A Writer’s Dilemma: Staying True to Your Characters and Your Voice by Juliana Haygert

Juliana Haygert, another NA Alley blogger and New Adult author, is here today to discuss how, despite repeated requests to age her story up or down she stuck to her guns and kept writing about characters in that tricky New Adult age range (18-25). She was convinced it would one day be A THING. (Think she was right? 😉) She talks about her path to publication and also gives commenters a chance to win an e-book of her April 2013 NA paranormal romance Destiny Gift (winner will receive the e-book in April). Welcome, Juliana!


I love this,

but can you make it YA or Adult?

I’ve began writing when I was 13 years old, though I didn’t write New Adult back then, of course. I’ve began writing New Adult when I started college – it seemed only normal, right, that I would write about things that felt close to me, related to me. Though, at that time, there wasn’t a term for it. To me, I was just writing, no pressure to control word count or to categorize my work, especially because it wasn’t work – it was a hobby.

It was only years later, when I finally decided writing was more than a hobby, that I learned the term New Adult, and that it wasn’t a thing. In fact, it was frowned upon. Even so, I didn’t stop writing it. After I wrote a manuscript my CPs loved, I queried agents and small presses – most told me “I love this, but can you make it YA or Adult?” Hmm, no, I can’t. I didn’t.

It’s not that I don’t like YA and Adult – far from that. I do read tons of YA and Adult and love them. It’s just, when I’m writing, I feel more like a New Adult. I’ve tried writing YA before, and believe me, I did not sound like a teenager! Even said agents and editors said that my voice wasn’t quite young or adult – duh!

In the end, I stayed true to my characters and my voice, even if that meant being ignored by agents and publishers for a long while. The important thing to me was to tell my stories the way they should be told. It would take time and patience, but New Adult would have a big bang someday, I was sure of it.

And I can now say I was right! [insert shy grin here]

Thanks, Jill, for having me over!

More About Destiny Gift

Thirty years in the future, a sinister New York City exists in permanent darkness.

A student at the secured NYU, nineteen-year-old Nadine has visions of Victor Gianni, an imaginary guy she has real feelings for. Afraid of being truly insane, she explains the visions away as simple daydreams, but she can no longer deny them when she bumps into Victor in real life. But this Victor doesn’t know her, and turns her away. After the encounter, Nadine’s visions change to those of eerie fates, gods she’s never heard of, demons with sharp claws they are not too timid to use … and instructions.

To discover if she’s losing her mind, Nadine follows the vague directions—with the real, rude and reluctant Victor—leading to a man who knows it all: Nadine can restore an ancient creed by unveiling the clues on her visions, and bring sunlight and peace to the world again. But that’s only if the demons and the other evil forces behind the darkness don’t stop her first.

Destiny Gift will be released on April 9, 2013. Add it to your “Want to Read” Goodreads pile by clicking here.

More About Juliana

Juliana Haygert
Juliana Haygert

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

Juliana can be found online here:

Drawing inspiration from Juliana’s bio, I’m asking everyone whether you’d rather be Wonder Woman or Buffy. Respond in the comments for a chance to win an e-book of Destiny Gift — and you gotta say why, otherwise it’s no fun. (For me, it’s Wonder Woman. My husband would LOVE an invisible plane! 😀)

Thank you for guest blogging today, Juliana!

Published by

Jill Archer

Jill Archer is the author of the Noon Onyx series, genre-bending fantasy novels including DARK LIGHT OF DAY, FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE, and POCKET FULL OF TINDER.

17 thoughts on “A Writer’s Dilemma: Staying True to Your Characters and Your Voice by Juliana Haygert

  1. First I would like to say one thing: Juliana, I think it’s amazing and wonderful of you to stand up like that and keep writing what YOU wanted to write! Cudoz for that. There are so many authors who start second-guessing their decision of staying and writing what they want when someone “higher up” starts pushing a little.
    As for your question… I would say Buffy. Because she makes mistakes, she’s human, she’s stubborn and not to forget – she can kick ass! 😉

  2. Since I’m the mom of two teenage boys, I’d rather be Wonder Woman. That Lasso of Truth would totally come in handy! Not to mention hubby digs the costume! 🙂

  3. I want to be Buffy. I love Buffy. I think she has wonderful qualities and is very gifted and she does what she has to do to save the world with no questions asked.

  4. I’d have to choose Buffy. I’d give anything to be besties with a witch and have a werewolf as a partner in crime. Oh yeah… And the vampires would be awesome, too.

  5. Read this the other day and cheered, but couldn’t comment from my phone. Technology…love it and hate it. Congrats Juliana! You believed in your voice and it payed off. I’m Wonder Woman all the way! The outfit is too great to pass up, and don’t get me started on the lasso and bullet proof accessories. All the best!

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