Thursday, December 1, 2016

Unwritten Melody Blog Tour




Welcome to the 23rd stop on Tessa Emily Hall's Unwritten Melody blog tour! I think this is actually the first ever blog tour I've participated in (not the last) and I'm really excited to be a part of it. Tessa and I have been connected through social media for a couple of years now. I love her heart for writing and her commitment to creating inspirational stories for young adults. I also appreciate that she's only twenty-two, so we're rather close in age and we do similar things. :) Anyway...  

I hope you all enjoy learning about Tessa's latest release, Unwritten Melody! Don't forget to enter her awesome giveaway at the end of this post.



Book Blurb

Does breaking free require breaking the rules?

Cassie Gilbert lives every day in the shadows of her deceased mom’s rebellion. But now that she’s seventeen, she finds herself longing to break away from her grandmother’s suffocating rules, experience what it’s like to be a regular teenager, and fulfill her songwriting dreams.

James Russo, former American Spotlight contestant, escapes to small town Willow Creek, SC hoping to flee from his tarnished past. When a school project pairs him with the shy principal’s granddaughter, he’s determined to get to know this Emily-Dickinson-obsessed and typewriter-using girl. His plan? Convince Cassie to co-write songs for his demo album.

As Cassie gets to know James over “project meetings” (more like opportunities to match her lyrics with his melodies), she becomes intrigued by his sense of adventure and contagious passion for music. But soon, his past becomes exposed. Cassie’s left to wonder—did she make the same mistake Mom did by falling for the bad boy?

Then, Grandma’s control pushes her over the edge. Cassie must choose between remaining in the chains of yesterday, or delving into her own freedom by completing the melody her mom left behind.


Book Links:








What was the inspiration behind Unwritten Melody?

I loved the idea of having a songwriter (Cassie) mesh her lyrics together with a musician (James), and for the pieces to fit together like a puzzle—almost as though the lyrics and songs were created for each another.

I also knew that I wanted to somehow incorporate the life and poetry of Emily Dickinson into the novel. I first learned about this poet in my 8th grade English class. I remember becoming fascinated – not only with her works, but also with the unique story of her life. After I brainstormed the premise to Unwritten Melody, I knew Cassie’s own life would shadow perfectly that of Dickinson’s and highlight the book’s theme in the process.

What is the message you hope readers will grasp after reading Unwritten Melody?

It’s my hope that, through any book that I write, readers will realize they are not alone in their life’s journey – in the questions they wrestle with, emotions they deal with, situations they experience, etc. And hopefully, through following the journey that my characters take, readers can find a solution for their own problems as well.

I specifically hope readers will come away from Unwritten Melody with newfound hope for their current circumstances and a deeper revelation of the power of God’s unending love.

Could you give a brief overview of the writing and publication process behind Unwritten Melody?

I brainstormed the plot when I was seventeen-years-old—the spring of 2011. I was working on my debut novel, Purple Moon at the time, so I filed the idea away until I could have dedicated time to focus on it. Finally, I wrote the first draft when I was eighteen and working on the edits to Purple Moon. That draft continued to develop and transform as I went through the editing/revision process for over a year.

When I was twenty-one, my agent sent me a long edit letter, detailing the major areas that needed to be fixed in the plot. I was extremely grateful for the feedback—yet at the same time, a part of me was discouraged, because it would require a great deal of “book surgery” to fix the errors in the plot. That was a lot to take on, especially after I’d already spent over a year in edits.

So, I stepped away from the book and poured my energy into another project. Yet the story didn’t let me avoid it for long. I knew that the book didn’t exactly match the original story that was first laid on my heart several years before, and I was determined to make that happen.

To make a long story short—I spent the fall of 2015 applying my agent’s suggestions and rewriting the entire book from scratch. It still has the same characters, premise, and setting, but now the novel matches the original novel I had first brainstormed when I was seventeen.

The book went on submission to publishers winter 2016. One day in May, while I was packing to leave for a writer’s conference, I received a phone call from my literary agent with the great news—Clean Reads had offered a contract. :) (I knew they were considering it because they had requested the manuscript about a month before.)

The moral of the story? Never give up on the story of your heart!

What’s next in your writing journey?

I’m currently working on the sequel to Purple Moon (which has been another lengthy project) and hope to finish it by winter 2016. I’ve also been working on a teen devotional that I’m really excited about!

After that? Well, I hope to continue writing inspirational and authentic novels for teens and possibly write another installment in the Purple Moon series. I don’t see myself switching genres any time soon! But I do hope to delve more into non-fiction as well.

Although God is the Ultimate Author of my future, I always ask Him to give me the desires He wants me to have. Right now, my burning desire is this: To write books that transform lives—stories that portray the power of God’s steadfast love and His unending grace.

What advice would you like to give aspiring authors?

First of all, stay fueled with a passion for writing. Build your writing journey on a foundation that consists of a love for both reading and writing. Write because you can’t not write, because honestly, if you don’t begin with this kind of passion, then it’s going to be far too tempting to quit when the discouragement comes. (Notice that I said when, not if!) It’s important to also find the time to write and stay disciplined with your writing time because perseverance is the only way you’ll produce an actual book.

Then, learn as much about the craft and industry as you can through blogs, books, workshops, and conferences. Apply what you learn to your manuscript. Network with other writers on blogs, social media, critique groups, and at writing conferences. Keep a teachable spirit. Remember that, no matter how naturally gifted you may be in writing, every writer could use improvement to grow.

Finally, create long-term and short-term goals for your writing journey. I’ve met so many writers who never pursued their writing dreams because, A) They didn’t push themselves to finish a book, B) They gave up too soon, C) They didn’t learn how a book is published, therefore never pursued publication and believed that “being an author” was an impossible achievement.

I love to mentor young writers through my course, Write Now. You can find more info about this 3-month program at this link.

Giveaway:

Enter for your chance to win the Unwritten Melody Prize PackTwo winners will be selected and announced on Tessa’s blog the final day of tour (Friday, December 9th) and will be notified via email. 





This prize pack includes…



* E-copy of Unwritten Melody

* Signed paperback copy of Purple Moon

* Unwritten Melody mug, filled with goodies

* Unwritten Melody swag, including a bookmark, pen, and poster

* Starbucks mocha flavored instant coffee

* Free Unwritten Melody: Page-By-Page Secrets PDF

* Handmade journal

* Typewritten thank you note


*This giveaway is open to the US only


Bio:

Tessa Emily Hall writes inspirational yet authentic YA fiction to show others they’re not alone—and because she remembers the teen life like it was yesterday (or a few years ago). The debut novel she wrote at 16-years-old, PURPLE MOON (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) was a Selah 2014 Finalist. Her second novel, UNWRITTEN MELODY, releases with Clean Reads November 2016. She’s the Founder of PursueMagazine.net, a magazine that inspires teens to embrace their calling. She also enjoys helping writers achieve their dreams through her internship at Hartline Literary Agency.

When her fingers aren’t flying 116 WPM across the keyboard, Tessa can be found making healthy homemade lattes, speaking to teens, decorating her insulin pump, and acting in Christian films. She writes in a small town nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Southeastern coast. Her favorite way to procrastinate is by connecting with readers on her blog, mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website.

Other Way to Connect with Tessa:



Don’t miss the next blog tour stop! Be sure to visit the following blogs on its designated tour date. You can also email tessaemilyhall (at) gmail (dot) com and request to receive the Blog Tour Packet. At the end of the tour, Tessa will send you the downloadable PDF that will contain all of the content from each blog tour stop. 

Tues., November 1 – Christ is Write
Wed., November 2 - Adriana Gabrielle Writes
Thurs., November 3 – The Depth of My Faith
Fri., November 4 - Sarah Ruut
Mon., November 7 – God is Love
Tues., November 8 – The Bibliophile Angel
Wed., November 9 - Emily Rachelle Writes
Thurs, November 10 – Word Changers For His Glory
Fri., November 11 – Christian Teen Book Reviews
Mon., November 14 – Phyllis Still
Tues., November 15 – In The Bookcase
Wed., November 16 – Girl Meets Publishing World
Thurs., November 17 - Anna Schaeffer
Fri., November 18 – Ramblings of a Writer
Mon., November 21 - Naomi and Books
Tues., November 22 – Reading is My Superpower
Wed., November 23 – Zerina Blossom’s Books
Thurs., November 24 - Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud
Fri., November 25 – Labor Not in Vain
Mon., November 28 - Barbara Bruitt
Tues., November 29 - Katy Kauffman
Wed., November 30 – Jen Pheobus
Thurs., December 1 – Fireflies in a Jar
Fri., December 2 – 2Me From Him
Mon., December 5 - Nicole Quigley
Tues., December 6 – The Destiny of One
Wed., December 7 - Catherine Castle
Thurs., December 8 - Rachelle Rea Cobb
Fri., December 9 – Leslie L. Mckee
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4 comments

  1. So glad you could be apart of the blog tour, Stephanie! =) Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  2. hello :) I just found your blog and I wanted to say a quick hello as a fellow spoonie. (not sure if you know the term, but it means I too have a chronic illness.) I saw you have Lyme. I know someone who has that as well. I have lupus. I know how hard it can be sometimes so I pray that God would give you strength and courage and healing in this battle against lyme.

    have a lovely day, beautiful <3

    princessfaithm.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Faith, <3

      Aw, I'm so glad you said hello. :) It's always so happy to connect with other spoonies--it makes our little worlds feel ever so much less alone. I'm so glad you commented, now we can be friends! :)

      I took a peek at your blog and oh my goodness, it's amazing. I think you are a wonderful, incredible, beautiful, talented human being. I'm excited to hear/read more from you in the future. Also, your hair is amazing.

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, it really means the world. I'm really, really sorry you have lupus. I will be praying for you also. Never stop fighting. <3

      Delete

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