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A Day In The Life Of A Young Adult Author

Kevin Emerson, author of The Dark Shore (The Atlanteans, Book 2) gives FYA an insider's look into the mysterious life of writers.

A Day In The Life Of A Young Adult Author

You might remember Kevin Emerson from his hillarious Between Two Lockers interview last summer, or from the tour he and fellow Seattle athors put together this spring.  Now, just in time for the release of The Dark Shore (The Atlanteans, Book 2) he's back with a giveaway of a signed paperback of The Lost Code (Book 1) and a hardback edition of The Dark Shore.  When we were talking about this giveaway, though, I got to wondering.  YA authors all seem so cool, their lives shrouded in secrets.  What's it like to be them?  Thankfully, Kevin ripped a page out of his schedule and sent it to me to share:

An Average Page from Kevin’s Daily Writing Calendar And Aspiration Journal

5:00am  Wake up from dream involving random high school classmate you don’t even remember crushing on, a carnival-mirror-version of a house party in a Boston apartment circa 2000, a few spiders (always), Billy from Predator, a nonspecific terror that you are late for something, and some horribly inconvenient spill that is seeping.

5:01am  Feel relief that dream was just a dream.

5:01:30am Feel relief sour to disappointment, because that means it is no longer 2000 (more accurately, you’re no longer 26 [not even close]).

5:02am  FEAR.

6:04am Swear to self. Consider getting up. Type sad song lyrics with airplane crash metaphors into phone.

6:20am Fall back asleep reading article about the NBA on 7:55am Wake up feeling bleary. Delete song lyrics.

7:59am First coffee. Feel nagging sense that there’s something you need to do.

8:00am Sit at computer. Consider not turning on internet… Just getting right to the writing. Turn on internet. Consume.

8:07am Run to TV and pause Curious George for kids, late, prepare for disappointment from kids.

8:15am Wake up kids, receive disappointment, feed, take to school.

9:45am Return to computer. Consider not turning on the internet… Just write! Turn on internet.

9:56am Adjust fantasy baseball roster that you never wanted because you knew it would devour your brain but then your editor started a league and what were you supposed to do and WHY WON’T JOSH [email protected]$!# HAMILTON HIT???

10:30am Get second coffee. Consider turning of internet. Send 34 emails.

11:45am FEEL SHAME. How have you not written anything yet? There is no doubt a deadline, somewhere, looming too close, and you could have been working this whole time, just you and the prose and the art and the self worth but no, Kevin. No. You suck.

11:46am Grab guitar to work on new songs/get in different headspace. Curse yourself for deleting those airplane lyrics. Didn’t you have a snippet of melody even? It could have been huge, HUGE. And now you have nothing. Just some sucky new songs that probably suck because you’re old.

12:15pm Put down guitar and have lunch. Realize music makes you feel good. Things are looking up. Eat either an omelet with leftover beans and veggies, or a turkey sandwich.

12:40pm Consider doing push-ups and running.

12:41pm Sit down at computer. Consider turning off internet. Send 19 emails.

1:25pm Furiously click off Chrome and click over to the manuscript you opened three hours ago.

1:26pm Re-open Chrome and read reactions to your books.

1:35pm FEEL SHAME. Remind yourself to NEVER read that stuff. (Yeah, right.)

2:00pm Get third coffee. Begin reading your writing.

2:15pm Write.

2:45pm Believe.

3:20pm In the midst of a pure burst of creative brilliance, realize you are late to pick up daughter.

3:39pm Find daughter outside classroom, arms folded. Buy off with cupcake.

8:45pm Finally return to computer to write. Consider turning off internet. Tweak fantasy baseball roster.

9:20pm Read over writing from afternoon. DOUBT. But then, decide that, screw it, you just have to do it.

9:31pm Write. Find the groove again.

10:15pm It’s on like Dijon.

11:00pm Yawn. Pour bourbon. Turn on Netflix.

11:05pm Watch Dr. Who. Enjoy.

11:58pm Check on kids. See sleeping faces. Sleep yourself.

Kevin Emerson is the author of THE LOST CODE and THE DARK SHORE from Katherine Tegen Books, as well as a number of middle grade novels, including his latest, THE FELLOWSHIP FOR ALIEN DETECTION (Walden Pond Press). Kevin also rocks for kids and kids-at-heart with his band THE BOARD OF EDUCATION. Their song WHY IS DAD SO MAD? (about Star Wars, obvs) was a hit in 2012. Kevin’s favorite cocktail is a Bobby Burns, and his go-to move in high school was to take you into his basement where he would play along to Peter Gabriel songs on the drums.

So much thanks to Kevin for taking time out of his seriously busy tour schedule to hang with us.  Leave us a comment with your favorite part of this schedule, or how it might be similar to your own, and I'll be drawing a winner for the books at the end of the week, so make sure you register with a valid email!

Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.