My name is J.A. George and I’m the author of Gifted – The Hayven Series. My novel was published in April this year and I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you five things you might want to know about Gifted. This guest post is for those of you about to read it and for those of you who might be interested in reading it. If you’re reading this right now but are not interested in Gifted whatsoever…well, then…keep reading anyway. It’s the least you can do!
Number one – Gifted is about a nineteen year old university student who meets a woman a little on the strange side, and then meets a young man a little more on the stranger side. These meetings lead to the eventual discovery of Hayven – a city separated from the rest of the world where only those with gifts can go. She makes an eclectic bunch of friends, who, even though I’m biased, are pretty awesome. But Hayven has its dark side – Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, Cliders are determined to see the golden city of Hayven return to the way it was one thousand years ago when the city was under the dominion of Madrina. Want to know more about her? You’ll have to read Gifted; it’s too long a story to explain here, well, 287 pages long.
Number two – I wrote Gifted because I wanted to read it. I wanted to read a contemporary YA fantasy novel that didn’t feature instant-love or a chosen one. I wanted to write about real life and the simple fact that the decisions we make, even the minor ones we consider unimportant, can have major consequences. Or rewards. I also wanted to look at real young adult relationships and what they consist of, and how infatuation or intrigue can often be misinterpreted for love. But most of all, I wanted to read about a normal character. Ava is a size 12 university student with a penchant for dry humour and doesn’t wake up every morning prepared to kick ass. She’s ordinary and I wanted a character I could relate to, a character who becomes extraordinary because of the decisions she makes, not because fate chose her.
Number three – This version of Gifted is my second edition and contains 5% or less of edition one. Edition one contained everything I didn’t want to read: a stick-thin, pretty protagonist with no personality, a chosen one and instant love. So why did I write it? Because I thought people would rather read that. I don’t know why I thought it, but I did. Two years I spent writing and hating my novel, until I randomly made the decision to write for myself, to return to writing a book I wanted to read. I wrote like I had no intention of publishing and the result was edition two of Gifted.
Number four – Some readers of Gifted call it a romance. I don’t think it is. Edition one was, but I wouldn’t say edition two is. But views and opinions are subjective and can never be controlled. I can’t interpret how people will read my novel and so I don’t try. Read and think of it what you will. If it’s real in your head, then it’s real! The reason I say it’s not a romance is because I took all the romance scenes from edition one out; they all revolved around instant-love and for me, instant-love isn’t realistic. My main character Ava is not in love with my other protagonist, Theo. Some readers think they are and once someone picks up your book, it is theirs, and what they get from that book is fact in their eyes. Ava thinks Theo is handsome and his weirdness attracts her to him, but I never wrote Gifted with the intention of having them fall in love. Infatuation or interest is not the same as love. Not in Gifted anyway.
Number five – I really enjoyed writing this novel. More than I could ever tell you. Edition one was painful to write. I lost sight of what and why I was writing and thought only about what readers would think and if it would sell. I wrote edition two like I was the only person who was going to read it. Some readers enjoyed edition one, but I’ve gotten more interest and positivity from edition two so... no regrets! I love Gifted and the entire series. I hope you will too.
Buy it: Amazon US / Amazon UK
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