Meet YA Author Jus Accardo, author of Touch

I am thrilled beyond belief to introduce all of you to Jus Accardo, author of TOUCH (available now) and TOXIC, coming out September 2012.  I can’t wait to sink my teeth into these novels.  And the covers are to die for gorgeous!  Yummers.

Anyhoo, enough drooling for now.  Everyone put your hands together for Jus Accardo!!!  *whistle*  *applause*  Take it away, Jus.  The stage is yours.

Being an author isn’t an easy career path. Everyone’s trip is different, so today I thought I’d share a little bit about my journey and some of the things I learned along the way.

I wrote my first full book when I was in high school. It was divided up between three notebooks, handwritten in various colored ink, and then hidden away in a box never to be seen again. From there I went on to write other things. Short stories, catchy lyrics, and, of course, more books.

The wisdom? Write. Write. Write. Every word gets you closer to your goal.

Five books. That’s how many I wrote before I queried my first agent. The first book I did query got no requests. Yep. You read that right. None. Zip. Zilch. Z.e.r.o. Okay. That’s not entirely true. I did get one request from an agent—almost two years after I’d sent the query. I kid you not. My point is, it sucked. It was hard and there was an ungodly amount of waiting. For someone who possesses no patience, this is truly the definition of hell. There were so many days that I woke up thinking, What the hell am I doing? This isn’t going to happen.

The wisdom? Don’t give up. You need to go into this profession wearing full body armor, armed with an arsenal of support and a slick back. It’s rough and tough and some days? It hurts. In the end though, it’s so worth it.

So I sat down and started working on another book. TOUCH. What I’m going to say up front is that there is no norm for getting published. It really is different for every author. Under eight months from the first word in the first draft, I had an agent and a 3 book contract. I’ve heard of people querying multiple books—some more than three years—with no success. I’ve also heard of people querying a few agents with their first book, and getting snapped up right away.

The wisdom? It’s different for everyone. Don’t measure your success—or timeline—by other people. All it will do is upset you/piss you off/make you want to quit. Keep at it. It only takes one person to pick you out of the slush and give you a home.

TOUCH had a lot of interest from New York. It went to the acquisition table at multiple houses, but in the end, most came back to us with the same answer. They’d recently picked up something that was similar. The kiss of death, that word. Similar. Obviously, I was disappointed. To get so close to where I wanted to be, only to have the door closed? An entirely new definition of hell (There are many in an authors world).

There were still more editors to submit to, but honestly, I was expecting them to come back with the same answers. I’ll admit I got a little discouraged. And then my agent and I found Entangled. They were new and enthusiastic and couldn’t wait to get their hands on Dez and Kale. But they were a small press, and at the time, only a few months old. Not one of the elite. I’ve lost track of how many people asked me why in the world I sold my book to a small press when I could have kept chasing New York. At the time, I defended my decision. Now? Well, the proof is in the pudding. Chocolate pudding. With strawberry. Mmmm…

The wisdom? Don’t look down your nose at self-pubbers and small presses. TOUCH has done extraordinarily well in the hands of a small press. Truthfully, I don’t look at them as small press/big press. They’re publishers. Each with their own good points and bad ones. The key is finding one that fits you personally. And self pubbers? Amanda Hocking, anyone? Granted that’s not going to happen for everyone, but, yanno, just sayin…

So now that I’ve got a young adult series underway (and another coming in 2013) people have been asking if I’ve ever thought of writing adult stories? The truth is, I’ve thought about it, and I’ll never say never, but for now I’m sticking with ya because it’s what I’m passionate about. Books got me through my teenage years. More than anything, I want to create stories that will do the same for others.

The wisdom? Write what you love. I read both adult (Darynda Jones and Rob Thurman are two of my all time faves) and YA (infinite list of faves). But I tend to gravitate more toward writing ya mostly (but not limited to—according to some it’s because I’ve never quite grown up) because I’m a sucker for firsts. There’s so much emotion in ya. So many firsts.

Fantastic insight and advice there, Jus, and you’re right. Each person’s journey is different.  The thrill is in taking the ride, not comparing it to someone else’s experience.

Now on to the good stuff.  Check out Jus’s novels below!


Touch (A Denazen Novel)

When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.

Add Touch to your TBR pile on Goodreads

Description:  When a Six saved Kale’s life the night of Sumrun, she warned there would be consequences. A trade-off. Something taken for the life they gained. But Dez never imagined she’d lose the one thing she’d give anything to keep… And as if it’s not enough Dez finds her immunity to Kale fading, the Six brought in to help Kale learn to control his killer touch starts drooling on him the moment they meet. Worse than that? Jade can touch Kale. But bimbo Barbie is the least of Dez’s problems.

After Dez and Kale got away at Sumrun, her father lost not only his most powerful weapon but an important piece of the Supremacy project. Forced by Denazen to remedy the situation, he poisons Dez and offers her a choice—surrender to Denazen for the cure…or die. Determined to find a solution that doesn’t involve being bagged and tagged—or losing someone she loves—Dez keeps the poison a secret. But when a rash of Denazen attacks hit a little too close to home, Dez is convinced there’s a traitor among them. Jade.

Sacrifices, broken promises, and secrets. Dez will have to lay it all on the line if there’s any hope of proving Jade’s guilt before they all end up Residents of Denazen. Or worse, dead…

Add this one to your TBR list at Goodreads.

And don’t forget to stop by the following links and say Hi to Jus!

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