Today I have pleasure in welcoming debut author, Adem Besim, to share some of his writing process as he stops off on his tour to launch his first novel – My Unforgettable Year, published by Morris Publishing.
Adem was born, raised and still lives in Kyabram, Victoria – the setting of his novel – a coming-of-age story about triumph and tragedy, love and loss, acceptance and letting go.
Life’s looking pretty awesome for 17-year-old, Nathan Thompson. He’s the goal-kicking superstar from the small town of Kyabram. Nathan’s in his final year of school and has big plans set for the future; like winning the Thirds’ premiership cup, acing his Year Twelve exams, and finally graduating. One problem – his tough and over-bearing father, Mark, has other plans for him. He desperately wants Nathan to be the next AFL player to come out of Kyabram.
He seems set to stop Nathan from following his dreams of studying architecture at university. But a thirty-year-old secret of Mark’s that resurfaces on Nathan’s 18th birthday changes everything. Will it force Nathan and his father further apart or help them reconcile their fragile relationship?
On top of that problem, Nathan’s year gets worse as he deals with death, bullying and first love.
Congratulations on the launch of your debut novel, Adem. And welcome to From Hook to Book.
What inspired you to write My Unforgettable Year i.e. character/setting/story idea?
I guess living in Kyabram all my life, and writing down the experiences I had in high school and growing up, I was bound to create a fiction story out of it someday. It all came to me over about a three-year period.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? In other words, how did the story evolve for you, through planning or in the writing?
I am definitely a plotter and a very precise one! I wrote down the initial idea, then after a long period of time, I added the key events I wanted to happen in the book, then the characters and the settings and then planning the order of the events in a story arc form.
My Unforgettable Year is written about your home town, Adem. How difficult was it to separate factual events and people from fiction and to avoid members of your community perhaps thinking that characters in the story are them?
Good question! Well, even though it’s set in a real town, my ideas and characters have always been fiction. There are certainly things in the book that people (especially the Young Adult audience) will be able to relate to – that’s been one of the biggest points behind writing the book – as well as writing about some things I went through or wished I experienced!
The story is written in a singular, first-person viewpoint and reads much like a journal of Nathan’s day-to-day life through VCE. What devices did you use to reveal characterisation of the other major and minor characters?
It was just a matter of careful planning and making sure that each scene took the story further in terms of both the characters and plot.
Being a younger author, in what ways is it harder and/or easier to write YA characters?
I was a teenager not too long ago, and started planning this when I was my main character’s age. Also, I’m still quite immature! I also read YA stuff and realist fiction novels. I was told from my earliest work for the book that the voice of the teen was very believable, so I just stuck at it.
What are you working on now?
I have a few other manuscripts in the works. All complete and edited, but I do want to give each of them some polishing up. My next one ventures a bit more into adult fiction (as the main characters are in their thirties) but it is still at a readable level for the YA audience. It is much different from my first book, and certainly not set in my town. It’s in America, this time!
Thank you very much for sharing some insights into your writing process and the evolution of your story, Adem. Best wishes for a bright future for you and My Unforgettable Year.
Thank you, Chris.
Follow Adem’s blog tour:
November 15 http://www.robynopie.blogspot.com
November 19 http://www.kids-bookreview.com
November 20 http://elaineoustonauthor.com
November 23 http://authorjillsmith.wordpress.com
November 27 https://christinemareebell.wordpress.com
December 1 http://www.buzzwordsmagazine.com
December 4 www.sherfordbear.co.ukBOOK INFORMATION: TITLE: My Unforgettable Year Author: Adem Besim ISBN: 978-0-9925052-7-1 Publisher: Morris Publishing