Thursday, October 2, 2014

JETTIE NECOLE: Five Things Learned Writing THE VAULT


Imagine an underground vault, empty, awaiting two hundred ticket holders of the finest intellect and genetic disposition to arrive. Designed to enforce a stable society to exist within its own rules, the vault is salvation for the wealthy. When a surprise nuclear attack threatens the United States, the vault's residents are driven underground to begin life anew, but one secret addition to the roster could make the entire system unravel. This is the world seventeen year old Olivia Parker finds herself locked inside, and she's not supposed to be there! Quickly she must learn and conform to the rules of this new society or face severe punishment. Surrounded by strangers, she's torn between trusting the man who forced her inside the vault or the genius who created it. If she's going to survive, she won't be able to do it alone.

The Vault: Upper Young Adult/New Adult Romance, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopia

THE VAULT is a fast-paced novel that follows a seventeen-year-old girl's coming of age tale in an apocalyptic scenario where among the ruins of a shattered society love and hope endure.

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1. How to publish 101, doing it on your own.

I'd already written two unpublished novels, but I'd not taken the time to do anything about it. This book was my launching pad for figuring out the HOW’s and WHAT’s in getting my book out there, the indie way. So this would be my ticket to the other side. Everything from registering my work with the copyright office, buying an ISBN, formatting for e-book vs. print myself, to understanding why the heck my spine keeps moving. It was a big old adventure that had a lot of ups and difficult downs. In the end, I'd say I came out a graduate of the indie know-hows.

2. Doing it clean and pristine.

I published The Vault initially for a short period of two months. During my first promotion, I hit the top 100 and in three days gave away over 10,000 copies. That was my goal. When I got some harsh reviews on grammar, I realized I'd made a mistake and pulled it off for a re-edit. Not that my book was bad, I'm just a perfectionist and I couldn't deal with the knowledge of my book not being the best it could be.

Working with a professional editor for three months, who questions your motives and your sentence structure is a good thing. I've never been the queen of grammar. Actually, I'm terrified of the red pen. I'm a secretive person and sharing my work with someone is a vulnerable feeling, especially when tearing it apart is the entire purpose of the relationship. So, actually considering someone else's point of view was a learning process that made me a better writer. I noticed a big difference afterward. No more hits on my grammar and more attention to the plot.

When you're selling a brand it needs to be the best it can be.

3. Sometimes a character can surprise the author.

I think my favorite part about writing The Vault was minor characters come out of nowhere and take control, wanting their story to be told. Then, when editing comes into play, you realize their personal story doesn't even touch the page. Sometimes readers pick up on this in the smallest way and you find yourself writing a character who becomes bigger than the main character. I had a 60-year-old man write me before I did my re-edit and he said he was so touched by my story he cried. Okay. That's pretty big. Wow. So when I went back through with my re-edits, I made sure to be careful with those characters because people were already fond of them.

4. The end of the world is always happening.

One of the reasons I wanted to write this story was I'd always had a fascination with the World War II Era. The invasion of Baghdad was being televised live. I think it hit me then, that it could happen, a war to end wars. I'm sure every war brings forth such thoughts. The World War II Era and how Americans bought underground fallout shelters had been proof of that—the fear of attack reaching American soil seemed so far out there, but then 9/11 and the invasion of Baghdad happened. And so my ideas began to form and I thought it would make a great film or even a reality television show. The WHAT IF went down on my list of many ideas. About eight years later, I decided to write it as a novel instead. I began researching and people were still building underground shelters, they'd never stopped.

5. Writing is fun.

When I was writing The Vault, I did it because it was fun. Each scene was chosen because that's where I wanted to see my characters go. Not because I was following a formula or thought, "Hey this is what sells." I don't care what the trend is. I care about what is exciting for my characters, because that's exciting for me. [And if it is exciting and fun for you, it will probably be the same for the reader I have found.--PJW]

I also didn't allow others to sway my opinion on how I wanted to tell my story. I don't care if someone thinks Olivia is too naive, Gavin is too much of an alpha male, or there should be more death and gore. To me, this was a journey through the eyes of innocence. Keep reading because the dark side is coming, you just have to wait for it. When I get to it, that'll be fun too.

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Author Bio:

Jettie Necole was born and raised in Kentucky, she spent most of her time daydreaming, taking photos, shooting movies, reading and watching Star Trek and Highlander. Having a passion for the art of storytelling and the dynamics of film production, she earned a bachelor's degree in Film & Television from the University of Texas at Austin, during which she wrote, directed, and edited her own films. After graduation she moved to Los Angeles where she worked in the Film and Television industry. Currently she lives in Kentucky with her husband and their fluffy Goldendoodle named Oliver.


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