretty Face – Soléy
Begin Again – Measure
Satly Sweet – Ms Mr
Avenue – Agnes Obel
If you guys are interested in seeing more of the music I listed to when I wrote and revised Frayed, let me know! I might post some more in the coming weeks.
So—what’s next from me?
Now, that’s a hard question. Honestly… I don’t know! I’ve been working on a YA high fantasy called THE EMPIRE OF STARS even longer than I’ve been working on Frayed, and god, this story has had my heart for so so so damn long. If there’s one thing I love, it’s the blend of fantasy with fairy tales and folklore, and that inspired a lot of what TEoS is. I’d love to make a name for myself in fantasy and science fiction; I know it won’t be easy, and I know I have many, many years of hard work ahead of me. But I’m nineteen years old, willing to work my ass off for it, and I’m looking forward to every moment.
Bring it on, future.