Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ferocity Summer "Blog Road Trip"

I am thrilled to welcome Class of 2k11 graduate Alissa Grosso who is currently on a Blog Road Trip to celebrate her second novel Ferocity Summer! Alissa is an amazing author and I can't wait to pick up a copy of Ferocity Summer. I want to thank Alissa for visiting and proving a great giveaway!

This is the second stop on my Blog Tour Road Trip to promote my new book Ferocity Summer, which officially releases today. You read that right, today is the Ferocity Summer launch date or book birthday, if you are so inclined. Don't forget to read to the end of this post to find out how you can enter yourself in a drawing for your very own summer survival pack, which includes a signed copy of Ferocity Summer.

Books, just like babies, need some time to grow and develop before they are born, though the gestation period for books is probably longer than the standard human 9 months, it's probably closer to that of elephants, which have a gestation period of 645 days. Yikes! Poor elephants!

Thankfully for us writers the book development process is not as physically demanding as carrying a baby to term and we don't usually have to worry about morning sickness and stretch marks, but the process isn't all a walk in the park.

Ferocity Summer was conceived a long time ago, yes even longer ago that 645 days. Back then it was an idea for a book about this new drug called Ferocity, which was sweeping across the country, and that's pretty much all it had in common with the book that's hitting the bookstore shelves today. The characters were different, the plot line was different, the title was simply Ferocity and the book was a LOT shorter. That's because I only got about 20 pages into before I decided to shelve it and work on something else.

Some ideas won't leave us alone, though, and a few years later, I decided it was time to take another stab at Ferocity. Only this time, I added the word Summer to the title. I got rid of most of the original characters. Only one of the characters really appealed to me, a teen girl. No, not Scilla the current protagonist of Ferocity Summer. She didn't exist yet.

Instead, I thought Ferocity Summer was about a girl named Raisin. If you read the completed novel, Raisin's still there, but she has a much, much smaller role. I made a valiant attempt at telling Raisin's story, but it just wasn't coming together for me. I decided to add another character. Her name was Scilla Davis and in that version of Ferocity Summer, Scilla and Raisin alternated chapters in telling their stories. Then somewhere along the way, Scilla hijacked the book. There were a lot of plot lines going on with the Scilla and Raisin chapters. So, I decided to focus on Scilla, who as narrators go is a bit of antihero, but still I felt compelled to tell her story.

Babies develop in a pretty routine way with their various bits and pieces following a pattern that is more or less carved into stone. Sometimes books are written like this too - from beginning to middle to end. That wasn't the case for me and Ferocity Summer. I wrote chapters and scenes independently of each other and out of order. Then when I had a mess of separate files on my computer and had thoroughly confused myself, I decided it was time to put them together in a vaguely organized way. I did my best.

Babies don't need copy editors. Books do. Copy editors are helpful in pointing out all sorts of inconsistencies and little goofs like the fact that the July which originally occurred in Ferocity Summer seems to have seven weeks. So, that's why even after a book is accepted for publication, it still takes a long time before it's delivery date.

Looking back on it, it's crazy to think that the idea I had all those years ago is now a published novel. The book creation process might be a whole lot different from the way babies are made, but there is one more parallel between mothers and authors. Now, that Ferocity Summer is out there in the world I am as anxious and overprotective as a mom hoping her baby fares well in the world.

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For more on Alissa visit: http://alissagrosso.com


  1. That's so cool to hear how your book evolved from a story about a girl named Raisin to another girl's story. Awesome. I look forward to meeting them!

  2. "Some ideas won't leave us alone..." -- that is very true! I'm just glad that your 'Ferocity' idea didn't leave you alone! Extremely excited to read the book!

  3. That is one long road to publication. Congratulations! I'd love to win a copy of this book and see how it turned out. Thanks.

  4. FEROCITY SUMMER looks amazing. Poor elephants indeed!!

  5. This is very interesting! I can't wait to look up more info into this. Thanks.

  6. It's so amazing that such a young person has been able to go and make two books already! Congrats!