We’re happy to feature Jayden Abello on the Book Country blog! Jayden is currently workshopping BREAKING THE BAND. BREAKING THE BAND is a finalist in The Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest. Connect with Jayden on Book Country.
Janet Umenta: In your Book Country profile, you list Colleen Hoover and Tammara Webber as your favorite authors. How have these authors influenced your writing?
Jayden Abello: Collen Hoover and Tammara Webber were the first two New Adult authors I ever read. SLAMMED and EASY both pulled me in with their amazing characters and realistic story lines. I’ll try to study them to figure out the story beats and the act structure, and I just can’t. Once I turn the page, I get sucked into the stories every single time. I’ve read those books countless times. They’re that good.
When those books came out, New Adult was barely a thing. But I had ideas for similar types of stories floating around in my head for years. Seeing how they were able to captivate the market made me think my ideas could find readers as well. So I started writing. And rewriting.
JU: What is the rewrite stage like for you?
JA: To be perfectly honest, I’m not a fan of rewriting. When you have a shiny new story idea, it isn’t even work to sit down and type away. Rewriting is work for me and not nearly as fun as the initial writing. So I guess you could say the rewrite stage for me is painful. ☺
I finished my first draft in four months. I sent it out to some friends and then started incorporating some of their suggestions about a month later. (It was important to me to let the story sit for a while before I went back to it with fresh eyes.) Over the course of two rewrites, I deleted a chapter, took out a subplot that was muddling one character’s motivation, and increased the romantic tension. After that, I decided to put it on Book Country to get some more impartial feedback. Based on some solid critiques, I’ve been able to further polish the story. (I especially liked your suggestion about describing the apartment to further reveal my MC – brilliant reminder!)
JU: The characters in BREAKING THE BAND are so engaging and complex. Do you write detailed character profiles for each character in your book, or do you just let their personalities come to you?
JA: I do a little of both. Before I ever start writing, I think long and hard about my characters because, for me as a reader, the people in the story are the most important part. I want to believe that each of these characters could be real. When I start working on a story, I write down every single thing I know about my characters. I know they’re going to grow and change as I get to know the story better, but I can’t write their story until I really know them myself. Even characters who don’t get a lot of page time have a back story that influences how they act and react. Knowing their story helps me make them more real. At least, that’s the goal!
JU: BREAKING THE BAND is a finalist in The Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest. Congratulations! How did you find out about the contest? What was it like entering?
JA: I’d seen links on Facebook and on other people’s blogs past years, but I don’t remember how I happened to come across their website that night. All I remember is that when I dropped in, they were nearing the deadline for the contest – I think I had about two hours left to enter – so I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it and talk myself out of entering. ☺ The main reason I entered was to get feedback. Every entry received comments from anonymous judges in the first round, so that alone made me feel that the experience would be worthwhile. I never dreamed I’d actually make it to the round where editors and agents would be looking at my submission!
JU: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”- Steve Jobs. I found this quote on your website, and I believe it represents why a lot of us write. What does writing mean to you?
Writing is my favorite creative outlet. I love being able to make up people and story lines and figure out the connections between my characters. You know how when you read a great book and you have that sort of hangover where you can’t stop thinking about the people and imagining what they might have done after the story ended? That’s what I hope to create: the kind of characters that stay with readers long after they’ve turned the final page.
About Jayden Abello
Jayden Abello wrote her first novel in 7th grade. Fortunately for readers everywhere, that book remains languishing in a box in the garage. When she isn’t at the beach or the movie theater, Jayden likes writing in bed aided by copious amounts of Ben & Jerry’s. In order to support her two-book-a-week habit, she works at a high school, gathering material for future novels. She loves traveling, baking, music, fairytales, and happy endings. Connect with Jayden on Book Country, her website, and Twitter.