How Cherie Reich Almost Debuted a Different Novel
Reborn was almost not my debut novel.
I wrote Reborn back in 2009. As my first draft of my first novel, I knew it needed a ton of work. The advice I’d heard was to write that first novel and put it away and work on the next one. I did just that.
When I wasn’t writing flash fiction, short stories, and novellas, I wrote three more novels after Reborn: a NA Paranormal (NaNoWriMo 2009), a Paranormal Thriller (NaNoWriMo 2010), and a YA Contemporary (NaNoWriMo 2011). Writing those novels and shorter works helped me grow as a writer, but by 2012, I was ready to seriously work to publish one of my novels.
But which one?
I had decided on the YA Contemporary. Contemporary was selling well. I loved the story I wrote, even though it, too, needed a lot of work (a new beginning and a brand new musical created by myself). The character’s voice spoke to me, and I loved pulling from my theater background. I wrote the first draft in twelve days. That had to mean something, right?
But I had my doubts too. You see, I’m more of a speculative fiction writer (horror/fantasy/science fiction). I enjoyed my contemporary novel, but my heart really tugged toward fantasy. I had more fantasy-related ideas for stories than contemporary ones. I wanted my debut novel to reflect me as a writer. What to do?
I was talking to my sister about it, and she said, “No.” She had read Reborn in that terrible first draft, but she still loved the story. She said I had to publish that novel first.
And she was right.
Reborn always scared me as a writer. When I finished that first draft, my first thought was, “What have I done?” I rewrote Reborn during NaNoWriMo 2012 and Camp NaNoWriMo 2013. I finished that new draft in April 2013. This time I was excited about it. As edits went on, I had doubts and a lot of the “what have I done” feeling, but each time I read the story, I knew it was the one. My debut as a novel author.
One of these days I’d like to go back to that contemporary piece, but for now, I’m writing fantasy and loving it.
Have you decided to publish something different from what you thought you would?
To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.
On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.
Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.
Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.
Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.
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