How I Write, mystery, YA fiction

Projects on the Horizon

JV future projects

As I wrap up the Haunted Halls: Winter’s Cavern trilogy, I’m already looking ahead to what’s next this year! I don’t want months and months to go by without publishing something, because let’s be honest, I’m sad when I don’t have work coming out regularly.

What you might not know about me is that one of my early writing loves was fantasy. Writing YA mystery sort of happened to me by accident–I’d wanted something gothic and creepy, and the mystery aspects just sort of…happened.

All that to say, I have some ideas of what I want to publish, including a fantasy novel that is already drafted and just needs a few tweaks. I’ll be talking more about it, and another YA fantasy, over the next few months, as well as a nonfiction book about writing that I’m super excited about, as well!

As far as more Haunted Halls books, I’m hoping to do those, too, but with the two fantasy novels coming up, the mystery will take more of a back seat in 2019. Although I’ll be working on Haunted Halls this year, they won’t be in a publishable state until 2020.

So, those are my plans! Some are a little ambitious, like revising these two big fantasy novels and finishing that writing craft book, but I’m really stoked to get these projects finished and out in the world!

mystery, YA fiction

Unputdownable Young Adult Mysteries

8 YA mysteries

I didn’t set out to write a mystery, at first. But when the Blood Flesh Bone trilogy took me there, well, I was undeniably happy because I love mysteries! I spent my teens and early twenties devouring Trixie Belden books, Elizabeth George, and Patricia Cornwell. I just never thought I could write one.

There are quite a few excellent young adult mysteries out there–here are a few of my favorites:

1. Holding Court by K. C. Held: A wacky, heartfelt mystery with romance and a ton of humor. Highly recommend!

2. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly: Gorgeous historical fiction set in the early 1900s, with true-to-life characters who tugged at my heartstrings.

3. Mister Death’s Blue-Eyed Girls by Mary Downing Hahn: Another historical mystery, this one is set in the 1950s.

4. The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George: Elizabeth George is a master of mystery. This one ends on a little bit of a cliffhanger, fair warning!

5. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: More of a psychological mystery, it nonetheless had me flipping pages as fast as I could. People either love or hate this one–I personally loved it.

6. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead: This might be considered more middle grade than young adult, but I believe readers of all ages will love this story.

7. Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma: Beautifully written with magical realism, this is a book I could read a thousand times.

8. The Diviners by Libba Bray: Not for the faint of heart! This one is terrifying (says the author of gothic mysteries featuring ghosts).