Release date: December 8, 2016
Publisher: Made Global
There is a mystery that lies in the grounds of Remhurst Manor; a mystery concerning the unsolved 19th century murders of four teenagers.
Laine Brimble is slipping between two lives. Her life at home in present-day, Australia, and the life of a nobleman’s daughter living in 19th century England’s Remhurst Manor.
Until now Laine was able to keep her two lives separate (and secret). But, Laine is about to find out that – though centuries past and oceans over – Remhurst’s mysterious history is about to get a lot closer to her than she expected; a dark presence has arrived in her hometown, seeking to settle a centuries-old vendetta.
Between home and school and the 19th century (not to mention a blossoming relationship with new-boy-in-town, David Laslett) Laine struggles to keep past and present on parallel paths … but it seems as if they are on a collision course where the inevitable outcome is death.
…will Laine unearth the mysteries lying in the grounds of Remhurst Manor? Can she be the one to finally put Remhurst’s past behind it? Can she do it before a deadly history repeats itself?
I’m so pleased to be kicking off the blog tour for Remhurst Manor today! I have a guest post from the author to share and I also have a giveaway you can enter for a chance to win a copy of the book. It’s also open internationally!
5 ways people are wrong about YA (IMHO)
You can trust me, I’m wrong a lot. I could list a whole bunch of ways I’ve been wrong. Let me give you an example of what I mean… most people navigate stairs successfully, occasionally they fall down stairs … I fall upstairs. Ouch. Try it before you dismiss it. It is a difficult skill to master but I’m particularly good at it.
When you think about YA fiction, I’m definitely picking up what you’re putting down. Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent. It’s kind of like how someone professes their favourite band is X and someone else says, ‘oh yeah? What’s your favourite song? No, other than that one’. Try this experiment – get a friend to name as many young adult books as they can off of the top of their head. Chances are they’ll go as far as the ‘chart toppers/conversation dominators’ and maybe a few of the trending titles. But if you ask them to put “books-to-movies” aside… are they drawing a blank?
I often find the conversation goes like this when I mention that I write YA – ‘I don’t need to read it to know about it’. Oh. Okay. Also, “Who are you, the book police?”
I like to think I’m somewhat of a connoisseur, nay, a savant of getting things wrong; the lineage of my biggest achievements can all be traced back to my getting something demonstrably wrong at some point. So, as I said, basically, you can trust me to tell you how wrong people are to think the things they do about young adult fiction. Are you ready?
1. Thinking ‘YA’ is a genre
YA is to genre categorisation what tomatoes are to vegetables. Romance, mystery, tragedy, comedy, historical, non-fiction, Splatterpunk (yes, it’s a thing) – these are genres. However, YA is really a recommended age range, not unlike the age range recommendations on the side of your board game. Or how it says on that microwave mac ‘n’ cheese packet, ‘Serves 4’ – WRONG! Repeat after me – you can eat as much of that mac ‘n’ cheese as you want to. YA is not a genre. Just as wrong are those who attempt to codify YA. If YA was a genre, why would we need to section it off even more? A genre means you have to fit certain criteria to be a part of it. YA is all about boundries, man, just like being a teenager – or how earlier you laughed in the face of that that ‘serves 4’ recommendation on your mac ‘n’ cheese. It is boundary-pushing. You don’t need to enter into it with pre-ordained tropes, expectations, etc.
2. Using YA fiction to teach Young Adults a lesson
YA is a hard-to-define badass. So don’t abuse it by putting loads of preaching “Don’t do this, Don’t do that!” lessons in your book. Yes, I’m aware I am a YA author and I’m writing a list of things to not do. But, this isn’t a novel. Plus, you’re not my real Mum. You’re not your reader’s real Mum, either. So no mollycoddling. Just write a good story – you can say “Don’t Do XYZ” all you want during your press interviews, but please leave it out of the book!
3. YA is cheap entertainment
You’re a sucker if you think this one. Some YA novels are massive money spinners. They generate revenue like it’s going out of fashion (get it? ‘cause teenagers are fashion conscious). That being said, if you look at successful YA books, they’re not being pumped out like that extra 4 seasons of a sit-com that used to be good but now all the actors have a twinkle of desperation in their eyes because the network is ruining something beautiful by making it last too long. Which brings us to our next point …
4. YA is all about long epics and a continuous series of similar sounding books
Let’s set this straight. You don’t have to write a 200,000-word epic or invent a whole universe like the Hunger Games/The Deadliest Game to succeed in YA. In fact, some of the best YA is short and snappy (The Perks of Being a Wallflower – anyone?). Less is more. Y’know, Hemingway’s iceberg ‘n’ that.
5. YA is not for YOU.
I am not someone to get really irritated by things; I am a firm believer that nothing is either good or bad. It is your thoughts which make it so. I am a zen master. So, if you say adults shouldn’t read young adult novels, I’ll … insert vague but disarming and over-the-top threat of improbable violence… your mother.
Put it this way. YA is not a hard-and-fast rule; it’s a suggestion. When it says, ‘for 12-17 year olds’, we’re back to the mac-n-cheese pack. If it takes your fancy … read it. Enjoy it. Whatever your age.
And if you DO fall into the YA age bracket then that’s fine too. What I would say to someone in the age range (and sadly, I’m not any more!) is that you’re not going to be in young-adulthood forever, and sure, you can read young-adult books at any age – but there’s only a small space of time where you’re the target-audience. You’re young. You don’t have all day to read about life. So, in 70,000 words, let’s discuss life, death, and all those other ‘serious’ things you’re unfortunately going to have to deal with before you’re ready. It’s going to be hard. Or maybe not. Far be it for me to preach to you about how these are the best years of your life. Enjoy being young. Read any YA that catches your eye, whether your friends think it’s popular or not. What you’ll find is that they’re celebrations of a period of time that is going to be better in hindsight, guaranteed.
And to those who’ve moved beyond, and in some cases, well beyond the ‘right’ age range? Read it anyway! It’s not like people even need to know that you’re reading it, if that’s what you’re worried about. We live in the age of e-readers – the other people on the train (who care so much) don’t even need to know!
But anyway, I’m wrong a lot. So… make up your own mind 😉
Interesting, I agree with her. I read plenty of YA novels and I’m far past the recommended age range. Thanks so much Tamasine for stopping by today!
About the Author:
Tamasine Loves is an Australian author whose debut young-adult novel, ‘Remhurst Manor’, was first written for her high school friends and was delivered as printed serialisations and passed on in between classes. The serialisations were compiled, and there was a printed first draft of what would later become ‘Remhurst Manor’ just in time for her fifteenth birthday.
Years later, as a twenty-three-year-old uni student, Tamasine Loves turned from ‘writer’ into ‘author’ during an internship at MadeGlobal Publishing. She was introduced to the MadeGlobal team as an intern, and was then reintroduced several months later as the author of ‘Remhurst Manor’.
Tamasine has recently moved from Melbourne, Australia to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tamasine is a sub-editor for two peer-reviewed journals. She has published short stories and poetry, but telling long tales is where her true love lies. Tamasine lists her favourite things as literature, lattes, live music, alliteration, and her cat called Morrissey (who, she insists, is indeed ‘a charming man’).