This is so creepingly good! It reminds me some of Indiana Jones, the one where the kids disappeared… it used to scare me to death! And I love the cover. And the post Aiden wrote me.
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas released Tuesday in the Fantasy, Young Adult genre.
When children go missing, people want answers. When children go missing in the small coastal town of Astoria, people look to Wendy for answers.
It’s been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town.
Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don’t do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods.
AUTHOR BIO:Aiden Thomas is a New York Times Bestselling author with an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, Oregon. As a queer, trans Latinx, Aiden advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. Aiden’s special talents include: quoting The Office, winning Jenga, finishing sentences with “is my FAVORITE”, and killing spiders. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.
I have a secret. And I feel like it’s a secret that a lot of other writers, but no one wants to admit it. Well, my friends, I’m coming out.I am an online roleplayer.
Some of you might have no idea what that means. Online RPing is like a mix of traditional roleplaying — like dungeons and dragons — meets fanfiction. Basically, you make a character in a fandom and write with other writers and their characters in said fandom. It was popular in the mid-late 00’s and I spent a lot of time in The Hunger Games fandom.
I started writing thanks to RPing, and it’s how I learned how IMPORTANT finding your writing people is. I’m talking about critique partners, peer editors and beta readers! I learned how to write RPing, and eventually got a BA in English, and then my MFA in Creative Writing.
I have a lot of feelings and thoughts about my grad school career, but I’m going to keep this succinct: Grad school was rough. Not just the academic challenges, but the interpersonal ones that come with writing environment that can turn cut throat. Workshops are difficult. You’d bring in your chapters and everyone in the class would read and critique. The best advice I can give about doing a workshop — and writing in general — is that not everyone is going to “get” your writing, and that’s okay!
I was a YA writer in a class with creative nonfiction folks, and writers who did very literary writing. Sometimes they didn’t get my writing, and I didn’t get theirs. In order to make these sorts of peer editing experiences useful, you’ve got to be able to recognize people who don’t get your writing and set their feedback aside. But, most importantly, you gotta find and hang onto the ones that DO!
I found several critiquers who loved “Lost in the Never Woods” and gave me INCREDIBLE feedback and suggestions! I still have their notes on the crinkled copies of my story that I printed up for class and referred to them often when I was going through the editing process with Swoon Reads.
Post grad school, I went right back to RPing. It was a great escape when I was doing graveyard shifts as an EMT with Oakland, CA Fire Department and doing volunteer hours at the local trauma emergency room. When Swoon Reads selected “Lost in the Never Woods”, I was set up with Holly West as my editor.
Friends, I cannot tell you how important it is to have an editor who you really click with! I knew from the first editorial letter from Holly that she was one of the folks who got my writing. She saw what I was trying to do and knew how to make it better. There have been several times where I have Brain Dumped on Holly, getting stuck on a scene or character and she’s been able to take the mess I made and move the pieces around to make it all fit (she claims that my ideas are all there, they just need help fitting together but I don’t know, pretty sure she’s just a miracle worker).
When it was nearing time to turn in my first round of edits, I started to panic. “Lost in the Never Woods” needed a new ending (something I knew ever since I originally wrote it, Holly just finally made me sit down and fix it). I was in the 11th hour and starting to panic. My critique partners tried to help me out, but nothing felt right. The panicking got worse. My dreams were plagued with nightmares of hate mail flooding my home by the boxload from people who thought the ending of my book was just TERRIBLE.
I reached out to the Swoon Squad for help, nervous that maybe no one would be interested or have time to deal with my issues with my own writing when they had their own books to worry about. I could not have been more wrong! Everyone leaned in and offered suggestions. I even had people offer to read over “Lost in the Never Woods” and get back to me in a matter of DAYS (BIG shout out to Prerna Pickett!). It was actually my fellow swoon author, Caitlin Lochner, that helped lead me to an epiphany! After several Facebook messages sent in the early mornings and late nights, there was a spark, and an idea, and then FINALLY! A NEW ENDING!
And I did just that! With my new ending — and just a couple more panicked nights — I ended up turning it in 20 days early because I am dramatic and, okay, maybe it wasn’t REALLY the 11th hour, more like the 9th.
Here’s the moral of the story: There was value in going to school — especially when it comes to finding mentors — but it’s finding your critique and writing partners, the folks who GET you and your writing, who encourage you and help you out when you get stuck, that I believe are so crucial to developing your craft and becoming a better writer. There’s plenty of resources out there to find CP’s and connect with people, whether it’s through your local library, people you find on twitter, or even your writing partners on an RP site. YOU GO OUT THERE AND FIND THEM, AND DON’T LET ‘EM GO!
Author links: https://www.aiden-thomas.com/
This post is part of a Tour. You can find the schedule here (http://xpressobooktours.com/2021/01/12/tour-sign-up-lost-in-the-never-woods-by-aiden-thomas/).
Giveaway:Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
- Print copy of Lost in the Never Woods